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Subject: Homeowner wants proof of legality of HOA - FL
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Author Messages
SpikeR
(Florida)

Posts:2


03/11/2019 4:59 PM  
Hi

I am on a board of a very small HOA. Our annual fee is only $50 and is used for street lights,road repairs, and insurance. The HOA received a check/letter from a homeowner to only cash the check if all board members sign a letter and send him proof that we are 100% legal. We do not have any kind of lawyer since we can not afford it due to our very tight budget. I don't know how to proceed. We are incorporated as a 501c and have been registered with the county. Some people think we have to be registered with the state as well but I have not seen anything stating that.

Looking for suggestions on how to proceed.

LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:643


03/11/2019 5:19 PM  
It won't cost you anything except your time, well maybe the document fee. Visit your county recorders office, give them the owners address and get a copy of the owners deed. On that deed will be
the HOA inclusion. Highlight that section, mail that to the owner via certified mail with return receipt. BTW Check with the title company that did the title on the home. It is quite possible they signed
an acknowledgment addendum stating that they know that the home is in an HOA. Maybe the title company will send you a copy of that document.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


03/11/2019 5:49 PM  
The CC&R's are filed at the County Courthouse records department. The Articles of Incorporation is on the State level. The HOA may even have it's own corporate seal or should be able to get one.

They are not above paying their dues no matter how much they protest. They don't pay their dues, then they get a lien. No excuses for not paying.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1065


03/11/2019 7:38 PM  
If the HOA is registered with Florida (there is a website), and has not been extinguished by MRTA, or has expired covenants due to not having extensions built into it, then I would simply send a letter repeating the amount and when the assessment is due.

Know your HOA status, but sign nothing simply because some owner makes up a scenario.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16199


03/11/2019 8:03 PM  
Spike,

Welcome. I suspect that the individual is looking to see if the covenants are current (hasn't been extinguished by MRTA). Explain to the individual that the assessment is based on the covenants that are attached to their deed.

Additional, explain that legal can mean different things to different people. Specify that if he would ask for specifics, the Board is willing to try and answer his questions.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1357


03/12/2019 10:46 AM  
The info so far is good. If the association is incorporated, that would be with the state, and a renewal would be required each year. Most associations are incorporated, and there are good legal reasons (individual protection from liability for one) to be incorporated, but lack of incorporation does not invalidate the association.

You mention being incorporated as a 501c. As far as I know, counties don't register corporations. Your county might keep track of associations, but a valid corporation would be registered with the state. See sunbiz.org to see what it says about your corporate status.

Back you your question, the deed or plat on file with your county should identify the CCRs (or deed restrictions, or covenants) attached to the property. The CCRs, etc. should also be on file with the county. In larger counties all of that info is available online. In Orange county, it is also free at http://or.occompt.com/recorder/web/. As others have alluded to, MRTA extinguishes CCRs after 30 years unless they have been preserved by association action.

As others have suggested, you can tell the owner that the board is of the opinion that the association is legal, and leave it up to them to challenge (sue) if they think differently.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1065


03/12/2019 11:04 AM  
Douglas,

Your last sentence said it better than I did!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


03/12/2019 4:10 PM  
I am also thinking that to prove your HOA is "Legal" is to file a lien against them for NOT paying their dues...

Former HOA President
SpikeR
(Florida)

Posts:2


03/12/2019 5:54 PM  
Thanks everyone.

The HOA is current on sunbiz.org since 1978. I found CCR's for 1978 and again in 2009 so they should still be valid. I did not find anything mentioning the HOA on his deed though. I did some googling and as far as I can tell in Florida, even if they were not told about the HOA it is still the purchasers obligation to find out.

He sent a check already with the note. Should I have my treasurer deposit it? I will discuss with the board first, but would like some others input as most of us on my board are fairly new to this.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1065


03/12/2019 7:43 PM  
MRTA - if your HOA has not preserved CCRs that are rooted in 1978, then the CCRs may have expired in 2008 ... if this happened, it is clearly the “fault” of the HOA for not preserving.

Please check this out.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8133


03/12/2019 7:43 PM  
Posted By DouglasK1 on 03/12/2019 10:46 AM
The info so far is good. If the association is incorporated, that would be with the state, and a renewal would be required each year. Most associations are incorporated, and there are good legal reasons (individual protection from liability for one) to be incorporated, but lack of incorporation does not invalidate the association.

You mention being incorporated as a 501c. As far as I know, counties don't register corporations. Your county might keep track of associations, but a valid corporation would be registered with the state. See sunbiz.org to see what it says about your corporate status.

Back you your question, the deed or plat on file with your county should identify the CCRs (or deed restrictions, or covenants) attached to the property. The CCRs, etc. should also be on file with the county. In larger counties all of that info is available online. In Orange county, it is also free at http://or.occompt.com/recorder/web/. As others have alluded to, MRTA extinguishes CCRs after 30 years unless they have been preserved by association action.

As others have suggested, you can tell the owner that the board is of the opinion that the association is legal, and leave it up to them to challenge (sue) if they think differently.




I agree.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1354


03/13/2019 1:09 PM  
Posted By SpikeR on 03/11/2019 4:59 PM
Hi

I am on a board of a very small HOA. Our annual fee is only $50 and is used for street lights,road repairs, and insurance. The HOA received a check/letter from a homeowner to only cash the check if all board members sign a letter and send him proof that we are 100% legal. We do not have any kind of lawyer since we can not afford it due to our very tight budget. I don't know how to proceed. We are incorporated as a 501c and have been registered with the county. Some people think we have to be registered with the state as well but I have not seen anything stating that.

Looking for suggestions on how to proceed.





You don't owe the owner your time/labor to prove the legality of the HOA. They need to prove it and face collections actions if they are wrong. The homeowner signed on as an HOA member by purchasing in your neighborhood.

Cash the check and move on. You don't owe a letter, either.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Homeowner wants proof of legality of HOA - FL



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