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Subject: FL Covenant Expiration MRTA
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GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


07/17/2014 8:26 AM  
Your original Declaration aka CCR's will provide for the creation of a corporation to administer the affairs of the association and tend to the common properties. This will further assert that ALL parcel owners shall be a member of the Association and be encumbered by costs associated with the maintenance of the common properties. Further, you can check your Articles of Incorporation and, if it specifies that the Association is governed by FS720, then you are a mandatory Association. FS720 does not apply to voluntary associations.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7594


07/17/2014 9:25 AM  
Our Covenants state the following:

Article 3. The Association

Section 1. Membership and Voting Rights.

It is mandatory that every person or entity who is an owner of any Lot shall be a Member of the Association. Membership shall be mandatory to and may not be separated from ownership of any lot.





RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/18/2014 12:43 PM  
Been dealing with the uncertainty over the MRTA 712.03 exceptions to the point of near paralysis in deciding the proper course of action.
Being Unwilling to take action if the exceptions apply.
But it may have all come to a head with a recent letter from the MANBOD attempting to use the governing documents to bully and harass.

The reason why I address this in this particular thread is because it seems that many of you already here are quite knowledgeable about the effects and nuances associated with MRTA and I much appreciate and admire all of you who have had the good will to offer your knowledge and experiences to others in this discussion.

My situation, although, somewhat very convoluted, currently involves, (but is not limited to) the Association re-drawing and modifying its original Landscape Architectural Plan in response to a City Code Compliance violation for its failure to properly maintain the community landscape, failure to maintain the irrigation system and for cutting down trees without proper permits.

My question is:
1) Aren't the original landscape plans part of the Association's governing documents
And If So:
2) Can an Association simply decide they are going to modify and change the Association's Governing Documents without a membership vote?
Or
3) Does such a change to the Association's Governing Documents amount to nothing more than an amendment, in which case according the documents, the Board has such authority do do so?

In which case:

4) Don't such amendments need to be properly recorded before they can be effected/enforced and enacted?

And Lastely,
Since the Association was incorporated in 1982, and no preservation or revitalization of the Documents has ever been attempted, do the Governing Documents even exists?

Which brings me back full circle to the original concern regarding the MRTA 712.03 exceptions.

Some points of information:
The HOA in question is a mandatory HOA. Without even looking it up in the documents, the fact that there are 21 buildings with a total of 100 units/villas, and since all villas share common walls, common sense dictates that no one unit/villa owner has the option to opt out.

Secondly, most, if not all deeds/property titles refer back to the book and page where the original CC&Rs are recorded and the original plats specifically show the book and page where the CC&Rs are recorded.

With that information, and the brief scenario presented above.
Does anyone out there have any knowledgeable opinions and thoughts?
Please advise (with the understanding that any response and/or advise given is not legal advise)
Thanks
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7594


07/18/2014 1:47 PM  
RM5

I am not nor do I play a lawyer.

If I am understanding you correctly, your docs have a landscaping plan/criteria that the local government have said is illegal and you want to know if the docs should/need be modified? Am I understanding properly?

When Covenants, Bylaws, and/or Rules and Regulations have things in them that are illegal/improper, there is no need to change them as they are not enforceable. They effectively become null and void thus no real reason to remove them from the documents just because they are there.






ChrisP12
(Florida)

Posts:13


07/18/2014 3:00 PM  
Firstly, the date that the "Association" was incorporated is absolutely irrelevant to MRTA. The 30 year expiration time is 30 years after the "ROOT OF TITLE". The "ROOT OF TITLE" date is the date that the FIRST DEED/TITLE for a particular parcel/lot was recorded in the public records transferring ownership of the land from the DEVELOPER to a builder or any other legal entity capable of owning real property. Prior to that date there was no DEED/TITLE for the lot. The lot only existed on paper as a location/description in the plat. If there are 100 individual lots there are 100 individual FIRST TITLES, each with its own "ROOT OF TITLE" date. Also, the date that the Declaration was recorded is irrelevant to expiration under MRTA. It has to do only with the "ROOT OF TITLE" date.

Secondly, I am a bit confused about there being a HOA. I have spoken to people who refer to CONDO ASSOCIATIONS as HOAs. They are governed by different Statute Chapters as are Mobile Home Parks. Since you say there are 21 buildings with "100 units/villas" it obviously does not consist of single family homes, each on a platted lot, or a Mobile Home Park. The Declaration for Condos is part of the DEED/TITLE and MRTA has no effect on it at all.

Thirdly, if the original plat refers to the BOOK & PAGE where the Declaration is recorded then it WILL NOT BE EXTINGUISHED by MRTA even in 100 years. Why? Because the original plat imposed the restrictions and restrictions "shown upon" the plat are an exception to MRTA. In your message you use the plural "plats". The plural "plats" means more than one. Was the land built upon in multiple phases at different times? Does each platted portion of the built upon land have its own Declaration or is it a "MASTER DECLARATION" that governs all of the plats regardless or the name of the plat?

Fourthly, if the changes to the "original landscape plans" were needed to comply with local laws/ordinances/codes that are in effect then the landscaping must be changed to come into compliance. Local laws/ordinances/codes are superior to any "original landscaping plans". If the change to the "original landscaping plans" isn't an amendment what else would you call it. I have no idea if the "original landscaping plans" are or are not part of the governing documents. In any event, the landscaping must be on "Common Property" and changes to the common property would normally require approval by the property owners. Governing documents are amended all the time, take a look at the US Constitution. I find it curious that you state in your message that a change to the "original landscape plans", in your words, "amount to nothing more than an amendment". AMENDMENTS to the governing documents ARE A BIG DEAL! THEY ARE THE RULES YOU HAVE TO LIVE BY! Suppose the governing documents allow two parking spaces per unit/villa. If I were on the BOD I would change the governing documents to only one parking space and make you rent a second one if you need it. It is equitable and a great way to raise money. I find it hard to believe that the BOD can amend the governing documents without a vote by the property owners. Usually, at least a 2/3 affirmative vote is required for any amendment. If the governing documents allow the BOD to amend without a vote by the property owners they can change anything they want unless the governing documents specifically identify or restrict what changes the BOD can make without a vote by the property owners/members. Good luck on this one if what you state is factual.

KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/18/2014 5:35 PM  
Posted By ChrisP12 on 07/18/2014 3:00 PM


Thirdly, if the original plat refers to the BOOK & PAGE where the Declaration is recorded then it WILL NOT BE EXTINGUISHED by MRTA even in 100 years. Why? Because the original plat imposed the restrictions and restrictions "shown upon" the plat are an exception to MRTA. In your message you use the plural "plats". The plural "plats" means more than one. Was the land built upon in multiple phases at different times? Does each platted portion of the built upon land have its own Declaration or is it a "MASTER DECLARATION" that governs all of the plats regardless or the name of the plat?



