• Florida ranked No. 2 for HOA complaints nationwide

    Florida ranked No. 2 for HOA complaints nationwide

    Homeowner and condo associations are created to maintain property values but can sometimes be a source of anxiety and stress for some property owners. Florida No. 2 in nation for most HOA complaints, study says

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  • Financial Hardship During COVID-19

    Financial Hardship During COVID-19

    The onset of COVID-19 brought forth an unforeseen financial hardship for many Americans. With unprecedented numbers in unemployment, and undue burdens of financial hardship, the average American faces economic challenges that have not been seen before our lifetimes. This is particularly true for many younger generations of the American workforce.

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  • Location and Telephone Update

    Location and Telephone Update

    ### FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE IN RE: TO COVID-19 Due to the increased concern over COVID-19 throughout the Central Florida community, the Stage Law Firm, P.A. has transferred to a virtual location. Our office location will close immediately as our firm employees continue to work remotely. This decision was not made without serious contemplation, but the ongoing risk of COVID-19 outweighs the necessity for a physical location. Effective immediately, our firm can receive mail and schedule meetings at the below address. Physical meetings and contact with clients will temporarily be limited to only emergencies to limit contact between staff, clients, and

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  • Association Collections and Bankruptcy – Info for Board Members

    Association Collections and Bankruptcy – Info for Board Members

    One of the biggest issues facing associations is the ability to collect from delinquent owners who have filed bankruptcy.   It is critical an association has an attorney experienced in creditor bankruptcy law in order to avoid waiving the right to collect those assessments from the delinquent owners, which often is thousands of dollars.  Below is some general guidance for associations: Whenever the association receives notice an owner has filed bankruptcy, immediately send the notice to the association attorney, who should file a claim with the bankruptcy court on behalf of the association.  Make sure the claim is filed.  For some

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  • Homeowner Beware — the Changing Management Company

    Homeowner Beware — the Changing Management Company

    With the downturn of the housing market in the early 2000s many associations became more budget conscious and looked for community association management firms (CAMs) who would provide the same services for less money.  Over the years many associations have continued to change management companies as they try to find the right fit.  This has led to a bigger problem as a waive of homeowners become past due in their assessments as a result of sending payments to the former CAM firm.  Unfortunately, the associations are not responsible for homeowners sending payments to the wrong CAM firm and the responsibility

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  • Transparency in Community Associations

    Transparency in Community Associations

    It’s been quite the busy year so far, so I apologize my blog posts have been few and far between.  Trying to make a difference in Florida community associations is a major task, but comes with some rewards. Our firm was again a winner of the Florida Community Association Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The topic for today’s blog is transparency.  Transparency is a good thing.  Associations should recognize if they want their members to pay their assessments on time, keep their property maintained and volunteer to help the community, then transparency is the place to start.  The Florida Legislature has

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  • Working with an Attorney to Solve Your HOA Horror

    Working with an Attorney to Solve Your HOA Horror

    Everyday I receive calls from homeowners with horrific stories of how they are being treated or things their association is doing which violates state law.  If I didn’t have my assistant running interference I would be on the phone all day and not working, i.e., making any money to keep the firm going.  Most people get upset when they find out we don’t offer free consultations or they can’t speak to me to ask “just one question.”  I would love to provide everyone with free help, but then I would be out of business before the end of the month.

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  • The Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”)

    The Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”)

    There’s been lots of discussions regarding the Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”) lately with some of the most back and forth discussions coming from the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (“RPPTL”) section of the Florida Bar.  This piece of legislation is very complicated and it is nothing short of amazing how different facts can produce different legal opinions.  Recently Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, also known as the Homeowners’ Association Act (“the Act”), was revised to provide for a more expeditious process to file a Notice of Preservation.  The Notice of Preservation is done before the covenants expire

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  • Fighting Over Your Lawn and the Florida Friendly Landscaping Statute

    Fighting Over Your Lawn and the Florida Friendly Landscaping Statute

    We frequently hear about disputes with homeowners who are fighting with their association (“HOA”) over their right to Florida-Friendly Landscaping (“FFL”).  For those of you who are going “what?,” several years ago Florida passed several laws to help conserve water and reduce the amount of chemicals applied to landscaping as an initiative to save our aquifers.  The motto of the program is “right plant, right place.”  Florida tends to go through cycles of droughts, so having a yard which is 90% St. Augustine grass is not always feasible or environmentally friendly.  This grass is hard to grow in sandy soils

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  • Tips & Tricks for Living in a Florida HOA (or COA)

    Tips & Tricks for Living in a Florida HOA (or COA)

    Our firm limits its practice to community association law, which is the technical term for the field of law dealing with homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominium associations (COAs).  We also handle work with other types of communities, such as mobile home parks.  We represent both associations and individual homeowners, so we see both sides of the problems.  Everyday we receive multiple calls from homeowners who have problems with their association, often after they have gotten into trouble.  We have blogged about this topic numerous times, but since the laws are revised each year, the advice is subject to change, although

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