Gibraltar Title Newsletter Friday, April 21, 2017

Your Weekly News & Updates

At Gibraltar Title we help keep you up to date on local events, real estate developments and title issues. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call us at 954-771-7601.

Is It Worth Suing a Rogue Condo Board President?

Owner of Gibraltar Title and the Law Firm of Gary M. Singer, Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about the housing market in the Sun Sentinel each Monday.

Gary Singer

 

Q: I live in a community association where the president of the board is violating several statutory provisions and community rules. When a homeowner brought this up at a board meeting, the president told the audience to deal with it or just sue him. What should we do? — Jeff

A: The very large majority of people who take on the often-thankless and time-consuming job of serving on the board have the best of intentions. Unfortunately, sometimes a rogue board member gets in power and wants to carry out his or her own agenda or to abuse the new-found power by ignoring the rules.  Even if the president is just trying to bend the rules for what he perceives to be a good cause, no one in any position of authority should ever substitute his own judgment for what was agreed to in the community documents or the law.  Your best course of action is to discuss the matter with the offending party. Instead of immediately challenging the president, thereby putting him on the defensive, try to find out what his motivations are. He may simply be trying to do the right thing in the wrong way.  However, if his actions are truly harmful, you may need to take legal action. Your choices include suing the board to make it do the right thing or to force a new election to get the right people in place. Of course, you would need to pay the legal fees, and such lawsuits can get expensive. While there is a chance of being reimbursed if you win, there also is the danger of having to pay your community’s legal fees if you lose.

Before you go this route, consider whether his actions have any consequences worth fighting over. For example, if he’s breaking a technical rule that doesn’t have a negative effect on the community or yourself, it’s probably not worth spending the time, money and energy on a lawsuit. You might be best served waiting it out and voting for someone better at the next election, no matter how emotionally frustrating it may be.

If you have any questions you would like to see Gary answer, please email him at gary@youareclosing.com

Around Town

Las Olas Wine & Food Festival
Friday April 21st
Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale

The New Planets
Friday April 21 7:30 pm
Mickell Park
Wilton Manors

Fringe Festival
April 21 though April 23rd
Fort Lauderdale

The Blue Wild Expo
10 am April 22 and April 23
Broward County Convention Center
Fort Lauderdale

FARBAR Revisions Went In to Effect April 4th

Did you know that there are revisions to the FARBAR As Is Contract that went in to effect on April 4th? If not you should get up to speed on these changes.

See below to see the Lunch and Learn events we are hosting on these changes. You can also feel free to reach out to us, we would be happy to go over the changes.

Here is a link to the major revisions that you need to be aware of.

Our Upcoming Lunch and Learns

We are hosting a variety of educational opportunities in the next month. Please check out our calendar below to find an event that interests you. Keep an eye on your email for an invitation!

•    Noon Wednesday April 27th FABAR Revisions and Loan Commitment Contingencies
•    12:30 Wednesday May 3 FARBAR Revisions and PRMG’s New Real Estate App
•    12:30 Wednesday May 17th New Homebuyer Financing Options and Other Issues

Lighter Side of Real Estate

newshumor

Copyright © 2017 Gibraltar Title, Inc – Law Firm of Gary M.Singer, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2929 East Commercial Blvd, Suite 100 Fort Lauderdale FL 33308
1391 Sawgrass Corporate Pkwy, Sunrise, FL 33323

| 954-771-7601 | michael@youareclosing.com |  youareclosing.com

Gary M. Singer – Sun Sentinel

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Ask a Real Estate Pro: Do you really want to take the HOA to court?

Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about the housing market at SunSentinel.com/business/realestate each Friday. To ask him a question, email him at gary@garysingerlaw.com, or go to SunSentinel.com/askpro.

Q: The irrigation system in my area of our community has not worked for several months. I had new landscaping put in around the time it broke. I pay our homeowner’s association dues every month, and those include the irrigation system. My water bills are sky-high from having to water the plants every day. Can I make the association fix it, and can I get reimbursed for the hike in my water bill? — Mary Ann

A: Make sure the board of directors is aware of the problem. If you know a board member, speak to him or her directly. Also, you might consider attending the next monthly board meeting, where you can find out what’s going on and whether there is a good reason why this hasn’t been repaired.

It does not hurt to ask for reimbursement. I have seen cases in which associations cooperate with a reasonable request. But if there is no negligence or purposeful bad action from the HOA, a judge is not likely to award you the money.

Ask a Real Estate Pro: Condos can opt out of costly fire sprinklers

Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about the housing market at SunSentinel.com/business/realestate each Friday. To ask him a question, email him at gary@garysingerlaw.com, or go to SunSentinel.com/askpro.

Q: I understand that there is a state law requiring condominium associations to retrofit buildings with fire sprinklers. This sounds expensive. Can you tell me what is going on here? — Theodore

A: In 2003, the Florida Legislature required condominium buildings to be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems, and the law was tweaked in recent years. Condo associations are supposed to have the applications for the permits necessary to make the changes by Dec. 31, a deadline that is fast approaching. The work should be completed within three years from that date.

The idea behind the new requirement is to save lives, but the cost of the retrofits is steep: up to $8,600 per owner, in some cases, according to the state Division of Corporations.

Ask a real estate pro: Lightning strikes house before sale

Board-certified real estate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about the housing market at SunSentinel.com/housekeys each Friday. To ask him a question, click here.

Q: I am under contract to buy a new home, and the closing is several weeks away. During some nasty weather, the house was struck by lightning. I am concerned about what this has done to the house. What should I do? — Stu

A: The first step is to consult your contract, looking at the part titled “Risk of Loss” to see what your rights are.

The typical contract will contain a clause that says if the cost of repair is minor, such as less than 1.5 percent of the purchase price, the seller is obligated to fix it, and the closing should take place as scheduled.

If the cost of restoration is more than the 1.5 percent, the buyer can either choose to take the property as-is — along with a credit for the 1.5 percent — or cancel the contract and get the deposit money back.

In your situation, you will want to look at the damage to see if it is more than the small amount allowed in the contract.

If there’s major damage — a hole in the roof or a bedroom burned out — see if the seller will agree to the cancellation without the trouble of getting a repair quote. If the damage seems minor, you still should hire a home inspector and an electrician to make sure there are no hidden issues.

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

To follow Gary Singer on Twitter, click here.