Not necessarily. From my understanding from everything I have experienced is that if your particular deed does not make reference to the specific book and page of the restriction - not the plat - then it does not serve to reimpose that restriction, so if a plat was on Book 31 Page 123 and my title says that it is subject to restrictions, that is not enough to prevent MRTA from taking effect. That plat would exist outside of the chain of title for that lot. I do not see anything in 712 that grants exceptions to the law just because something appeared on the plat.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/18/2014 5:38 PM  
Posted By RM5 on 07/18/2014 12:43 PM
Been dealing with the uncertainty over the MRTA 712.03 exceptions to the point of near paralysis in deciding the proper course of action.
Being Unwilling to take action if the exceptions apply.
But it may have all come to a head with a recent letter from the MANBOD attempting to use the governing documents to bully and harass.

The reason why I address this in this particular thread is because it seems that many of you already here are quite knowledgeable about the effects and nuances associated with MRTA and I much appreciate and admire all of you who have had the good will to offer your knowledge and experiences to others in this discussion.

My situation, although, somewhat very convoluted, currently involves, (but is not limited to) the Association re-drawing and modifying its original Landscape Architectural Plan in response to a City Code Compliance violation for its failure to properly maintain the community landscape, failure to maintain the irrigation system and for cutting down trees without proper permits.

My question is:
1) Aren't the original landscape plans part of the Association's governing documents
And If So:
2) Can an Association simply decide they are going to modify and change the Association's Governing Documents without a membership vote?
Or
3) Does such a change to the Association's Governing Documents amount to nothing more than an amendment, in which case according the documents, the Board has such authority do do so?

In which case:

4) Don't such amendments need to be properly recorded before they can be effected/enforced and enacted?

And Lastely,
Since the Association was incorporated in 1982, and no preservation or revitalization of the Documents has ever been attempted, do the Governing Documents even exists?

Which brings me back full circle to the original concern regarding the MRTA 712.03 exceptions.

Some points of information:
The HOA in question is a mandatory HOA. Without even looking it up in the documents, the fact that there are 21 buildings with a total of 100 units/villas, and since all villas share common walls, common sense dictates that no one unit/villa owner has the option to opt out.

Secondly, most, if not all deeds/property titles refer back to the book and page where the original CC&Rs are recorded and the original plats specifically show the book and page where the CC&Rs are recorded.

With that information, and the brief scenario presented above.
Does anyone out there have any knowledgeable opinions and thoughts?
Please advise (with the understanding that any response and/or advise given is not legal advise)
Thanks



It sounds as if you may not be governed under 720 but maybe 718 or 719. I am not too familiar with those statutes as I am with 712 and 720 but I do not think MRTA would have an affect on your community based on what you describe.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/18/2014 6:40 PM  
Thank you too to JohnC46 ChrisP12 and KevinK7

JohnC46
No you are not "understanding properly"
However, Thank you for pointing out the ambiguity in my original posting.
I would not have picked up the ambiguity without your response.
Your input is very much appreciated.

ChrisP12 and KevinK7
To KevinK7. We are governed under 720.

By the way, last year I filed a complaint with the DBPR for unlicensed CAM activity.
Its all a matter of public record if anyone wishes to see how DBPR enforces its rules.

Returning now to the original threaded question/point
:
The original landscaping plan was approved and was legal and existed since 1982.
Since then a Board president from NY decided he wanted the to be reminded that he was still in the South Bronx and had nearly 450 trees cut down that were part of the original landscape plan.
One of my all time favorite Bill Boards from NJ reads: "If its all asphalt its not our fault, Farmers of America." And as an aside, NJ farmers produce the best corn, tomatoes, blueberries, asparagus, peaches and cranberries.

In any event, The original documents were drawn up in 1982 with the landscape plan part of them,
In 2002 some homeowners complained to the City that the Association had cut down nearly 400, 20 year old trees that were part of the original landscape plan and they did so without seeking approval from the City.
Longstory short, an agreement was reached between the City and the Board to replace the trees over a ten year period, but nothing in that agreement stipulated that the trees needed to be replaced where the original trees had been removed. So the new MANBOD that came in decided to give themselves special favors. Ten years later the Board begins using its power and authority to single out certain homeowners and Freak with there landscaping by cutting down trees and shrubs around their homes and turning off irrigation to certain buildings and directing open sprinkler heads into the open windows of units belonging to owners who make requests for the Association's financial records. Consequently this resulted in a brand new compliant with the City Code Compliance as a result of the most recent destruction to originally approved landscaping as well as the fact that maintenance fees that have gone into maintaining the landscaping of the community for the past thirty years has been mismanaged and improperly spent.
There is much more to this story but this is not the proper forum to take it up in.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/18/2014 7:10 PM  
I am actually interested in how a CAM DBPR complaint played out. I have just been preparing one of my own. I have nearly 100 pages of documentation all organized and was curious as to how they act. Is there a case number I can look up?
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/18/2014 8:10 PM  
Okay
Will connect
ChrisP12
(Florida)

Posts:13


07/19/2014 4:46 AM  
This is directed at the post by KEVINK7 on 7/17/14 @ 1:34 am.

The exceptions to MRTA reads as follows: "...specific identification by reference to book and page of record OR BY NAME OF RECORDED PLAT .... which imposed... use restriction..."

All titles that I have seen contain the NAME OF THE RECORDED PLAT since that is what identifies the property location.

If the RECORDED PLAT imposed the use restrictions they DO NOT EXPIRE. How can you say that (712.03) it doesn't mention plat when the words are right there in the exceptions?

How much clearer can it be!

KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/19/2014 6:51 AM  
Posted By ChrisP12 on 07/19/2014 4:46 AM
This is directed at the post by KEVINK7 on 7/17/14 @ 1:34 am.

The exceptions to MRTA reads as follows: "...specific identification by reference to book and page of record OR BY NAME OF RECORDED PLAT .... which imposed... use restriction..."

All titles that I have seen contain the NAME OF THE RECORDED PLAT since that is what identifies the property location.

If the RECORDED PLAT imposed the use restrictions they DO NOT EXPIRE. How can you say that (712.03) it doesn't mention plat when the words are right there in the exceptions?

How much clearer can it be!





712.03 Exceptions to marketability.—Such marketable record title shall not affect or extinguish the following rights:
(1) Estates or interests, easements and use restrictions disclosed by and defects inherent in the muniments of title on which said estate is based beginning with the root of title; provided, however, that a general reference in any of such muniments to easements, use restrictions or other interests created prior to the root of title shall not be sufficient to preserve them unless specific identification by reference to book and page of record or by name of recorded plat be made therein to a recorded title transaction which imposed, transferred or continued such easement, use restrictions or other interests; subject, however, to the provisions of subsection (5).

If a transfer of title does does not specifically mention the book and page of the in the new title, then the new title does not serve to reimpose those restrictions.

For example, lets say that the root of title is a deed from 1979. It mentions the specific book and page of the plat. That property is then conveyed to another owner in 2007. That title makes no reference to the specific book and page. It just has the following standard line: "Subject to covenants and restrictions of record, if any." It is then sold again in 2010 and contains the same generic phrasing regarding covenants and restrictions.

Guess what?

The covenants expired because the 2007 title transfer made no specific mention of the book and page.

