Tips for Returning to Your South Florida Home

Daniel A. Weber

We at Sachs Sax Caplan want to welcome back all of the out-of-town residents who are now coming back down to South Florida after a summer respite elsewhere in the country. As Community Association attorneys, we would like to give you some brief pointers of things we recommend you do upon returning to the Tri County area.  Start by checking your utilities to ensure they are all turned back on. Check for leaks by flushing all toilets and examining all doors and windows in your home. If you do detect any water leakage in those areas, communicate the problem to your association board and your property manager as soon as possible so they can be remediated expeditiously.  Hopefully you won’t find any problems, however, whether you do or do not have any situation to report, you should contact your property manager or board of directors to inquire about what the board has done since the last time you've left. If you've not had electronic communication with them, you're going to want to ask specifically if there have been any special assessments passed or if there any special assessments planned. Determine whether there have been any large maintenance projects completed or in progress or if there are any plans for upcoming work. Projects like this may affect day-to-day operations in the community, and, of course, you will also want to know how any work done will impact the pocketbook that you have with your association.  You should also be aware of the recent legislation passed in the state in response to the Surfside tragedy that involves stricter building safety requirements. One aspect of SB 4-D involves the funding of reserves for the continued maintenance and repair of condominium and co-op buildings three stories or larger that is now required to be in the budget.  Historically, it is unlikely that your association has already prepared or adequately funded their reserves, and these large-scale projects are likely going to result in a special assessment. The sooner your association can plan and prepare, the less of an impact it will have on each owner.  In...

Continue reading

The Surprise Side Effect of COVID: Community Associations Getting Things Done

The Surprise Side Effect of COVID
Weber Daniel

As a Community Association attorney, one of the unintended benefits that we've seen through COVID is the ability for people to participate in their community associations remotely. Typically, one of the impediments that community associations have historically faced is apathy. There are always those folks who don't show up, therefore you can't get anything done simply due to a lack of participation. However, through COVID, once everything went remote, including association operations, people started to participate more, which allowed for the opportunity for associations to start proposing a number of important things that could realistically get passed. One of the mechanisms we've seen an uptick in is the use electronic voting resolutions to allow people to participate and vote in an electronic fashion. Again, this removes some of the apathy because there's no longer the need to show up at a meeting at a certain time to cast a vote. People can do it at their leisure in advance. Overall, as community association lawyers, we've found that participation as a whole through COVID, and now turning the corner post COVID, has seen a significant uptick and is finally allowing associations to actually get meaningful work done that before this, they just simply were unable to do. Having Trouble Engaging Homeowners in Your Community Association? Check out these helpful tips from community association management giant, GrandManors:   1. Welcome New Homeowners. A welcome package from the community association should include a letter of welcome that you or another HOA board member has signed, information about how they can get involved in the HOA, and a small gift. The gift should have a connection to your community, such as a gift card to a nearby coffee shop, a refrigerator magnet with key community information, or a coffee mug with the HOA logo.   2. Organize Social Events. Consistently, studies have shown most Americans don't know their neighbors. Your homeowners have more motivation to get involved if they're at least acquainted with their neighbors. Your association can foster social connections by hosting at least one community-wide social event each year. Some associations throw a holiday party or a summer picnic....

Continue reading


Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. is proud to be recognized by The Florida Bar for our commitment to hiring and developing Board Certified Attorneys.