FL Developer ordered to turn over control of HOA to homeowners

Benderson Development Company has controlled Kings Gate HOA for nearly 20 years.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) recently ruled that the developer of Kings Gate subdivision, Victoria Estates Ltd. (Declarant), must hand off control of the homeowners' association to members. Victoria Estates Limited is …

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Legislative Highlights (Feb 2018) (Florida)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Florida Several bills have been proposed in the Sunshine State, and some of them are gaining traction in the Legislature (noted as Active), while others are not (noted as inactive) as of the date this post.   HB 377 (FL) (Inactive) This bill would amend the Homeowners Association …

Poinciana HOA update: homeowners’ group gains one new seat on Master Association board

Judge also OKs homeowners’ 4th amended complaint, so legal challenge can proceed By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATE: The Ledger reports that Friends of Poinciana Villages member Victor Destremps ran unopposed in Village 5 for the 2018 election cycle. Destremps was then appointed by the board of Village 5 to serve on the …

Poinciana HOA update: Court won’t uphold Arbitration ruling that made 2017 election invalid

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Is regulation of association-governed communities possible? Some states, such as Florida, California, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia have attempted to protect housing consumers with various state agencies: Ombudsman offices; Attorney General-Consumer Protection divisions; administrative offices that regulate businesses and issue professional licenses. But all of these efforts …

Poinciana: Developer maintains control of HOA following State ordered election

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Residents of Poinciana, a Census Designated Place governed by one of the country's largest homeowner associations, were hopeful that a recent Arbitrator's order to conduct a new election would result in more homeowner representation on their Village and Master Association boards. Those hopes were crushed on August 1st, when …

FL DBPR doubles down on requirements for new Poinciana elections

Order for new elections has been amended in favor of homeowner Martin Negron.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Following events in Poinciana, Florida, one of America's largest homeowners associations, it is encouraging to see that the tide is turning - finally, state agencies are beginning to acknowledge the assault on private property …

Poinciana 2017 HOA election ruled invalid by State

FL Division of Business and Professional Regulation orders new Village elections in August. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The Orlando Sentinel reports that a homeowner has prevailed in an election dispute with Association of Poinciana Villages in an Arbitration ruling last week. The ruling represents a victory for homeowners, and a step toward …

Poinciana owners say developer cast thousands of invalid votes in HOA election

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Conflicts over who should control Poinciana, one of Florida's largest homeowners associations with 26,000 homes, have been ongoing for years. At the heart of the matter is the fact that the 44 year old planned community - a Census designate place near Orlando - remains primarily under the control …

FL Legislature passes condo bill including criminal penalties

HB 1237 substituted for SB 1682, passes Senate unanimously. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Updated 7:45 PM Despite strong opposition by indsutry trade group Community Associations Institute and at least one member of the Florida Bar, the Legislature in the Sunshine State managed to pass HB 1237 this afternoon. Reference: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/01237/?Tab=BillHistory The bill makes …

HOA Justice is elusive without enforcement of laws and high ethical standards

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Things are really heating up in Florida, and it's not just because of the weather. A recent Miami-Dade Grand Jury report blasts the Department of Professional and Business Judgment (DBPR) for its failure to address an epidemic of corruption and dysfunction in condominium associations in the Sunshine State. …