That is not enough to reimpose those recorded covenants. The statute above states that specific mention must be made in each and every title in order to exempt, or more specifically, to delay the effects of MRTA. It states that "general reference in any such muniments to... use restrictions... created prior to the root of title is not enough to preserve them. This was reaffirmed in the court case Matissek v. Waller.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/19/2014 7:02 AM  
This is the whole reason for the law. Otherwise there would be virtually unlimited numbers of restrictions on properties that would extend all the way back to when Florida was part of the Spanish empire. Selling a property would require a couple hundred years of research. MRTA simplified that by extinguishing covenants and restrictions unless those restrictions are specifically mentioned in the title, making transfer so much easier.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/19/2014 7:29 AM  
Kevin
I do not think that Chris is disputing you
It sounded like he was simply saying that
reference to the name of the recorded plat will serve the same purpose as reference to book and page of record
At least that is how his comment appeared to me

By the way, How do you underline, bold and italicize in these threads. I can seem to be able to activate those features
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/19/2014 7:48 AM  
Posted By RM5 on 07/19/2014 7:29 AM
Kevin
I do not think that Chris is disputing you
It sounded like he was simply saying that
reference to the name of the recorded plat will serve the same purpose as reference to book and page of record
At least that is how his comment appeared to me

By the way, How do you underline, bold and italicize in these threads. I can seem to be able to activate those features



His mention of the plats was to say that if a restriction or reference to a restriction is in a plat then that restriction lasts forever. That is not the case. It sounded like he missed the all important "and" in the statute that requires specific mention in the title. If all that was required was a mention in a plat then my property would have hundreds upon hundreds of restrictions.

I just wanted to make it clear.

Here is a break down of the applicable statute:

Estates or interests, easements and use restrictions disclosed by and defects inherent in the muniments of title on which said estate is based beginning with the root of title;

Starting with the root of title, any restrictions disclosed act to prolong the effects of MRTA.

provided, however, that a general reference in any of such muniments to easements, use restrictions or other interests created prior to the root of title shall not be sufficient to preserve them

As I had stated in my previous posts, a generic reference to covenants are restrictions is not enough to extend the deadline.

unless specific identification by reference to book and page of record or by name of recorded plat be made therein to a recorded title transaction which imposed, transferred or continued such easement, use restrictions or other interests; subject, however, to the provisions of subsection (5).

Specific mention of the book and page must be made in the title transaction that served to reimpose those restrictions. So if each subsequent title transaction mentioned the applicable book and page, then the restrictions would be extended.


Also,

In order to have italics or bold in your posts you would need to use simple HTML, like < i > and < /i > or < b > and < /b > .
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


07/19/2014 10:40 AM  
I have been wondering about bolding and italicizing words also; I do not see anywhere in the Reply area to change my input to html! How do you do that?
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/19/2014 12:48 PM  
Back to my original question which has since gotten lost in the discussion.

My situation, although, somewhat very convoluted, currently involves, (but is not limited to) the Association re-drawing and modifying its original Landscape Architectural Plan in response to a City Code Compliance violation for its failure to properly maintain the community landscape, failure to maintain the irrigation system and for cutting down trees without proper permits.

My question is:
1) Aren't the original landscape plans part of the Association's governing documents

And If So:
2) Can an Association simply decide they are going to modify and change the Association's Governing Documents
without a membership vote?

Or
3) Does such a change to the Association's Governing Documents amount to nothing more than an amendment,
in which case, according the documents, the Board has such authority do do so?

And In which case:

4) Don't such amendments need to be properly recorded before they can be effected/enforced and enacted?

KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/19/2014 1:00 PM  
Posted By RM5 on 07/19/2014 12:48 PM
Back to my original question which has since gotten lost in the discussion.

My situation, although, somewhat very convoluted, currently involves, (but is not limited to) the Association re-drawing and modifying its original Landscape Architectural Plan in response to a City Code Compliance violation for its failure to properly maintain the community landscape, failure to maintain the irrigation system and for cutting down trees without proper permits.

My question is:
1) Aren't the original landscape plans part of the Association's governing documents

And If So:
2) Can an Association simply decide they are going to modify and change the Association's Governing Documents
without a membership vote?

Or
3) Does such a change to the Association's Governing Documents amount to nothing more than an amendment,
in which case, according the documents, the Board has such authority do do so?

And In which case:

4) Don't such amendments need to be properly recorded before they can be effected/enforced and enacted?





1) I would imagine they would have to be filed with the county, but I am uncertain as to whether or not that would validify a governing document. The statutes seem somewhat vague about "governing documents."

2) I think it depends on what they are changing. C&Rs would require a membership vote but the by-laws or any other rules and regulations? Possibly no. Although not the best example, my neighborhoods were fond of giving broad powers to the board in the by-laws allowing them to change them at a moments notice with no input from the membership. I would think that as long as a rule in any other governing document does not violate Florida law or the covenants and restrictions, such as using by-laws to establish a new restriction without a vote from the membership, then it might stand.

3) I would think that if it were to amount to amendment, then the membership would be required to vote.

4) I would think so. My neighborhoods have had attorneys who would file the by-laws with the county but I have also read that this is not necessary, although probably very helpful for the HOA.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/19/2014 1:01 PM  
Posted By GwenG on 07/19/2014 10:40 AM
I have been wondering about bolding and italicizing words also; I do not see anywhere in the Reply area to change my input to html! How do you do that?



You don't have to make any changes. You just type and at any moment you require emphasis you just enter in the code before and after the text.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/19/2014 1:46 PM  
Here goes a try

Lets see what happens
you mean like this:





http://www.html.am/html-editors/online-html-editor.cfm



 



Used the above free online html editor to see if the text can be used here in this discussion



 



 



RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


07/19/2014 1:46 PM  
Cool
It works
Thanks
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


07/19/2014 3:28 PM  
My situation, although, somewhat very convoluted, currently involves, (but is not limited to) the Association re-drawing and modifying its original Landscape Architectural Plan in response to a City Code Compliance violation for its failure to properly maintain the community landscape, failure to maintain the irrigation system and for cutting down trees without proper permits.

My question is:
1) Aren't the original landscape plans part of the Association's governing documents

And If So:
2) Can an Association simply decide they are going to modify and change the Association's Governing Documents
without a membership vote?

Or
3) Does such a change to the Association's Governing Documents amount to nothing more than an amendment,
in which case, according the documents, the Board has such authority do do so?

And In which case:

4) Don't such amendments need to be properly recorded before they can be effected/enforced and enacted?





1) I would imagine they would have to be filed with the county, but I am uncertain as to whether or not that would validify a governing document. The statutes seem somewhat vague about "governing documents."

2) I think it depends on what they are changing. C&Rs would require a membership vote but the by-laws or any other rules and regulations? Possibly no. Although not the best example, my neighborhoods were fond of giving broad powers to the board in the by-laws allowing them to change them at a moments notice with no input from the membership. I would think that as long as a rule in any other governing document does not violate Florida law or the covenants and restrictions, such as using by-laws to establish a new restriction without a vote from the membership, then it might stand.

3) I would think that if it were to amount to amendment, then the membership would be required to vote.

4) I would think so. My neighborhoods have had attorneys who would file the by-laws with the county but I have also read that this is not necessary, although probably very helpful for the HOA.




