Newsletters

SUMMER 2003

WELCOME ABOARD

While the firm practices in several areas of the law, such as commercial litigation in both the state and federal courts, bankruptcy and personal injury, the majority of the practice is devoted to the representation of condominium and homeowners' associations. In this issue, the firm is proud to announce the following association to our growing list of clientele: Laguna Isle Condominium in Boca Raton, Shaker Village, Tennis Club McLoughlin and Gable Arms Condominiums in Fort Lauderdale, Strand Plaza Condominium in Hallandale and Emerson House Condominium in Miami Beach. If we don't say it enough, we can assure you that we appreciate the business and the confidence placed in the firm.

CONDO QUIZ COLUMN

Question: Can members of the Board vote by proxy at meetings?

Answer: No. However, if unable to attend a meeting, Board members may vote by telephone if a telephone speaker is used so that all persons can hear the caller and the caller can hear all persons actually in attendance at the meeting.

EXPANDING TO FIT YOUR NEEDS

The firm is proud to announce the recent hiring of a new Associate, Andrew C. Demos. Mr. Demos obtained his law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Florida International University. He is fluent in both Spanish and English and will concentrate in the areas of condominium and homeowners' association representation, as well as construction and mold litigation.

SOME RECENT SUCCESS

The firm recently filed a counter-claim against a condominium association who sued a female unit owner for allegedly illegally converting her garage into a bedroom. The reason for the counter-claim was that according to a reliable witness, the association took the action against the unit owner solely because the Board members thought she was a hooker. In the end, instead of the unit owner facing liability, the association paid her $40,000.00.

PET RESTRICTIONS

In Prisco v. Forest Villas Condominium Apartment, Inc., (Fla. 4th DCA, 2003) the association sought removal of a dog prohibited by the documents, and the owner argued that the association had allowed cats and was thus selectively enforcing the pet restrictions. The Appeals Court held that where the documents prohibit all pets, but the association is shown to have allowed cats, selective enforcement is established and the restriction may not be enforced against the owners of dogs. This decision is contrary to a long line of arbitration cases that have distinguished dogs from cats for purposes of selective enforcement.

PROVIDING A KEY

Arbitration cases have repeatedly upheld the Association's right to require unit owners to deposit a key to their unit with the association. This is despite arguments by unwilling unit owners alleging that confidential information is contained in their unit, the President was not to be trusted, and the granting of authority to the condominium Board to break down the door or hire a locksmith if necessary.

DIRECTOR IMMUNITY

Individual directors of a condominium association cannot be held liable for negligent actions even if such actions are clearly wrong, where there are no allegations of criminal activity, fraud, willful misconduct, or self-dealing.

HOA BOARD MEETINGS

In a HOA, notices of all board meetings must be posted in a conspicuous place in the community at least 48 hours in advance of a meeting, except in an emergency. In the alternative, if notice is not posted in a conspicuous place in the community, notice of each board meeting must be mailed or delivered to each member at least 7 days before the meeting, except in an emergency. Unlike condominiums though, for communities with more than 100 members, the bylaws may provide for a reasonable alternative to posting or mailing of notice for each board meeting, including publication of notice, provision of a schedule of board meetings, or the conspicuous posting and repeated broadcasting of the notice on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the homeowners' association. However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted physically in the community, the notice must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required. When broadcast notice is provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of the notice and the agenda. A member must consent in writing to receiving notice by electronic transmission.

A Publication for clients, family and friends of:

Law Offices of Eric M. Glazer, P.A.

Eric M. Glazer, Esquire
Michael A. Rajtar, Esquire
Lourdes Sanchez-Barcia, Esquire

Corporate Place, 85th Floor
1920 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale, Florida 33009
(954) 983-1112
(954) 333-3983 - facsimile

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.