Justice As A Foundation All Rights Flow”
May 9, 2007
VETO COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION BILL HB 433/S 902
Governor Charlie Crist,
all due respect, I would like to ask you to veto the above bill
for about the same reasons as Governor Bush vetoed it last year:
Clear violation of private property rights. Actually, I write this
letter asking to veto the bill on the same day as I wrote the
letter to Governor Bush last year – and the reasons haven’t
changed since the wording hasn’t really changed.
of covenants of older communities may be a good idea, but since
the opt-out provision in FS 720.407(5) has expired
long ago, it will just create many more lawsuits.
Many owners had moved into these communities on purpose to avoid
associations. Therefore, they will not agree to be part of any
association again. They bought their properties without deed
restrictions and associations.
without an opt-out clause is a clear violation of private
property rights. A bill sponsored by Senator Fasano
that attempted to achieve a similar goal was vetoed before, and
the HOA Task Force in 2004 clearly defeated another attempt to
force owners into associations without their agreement.
Revitalizing mandatory associations by using FS
720.403-407 -- enacted in 2004 -- turned out to be a disaster
that created more legal fights in some associations instead of
creating nice communities. Result:
Neighbors are not talking to neighbors any more! The only
winners -- as usual: The specialized attorneys!
heard the outcry about eminent domain: This
"revitalization" is very similar on a smaller scale,
because it will force owners to either go to court or agree to
something they don't want!
same bill attempts to remove a protection for homeowners against
litigation that was enacted by the HOA Task force in 2004:
Mandatory mediation. As a member of the HOA Task Force, I heard
testimony from qualified individuals praising the advantages of
mediation in order to avoid the numerous lawsuits regarding HOA
issues that clog our court system.
This bill changes the requirement from mandatory
mediation to an offer to participate in pre-suit mediation.
Contrary to the efforts of the Supreme Court and the obvious
benefits of alternative dispute resolution, qualified mediators
not required to be lawyers are now being excluded from resolving
community association issues.
in the last two years has shown that non-lawyer mediators had not
only a much higher success rate, but were as well much less
expensive for all parties involved. This bill again allows lawyers
to infuse their "Closed Shop" agenda into legislation. The
mediation provision was created to achieve low-cost solutions for
everyday issues in HOAs.
enforcement of existing statutes without any regulatory agency is
anyway out of the financial reach of most homeowners, this removal
of owners’ protection adds even more to the financial burden
homeowners in associations already face!
is anyway high time to create some sort of protection for
homeowners living in mandatory associations. Are you aware that many
owners paid much higher special assessments to their
associations than property insurance and property tax together?
We need to stop financial mismanagement, uncontrolled spending,
and even clear embezzlement in these associations that were
originally created to protect the welfare of property owners.
Floridians are very happy to see your serious attempts to rein in
the high cost of living, created by outrageous insurance premiums
and property tax. We were glad to see your support of Insurance
Reform Bill H 1267 (Rep. Julio Robaina) and S 2498 (Senator Rudy
Garcia) – two excellent consumer advocates! In our opinion, your
personal engagement made it possible for this bill to achieve the
necessary vote of approval in the Senate. What a shame that the
House leadership destroyed all the good intentions of consumer
homeowners in associations (estimated more than 2,3 million homes)
by creating the necessary statutes would help homeowners immensely
without reducing any government income or cost to taxpayers.
the AARP has realized the need to amend existing HOA statutes by
of RIGHTS for HOMEOWNERS
in ASSOCIATIONS – A Sample Model Statute.
of the provisions of the AARP Model Statute were included in
Community Association Bill
H 1373 (Rep. Julio Robaina) and S 2498 (Senator Alex
Villalobos). But Speaker Marco Rubio, who worked for the law firm
of Becker & Poliakoff, didn’t allow this bill to really gain
steam and had the most important issues killed before the first
433/S 902 has many commendable features, even if most of them are
unenforceable for homeowners due to outrageous litigation cost.
But the revitalization provisions being a clear violation of
private property rights and the removal of mediation requirements
before litigation are two serious matters that only a veto of this
bill can remedy!
all due respect, I hereby ask you to veto this bill for the above
Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
CYBER CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE, INC.
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