I'll throw my 2 cents in for discussion sake; I don't think there are clear cut answers without actually reading your documents. First, clarification of terms used: Association = All Voting Members BOD = A number of directors

If the Developer designed and built the community around a theme, such as naming it "The Arbors" and touted it as a cool, tree-rich oasis and covenanted that trees on common properties would remain in place and be maintained by the Association in keeping with the character of the community, then owners could reasonably expect the Association to assess and to take care of the trees. If the trees were subsequently cut to pieces by the BOD, owners would have a legitimate gripe and could do what is available to owners as remedy--remove the board and stop the bleeding or sue civilly to make the BOD individuals replace the trees at their expense.

Wondering: Did the Contractors for the Tree Massacre Project get a permit to do this work?

On the other hand, if the common properties were conveyed as generic common property without special LAWFUL provisions in the Covenants, then the Association (NOT the BOD) could do whatever it wished with those properties, subject to any local limitations. Owners have a gripe if BOD acted without presenting the Arbor-a-Geddon to the Association.

If there is specific reference to trees and landscaping in a provision of the Covenants, changing it would require an amendment. Amendments to Covenants almost always require at least 2/3 affirmative vote of all members. I have never heard of Covenants that put this kind of power in the hands of a few directors du jour. Hopefully, your documents provide for a high voting threshold by all members to amend your CC&R's.

And yes, Florida statues require that ALL members get a copy of an Amendment within a certain period of time following adoption. I am uncertain about a recording requirement; Amendments do not incorporate into a property chain of title so my thought is that constructive notice by recording is unnecessary; only the Members need notice of the new amendment. Recording a document does not give any validity to its contents; recording is a ministerial function.

The BOD can do anything it wants if people aren't looking or care enough to say something. BOD is not compelled to present the tree-slashing project to the membership for approval unless the project was estimated to exceed cost parameters and/or trigger bidding requirements, as required by governing documents and statutory law. A competent and responsible BOD should present the project to members but, most documents give BOD absolute authority to take whatever actions they desire within the authority granted by the governing documents.

According to you, the City asserted its rightful jurisdiction over the common property condition, as platted and planned by Developer and approved by the City. Material alteration of the City's land plan and the Board's subsequent attempt to circumvent the City's initial compliance order does not speak well for the integrity of BOD, at the very least.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


07/29/2014 7:35 PM  
Update of the Covenant Expiration issue in my community: as my attorney predicted to a group of homeowners over a year ago, the effects of covenant expiration would unfold slowly and in unexpected ways.

The Association has recently filed suit against a homeowner. Count 1 asks the courts for a Declaratory Judgment which upholds the HOA's right to enforce Covenants. The Homeowner asserts their parcel's covenants were expired by MRTA before they bought it and refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of HOA's architectural demands.

The architectural issue is "beside the point" and has most people scratching their heads. In Count II. the HOA seeks unjunctive relief and asks the court to order a dismantling of a porch from the front of their home to the rear. HOA maintains they didn't get permission to put the porch on the front (Owner has all county permits and there is no rule against a porch on the front of the home). The HOA maintains that the porch causes the home to exceed a maximum size footprint. (Scratch head here; the home would be the same size with the porch on the rear.) The new $100K+ custom home is generally regarded as a showplace in a community where the average home sells for $38K.

This is an enormously unpopular lawsuit as most people do not know why the HOA is picking this fight and know nothing about MRTA. They see only legal fees depleting the coffers. This lawsuit has polarized the community, as there remains a diehard segment that maintains a 'Stand by my HOA' posture and, no matter what, feels the Board knows best.

The ladies are being represented by the same attorney who is representing me. My attorney is currently writing a motion for summary judgment on my case.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/30/2014 4:45 PM  
Posted By GwenG on 07/29/2014 7:35 PM
Update of the Covenant Expiration issue in my community: as my attorney predicted to a group of homeowners over a year ago, the effects of covenant expiration would unfold slowly and in unexpected ways.

The Association has recently filed suit against a homeowner. Count 1 asks the courts for a Declaratory Judgment which upholds the HOA's right to enforce Covenants. The Homeowner asserts their parcel's covenants were expired by MRTA before they bought it and refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of HOA's architectural demands.

The architectural issue is "beside the point" and has most people scratching their heads. In Count II. the HOA seeks unjunctive relief and asks the court to order a dismantling of a porch from the front of their home to the rear. HOA maintains they didn't get permission to put the porch on the front (Owner has all county permits and there is no rule against a porch on the front of the home). The HOA maintains that the porch causes the home to exceed a maximum size footprint. (Scratch head here; the home would be the same size with the porch on the rear.) The new $100K+ custom home is generally regarded as a showplace in a community where the average home sells for $38K.

This is an enormously unpopular lawsuit as most people do not know why the HOA is picking this fight and know nothing about MRTA. They see only legal fees depleting the coffers. This lawsuit has polarized the community, as there remains a diehard segment that maintains a 'Stand by my HOA' posture and, no matter what, feels the Board knows best.

The ladies are being represented by the same attorney who is representing me. My attorney is currently writing a motion for summary judgment on my case.



Your situation closely resembles my current situation and I am happy to see the updates. Rarely on this board do we see a matter from start to finish. I always wonder how things play out because I think that they would definitely help in current and future visitors making decisions.

I am curious about the architectural count too. My neighbors have told me that the HOA and their attorney have demanded their approval first despite zero mentions of architectural control in any document, either original or the ones they purport to be legitimate. Luckily that homeowner understood his rights when he found my website and kept records. They also had talked to the prior board years ago and that board president told him the HOA had no authority. Sadly the new ambitious board is going to get themselves in a lot of trouble.

Most recently I had to file an event with the police because the HOA came on my property without notice and dug a hole roughly 1'x1'x1', capped a sprinkler line, and then left the hole - probably less than 15' from a no trespassing sign. I discovered it when my lawnmower fell in and got stuck.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


07/30/2014 8:11 PM  
Our community situation is probably unusual. The community was originally developed as a campground. The Declaration was concepted and written appropriately for a campground. Over time, the campground morphed into a manufactured home community, permitted by the County after Hurricane Charley almost wiped out the trailer community. The Board obviously waived the Covenants which only permitted "camping facilities". The Declaration says ZERO about manufactured homes, age restrictions, rental restrictions, architectural controls, fines, foreclosures etc. The restrictions normally present in these types of communities are absent in ours because it was and technically is a still a campground with covenants intact on less than 20% of the parcels.

Over the years, Boards "promulgated" rules about manufactured homes without the required 50%+ member vote. They also unlawfully passed an Amendment to the Covenants on various matters, despite the fact that the original CC&R's have no amendatory provision. The board calls the Amendment a replacement to the original Declaration. They say the Amendment restarts the MRTA clock and the Covenants are still in effect. (Yeah, I know Mattisek v Waller!) So, now the lawsuits for declaratory judgments and various related complaints have begun.

The games the Board and the attorney play are incredible. The attorney doesn't care--they get paid either way and will be pleased to serve the board's interest.

