Condo and homeowner associations
turning over records to House committee
Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
February 17, 2008
threat of subpoena, condo and homeowner associations that for years
refused to let owners examine their records are turning documents over to
a state House committee.
The new House Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner Association
Governance wants to examine the records to help determine if "horror
stories" about boards are true and what, if any, new laws are needed
to prevent abuses.
"It's amazing how people are starting to surrender their documents
and give up information we need for the committee," Chairman Julio
, said Friday. "Were getting information that they have refused to
give owners for years."
attorneys who represent associations accused the committee of not giving
directors enough time to gather documents and for making them drive long
distances to public hearings.
"I'm supportive of the rights of people in condos but not supportive
of a witch hunt," said Kenneth D Direktor, who heads the condo and
homeowner association section of the Becker & Poliakoff law firm.
"They have been given great power, and with great power comes great
responsibility," said Donna Berger, executive director of the
Community Advocacy Network, an arm of the Katzman & Korr law firm.
The seven-member committee, which held public hearings in
during the past three weeks, meets today in Orlando. It then meets in
and will hold its final meeting in Tallahassee on March 3.
Based on witness testimony at the hearings, the committee is
"inviting" boards to provide their records at the nearest
hearing. When no response is received, Robaina said, second invitations
are sent, although by that time the next meeting in some cases is in a
city further away. If no response is received again, or the association
resists, Robaina asks House Speaker
to issue a subpoena.
So far, he said, 30 to 40 invitations have been sent and most associations
have been responding.