What is Association Law?

Association Law relates to the creation and enforcement of the Home Owners’ Associations (HOA) or Condominium Associations (Condo) and the rules that manage these types of communities. Most HOAs and condo associations are made up of a common residential asset managed through a Board of Directors. Membership is mandatory upon the purchase of real estate situated in the association, be it a house or apartment. State laws, local bylaws, and organizational rules all relate to the management of the community. For some properties, there can be multiple associations. For example, if a person lives in a multi-tower condominium community, each tower may have its own association, and then the master association controls the common areas.

The need for knowledgeable attorneys representing condo associations and HOAs has never been more important.  In 2017, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that was signed by  Governor Scott restricting some board member activities. It imposes criminal penalties on association violations such as electoral fraud, theft of funds and conflicts of interests—all significant problems throughout South Florida.

When is the HOA and Condo association formed?

Most HOAs and condo associations are corporations formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision or condo. After reaching a certain sale threshold, the developer relinquishes its control of the association to its members. At this point, the association takes over, and should hire its own attorney, file all the appropriate paperwork with the county and state, form a Board of Directors, establish relevant committees, and assume all appropriate business operations.

Turnover and Chapter 558

Turnover is a crucial time for associations. Are there construction defects? Are there any liens? Under Florida Statute Chapter 558, associations have a mechanism for dealing with these issues. But you definitely do not want to tackle these on your own. You need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process, and represent you in dealing with the developer, contractors, and through arbitration, if necessary.

Ongoing activities

Every community has its challenges. Most residents make great neighbors, but other pose problems. Having a set of fair rules governing conduct and expectations go a long way to having a harmonious and well maintained community. When that is not enough, fines and legal action on the part of the association become a necessity. Areas of ongoing legal representation often include:

  • Assisting with navigating tricky situations with difficult or noncompliant residents.
  • Negotiating contracts.
  • Providing legal advice on internal operational and personnel related issues.
  • Assisting with foreclosures/evictions.
  • Attending and providing advice during board meetings.
  • Monitoring elections.
  • Providing opinion letters on issues that have an impact upon the association.
  • Serving as counsel in arbitration and litigation situations.

Why hire an attorney who specializes in HOA and Condo law?

As Florida attorneys who specialize in HOA and condo law, we’ve seen just about everything associated with HOAs and condos. We work with our clients to set up procedures that protect the association, as well as pursue the remedies allowed under the governing documents and Florida state law for the association.

Here for the protection of your association

Please use the Contact Us form, located on every page of our website, to send us your message about your Association Law questions, comments or concerns. Or, call us at 305-825-4052 to learn more about our HOA/Condo Law or other legal services.

 

David F. Anderson attorney at law located in Miami, Florida specializes in Association Law, Condominium law, Corporate structures, Residential real estate, Commercial real estate, Family law, long term care, Medicaid planning, Asset protection, Mortgage law, Title insurance, Bankruptcy, throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida and the surrounding area.