Kevin's situation seems particularly ugly and is somewhat demoralizing to realize that the owners cannot bring sufficient interest and energy to recall a vicious and vengeful board.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


07/30/2014 11:49 PM  
It sort of reaches a point where the board has been doing what they have been doing for almost a decade and have been telling homeowners what they want to tell them that honeowners really don't understand the full scope. They just know what they have been told (or threatened). My other neighborhood was similar and when their attorney argued in court why the HOA should win they had what I called the "Tinkerbell defense" - they should be granted authority not because of any legal precedent but because people believed what they had told them.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


08/04/2014 12:12 PM  
Two Questions:

1) If and when a Board of Directors realize and decided that they need to revitalize the governing documents, can they nominate themselves to be the organizing committee? Or must the organizing committee be elected by the homeowner members, or at least be made up of none-Board members?

2) KevinK7, in a previous thread you referred to your "website" and was wondering if you'd be willing to provide the link thereto. I tried to find it out through another source but have not received any reply.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


08/04/2014 7:03 PM  
720.405 Organizing committee; parcel owner approval.—
(1) The proposal to revive a declaration of covenants and a homeowners’ association for a community under the terms of this act shall be initiated by an organizing committee consisting of not less than three parcel owners located in the community that is proposed to be governed by the revived declaration. The name, address, and telephone number of each member of the organizing committee must be included in any notice or other document provided by the committee to parcel owners to be affected by the proposed revived declaration.

This seems clear to me; the Organizing Committee need only consist of 3 parcel owners and does not exclude directors. It does not provide for any nomination or election of the organizing owners to be on the committee; this is logical since there is no authority to have any election for this purpose in the Bylaws (which functionally expire with the Covenants though they do not technically expire). At the point of expiration of covenants, the community is "going bare" and must chart its own course insofar as the logistic and administrative conduct of attempting revitalization.

With the expiration of covenants, the three (3) self-appointed and/or voluntary "group of parcel owners" is acting only as an administrative and organizing entity without specific authorities governing organizing conduct--their only rules are the minimum number on the Committee and that they must be parcel owners.

The document re-creation undertaken by the Organizing Committee is bound by FS403 and FS712 insofar as putting together the details of a lawful revitalization package acceptable to both the Dept of Economic Affairs and to Owners who will be affected by a revitalized Declaration/Rules.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


08/04/2014 10:45 PM  
Correction that is FS720.403
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


08/05/2014 3:54 AM  
Posted By RM5 on 08/04/2014 12:12 PM
Two Questions:

1) If and when a Board of Directors realize and decided that they need to revitalize the governing documents, can they nominate themselves to be the organizing committee? Or must the organizing committee be elected by the homeowner members, or at least be made up of none-Board members?

2) KevinK7, in a previous thread you referred to your "website" and was wondering if you'd be willing to provide the link thereto. I tried to find it out through another source but have not received any reply.



I cannot provide my website because it contains the name of my neighborhood and poating it would violate the forum's rules. I could email it to you if you would like.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


08/05/2014 5:38 AM  
You should already have my email.
You were provided with the DBPR case files through an alternate source
in order to preserve the anonymity of the subjects, the Association and the parties involved.
Had been waiting for a confirmation of receipt and possibly a reciprocal exchange.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


08/05/2014 6:33 AM  
Posted By RM5 on 08/05/2014 5:38 AM
You should already have my email.
You were provided with the DBPR case files through an alternate source
in order to preserve the anonymity of the subjects, the Association and the parties involved.
Had been waiting for a confirmation of receipt and possibly a reciprocal exchange.




Sorry. I had trouble trying to find that information.

You can find my website by searching the cases Matissek v Waller and Busch v Sand Lake Hills together, as well as Orlando or Williamsburg. My site should be the right near the top with various pages such as "Legal Stuff" or "More Information."

There are several methods of contact information including an form or links to the email.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


08/05/2014 7:05 AM  
Will check.
In the mean time did you ever get the DBPR case files on the CAM license case you said you were interested in?
They should have been provided to you through an alternate, and common source of ours.
Let me know.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


08/05/2014 8:02 AM  
Got it. They got buried in the inbox.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


08/05/2014 9:20 AM  
TO: Kevin

Please Let me know if you intend to make a Public Records Request (PRR) to DBPR.
I believe that all three case files are identical in content.

The only thing I have not acquired through a PRR on my own is the final penalty imposed and/or settlement agreement between DBPR and the subjects.

The reason why is that as the case progressed, I made three subsequent PRR in order to monitor the case, the subjects responses and DBPR's handling of the case. That was an absolute necessity because DBPR does not keep the complainant in the loop and informed as the case progresses.

Once DBPR receives the original complaint from the complainant it sends the complaint to the subject for them to respond to but does not send the complainant a copy of the subjects response. Same thing with investigator's final interviews. Unless, as the complainant, you continue to monitor the case through PRRs, the subjects will have the last and final word.

It is important to see the subjects reply and to provide a rebuttal but that is only made possible if the complainant makes a PRR for the case file at the right time during the case progression.

The problem with multiple PRRs though is that each time DBPR provides a complete case file from the beginning until the time of the next, new request, rather than just providing new material appended since the last request. And each time they insist that they have to go through the entire file and redact all personal and private information all over again. This gets costly as a case file begins to approach 1000 pages, many pages of which are duplicates and triplicates of the same email to and from the DBPR investigator.

So my point is that if you wish to acquire copies of the case file, you could simply make a Public Records Request for the final disposition, penalty imposed upon all the subjects and/or the terms of settlements reached between DBPR and the subjects of the complaint. If you could do that and would be willing to provide me with copies I would be happy to provided you with the rest of the case files in pdf format.

That would save us both a lot of costs in the end.
Let me know.
JimbB
(Hawaii)

Posts:42


08/05/2014 12:44 PM  
Gweng;
I respect your journey with the MRTA legal puzzle, since you have already got a better idea than many of us, on the issue if they are extinguished or not, we have a situation that might be more complicated but I think that you could help me some, how can I send you an attorneys research that I paid three years ago, I would really like your opinion if you don't mind. Thank you for sharing your legal HOA odyssey and also congratulate you.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


08/06/2014 7:24 AM  
Jim B: I would be happy to read your attorney's research. Send to [email protected] Is this FL MRTA or some other state?

I enjoyed your characterization of MRTA as a "legal puzzle". In my mind, the most puzzling thing is why didn't HOA's and their attorneys pay attention to this critically important law enacted in 1963 in Florida?
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


08/06/2014 8:21 AM  
Posted By GwenG on 08/06/2014 7:24 AM
Jim B: I would be happy to read your attorney's research. Send to [email protected] Is this FL MRTA or some other state?

I enjoyed your characterization of MRTA as a "legal puzzle". In my mind, the most puzzling thing is why didn't HOA's and their attorneys pay attention to this critically important law enacted in 1963 in Florida?



Because it cuts off the attorney's revenue stream.

What I don't understand is that even though the law had been amended to make it easier for HOAs to preserve HOAs still allow their governing documents to lapse. My situations may be unique because they involved a HOA that was not my HOA trying to annex my property without my consent and another neighborhood that somehow became the HOA after one developer promised another developer some things that mentioned nothing about HOAs, but I guess that is the nature of a lot of these older communities. They are mired with all these vaguely worded documents and numerous deals that it easy to get lost and far easier to just accept a HOA at its word. What I really don't understand is why there would be issues with newer communities or even the "professionals," such as lawyers or CAMS. My neighborhood recently hired a CAM. As soon as news spread that they made the deal I was braced for some more drama because I assumed the worst - that they would not do their homework and just start sending out arbitrary enforcement letters. I was right.

