Does Your Firm Assist HOAs Or CAs In Collecting Delinquent Fees?
My firm often assists HOAs and CAs in the collection of delinquent fees. That is a big part of what we do. An association will hand over a delinquent account and we will draft the initial demand letter, the lien and the lien letters. If necessary, we will also file suit and go all the way through to foreclosure or a monetary judgment. Once a monetary judgment is obtained, we will ensure an actual collection of the money.
Can The HOA Or CA Restrict Improvements That I Make To My Home?
Yes. In the governing documents, there is usually some type of architectural review committee. There are restrictions in the statute as to who can actually serve on that committee. The architectural review committee makes decisions as to whether or not certain improvements would be acceptable given the nature of the community. Once that decision has been issued, the board of directors will make the final vote, which will usually follow the decision that was made by the architectural review committee. Some associations have very detailed restrictions on different types of improvements, such as screen enclosures, extensions to driveways and the colors that you can paint your house. So, on top of having to get approval from the review committee or the board of directors, you would have to comply with the standards.
What Sorts Of Obligations Do These Associations Have To Meet In Regards To Home or Unit Owners?
They are bound by the obligations that are provided in the Florida statute and by the terms set forth in the declaration of covenants and the rules and regulations. Those are typically for the proper accounting of the assessments that come in and any monies that are collected from the owners. They are obligated to provide for adequate bookkeeping and the disclosure of records to owners. They are also obligated to maintain the common and limited common areas. Those are just a few of the common obligations.
Can The HOA Or CA Have A Say In Who The Home Or Unit Owner Can Rent Their Property To?
There are restrictions that can be made. The problem arises when an association tries to restrict rentals without having any language in their governing documents. If the terms for restricting rentals aren’t specifically described or delineated in the governing documents, then they are going to be very difficult to enforce. If they are described and delineated in those documents, then they are enforceable as long as they are not discriminatory in nature. They can’t regulate based on some kind of prohibited discriminatory criteria, but they can certainly regulate in terms of whether or not someone needs to have approval prior to tenancy.
Are HOA Or CA Required To Send A Notice To The Homeowner Before Taking Any Legal Action?
Those are governed by statute and in the declaration of covenants. There is a fining procedure and a board that will hear fines, which have to be approved by the association. The association cannot just go ahead and fine without first notifying the owner of the violation and requesting that they fix it. It is possible (although very unusual) for there to be a notification to fix some type of violation and a fine sent to the fining committee. There is almost always a notice and time given for the owner to mitigate or fix the problem. If the owner doesn’t comply, then the association can go through the procedures to establish and collect fines.
Is There A Statute That Regulates Homeowners Associations And Condominium Associations?
Yes. For condos it’s Chapter 718 of the Florida statute, and for the homeowner’s associations it’s Chapter 720.
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