HOA, condo liens have different rules
Q: We are a self-managed HOA. We have several homes with foreclosure action pending. One had declared bankruptcy, thus preventing collection action by our board. Previous board did file liens on these properties when the homes stopped paying and did take aggressive action advised by the association attorney. The past boards did not start foreclosure action because the attorney recommended waiting for the bank foreclosure, which has not happened as yet. Here we sit with liens that were filed a few years ago on these delinquent homes. Our attorney has advised us that the liens are still valid and we do not need to file an updated or new lien. One of our homeowners, an attorney, believes that we should refile every year. I would value your opinion on this question.
A: A majority of the time I recommend that you follow the advice of the association attorney. I feel that you do not need to file a new lien because you are an HOA under FS 720 and thereby your attorney's advice should be followed.
Condominiums have a different problem in that FS 718.116 says that if no collection action is taken within one year, the lien is ineffective.
Movie time legalities draw ire
Q: I read in your column that you cannot show DVD movies in the community clubhouse. If we buy a DVD, it is ours and we should have a right to let our neighbors see the movie. Why should we have to pay a company to allow us to view our own DVD? Where is this company located? I have never heard of such a company. A group of our neighbors go to the clubhouse once a week to see a movie. We do not charge any fees except that someone brings a big bag of popcorn and others bring drinks. It is a social event that brings our neighbors together. You now are taking away our social event. How do you justify your position?
A: Yes, I did write about this situation recently and you cannot show movies without a special license. Let me go to the basics. When you buy or rent a DVD with a movie or a CD with music you are not buying the rights to the movie or music. Those rights belong to the artist and the copyright owners. I would also include books, newspapers and even television production as they have copyright protections. A buyer of a media format, such as CD and DVD, does not buy total rights just limited usage rights.
Do you remember Napster? They operated a Web page where users could download music from other users. In about 2000 they were sued in federal court and Napster lost the case and it put them basically out of business. They were sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) when it was discovered downloaded music was larger than sales of the same songs by regular retailers. The movie industry copyrights are enforced by the Motion Picture Licensing Corp. (MPLC). The MPLC mailing address is P.O. Box 66970, Los Angeles, CA 90066. If you like movies, then you should be happy to support the actors by protecting their works.