MRTA is really a simple law at its heart but nobody wants to take the necessary steps outlined by the law to make sure everything is on the up and up.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


08/06/2014 7:56 PM  
Jim B: I assumed you had the research in digital format when I gave you my email. That might be an erroneous assumption of mine. If so, just contact me at my email and we'll arrange an alternative way to exchange information.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


11/11/2014 9:13 AM  
Update on the MRTA situation:

Still moving forward with litigation and, since I filed my MRTA suit, a second suit (almost identical) has been filed. I mentioned in a previous post that the HOA brought suit against an owner for siting a home (which the CAM gave the owner written permission to do) on their lot with an integrated porch on the front. HOA says this porch makes house "oversized" and violates rules. (It is apparently OK to add a porch on the rear which also results in the same overall size as an integrated one. Yeah, I know--whaaaaa?) Owner counterclaimed "I bought my lot after the Covenants expired and your rules don't apply".

(Incidentally, the HOA has no architectural authority in the Covenants. It just passed rules and attempts to assert authority to regulate and people believe i.e. TinkerBell effect)

Both lawsuits are now in discovery phase. The Association engaged the insurance company attorney to handle my lawsuit, but hired an outside firm to handle the 2nd lawsuit. But, somewhere along the way, the insurance company attorneys were brought in on the 2nd suit (probably after the counterclaim was filed). There is probably an amusing backstory there.

After the interrogatories are answered (all within next 30 days), the next step in the process, I am told, is either settlement or summary judgement. The same attorney is handling both cases and is prevailing in other MRTA cases. Litigants are not receptive to settling with the HOA, if offered.

ALL lawsuit information and status is posted on the open resident forum, so that owners have access to the current facts, if they wish. The attorney approves this. This detailed disclosure is helpful to negate the propaganda, misinformation, disinformation or no information from the Board.

In the community, there is increasing police presence attending civil disturbances. Recently, a board director accelerated his car toward one the litigants at the edge of the road scaring the daylights out of her. This vehicular assault was witnessed by two people and reported to police. A sociopathic night security guard is harassing women with shouted obscenities (litigants are all women), flooding windows with spotlights at night, threats to "burn the house down", damage to golf carts, knocking on houses in the wee hours etc. There is bulllying by board directors of anyone who would speak of these lawsuits in public. People are "shunned" if they associate with people involved in the lawsuit or friends of the people in the lawsuit. It is quite playground-childish. Friends who used to be friends are no longer friends.

Most people just duck for cover at any mention of the "covenants". And, the majority of the people in the community are not even aware of what the covenants are, since our governing documents "book" was assembled...WITHOUT ANY COVENANTS!
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


11/15/2014 7:08 PM  
Very interesting (and frustrating).

I have heard from residents in my neighborhood that the HOA is now try to exert architectural control despite the covenants being expired and when they were C&Rs were in existence there was no mention of an ARC (and the vote to establish one failed horribly several years ago). Some of the homeowners are awakening to the situation in part because of a website established to inform homeowners of the law. Many find it because the HOA threatened legal action and they sought help on the internet. One homeowner unfortunately was foreclosed upon AFTER the HOA was notified they lacked any legal authority, but that information was probably never presented in court (I have found that even many Florida attorneys have no comprehension of MRTA and/or do not do detailed work when defending their clients rights.
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/27/2014 12:38 PM  
test
SteveG14
(Florida)

Posts:3


12/07/2014 3:10 AM  
Gwen, Kevin and Chris:

Thanks for the great discussion and explanations on MRTA.

Kevin, from past experience I can tell you that complaints filed against CAMs with DBPR are almost always dismissed with no probable cause. A CAM would have to go running nude at a BOD meeting, and even then, DBPR would probably do nothing. DBPR just wants to collect fees from CAMs and enforcement of 720 is toothless.

I would suggest that everyone here in Florida check out CCFJ. There is a lot of good information there and Jan is great on answering questions. He has a lot of first hand experience. There is information on getting past CAM complaints, and requesting docs.

Kevin, I did find your website by searching as you suggested. I will check it out.

I notice there has not been a lot of discussion here on events, and wonder if perhaps we could get an update from everyone.

Our docs are set to expire in 2017 and I think this is a good opportunity to get rid of our HOAs. We actually have 2 - a master and a sub, so double the fun. Our sub is worthless and the master is set up to basically maintain the roads, but ours is an open community (not gated). We are actually paying twice for road maintenance, once to the master and again in our property taxes. There is no other community property--no pool or clubhouse. Just the roads to maintain.

Of course, the municipality is not anxious to take over road maintenance for us, because they get a benefit by not having to do it. But there is precedent because another HOA here already expired under MRTA and they (reluctantly) took over the roads and sidewalks. They do a better job anyway in maintenance because they know more about it and work with bigger contractors.

If we let the docs expire, wouldn't the municipality essentially have to take over road maintenance? Has anyone ever heard of a municipality suing an HOA for letting the docs expire? Someone here said he or she thought it was negligent to let the docs expire. But if that is the will of the members, shouldn't it be followed?

GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


12/07/2014 4:23 AM  
SteveG14 wrote: Of course, the municipality is not anxious to take over road maintenance for us, because they get a benefit by not having to do it. But there is precedent because another HOA here already expired under MRTA and they (reluctantly) took over the roads and sidewalks. They do a better job anyway in maintenance because they know more about it and work with bigger contractors.

If we let the docs expire, wouldn't the municipality essentially have to take over road maintenance? Has anyone ever heard of a municipality suing an HOA for letting the docs expire? Someone here said he or she thought it was negligent to let the docs expire. But if that is the will of the members, shouldn't it be followed?
_____________________________________________________________

These are interesting questions and I will be meeting with my attorney later this month to see what he thinks. He is very involved in several MRTA cases and I suspect he has some good input on this. I will post here.

To the amazement of those following the two lawsuits in my community, the opposing attorneys on the second lawsuit have refused to admit to verifiable facts. For instance, they asserted that the owner's deed was transferred 3 years earlier than is shown on the recorded deed. I cannot fathom what the rationale of THAT is--or perhaps it is just plain carelessness.

I think the next step is that a settlement offer will be made to my and the second owners. We have the same attorney and he has filed a motion for consolidation of the two very similar cases and will presumably be filing a motion for a partial summary judgement (considering the answers to the interrogatories). The opposing attorneys did not oppose the motion to consolidate. I believe that they must settle BOTH cases to limit the awareness of the situation in the community. (Trying to put the lid back down on Pandora's box.) Settlement is unlikely. The MRTA cases facts are clear and there has been no credible argument presented. Both cases demand jury trial.

What is beyond MRTA for the community is uncharted territory. We also own our own roads and, because we were established in the early 70's as a CAMPGROUND, the roads are not up to county requirements i.e. they are too narrow, no shoulders, drainage home-grown etc. I would hazard a guess that the owners would have to self-assess a major infrastructure project to bring the roads to spec before approaching the county about adoption. This is unlikely as most owners are Canadian and only here for a few months to get out of the cold. The modest home values of these "mobiles with roofovers" would encourage these owners to walk away. The roads will stay put and either a voluntary HOA will keep them maintained or they will deteriorate.

