April 2016 Condo Association News Roundup

April’s Condo Association News Roundup brings us fraud and lawsuits from the typically crazy state of Florida!

Condo Owners testify about widespread defects in DR Horton Case

Anne Schindler, First Coast News, April 19, 2016

There is a very large, very public construction defect case going on in Jacksonville, Florida.  The case revolves around the Heron’s Landing development in Florida, which the Association alleges was constructed with defects to the stucco, windows, roofs, and other parts.  The short definition of construction defect is when the Condo Developer does substandard work, and the Association sues the Developer for them to cover the costs of repairs.  If you want a longer description of defects, Florida Condo Blog has a great one here.  Defects are devastating to new Associations because a new Association doesn’t have the funds to repair them – and often they manifest themselves outside of warranty periods, leading to special assessments.  I’ve written about this here and here as far as one of the concerns of buying into a new Condo building.

This case is interesting for a number of reasons.  As the article notes, these sorts of cases usually are resolved in secret arbitration, not public hearings.  It also calls attention to the defect issue, which is a good thing – unfortunately, defects are one of those issues that plague the industry, but they aren’t first and foremost in most people’s minds.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and I’ll definitely be following it in May’s roundup.

Documents meant to combat fraud in condo elections raise more questions

ENRIQUE FLOR AND BRENDA MEDINA, Miami Herald, April 20, 2016

Where are all those votes going?
Where are all those votes going?

Continuing our Florida-themed articles – by the way, Florida, you’re making me glad my Condo Association isn’t in your state – we have a case of what appears to be fraud – again – in Florida.  In an attempt to combat the fraud that seems to plague Florida elections, several Florida Condo Associations were using notaries to certify proxy affidavits for voting in Condo elections.  Sounds great, right?  Well, yeah, except that according to about 20 owners, they didn’t actually sign the notarized form.  One claims she wasn’t even in the city of Miami on the date that she supposedly signed the form!

Whatever’s going on here, clearly, there’s something fishy.  It makes you wonder what it’s going to take to run a clean Condo election in Florida – maybe retinal scans of voters?

That’s all for this month.  Did you enjoy these news articles and want more?  Subscribers to the Weekly Update get bonus articles monthly.  If you’re interested, sign up here


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