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Can Homeowners Recover their Homes After an HOA Foreclosure?

After an HOA foreclosure action has been filed and served on an Owner, BUT PRIOR to the Court entering a final judgment in the action or ordering the foreclosure sale, a homeowner can file a “qualifying offer” indicating his or her intent to pay all amounts owed to the association within a period of not more than 60 days.

Fla. Stat. §720.3085(6). The filing of a qualifying offer stays proceedings and the accrual of attorney fees and costs to permit the homeowner time to satisfy the association’s claim. A homeowner may not make an effective qualifying offer if the property’s mortgage is in foreclosure, if the homeowner has filed bankruptcy, or if the trial date of the foreclosure action is set for less than thirty days in the future.

With regard to foreclosures in general, Florida law permits homeowners to “redeem” a property in foreclosure at any time prior to certification of the sale by the clerk or a later date specified by the judge in the foreclosure order. Fla. Stat. §45.0315. A home is redeemed by paying all past-due amounts, including any foreclosure costs.

With regard to foreclosures in general, Florida law permits homeowners to “redeem” a property in foreclosure at any time prior to certification of the sale by the clerk or a later date specified by the judge in the foreclosure order. Fla. Stat. §45.0315. A home is redeemed by paying all past-due amounts, including any foreclosure costs.

Board Member Resignation – HOA in Florida

How many times have you thought about resigning from your home owners association’s board of directors because you are frustrated and unappreciated. I can imagine many times. However, it is important not to resign without considering the implications and later regret. It is important to note, in Florida, Section 617.0807 of the General Not For Profit Corporate Act provides that a director may resign at any time by delivering a written notice to the board of directors. Such resignation is effective when the notice is delivered unless the notice specifies a later effective date.

The statute further provides that resignations must be in writing and most reasonable people agree that email constitutes written communication. Therefore, resigning in haste via email (which I see often) can pose a big problem for association directors who later regret that decision. The statute does not require anyone to actually “accept” the tendered resignation so if a frustrated director writes an email to his or her fellow directors tendering a resignation in the hopes that someone will talk them out of it, it is already too late as they are off the Board. Of course, he or she can appeal to the board to be reappointed to the seat he or she just vacated by virtue of resigning but there is no guarantee that will happen.

If you are an association director who is considering resigning from your board, take your time to think about this very important decision before sending a hasty email. 

Rules and Regulations created by Association Board of Directors:

Prior to adopting a Rule and Regulation, the board must have the authority to do so. Boards should most special attention when establishing and adopting rules and regulations concerning unit or property use. All rules must be reasonable and tie in some manner to the safety, health and welfare of all community members.

Boards should NOT enforce the rules in an arbitrary manner.

Generally, rules made by an Association are subject to a three (3) pronged test for enforceability, to wit:
        1.      The Board of Directors must have authority to promulgate the rule (authority granted by the Declaration of Condominium or other governing documents);
        2.      The rule cannot conflict with any of the rights conferred by any of the documents of higher priority, whether those rights are expressly stated or reasonably inferable; and
        3.      The rule must be reasonable (explained as rationally related to a legitimate objective of the Association).

Medical Marijuana Use by Owner or Tenant

Florida is one of the many states that legalized the use of medical marijuana and therefore it is a safe bet that at some point an owner or tenant will request the ability to smoke or the substance as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Memorandum regarding the use of marijuana in multifamily properties. That Memorandum reinforced that while the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been decriminalized by several states, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. Section 801, et. Seq. still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance and therefore the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana remains a federal crime.

HUD emphasized in that Memorandum that a public housing agency or owner of federally assisted housing must take active steps to terminate the tenancy of any household with a member who illegally uses a controlled substance or whose use of such substance interferes with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

Therefore, the following questions have arisen with regard to private housing providers like condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations:

1. Do community associations have a duty similar to that imposed on public housing providers to deny occupancy to residents who will be using a substance that remains illegal under federal law?
2. Can a Florida resident request a reasonable accommodation to use medical marijuana and must the association grant that request?
3. Can the association inquire on a purchase or rental application whether or not any of the proposed occupants in the home or unit currently use or plan on using marijuana?
4. Are owners who rent out their properties to Section 8 tenants required to investigate possible marijuana use and deny applications accordingly if such use is confirmed?
5. Does the prescription for medical marijuana mean an individual automatically has a disability as defined by state and federal law?