Julio Robaina

When I look at the very sorry state of housing in the US, I often wonder how we got to where we are.  However, I don’t have to think too hard about it because the fingerprints of dysfunction are everywhere.   In the country that describes itself as the freest, the biggest, the richest and the best, how can something as simple and basic as the right to homeownership be fraught with so many pitfalls?  How can America’s homeowners be subject to such unfettered powers by special interests?  

Julio Robaina joins us On The Commons.  Julio, a former State Representative in Florida vowed to do everything in his power to protect the rights of owners in Florida’s many condominiums.  He headed up a task force, traveled the state and listened to the stories of complete and utter abuses by management companies, board members and industry attorneys. What he heard changed him profoundly.  During his term in office he championed legislation that ensured some rights were protected but like all laws, they were changed.  As the current co-owner of a management company, he is still working on getting the existing laws enforced.  Protecting owners from fraud, embezzlement and ensuring fair elections in condominiums.  We talk about all of this and also discuss the bigger picture of communal living with commingled assets, liabilities, responsibilities in a world apparently shrouded in secrecy.

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One thought on “Julio Robaina”

  1. Thanks for your efforts Mr Robaina. Florida and other States needs legislation to prevent States & Municipalities from providing incentives and/or requiring Developers to establish HOAs. Right now we have no real choice since it is almost impossible to find housing built after yr2000 in Florida that is not part of an HOA. We shouldn’t have to give up our rights to a flawed mechanism, feudal government in order to get housing. WE NEED MEANINGFUL HOUSING OPTIONS. WE SHOULD NOT BE FORCED BY MUNICIPALITIES TO BE DOUBLE TAXED FOR AMENITIES THEY SHOULD BE PROVIDING. WE NEED MUNICIPALITIES TO PROVIDE RECREATIONAL AMENITIES AND SAFE ENVIRONMENTS FOR ALL, WHETHER LIVING INSIDE OR OUTSIDE A GATE.

    For present HOAs, WE NEED SAMPLE DOCUMENTS TO AMEND OUR COVENANTS IN A WAY THAT REQUIRES BOARD MEMBER TO BE TRAINED, TO NOTIFY HOMEOWNERS VIA EMAIL and WEBSITE as well as post on a bulletin board detailed Agenda items, and REQUIRE A COMMENT PERIOD OF eg 2 WEEKS BEFORE VOTING ON ANY NON-EMERGENCY MEASURES OR EXPENSE OVER $1000 (unless already voted approval on $$$ amount.) BOARDS cannot act on behalf of owners if they just post notices on a bulletin board so don’t give those offsite a reasonable chance of providing input. NEED TO SOLICIT COMMENTS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE MORE INFORMED DECISIONS. Especially in Florida, when have so many snowbirds.
    ALSO – SAMPLE DOCUMENTS SHOULD INCLUDE SUBSTANTIVE CHECKS AND BALANCES TO THE BOARDs’ POWERS.
    WE ALSO NEED TO WORK TOGETHER ON COMPREHENSIVE DRAFT LEGISLATION TO PRESENT TO THE STATES ON MEASURES TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF HOMEOWNERS AND PROMOTE NON-HOA HOUSING OPTIONS (eg developers could include recreation facilities that are fee-based vs run by a BOD and fee-based lawn care – and only municipal laws rule re parking, use of house etc.).

    DRAFT LEGISLATION SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR STATES TO PROVIDE LOW-COST ASSISTANCE TO HOAS TO INTERPRET LEGISLATION, RESOLVE DISPUTES, PROVIDE TRAINING AND OVERSIGHT. If the STATES and Municipaities encouraged HOAs, then they need to step up to the plate to help manage them. And YES – Lets help homeowners in existing HOAs ADOPT NEW COVENANTS THAT REDUCE BOD POWERS< PROVIDE CHECKS AND BALANCES AND BETTER PROTECT HOMEOWNERS RIGHTS.

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