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Attention Area Attorneys & Clients

Do you have a client or associate that needs support with Community Association Law and Litigation?

Ertl & Kistemaker Business Law Group specializes in counseling clients on matters related to condominium, time share, and homeowner associations. Additionally, we provide legal counseling to country clubs, master associations, and sub associations. We specialize in this area of law and would welcome your referrals.

Attorneys, please review our areas of experience and contact us to set up a time to see how we can work together to give our clients the best experts in the appropriate fields. 

Attorney Credentials for Association Law

Christene M. Ertl
Construction Law Committee of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar Member (2012-present)
Condominium and Planned Development Committee (2012-present)
Officer and Barrister, the Dunn-Blount chapter of the American Inns of Court
Co-authored: "Amending Association Documents," The Communicator, Volusia County Bar Association, Jan. 2010
Co-authored: 2010 Legislative Update for Building Association Managers (Homeowner and Condominium Law Changes)
Authored: 2008 Legislative Update for Building Association Managers (Homeowner and Condominium Law Changes)
Authored: Real Estate Law - Contract to Closing, Volusia Association of Paralegals
Feature speaker for the update on Florida law and FAR/BAR forms, Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors, Legal Forum
Author and editor for the Community Association Hot Topic, published monthly
>> Read complete biography | Email Christene

Erum Siddiqui Kistemaker

Condominium and Planned Development Committee (2012-present)

Construction Law Committee of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar Member (2012-present)
Legal Action Committee Member, Volusia Building Industry Association (2009-Present)
Board of Director Secretary, Tomoka Community Development District (2005-2007)
Board of Director - Secretary, Parker Road Community Development District (2005-2007)
Member - Building Association Managers (2008-Present)
Teen Court, Honorary Judge (2006)
"IN and OUTS Construction Lien Laws," ICI Homes, Daytona Beach, Florida, 2005
"Amending Association Documents," The Communicator, Volusia County Bar Association, January 2009
"How Some Associations are trying to make up for Deficits," The Communicator, Volusia County Bar Association, November 2009
>> Read complete biography | Email Erum

Protect Yourself From Flipping Scams

“Flipping Scams" have gained a lot of attention in the media in past years. Are you familiar with how that process works?

A dishonest investor buys an affordable, under-maintained property, most commonly in a low-income neighborhood. The investor will sometimes perform minor improvements then sell the property to an unsophisticated buyer at an inflated price. Typically, the investor wheels and deals with an appraiser and a mortgage broker to create fraudulent documents to obtain a loan for the buyer. In the end, the buyer owns a home that is nowhere near the value in which they paid and a mortgage loan that is too expensive for the borrower to repay. In essence, "flipping scams" are simply, loan fraud.

Buyers, protect yourself with these simple steps:
1. Determine how much the house is really worth before entering into any agreement to purchase the house (local property transfer records contain valuable info on recent sales of comparable properties);
2. Check the names of the current owner, the last sale date, and the last sale price (local property transfer records will be an invaluable resource);
3. Obtain a home inspection (usually from $300 - $500);
4. Don't agree to falsify your financial info on any applications;
5. Get any promises made by the seller with regard to the property in writing;
6. Check with the local housing authority to determine the existence of any outstanding code violations in connection with the property; and
7. Rely on instinct because, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For more info on flipping scams and issues of interest to prospective home buyers, contact The Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or online.

Ten things you need to know about Condo Association Lending

  1. An association loan is typically secured by a pledge of the association’s assessments and lien rights.
  2. Your lender will consider the delinquency rate in your condominium association.
  3. Your lender will consider the increase in assessments required to cover the loan repayment.
  4. Your lender may require an “opinion letter” from your association’s attorney.
  5. Your lender will consider the percentage of units in your condo complex that are investors.
  6. Your lender will consider the relative cost of the improvement project on a “per-unit” basis to the market value of the individual units.
  7. Your lender will consider the number of units in your complex.
  8. Your lender will want to conservatively match the length of the repayment schedule to the life of the capital improvement.
  9. Your lender will recommend a fixed interest rate for an association loan.
  10. Your lender will require detailed information about the proposed project, including project management and approval.

Community Association Managers (CAMs) Legal Limitations

A recent hearing on June 22, 2012 concerning CAMs legal limitations and abilities (i.e. the unauthorized practice of law) was held. The letter is a summary of what the hearing was about in detail, and what future actions may be taken. It is broken down into, “The Request” - for the hearing, “How It Works” - the hearing and how the committee can/may proceed, and “Where We Are Now”. Read the full article here.

In 1996 CAMs were told what they could not do - as some actions were considered the Unlicensed Practice of Law. They were specifically advised not to:

  1. Complete the Frequently Asked Questions & Answers Sheet;
  2. Prepare Claims of Lien or Satisfactions of Claims of Lien;
  3. Advise board regarding the timing, method and type of notice required for association corporate action;
  4. Advise boards what vote is required to take association action;
  5. Advise boards how to or whether they can reject a sale or exercise a right of first refusal; or
  6. Advise boards how the statutes pertain to them or what actions would violate the law or the governing documents.

The Standing Committee on Unlicensed Practice of Law has now been asked for a formal opinion on whether other types of actions would constitute the unlicensed practice of law and will be meeting in September 2012. Stay tuned to learn more.

Association Law - Interesting Florida Decision
Hanrahan v. Hometown America, LLC.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision involving a property owner/landlord’s duty to protect a tenant against injury

It was alleged that a tenant brushed against bushes resulting in red ants climbing up the tenant’s leg, to his face and neck. The tenant died two days later apparently as a result of the red ant attack. The Court’s holding was based upon the concept of ferae natura, a common law doctrine meaning “animals of a wild nature or disposition.”  The Court explained:

Generally speaking, in Florida, the law does not require the owner or possessor of land to anticipate the presence of or guard an invitee against harm from animals Ferae naturae unless such owner or possessor has reduced the animals to possession, harbors such animals, or has introduced onto his premises wild animals not indigenous to the locality.  Wamser v. City of St. Petersburg, 339 So. 2d 244, 246 (Fla. 2d DCA 1976).

On the basis that the Defendant had no knowledge of a wild animals attacking, and noting that the Defendant’s attempted through maintenance efforts and exterminators to treat ant mounds, a Summary Judgment was properly entered.

Consider whether this decision may be applied to another insect, whether associations should not normally be responsible for termite swarms that damage an owner’s personal property, as opposed to an Association’s liability for repairing items that the Association normally is responsible to maintain.

Power of the Purse

Ertl & Kistemaker Business Law Group is a proud sponsor of the United Way Women’s Initiative, Power of the Purse.

Grab your last minute tickets now and support this great organization!

August 3, 2012 at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort
August 22, 2012 at Hammock Dunes Club

We are proud that our very own Erum Kistemaker was awarded the Young Business Leader Award by the Volusia Flagler Business Report in June 2011. They are currentlyaccepting applications for this year.
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Christene M. Ertl


Erum Siddiqui Kistemaker

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