All Posts in Important Decisions


By Gelfand & Arpe / January 29, 2024

It is not unheard of for a building in South Florida to sustain water damage from a leaking pipe in the wall.  It can be quite costly to repair the damage because not only do you have to rip open the wall but then the pipe will have to be fixed.  Will your insurer pay…

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Fines: No Notice-No Money!

By Gelfand & Arpe / February 22, 2023

Fining has always seemed so easy, especially for those on the receiving end – when seen through the flashing blue lights in the rear-view mirror!  Not so easy for Florida community associations restrained by the Florida legislature after years, actually decades, of fears and complaints by residents fearful of association powers. In sullen response, why…

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June 2022

By Gelfand & Arpe / June 2, 2022

GET WHAT YOU CAN: FLORIDA LEGISLATURE ENACTS A FRACTION OF THE SURFSIDE TASKFORCE RECOMMENDATIONS IN QUADRUPLE OVERTIME A billion dollar settlement fund, appearance of major news network reporters, and the first year anniversary of Surfside’s Champlain Towers South Condominium’s collapse may have finally pushed the Florida Legislature and Governor to act. After failing to move…

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December 2021

By Gelfand & Arpe / December 7, 2021

INSURANCE CLAIMS: POLICY REQUIRES DOCUMENTATION DELIVERY BEFORE APPRAISAL OF LOSS It never was “if.”  It is when! Living in Florida, we have observed that hurricanes are more and more frequent.  Not always making landfall, but dangerous in their approach. On the heal of these storms, whether we are in a hurricane’s “cone of death” or…

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August 2021

By Gelfand & Arpe / August 3, 2021

“TOO BUSY TO READ MY EMAIL” ARGUMENT REJECTED BY COURT IN LAWSUIT Inundated with emails?  Emails from friends, from work and from vast unknown unsolicited sources. Yes, times have changed.  No more is there the one delivery in late morning or afternoon, looking at the return addresses on paper envelopes, sorting into stacks of read,…

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2021 Legislative Session

By Gelfand & Arpe / April 2, 2021

THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION It is still too early to determine which community association bills will be adopted by the Florida Legislature and, of course, which may be vetoed by the Governor.  Though we are a month into the 2021 Legislative Session significant new proposals are making their way into bills, and provisions that were…

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Punitive Damages

By Gelfand & Arpe / January 2, 2020

PUNITIVE DAMAGES: PUNISHMENT FOR MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPING CONDUCT?  Can a manager subject a Florida community association to punitive damages?  Over landscaping??  For $15 million??? Because an association normally is a corporation, the purpose of punitive damages, to punish, is not always clear cut, and thankfully, few and far between.  But, bad things do happen! Because there…

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Suspension and Termination

By Gelfand & Arpe / December 3, 2019

New Decision: Suspension and Termination (Voluntary Association) (The Naked Lady Ranch v. Wycoki) Never argue with a naked lady? Lady Godiva may be recalled by the appellant’s name, but punishment for a perceived transgression was a serious issue in Wednesday’s decision, Naked Lady Ranch, Inc. v. Wycoki, Case No. 4D18-2868 (Fla. 4th DCA November 20,…

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New Decision: Fair Debt (Kelly v. Duggan)

By Gelfand & Arpe / November 1, 2019

New Decision: Fair Debt (Kelly v. Duggan) Michael Gelfand 10/25/2019 Conflict is joined on debt collection! Wednesday, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal certified conflict with the Fifth District Court of Appeal, holding that condominium assessments are consumer debts under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”), §§ 559.55 – .785, Fla. Stat., such that a consumer may…

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By Gelfand & Arpe / November 1, 2019

WAIVER OF RIGHTS BY SKIPPING ARBITRATION In another decision emphasizing the importance of properly interpreting Florida community association documents, the question arose as to what happens when a homeowners’ association fails to timely submit a dispute to mediation or arbitration? A Florida appellate court ruled that an Association waived its claim against a homeowner where…

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