Sunday, February 18, 2018
Home and Garden

Community Living: What are my rights for flying the Canadian flag?

What are the rules for Canadian flag?

Q: I live in an adult community here in Florida. At our clubhouse, can we fly the American and Canadian flags side by side? I would expect that the American flag be properly positioned with the Canadian flag. What rights do I have in this country to fly my country's flag?

A: With deepest respect to Canada and its flag, I can only refer you to the U.S. Flag Code (usflag.org/uscode36.html). If your community does not have a second pole, the association would have to purchase and install a second pole. I looked up the cost, and for the smallest commercial pole the cost is more than $800. That does not include installation. Taller and larger commercial poles will exceed $2,000. It would also require approval of the members as it would be an alteration to the common areas. You can fly a Canadian flag at your home, but you would need to follow flag etiquette.

Alert neighbors to maintenance issues

Q: I live in a community in which the HOA has been hijacked. A family owns a number of properties in the community and controls the board. As a result, maintenance fees have been excessively low for the benefit of the family. Maintenance on the property has suffered because the board continually rejects any repair request by the members. I am at my wits end trying to get positive repairs and maintenance programs established. What recourse do I have to break up this HOA mafia?

A: The statute requires the board to maintain the common areas and properly operate the common area and association. The last way to force the maintenance is to sue the board. This will be expensive and time consuming. A better way is to try to educate the board by writing letters and explaining that the statute (FS 720) requires that the board properly maintain the association. Also explain that the board must protect the members from a possible liability lawsuit if someone is injured. I am sure that the association's insurance agent would be concerned about the poor maintenance. I would try to explain that poor maintenance lowers the value of the homes. Your best result would be to try to persuade your neighbors to become involved. Maybe at the next election you can vote out the current "mafia."

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