Everyone knows that the last few years have been tough, if not devastating, on condominium and homeowners’ associations in South Florida. The real estate bust and foreclosure crisis has taken its toll on communities that have seen a significant reduction in fees from owners who can no longer afford to pay.
This phenomenon has forced many associations to take drastic measures to balance their budgets, including raising monthly maintenance charges and cutting services and amenities. Probably, at no other time in history have associations needed the strong and competent legal representation that they do today. And the one firm that has been at the forefront of guiding its clients through the tough times is Eisinger Brown Lewis Frankel & Chaiet, P.A.
Eisinger Brown and its team of experienced attorneys and paralegals has focused its practice on community association law for the past two decades, representing more than 600 condominium and homeowners’ associations throughout Florida, many in the Aventura area. The firm was started by Dennis Eisinger, a founding member of the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC) who has more than two and a half decades experience in the field, and also teaches community association law at the University of Florida School of Law.
“These have been challenging times for community associations,” said Eisinger. “Fortunately, our experience with past real estate downturns and hands-on approach have enabled us to guide our clients through the storm. The focus has been primarily on reducing delinquencies, collecting past due payments, gaining control of preforeclosure units and helping associations make the best possible choices in running their communities to the benefit of the owners.”
Eisinger cited one powerful new law passed last year that allows associations to collect rent money directly from tenants living in residences that have stopped paying their monthly maintenance. “Since this law went into effect last summer, it’s made a real difference,” he said. “Associations are successfully using it as leverage to collect what they are owed. Another new law lets associations ban delinquent residents from using amenities until their bills are paid, and that appears to be working as well,” said Eisinger.
Eisinger Brown has a team of experienced attorneys who work with community associations. Name partners include Gary Brown, Andy Lewis, (treasurer of AMC), litigation practice chair Jed Frankel and David Chaiet, who heads up the firm’s insurance department. Most recently, Frankel has been in court forcing lenders to speed up foreclosures because the sooner foreclosure cases are resolved, the quicker associations can get their money back. While Lewis handles association clients, he’s also responsible for monitoring legislation in Tallahassee.
“In the past few years, the Legislature has been really active in passing new laws that have generally been favorable for communities,” said Lewis. “We are in the process of analyzing the proposed bills being filed for the upcoming legislative session. Our job is to comb through all of the language and keep clients up to date on what’s being debated and how it affects them,” added Lewis. The law firm is also an influential member of the Community Association Institute, an advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of associations.
In addition to community association and litigation work, Eisinger Brown focuses its practice on real estate, development and construction law; insurance law; corporate and partnership law; and landlord tenant issues.
Eisinger Brown Lewis Frankel Chaiet, P.A. is located in Presidential Circle, 4000 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 265, Hollywood, Florida 33021. You can contact the firm by logging in to www.eisingerlaw.com or by calling 954-894-4000.