What HOA set the precedent you mentioned above? I would like to know more details about how that adoption was accomplished.

As far as negligence for allowing the CCR's to expire, that would be one whazzoo court case I would buy ringside tickets for! I believe it was negligent of the HOA and they are liable to each homeowner and lender for permitting this risk. Homeowners entrusted complete control of their financial welfare to these boards and were given NO NOTICE of impending expirations, which began in 1972. About 25% homes are homesteaded. Additionally, the law places total control of preservation in the hands of the Board.

The parcels that remain encumbered by the CCR's are mostly those that hired an attorney knowledgeable about the MRTA law who reimposed the restrictions, per the law, at the time of sale. Most deeds are not attorney or realtor-assisted and do not buy title searches or attorney opinion of title.

And, when expiration was discovered by the present board, Members were not informed. Members still have not been informed about the two MRTA lawsuits; this is only known "casually" by a few and those reading the updates on the resident forum.

Members are now left hanging with the unknown expense and chaos created by the negligent board(s). Most owners are oblivious to the entire problem; as I said in the above post, our governing documents never included the original CCR's, so it was virtually impossible to discover this on one's own and most people just conceptualize governance in terms of "rules".
SteveG14
(Florida)

Posts:3


12/07/2014 5:40 AM  
Wow, Gwen. You are so fast!

It sounds like you have a very knowledgable attorney and I think that's the most important part of dealing with these cases. I took a look at the complaint filed in the Sand Lake Hills case and saw the attorney is Peter McGrath. Are you using him? If not, how can I find out who you are using? (I just joined this site today and am not really familiar with it yet.)

If it is the will of the members to let the docs expire, then it seems like it really wouldn't be negligence on the part of the board to do so. Here, in South Florida, they are planning on renewing the docs after getting permission from the owners, but I don't think that is really required. They are probably trying to protect themselves either way (or it is just more fees for the CAM!)

Some here have already approached the municipality about taking over the roads. Of course, they claim the roads are not wide enough, but the precedent cited seem to be the same width. After checking more, it might be that that section never really had an HOA to begin with. I will have to look into it some more.

It is now election time for HOAs so this is a great time to takeover and run the show. As an attorney told me last week: Today's disgruntled homeowner is tomorrow's dictator!

GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


12/07/2014 6:00 AM  
SteveG14 wrote:

If it is the will of the members to let the docs expire, then it seems like it really wouldn't be negligence on the part of the board to do so. Here, in South Florida, they are planning on renewing the docs after getting permission from the owners, but I don't think that is really required.
_________________________________________

Haha I'm not so fast--just subscribed to the thread and new posts drop in my mailbox so it is easy to monitor/reply. If you want to contact me directly, just email me at [email protected] and I will provide more detailed information.

Just a note: it would be challenging to get the agreement of 100% of members--and 100% of any other parties such as lenders and private note holders--to agree to voluntarily and knowledgably let the covenants expire. I have not heard of any HOA even considering such a thing, until your own. Typically, it is accidental and discovered ancillary to an unrelated legal inquiry.

Covenants are "contracts" and cannot be changed in any aspect except as specified in the Covenant. Our covenants say that we can "except" specific parcels (theoretically ALL lots)from being subject to "some or all" restrictions; you might have such a "release clause" in your documents but that still would probably require some kind of disclosure to the other third parties with interest in the property.

Florida MRTA law FS712 does not require the agreement or permission of owners to preserve the CCR's. It is strictly up to the Board to preserve. However, the conscious decision to NOT preserve is a very serious matter and would require some intense legal review.
SteveG14
(Florida)

Posts:3


12/07/2014 11:54 PM  
Just a note: it would be challenging to get the agreement of 100% of members--and 100% of any other parties such as lenders and private note holders--to agree to voluntarily and knowledgably let the covenants expire. I have not heard of any HOA even considering such a thing, until your own. Typically, it is accidental and discovered ancillary to an unrelated legal inquiry.

Hi Gwen:

Well, when I say will of the members, I mean more than 50%. So if the majority no longer want to be governed by the covenants, then they could let them expire. (To revitalize the docs would also take a majority.)

I really think it should be hard to revitalize the docs, unless there is some fraud involved, because who in their right mind is going to agree to be governed by an HOA and have the privilege of paying them too?

The real problem is getting the municipality to be responsible for the roads here, even though they are public roads (not a gated community). The municipality is getting a huge benefit from our taxes, so we are paying twice to maintain these roads. This to me is the fundamental unfairness of HOAs where members pay twice for the same services. These things were designed this way--to save municipalities money.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


12/08/2014 3:18 AM  
SteveF14 wrote:

Well, when I say will of the members, I mean more than 50%. So if the majority no longer want to be governed by the covenants, then they could let them expire. (To revitalize the docs would also take a majority.)
________________________________

I would question the legality of such an arrangement where 50% of contract holders could cancel the contracts of the other 50%--unless such a provision is spelled out in your Declaration. Have your attorneys presented this as an option?

It is my understanding that Florida contracts require the consent of 100% of property owners to change a material term.

There are legal analysts that question Florida's right to allow 50% of owners to revitalize expired covenants with the reasoning that 50% can take away a material property right to be unencumbered by restrictions. I am unaware if "revitalization majority" this has been challenged in Florida.
TjC
(Florida)

Posts:3


12/30/2014 10:06 AM  
Posted By GwenG on 11/11/2014 9:13 AM
Update on the MRTA situation:

Still moving forward with litigation and, since I filed my MRTA suit, a second suit (almost identical) has been filed.

After the interrogatories are answered (all within next 30 days), the next step in the process, I am told, is either settlement or summary judgement. The same attorney is handling both cases and is prevailing in other MRTA cases. Litigants are not receptive to settling with the HOA, if offered.

ALL lawsuit information and status is posted on the open resident forum, so that owners have access to the current facts, if they wish. The attorney approves this. This detailed disclosure is helpful to negate the propaganda, misinformation, disinformation or no information from the Board.






So--ooo Gwen,
Has Motion for Summary Judgement been filed? If so has the HOA answered?
Also, if so, has the Judge set a date to hear the Motion?
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


01/15/2015 8:40 AM  
Attended an HOA/Condo Expo held in Orlando Florida on January 14, 2015 in order to accrue the free course credits required to maintain an active license. It was sponsored by an Advocacy group with a live Radio Broadcast discussion during the event. Personally, was not aware it was a live show and was under the impression it was set up for the attending audience, which was disappointingly scarce to say the least. One stage member of the discussion was an attorney. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the large space made it difficult for this hearing impaired to follow the discussion. Was more interested in the electronics set up behind the stage and the name plates of the discussion participants for future reference.

Brought a fellow homeowner/member to encourage interest, involvement to inform her of the issues and introduce her to the fold.

