Real Estate News

Can condo boards ban support animals or medical marijuana? Find out at this free course

How should condo associations deal with residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana? Should board members interfere when residents shoot invasive iguanas with a BB gun? Are support animals exempt from no-pet policies?

A free, interactive class to educate condo and homeowner association board members — as well as residents who deal with associations — about new and existing community association laws and regulations will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 6. at the Miami Herald The course is free and open to the public.

The 90-minute Board Certification Course, hosted by Affinity Management Services and the law firm of Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A., is approved by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, the state agency that oversees the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes.

The course, which will be held in English and Spanish, will go over recent legislative updates that affect associations, such as a new law that bans local governments from requiring a property owner to obtain a permit or pay a fee to trim, prune or remove trees on their property.

Another new law extends the deadline for condo associations to retrofit existing sprinkler systems from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2024.

The course, to be led by law firm partners Alessandra Stivelman and Carolina Sznajderman Sheir, will also explain the role of fiduciary duties and guide board members through the applicable statutes governing community associations in Florida.

Association board members are expected to renew their certification on an annual basis to keep up with the latest regulations and state requirements. But many people who serve on associations don’t bother to renew, because there is no legal penalty.

A class-action lawsuit that charged The Plaza 851 Condominium Association of charging inflated application and transfer fees was settled earlier this month for $300,000. Four other class-action lawsuits are making their way through court.

The Board Certification course fulfills community association board member State certification requirements (Sections 718.112(2)(d)(4) and 720.3033(1)).


What: Condo and HOA Board Certification Class

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 6

Where: Miami Herald Community Room, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL.

Admission: Free but RSVP required. Email or call 954-894-8000, ext. 345.

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Rene Rodriguez has worked at the Miami Herald in a variety of roles since 1989. He currently writes for the business desk covering real estate and the city’s affordability crisis.