Florida Governor Signs New Condo Law – Criminal Implications for Board Members

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Governor Scott of Florida signed into law the modifications of his State’s condominium law which is now the most progressive community association law in the nation.  House Bill 1237 was unanimously passed in Florida’s House of Representatives and Senate.  All of Florida was in support of this law change which provides greater transparency and accountability for unit owners.  The law is immediately effective on July 1, 2017. Florida already had a laundry list of require records that condominium boards had to maintain and make available to unit owners on request. For years many boards did not keep the required records …

Board Member cannot use Work or Personal Email

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If your board members are using work email to communicate regarding board business, they have to stop they will be putting themselves and their organizations at risk.  A recent decision by New York’s highest court teaches a lesson every board member needs to recognized. That is, if you use your work email to communicate regarding board business, you have absolutely no privacy. Most employers have the right to monitor work email which means there is no expectation of privacy in those email.  In other words, anyone can see them and the attorney-client privilege not to exist to protect them from an adversary’s discovery. Habitat …

Florida HOA Treasurer Admits Embezzling over $50,000; Owners need to be able to Watch

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It took a Boynton Beach homeowner’s association board member two years to stumble upon a board treasure’s over $50,000 theft.  From 2012 to 2014, the owners and the board members were not reviewing HOA records and it is not even clear whether they had access to such records.  So, treasurer Norman Glavas deposited 16 checks to himself totaling $51,542.59, while no one was watching. This is why the Florida legislators unanimously decided to change the condominium laws, but that law change has not yet been signed by the Governor of Florida and a part of that law change is only applicable to …

Owners even in the Bahamas Need Transparency by Condo Boards

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Board fraud even happens in tropical paradises like the Bahamas.  The “Silver Point’s Declaration of Condominium treated doors and windows as part of the ‘common property’, rather than individual units.” Silver Point’s Board, “by a sleight of hand”, was allowed to shift responsibility for the repairs valued at over $1 million from itself to the individual unit owners.  If owners had access to records beforehand, the surely would have been armed with evidence to deter this fraud.  Lucky for the owners that they had enough money to battle the board in court and won.  Read more. If the owners had …

Owners have to watch Board Members or This Happens – Deter through Transparency

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Owners have to be able to review association financial records whenever they want.  If they can access those records then embezzlements like this one for hundreds of thousands of dollars by a NY homeowners’ association President (who happens to be NYPD as well) would not happen.  Either the owners would uncover the bad board behavior or the board members and their managers would not take the risk of being caught.  Deterrence through transparency. Read about  the bad HOA board member here.

Florida Condo Law Change is Being Heard All the Way to Canada

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The Florida House of Representatives and Senators just unanimously voted for a law change when it comes to condominiums.  HOA’s, cooperatives and other forms of community association ownership are next.  The bill is about to be signed into law by the Florida Governor but its required transparency and civil and criminal penalties are being heard all the way to Canada. Read “Anarchy in the sky: The condo dream becomes a nightmare“.  The author explains: “The Ontario government recently updated legislation governing condos, but the new law has yet to take effect. The updating process began in 2012 in the wake of …

Owners are Outraged by Management Charging $$$$ for Resale Documents

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Many state laws require that associations provide a list of documents to the buyer as a part of a resale package.  These documents are the association’s documents like the declaration, by laws, rules, budgets, etc. which are owned by the association but management companies are charging the owners when they sell for copies of the owners’ own documents as association owners.  The association should have a central repository for these documents and the owners should get them for free. Management’s answer is only that the association is not paying the cost, the owners are.  Well, the association is the owners …

Owners Must Closely Monitor their Boards and Management

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Only after an HOA employee, Laura Kozma, stole $45,000 from the association’s bank accounts, did the owners of this HOA realize that they need to closely monitor their Boards and Management.  The Belair Homeowner’s Association owners demanded access to the association’s records, regularly seeing the bank statements and other official records to make sure the board was acting appropriately and in their interests.  Full transparency is what the owners demand and that is what they got.  You can read more here. Office of the Board provides full transparency into association board business. The board can easily comply with its fiduciary …

Owners Demand Transparency by Community Association Developer Boards

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Developers of community associations are in the business of selling their real estate and the boards that they put in place in the beginning are their own people.  This creates a conflict of sorts because the board members are fiduciaries of the community association but have allegiance being paid by the developer.  When you buy from a developer or during that initial period of a developer controlled board (meaning the developer has at least a majority of the board seats and votes so it controls the association) you need to be aware of this conflict and ask what does this …

Owners must demand Transparency from their Boards – Another Bad Board Member in Florida

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This is a perfect example of what happens when condo boards do not demand transparency from the boards of their associations.  In this case, the condo board president and treasurer of the Gulf Reach Condo Association stole $134,000 from the association.  One of the board members was a high school teacher.  If owners are provided with transparency, this type of thievery will be deterred. http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/manatee-teacher-steals-from-condo-association/article_de39abca-31c5-11e7-bc09-03a02348c46d.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share