Home owners association can sue without shareholder approval

Homeowners Association can Sue
Q: I live in a mobile home park cooperative. Can the board of directors enter into a lawsuit without the approval of the shareholders?
– D.R. (via e-mail)
A: Probably. Except where otherwise limited by the governing statutes, community associations are conferred all of the general powers of Corporations Not For Profit pursuant to Chapter 617. This includes the power to sue or be sued.
With regard to condominium and cooperative associations, there are no limitations in Chapter 718 or Chapter 719, respectively, which limit the ability of an association to bring a lawsuit with regard to any matter. Largely without exception, condominium documents and cooperative documents grant this power to the board. However, you should note that it is possible for the governing documents of an association to require that a unit owner vote be held prior to the association entering into certain types of litigation. Such clauses have appeared with increasing frequency in documents written over the past decade or so, and are primarily geared at protecting the developer against post-turnover claims by the association. The validity of such provisions have not been decided by the appellate courts in Florida.
However, with regard to homeowners’ associations, Section 720.303(1) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, provides before commencing litigation against any party in the name of the association involving amounts in controversy in excess of $100,000, the association must obtain the affirmative approval of a majority of the voting interests at a meeting of the membership at which a quorum has been attained. Accordingly, for a homeowners’ association, a membership vote is arguably required before a lawsuit involving $100,000 or more is brought by the association, although the statute conflicts with a Rule of Civil Procedure on point.
Courtesy of the Fort Myers News Press
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2012 Southwest Florida foreclosures

2012 has brought Fort Myers lower inventory for sale and higher prices. There are many vacant homes that the banks are doing nothing about. Home foreclosures were down and building permits were truly up in Lee County, Florida. Statistics for your year weren't available pertaining to Collier County, but that area suffered less from your real estate crash in comparison with Lee. Lenders filed 10, 669 foreclosure lawsuits in Lee County truly, according to statistics released Monday through the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association. That's lower by more than half the 21, 678 filed during the past year and far below the record 26, 125 foreclosures filed in 2008. The greater Fort Myers area has consistently been in the top 10 neighborhood areas nationally for real estate foreclosures, but Collier has fared somewhat better. In November, as an example, one in every 290 homes in Collier received some type of foreclosure notice, while in Lee County it had been one in 201 homes, according to Irvine, Calif. -based RealtyTrac, an actual estate data company. There are 409 foreclosures filed with December in Lee county, up from November's 343 but still not even half any other month's count throughout the year. The December spike is normal as banking institutions file foreclosures for data processing reasons, said Jeff Tumbarello, director of the association and an agent with Steelbridge Realty. Of more concern, Tumbarello said, is the absence recently of filings by Standard bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, big national lenders with accounted for a major share of the foreclosures lately. Foreclosures were down along with building permits were truly up in Lee County. Up to now, so good was this consensus of local real estate investment industry experts, who warn that 2011 won't bring a quick transformation. Steve Koffman, a real estate investment broker with Century 21 years of age Sunbelt in Cape Reefs, said he doesn't expect foreclosures to go away anytime soon, but the worst is probably more than over. "I think we're about to continue to see foreclosures be part of our market for a couple of years, " but not in the record pace of a few years ago. Lenders filed 10, 669 foreclosure lawsuits in Lee County truly, according to statistics released Monday through the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association. That's lower than half the 21, 678 filed during the past year and far below this record 26, 125 with 2008. "They could be done" filing major variety of foreclosures here, or they could simply be holding off until they resolve paperwork conditions have plagued the industry recently. On Monday, Bank involving America reached a $2. 8 billion dollar settlement with Fannie Mae along with Freddie Mac over claims that Countrywide Financial, right now owned by Bank involving America, sold Fannie and Freddie home loans that had incorrect info on the income and different qualifications of borrowers. A number of loans went into default along with helped fuel the monetary meltdown. "I think financial institutions are coming around, getting to the point where they're negotiating on a businesslike approach, " said Kevin Jursinski, a Fort Myers-based attorney who negotiates with banks for people facing foreclosure. Even now, he said, there's a massive backlog of real estate whose owners are in default but haven't been foreclosed on. There's a dependence on the court system in order to push more mediation programs where borrower and lender gather to solve their issues without dealing with with foreclosure, Jursinski said. Also, he said, before the local economy improves there's no way for the foreclosure situation to improve permanently. "It's history which foreclosures and defaults stick to falling employment. Some people cannot hold on any lengthier. " Tumbarello said the fraction of homesteaded residences staying foreclosed on, has gone up steadily from about 30 % four years ago in order to 55 percent now. That means the wave of foreclosures is currently hitting more local inhabitants -after having washed away a great number of speculators who had anticipated to churn properties pertaining to quick profits. In a separate report also released Monday, Lee's Department of Area Development said builders ripped 19 permits for single-family homes in December in the unincorporated the main county - bringing this year's total to 384, a new 16 percent increase via 2009's 331. Bob Knight, vice president and component owner of Paul Houses in Cape Coral, said he's mixed thoughts about what happened in turbulent 2010. "Last year is what we call a bittersweet yr, " Knight said. "There seemed to be some momentum the first the main year and then this oil spill comes. Then you definately have the economy; people need to get over that. Then most of us got the elections guiding us, and we're realizing there's more of any middle ground that's been achieved. I feel yesteryear six weeks, people are beginning to go out, go in order to restaurants, spend a little money rather than hanging around waiting for your end. " Now, Knight said, he's hearing from plenty of retirees who want to reap the benefits of low property and construction costs to develop in Lee County. The actual increase in permits staying pulled for homes is heartening, Knight said, even though the volumes are still paltry when compared to boom. "You have to get started on somewhere, " Knight said. "You cannot take apart land that's on water and this also lifestyle that we reside here. ".

