ANSWER: In Florida, the law requires that the developer handover control of the homeowners’ association to the homeowners three months after 90% of the homes have transferred to their buyers. That newly elected Board has significant responsibilities once taking seat. The Board needs to retain the necessary experts to fully inspect all common areas, including the clubhouse, pool, streets, lighting etc. Any construction defects need be identified and demand made the developer rectify these matters or cash consideration should be exchanged to enable the Association to make these repairs. A complete audit of all of the books and records of the Association pre-turnover need be conducted by a certified public accountant. Often times, these audits reveal improper deficit funding entitling the Association to assert a monetary claim against the developer. And the transfer of all books and records must take place along with the conveying of the common areas still owned by the developer by way of deed to the newly turned over Association. It is common for these issues to become a point of contention between the Association and the departing developer. Regardless, the newly elected Board is duty bound to conduct these investigations and make the necessary demands on the developer where appropriate. Intense discussions and sometimes litigation ensues when intractable positions are taken. Experienced community association counsel need be retained to guide the Board of Directors during this transition.
About SJW Law Group, PLLC
SJW Law Group, PLLC was formed in 2018 headed by Scott J. Wortman, Esq. who has been practicing law for twenty-five (25) years. Scott J. Wortman, Esq. is a Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate Attorney and a Florida Bar Board Certified Condominium and Planned Development Law Attorney. Throughout the entirety of his career, Mr. Wortman has handled all aspects of residential and commercial real estate transactions including contract drafting, review and examination of title work, curing title defects, extensive interaction with buyers, sellers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders for coordination of all closing matters. For the past dozen years, Mr. Wortman has maintained an extensive community association practice serving as counsel for dozens of homeowner’s association and condominium associations throughout the state of Florida overseeing their governance issues, covenant enforcement, collection matters, litigation and compliance with Florida’s Marketable Record Title Act. Since 1994 Mr. Wortman has represented small and mid-size businesses with regard to their corporate matters, including drafting shareholders agreements, employment contracts, purchase and sale of business assets, commercial leasing issues, as well as dissolution and partnership disputes. Mr. Wortman is joined by associate Sharlene Goldstein, Esq. who assists Mr. Wortman with regard to his community association matters.