Attended several of the classroom lectures that were held there and from what I could tell, most attendees were Board members of Condo/HOAs. I was attending as a homeowner/member and newly licensed cam. During two presentations, one by a CPA concerning the financial transparency requirements of an Association and the other by the Florida Division of Professional Regulations (DBPR) concerning statutory violations and the complaint process I raised very pointed questions concerning the affect of MRTA on an Association's authority and statutory requirements related to the subject matter of the talks. All speakers, both licensed professionals and State regulatory administrators appeared uncomfortable with and aloof to the questions, even later in private.

In any event, learned from other attendees that the Fort Lauderdale expos attract a larger more lively attendance, participation and a more friendly interaction of homeowner interest groups.

Also learned of newly proposed, pending legislation, that if passed will give DBPR greater oversight over HOAs than before. Presently, as is, the Florida law per HOAs is all bark and no bite. If legislature passes DBPR will be staffing up big time. From discussions with DBPR in private it seems they are chomping at the bit and anxious for legislation to pass.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2225


01/16/2015 2:11 PM  
Any more details on this pending legislation? I read several sources of news in Florida and haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2225


01/16/2015 2:11 PM  
Any more details on this pending legislation? I read several sources of news in Florida and haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


01/16/2015 7:41 PM  
Have lost touch with it all while tending to other business,
without spending too much getting into the legislative records
A quick search produced this cite that might be a good start.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


01/18/2015 9:21 AM  
Apology.
In my pre-occupation with other pending home-front issues, failed to add references to cites in previous post.

http://www.hoareformbill.net/
https://legiscan.com/FL/text/S1348/id/971418

Upon further reading am personally not encouraged
In addition, the past election results are a good indication for what to expect.

In the mean time, there are a few other cites that may be of interest that touche upon the generic problems in HOAs.

An excerpt taken from http://www.abouthoas.org/?page_id=461 follows:
"Dr. Solomon is a Psychologist, a retired professor of psychology in Nevada who noticed something a little strange in his new development and when neighbors asked him if he was having problems with the HOA, he put two and two together and started studying the effects of HOAs on humans. What he discovered was quite alarming which led to two papers, The HOA Syndrome and Elder Abuse"

He has put together an interesting lecture series, contained in the following cite:
http://hoaacademy.com/lectures/

The alternative to the continued never ending battle is don't buy in a restricted community or get out if already there.

Another cite with some interesting info and links is:
http://www.abouthoas.org/
http://www.abouthoas.org/?page_id=461

The alternative is: don't buy in a restricted community.
RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


01/19/2015 10:04 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 01/16/2015 2:11 PM
Any more details on this pending legislation? I read several sources of news in Florida and haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.



GenoS

Is there another thread on this cite that specifically addresses the Florida Bill.
This particular thread is specific to MRTA, which, in my case, has been exhausted due to 712.03 exceptions, thus precluding attorney interest or feedback from other participants on this forum.

Still have other issues/interests to pursue and any info on legislative activity is welcome.
Thanks
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2225


01/21/2015 12:45 PM  
Thank you, RM5. It sounds like the proposed Florida legislation is a reconsideration of last year's proposals for changes to FS 720.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


01/21/2015 4:33 PM  
Posted By KevinK7 on 07/19/2014 1:01 PM
Posted By GwenG on 07/19/2014 10:40 AM
I have been wondering about bolding and italicizing words also; I do not see anywhere in the Reply area to change my input to html! How do you do that?



You don't have to make any changes. You just type and at any moment you require emphasis you just enter in the code before and after the text.




See the following thread, Subject: Posting Tips (and testing thread):

http://www.hoatalk.com/Forum/tabid/55/forumid/1/postid/183746/view/topic/Default.aspx
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


01/21/2015 4:34 PM  
Shoot.

I should have checked dates closer.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:574


01/22/2015 5:50 AM  
TjC wrote

So--ooo Gwen,
Has Motion for Summary Judgement been filed? If so has the HOA answered?
Also, if so, has the Judge set a date to hear the Motion?


Similar post appeared on my community forum...hmmm One single post by this member. Smells fishy.

Update: The Association has filed a motion to compel me to go to mediation--a SECOND TIME!

The motion lied. Association incorrectly stated that the Association had asked me to go to mediation and I REFUSED! Wrong! My attorney received no notice to participate in a second mediation.

The fact is that I invited the Association to mediation which lasted all of 20 minutes last November. There was no discussion at the mediation and was declared an impasse after 20 minutes.

The case is so far down the road as to warrant filing a motion for summary judgement. Why compel a second useless mediation?

Board announced formation of an Organizing Committee to begin revitalization of the covenants as a legal strategy (huh?). This action essentially admits that the covenants are expired and I prevail on one count of my lawsuit. Still, the Association continues to litigate with stall motions wanting to mediate. Mediate what?

I and another litigant in my community are paying our attorney to sponsor an owner MRTA 2-hour seminar this coming week. This was in response to community outrage that Board says NOTHING about either MRTA or the pending lawsuits.

Finally, BOD said they were thinking about a future informational meeting. They did the same thing last year after another owner and myself sponsored my attorney for the first MRTA meeting for owners.

BOD definately not visionaries.


RM5
(Florida)

Posts:41


01/22/2015 2:32 PM  
GwenG wrote:

Similar post appeared on my community forum...hmmm One single post by this member. Smells fishy.

I have been a contributing member for several years, and yes, like some, have posted under different names whenever I forgot my password and had to re-register.
Beware, if it smells like fish, I eat it.

Update: The Association has filed a motion to compel me to go to mediation--a SECOND TIME!

The motion lied. Association incorrectly stated that the Association had asked me to go to mediation and I REFUSED! Wrong! My attorney received no notice to participate in a second mediation.

They lied!? OMG. Was the motion filed by an attorney? Well then welcome, you have entered the twilight zone of another, parallel universe known as the American Civil Justice system where lie-truth, fantasy-reality, good-bad are all equal.


The fact is that I invited the Association to mediation which lasted all of 20 minutes last November. There was no discussion at the mediation and was declared an impasse after 20 minutes.

The case is so far down the road as to warrant filing a motion for summary judgement. Why compel a second useless mediation?


Did the attorney file the Motion? Gee, let's see, is it maybe because more money goes into attorney's pockets?

Board announced formation of an Organizing Committee to begin revitalization of the covenants as a legal strategy (huh?). This action essentially admits that the covenants are expired and I prevail on one count of my lawsuit. Still, the Association continues to litigate with stall motions wanting to mediate. Mediate what?

A pearl necklace for my mistress, a diamond ring for my wife, a new Mercedes for my husband, a trip to Aruba, I don't know, what would you like to mediate? Doesn't matter pick something, lie-truth, fantasy-reality, good-bad, anything

I and another litigant in my community are paying our attorney to sponsor an owner MRTA 2-hour seminar this coming week. This was in response to community outrage that Board says NOTHING about either MRTA or the pending lawsuits.

Free promotional advertisement while getting paid an hourly fee, sweet. Come one come all and listen to my sell.
Will you at least be getting a commission for any new clients/business the attorney trumps up as a result?


Finally, BOD said they were thinking about a future informational meeting. They did the same thing last year after another owner and myself sponsored my attorney for the first MRTA meeting for owners.

BOD definitely not visionaries.
No but the lawyers surely are no dummies.
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