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Questions Answered by Barbara Billiot Stage
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I own condominium and I need the HOA to fill out the HOA cert questionnaire but the refused, what can i do? Thank you.

Thank you for the response; I am in the process of getting a loan out of the property I own. I emailed the BOD the lender's full review HOA cert which is a questionnaire required by the lender to be filled out by the HOA. I have another property there and last year the previous BOD filled... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Apr 11, 2022

It is unclear what you mean by "HOA cert questionnaire" or the reason for the request. You should re-post your question with more facts. If you mean you sent the association a written inquiry by certified letter, return receipt, then your option is to litigate the matter starting with... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Noticed a change to our HOA balance sheet. Can an asset on the balance sheet be liminated without any discussion or vote

In 2009 the HOA obtained a court ordered judgement again a homeowner. The HOA showed it on the balance sheet ever since as an uncollected asset (in part as a reminder it would be in the estoppel when the house was sold). That is until this Feb when the "new progressive" board removed it... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Apr 7, 2022

It was not proper to remove it from the accounting because it is still an uncollected asset. I would be curious to know why the HOA has not collected on the asset and if it has properly preserved it's right to do so by filing the judgment in the county records (not the court records) and with... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Change to reserve account without notice. Is that legal?

The Feb. Board meeting presented a balance sheet to the homeowners. It appears to have a major change from the last 20 years of balance sheets that I have seen. The Reserve account details were eliminated. In other words, if the Pool reserve had 3 subcategories they were not shown and just... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Apr 7, 2022

The association does not need to report them in detail but they are required to track the reserves in detail according to way they were approved. You can get a copy of the reserve spreadsheet by submitting a certified letter, return receipt, asking for access to inspect the official records. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Banking and Military Law for Florida on
Q: I believe my car has been wrongfully repossessed, what should I do?

I am active duty member currently on deployment but coming home soon. Back in January my car got impounded for expired tags. I talked to the impound lot and explained the situation and they said they would hold my car till I got back from deployment. Now right when I am about to come home I found... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Apr 7, 2022

You are protected by the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act, which protects military personnel from certain actions while deployed. You should contact the bank and assert the repossession was improper under the Act, especially since you were not past due and had made arrangements for you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can I sue for false verbal advertisement in regards to a community for the purpose of selling a house?

Good evening, about two years ago we bought a house on a new HOA community that was still being built. When we were looking at homes, we wanted somewhere that was kid friendly and had a playground for kids. We were assured by the seller that the sales office was going to be a clubhouse with a... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Apr 7, 2022

Unless there is something in the HOA documents that specify there will be a clubhouse and a playground there is nothing you could do about this.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am planning to make an offer on a house listed for sale that had a court ruled foreclosure several weeks ago.

the history of the property has foreclosure final date of early march with auction scheduled for late june. The court docs state a bank lien is placed on the property. Is this house technically in foreclosure or preforeclosure? This is not listed as a "special sale" on MLS. Are the... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 31, 2022

No one should buy or sell real estate without a lawyer. There are so many things that could go wrong, especially with a HOA involved, it would take an explanation that is too long for this forum.

The bank has a judgment of foreclosure and the amount of the judgment is what matters....
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law for Florida on
Q: I own a condo in Florida. Along with my purchase I received 2 deeded parking spots.

Does the BOD have the authority to tell me what I can and cannot park in my spots? Do they have the authority to tow a car out of my deed owned parking spot?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 22, 2022

Your Declaration of Condominium, Bylaws and any Rules and Regulations adopted by the Board of Directors would be the documents which would authorize the Board to regulate your parking spots and the remedies for violations. You agreed to be bound by the restrictions when you accepted a deed for... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Bought a home in an HOA and the realtor who was employed by the developer provided false information to entice the sale.

I was told as were many other residents that our homes would be painted every 5 years but it is already 8 years and Property Mgr. says that the HOA does not have to paint as it is not in our docs. Is there any recourse?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 15, 2022

Sales people make all kinds of promises to sell homes, cars and other expensive items but unless it was put into writing, it is not likely anything can be done. Can you sue? Sure. Can you win is the question. Your dispute is with the developer, not the HOA. You should consult with a lawyer to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: can a board member appoint his wife's management company to be the new management for the Condo association?

the management company was recently changed to omit the husband's name from the company, but he is the management company's president.

does this become a conflict of interest?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 13, 2022

One board member cannot do anything alone. It takes a majority of the board of directors to make business decisions. The association has to disclose the financial interest of any board member, officer or relative in compliance with the procedures set forth in Fla. Stat. 728.3027. If there is an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Bought a home in an HOA and the realtor who was employed by the developer provided false information to entice the sale.

