|CONDO/HOA REFORM -- OR JUST A FEW BREADCRUMBS?|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published May 7, 2011
worse the problems in
year we see bills being passed in the
Owners always hear: You signed a contract; you knew what you are getting into!
FAR FROM THE TRUTH!
In both bills contractual rights of owners are being trampled upon --
often plainly ignored -- blatantly so. Or what do you call deleting the
words in the statutes:
-- meaning: Who cares what the governing documents say? You buy into a homeowners' association where the Declaration clearly states: No fines, no revoking voting rights! Legislators, led by attorneys sponsoring such horrendous bills like George Moraitis, plainly ignore these contractual rights: We are almighty -- we do whatever we need to do to please the folks who financed our campaigns. Welfare of constituents? Nobody gives a Damn!
As an excuse for passing horrible bills, the sponsors always claim that they have to accept some bad provisions - H1195/S530 is full of bad provisions. We always hear: "Say NO to drugs!" How about: "Say NO to horrible bills?" In cases like this no bill at all is much preferable to a bill that is full of outrageous provisions -- provisions that do actually nothing to help the associations (meaning the owners who are still paying dues) deal with the financial disaster caused by unpaid dues and/or foreclosures.
how do you like a provision that allows dictatorial board members to
blackmail "opposing" owners: "We fine you $1,000 - we'll
find some reason -- and if you don't pay us the $1,000 we revoke your
voting rights!" Either the owner gives them $1,000 -- or loses
his voting rights. Don't forget the new language: "FS
This is just one of the many examples in the bill that gives more dictatorial powers to board members -- cheered on by certain association attorneys.
I will never forget Gary Poliakoff's statements made at the Sun Sentinel Town Hall Meeting. The tenor: "Complaining owners shouldn't forget that they signed a contract. They knew what they were getting into."
CALL (Community Association Leadership Lobby), the lobbying arm of the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, is responsible for most of the language trampling on owners' contractual rights in this bill. Need I say more?
the last two years the worst enemy of
Fasano should get an award when leaving the legislature. As a one-man wrecking machine, he succeeded in destroying all the real progress made by the HOA TASK FORCE in 2003/2004 -- his revenge, because the HOA TASK FORCE didn't agree with his weird proposals.
But House Sponsor George Moraitis (R-Distr.91) doesn't have the same excuse as Fasano. Moraitis is an attorney by profession. Moraitis should know full well -- if he didn't win his license at the county fair -- what some of the provisions will do to the contractual rights of owners. He should have understood that many of the provisions in HIS bill will add even more dictatorial power to certain board members. Moraitis might try the excuse: My initial bill was a good bill (it actually was) -- but it was changed and horrible provisions added. Even if Moraitis is a freshman in the legislature, he should know that there is always a way to withdraw a bill -- or drop the sponsorship. Moraitis should face the fact: His name will forever be connected with this BILL OF SHAME.
But before I forget -- some important news for the gullible board members who still believe that Becker & Poliakoff's CALL is really lobbying for associations/owners:
The Brothers Grimm wrote REALITY SHOWS -- not FAIRY TALES!