Homes without Pool Cages

A little waterfall cascades into a crystal-clear swimming pool. Below the 4 feet of water not a leaf can be seen. Standing around the pool in the sticky summer there are no bugs. Yet this pool and many others like it have no pool screens.
Screenless lanais are becoming a trend in upper end homes in both Collier and Lee counties.
“For the last seven to eight years 90 percent of our homes are without pool cages,” said Dan DiComo, head architect for London Bay Homes.
Residents like the unobstructed views and the open architecture. Now with new technology in bug control and attention to what plants and trees are nearby people can have their pools in the open without the typical problems.
“It’s this view,” DiComo said as he walked through a home at Grey Oaks, pointing to the view from the living room that stretches to the pool and beyond to the golf course. “The outdoor area is like part of the inside of your house. It’s all view.”
One of the reasons many people screened in their pools was to keep the bugs away. But DiComo said there is a better way.
“We use natural pest control,” he said.
DiComo designs the homes with a sprayer built into the gutters and plant beds. Twice a day the sprayers mist a natural spray such as chrysanthemum that repels bugs.
Another problem to overcome is leaves in the pool. DiComo said this is solved by planting trees and bushes that don’t shed much.
“We pay attention to what we plant,” he explained. “Pygmy palms work well because they don’t drop a lot and when they do it’s a palm frond.” We have plants that don’t make a mess.”
Another invention helping the trend is roll-down screens. Many of the lanais are designed with shaded sections near the pool. Under this roofed section are outdoor kitchens and posh patio furniture. Wide archways keep this area cozy while not limiting the view. At the push of a button screens roll down in that section, giving residents the extra protection when needed.
“It’s kind of the best of both worlds with the roll- down screens,” DiComo said. “I think the retractable screen relieves any reservations.”
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Minnesota Springs Training Agreement with Lee County

Minnesota Twins Fort MyersA number of Lee County commissioners Tuesday approved a way to take care of the Minnesota Twins without discussing the debts that will join it.

County staff has been meeting with the Twins for a few months to go over upgrades to Hammond Stadium, but the changes and their price haven’t been revealed towards the public.

The unnamed upgrades, however, were the ballclub’s “primary inducement” for agreeing towards the 30-year lease, that will begin once design is completed, based on the lease agreement.

Commissioner Brian Bigelow voted against  the contract.

“Where is the assurance that there is ample revenue by way of our tourist tax to be able to fund this? ” Bigelow claimed. “We don’t understand how much this cost and therefore we can’t test whether our revenues may meet it. ”

Whilst stadium upgrades might typically be specific before a let agreement is signed, Assistant County Supervisor Doug Meurer said the likelihood of a $500,000 a year state grant created urgency to the procedure.

A new lease agreement was required to apply for this grant by This summer.

Commissioners said five months ago they desired to pursue the express grant. In November, the county paid out a consultant to look at stadium upgrades for your Twins.

Meurer declined to reply to the approximate costs with the upgrades. He said local staff is working together with some prices and would learn to share some details with commissioners rapidly.

County staff is trying to see a deal that can bring the Washington Nationals to play spring training from City of Palms Park. The venue was abandoned by the Red Sox following your 2011 season. It’s unclear how much improvements will cost.

Commissioner Ray Judah voiced support for your Twins lease, possible state money plus the tourist spending, he says, they can create.

“The money is important to help retain the Minnesota Twins at the 20-year-old facility our staff has kept in extremely quality condition, but nonetheless needs improvement to guarantee the Minnesota Twins stay competitive for the field to produce that quality product that they do year within and year out there, ” Judah claimed.

Commerical Purchase on Gladiolus in Lee County

John White, director associated with KW Commercial New mexico, negotiated the obtaining and sale of the 10-acre property at 9901 Gladiolus in Fort Myers with regard to $2. 3 million dollars to Tegal Gladiolus Inc. The vacant property is zoned as Commercial Planned Improvement and approved for a maximum of 29, 999 sq feet of retail store space and 128, 000 square feet of a workplace; or 29, 999 sq feet retail, seventy eight, 000 square feet office along with a 120-room hotel. This was the 1st investment in the United States by the purchaser.  The international corporation has offices located in London, Berlin and Cyprus.