I was told as were many other residents that our homes would be painted every 5 years but it is already 8 years and Property Mgr. says that the HOA does not have to paint as it is not in our docs. Is there any recourse?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 13, 2022

Unfortunately, no. It is important to have a lawyer represent you in real estate transactions to make sure these types of promises are in writing.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Legal Malpractice for Florida on
Q: I own a rental property in foreclosure in Florida that I deeded to a single member LLC for that property only. I want

to deed it back over to my name only, dissolve the LLC , and ask the court to remove the LLC from the foreclosure case. Can I do this ?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 10, 2022

You can do the first two but the court is not likely going to remove the LLC from the case because it had an interest in the property at the time of the foreclosure and that interest needs to be foreclosed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Our HOA has changed the annual $249 fee to being a monthly fee at a mtg in December. No warning. Is this legal?

The fee was changed from being annual to monthly. There was no warning this was being voted on by the HOA. The reason is to encourage people to build on their land. I have requested the meeting minutes an the names of the HOA many times and have been ignored. A month before the meeting where the... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 6, 2022

It depends on the language in your HOA documents, which we cannot review in this online forum. If there is no cap on increases, the HOA can increase the amount as much as it needs to but it has to be a good faith estimate of the HOA expenses.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: How long do I have to respond to a home owner association letter after receiving. Ex they told me to pressure wash s

Four days ago I received a letter that I needed to pressure wash the side of my house. Two days after I receive the letter I went outside and pressure wash the side of my house and it is squeaky clean. Four days after receiving the letter they sent somebody out to come and pressure wash my house... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Mar 3, 2022

How long you have to correct the problem depends on the language in your Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for your HOA. Florida law does not address this issue. Generally, most CC&Rs have either 15 days or 30 days from the date of the letter. You have to look... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can a contractor file a lien on the leased lot in a mobile home park?

We had new siding and gutters installed on our older mobile home. We lease the lot it sits on. No final inspection was applied for by the contractor or completed by Polk county. Lots of mistakes and issues resulting from poor workmanship. The attorney general (seniors against crime) has filed a... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 22, 2022

The contractor could file a lien against your mobile home but not against land you do not own. That's not to say he won't file a faulty lien. When someone files a lien or any other document to be recorded in the county records the clerk's job is to take the document and payment for... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Appeals / Appellate Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Live in a CDD, adjacent to StormWater Area & wetland. Purchased for privacy. Area behind my home is floodzone AE.

There's a "No Public Access" permit condition in deed restrictions, "no public access" sign at entrance. The plat illegally shows "RECREATION"

People ignored the sign, talking and disturbing me at all hours. Property Mgmt sent a letter stating the area... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 19, 2022

You can use the “Find a Lawyer” link on this page. Lawyers cannot contact you first. The dismissal with prejudice seems very harsh just for not attaching the documents.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can a mhp homeowner be evicted for correspondence with another homeowner who was arrested outside mhp for drug charges ?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 4, 2022

It depends on what you mean by "correspondence," what evidence the MHP owner has, the terms of your lease and any Rules and Regulations the park has adopted. If you are being evicted you need to consult with a landlord/tenant attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What happens if the seller of a home failed to disclose pending litigation against the home builder to the buyer?

The seller was notified by the HOA of severely faulty construction (based on a thorough investigation/inspection) repeatedly from 2014-2021. Litigation on behalf of the HOA is pending against the builder, however the seller sold the home to a buyer without disclosing the litigation or need for... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 3, 2022

That is the question for the lawyer you will need to consult. How much the seller is liable to you as the buyer is going to be based on several factors, including what evidence you have the buyer knew of the defects (that could be tricky to prove) and why your home inspection did not uncover these... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims, Bankruptcy and Divorce for Florida on
Q: My ex-husband is demanding I pay for a loan he got and I am not even on the loan.

My ex-husband cosigned a loan (sallie mae) for our daughter (who is a student and has mental health issues ). She is 23, is still studying (changed programs and college) and now they are getting billed $48,000 and he wants me to pay for it in its entirety since I was awarded our stocks as part of... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 1, 2022

If your daughter is still in school she can get a deferment. She just needs to contact the loan servicer, request the deferment and provide the information regarding her new school. Once she is out of school she should request an income-driven repayment plan so that payments are reduced at first... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is it legal for HOAs in Florida to put all voting items (multiple topics) on one line item on its ballot?

We had multiple issues / bylaws to vote on and they were all listed as ONE voting line on our ballot. Is this even legal?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Generally, no. Unless the issues contained in the bylaws as one document to approve, there must be separate line items for separate votes. It cannot be an all or nothing vote. My guess is, since the materials were already sent out, the HOA may just proceed and hope no one is going to spend tens... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law for Florida on
Q: Can the HOA and the COA meet together for a "Meet and Greet?"
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jan 31, 2022

Yes, but they have to provide the respective notice requirements to the membership as determined by the bylaws or the statute. The statute provides for a 48-hour notice. The bylaws could be different.

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