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Charles B. Jimerson
Managing Partner

Nikos Westmoreland
Director of Business Development

Jimerson Birr welcomes inquiries from the media and do our best to respond to deadlines. If you are interested in speaking to a Jimerson Birr lawyer or want general information about the firm, our practice areas, lawyers, publications, or events, please contact us via email or telephone for assistance at (904) 389-0050.

The Rental of Homestead Property can Destroy Florida’s Homestead Exemption

September 16, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Florida is known as a “debtor-friendly” state, and one of the greatest protections afforded debtors under the Florida Constitution is the homestead exemption. Article X, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution states that creditors cannot force the sale of the debtor’s primary residence in order to satisfy a judgment or lien. This homeowner protection is also codified in the Florida Statutes in Chapter 222.

Florida’s homestead protection applies to the primary residence up to one-half acre within a municipality and up to 160 contiguous acres outside of a municipality. Fla. Const. Art. X, §4(a)(1). As long as those acreage requirements are met, it does not matter if the primary residence is worth 4 million dollars

Trial Courts Have Post-Judgment Jurisdiction to Determine the Amount of Past-Due Assessments Owed to a Condo Association and any Attorneys’ Fee Award

August 29, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Recently, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal issued a ruling that laid to rest any doubt as to whether a trial court has the jurisdiction to determine the amount of association dues owed to a condo association in a foreclosure action and the amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded to the prevailing party in such an action…

New Florida Law Affects HOAs and Condo Associations’ Abilities to Swipe Drivers’ Licenses at Community Entrances

August 12, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Many of Florida’s associations provide their residents with gated entrances and security check-ins that enhance the safety of the communities they govern. When communities have hundreds of homes it is sometimes difficult to keep track of every family member living at each residence. As a security measure to ensure that every person entering the neighborhood is who he or she claims to be, many associations have security personnel swipe the driver’s license of the person entering.

Collectability of Condominium Assessments Pre- and Post-Petition in Bankruptcy

July 25, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

It is common knowledge that when a company or individual files for bankruptcy, all collection activity stops. What is commonly not known is that condominium assessments are, in a manner of speaking, exempt from that rule. The fact is, all collection activity does not have to stop and you can still recover assessments that come due after the bankruptcy action is filed. Let’s read on to see exactly how all this works.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Law

July 18, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog, Construction Industry Legal Blog

In 2009, the Florida Legislature changed an existing law that was aimed to encourage “Florida-Friendly” landscaping in communities governed by homeowner associations. Under the State Water Resource Plan each water management district is required to design and implement an incentive program to encourage all local governments to adopt new ordinances requiring Florida-Friendly landscaping.

What are the Repercussions for Failing to Give the Condo Owner the Required Thirty-day Notice, Pursuant to Fla. Statute 718.121(4), Prior to Filing a Claim of Lien?

July 16, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Section 718.121(4), Florida Statutes, requires a condo association to provide a delinquent condo owner with a Notice of Intent to File a Lien, along with a thirty-day notice, prior to filing a Claim of Lien. Section 718.121(4) was added to the Florida Statutes in July 2008, becoming effective at that time. Since that section was added, there has been no case law involving a violation of that specific section of the statute. However, there are statutory protections that a condo owner has, and there is case law regarding the consequences for a lienor for not following the proper procedures for filing a Claim of Lien. In sum, if the statutory lien process is not followed strictly, the lien will be invalidated. Practically, if a required thirty day notice is not provided prior to filing the condominium assessment claim of lien, the condominium owner can file a “Notice of Contest of Lien” pursuant to Section 718.116(5)(c), Florida Statutes, to have the lien invalidated. If the lien is invalidated, the Condominium Association must start the process anew.

Enforcing Parking Rules on Private Property

July 3, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog, Transportation & Logistics Industry Law Blog

Are you a business owner experiencing parking issues on your commercial property? How about a condominium association with parking issues on residential property? In Florida, private property owners, along with their agents, have authority under the Florida Statutes to tow unauthorized vehicles off their property. Fla. Stat. § 715.07 (2012). In doing so, you want to make sure you follow Florida law or else you may be liable for certain expenses and damages.

The Tables Turn: Associations Foreclosing on Banks for Unpaid Dues on Properties They’ve Acquired

May 17, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

The Florida Statutes are clear—persons who purchase a residential foreclosure with outstanding assessments and dues attached to it are responsible for paying those past-due amounts to the governing association upon taking possession of the property. See Fla. Stat. § 718.116(1)(a) (applying to condominiums); see also Fla. Stat. § 720.3085(2) (applying to property governed by homeowners’ associations). This Florida law applies to banks as well.

Basic Considerations for Condominium Arbitrations: Alternative Dispute Resolution with “Thy Neighbor”

May 14, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Effective 1992, the Condominium Act requires arbitration of certain condominium disputes as an alternative to court litigation and also authorized mediation of such disputes. The objective of the program is to provide condominium unit owners and associations a just, speedy and inexpensive alternative to litigation in the court system.

Section 718.1255, Florida Statutes, defines which disputes are eligible for arbitration “as any disagreement between two or more parties and the authority of the board of directors or the association’s governing document”. An eligible dispute for arbitration requires any owner to take or not to take any action involving that owner’s unit, or involving the alteration or addition to a common area or element of the condominium property.

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