FMO Newsletter May 2019 Print

President's Report

Greetings Everyone,

After 38 years your “21st Century FMO” is moving into new headquarters.  We will remain in Largo and in fact are only moving two buildings over.  Not only does this permit us the opportunity to move into a building that fits our office requirements but also upgrade our phone systems, servers and computer systems.

Many thanks to our Vice President Dave Desrochers, Treasurer Kay McGuire and staff for managing the moving process which is proceeding smoothly. We all look forward to our new facility and upgraded systems to better serve our members. 

In addition, we are really excited about the prospects of having an infusion of capital to invest in our communication and education programs to further improve our membership offerings.  The long-term goal is to add value to an FMO membership.

Keep up to date by visiting our website and newsletters.  Please make sure we have your correct and current email address.

Jerry Durham

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Executive Director update

In the May/June issue of the FMO Magazine is an article concerning the Bylaws Change Request Form prepared by Director Russ Watson.   This form is to be used to submit bylaws change recommendations to be voted on at the 2019 State Assembly.  The deadline for submitting bylaws recommendations is July 7, 2019.  Our FMO bylaws require the recommendations be submitted 150 days prior State Assembly.  For further details, read Director Watson’s article in the FMO Magazine.  This information, as well as the actual form, will be available on the FMO website. FMO.ORG

The FMO Office is preparing for our move to the new FMO Office, which is in the same neighborhood as the existing FMO building.  A special announcement will be forthcoming as to the details of the new FMO location. 

Beth and I have been going through the building identifying what we will need to take to the new office and sorting out unnecessary items that are not needed.  This process has been very time consuming because when Beth and I came to FMO in 2000, there were 16 employees.  Now there is only Beth and myself, and Diane.  So, there is a lot of leftover paraphernalia.  We are excited to make the move and get all settled in our new “home away from home”.


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Committee Reports

Bylaws Committee has approved a form and format for submission of changes to the bylaws to be considered at the 2019 Assembly. Work continues on revisions to be recommended by the committee. Next meeting is scheduled for May 8.

Finance Committee presented a monthly report at the 4/17 BOD meeting.

Communications Committee has not formally met yet. Work continues on the Website, Newsletter, & FMO Magazine.

Education Committee reported 732 people registered to attend FMO training classes in the 2018/2019 season. Preparation for next year's training needs to start soon.

Legislative Committee reported this year's session in Tallahassee almost over. The FMO/FMHA legislation package did not get out of committee.

There were no reports from Membership, ROC, Buildings & Grounds, and State Assembly, CLF, or Nominating committees.

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Featured Articles on our Website

Water Temperature - An everyday debate by the pool

What should the temperature of a communty pool be? Can you believe a pool thermometer? The complete article can be read Here.

Legislature passes 2019 Sales Tax Holidays

Save some Money with TWO Sales Tax Holidays! The complete article can be read Here.

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Rumblings heard from communities around the state

Following the April meeting of the SUN Workshop, we started getting more reports of New & Brokered home sales by SUN Homes where a fee of from $300 to $700 was charged to the buyer labeled as a “Home Prep” fee. Many buyers are now questioning the validity of this charge. We are carefully monitoring this situation and will be interested in SUN’s response in communities where residents are organizing to ask for collective refunds. As was brought out at the meeting, at least one community has already been promised refunds in full. An attorney has indicated interest if a sufficient number of buyers want to pursue it. If your community is interested or engaged in seeking compensation for buyers, or you would like your HOA added to the list seeking assistance, we would like to hear about your efforts and any willingness to join a collective action. E-Mail all comments/reports to [email protected]. It was also suggested that any buyer feeling this charge was not justified file a complaint with the State Attorney Generals Office. This might serve to insure you are considered in any settlement made with the state. Contact info is in the RESOURCES section of our website.


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Monthly Legal Tip

Our statutory committee met with the owners and discussed the rent increase which is based on market rents. They gave 5 communities that they compared us to, of which 2 have many more amenities then we do. When questioned about that, the representative of the owners response was "We cannot put a price on a club house, pool, sauna, etc.” This is not bargaining in good faith as far as I am concerned. We suggested 2 other communities and we were told that will not happen. Is our only recourse to take them to court?
ANSWER: Your question relates to rent increases where the Park Owner has given "market rent" as the reason for the rent increase. Legally, Section 723.033(5), F.S., states that "--in determining market rent, the court may consider rents charged by comparable mobile home parks in its competitive areas. To be comparable, a mobile home park must offer similar facilities, services, amenities, and management."
However, Section 723.033(6), F.S., states that the court may consider the economic or other factors including CPI, operating costs, taxes, and prior disclosure. By case law, the court may also consider lack of maintenance in the Park.
Space does not allow a substantive answer to the "market rent" problem. Suffice to say, Park Owners and HOAs (or their committees) seldom, if ever, agree on comparable parks because the Park Owner selects parks to support their rent increases and HOAs select parks to support their request for a decrease.
Most HOAs consider the Park Owner's comparisons arbitrary and in the event mediation is unsuccessful, the only recourse at such time would be litigation.

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Legislative Briefs - Nancy Black Stewart

Interesting Factoid:  According to the reporting system, “LobbyTools”, the 2019 Session included:  3,571 bills and Proposed Committee Bills filed; and, only 196 bills passed both Chambers

Next Session Planning:  The Regular Session of the 2020 Legislature will begin on January 14!  House and Senate Committees will begin their committee work this fall.

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Did you know?

The regulation of production and building code for Manufactured Homes is overseen by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. (HUD) But, do you know that standards for installation,  installer licensing, and sales in Florida are regulated by the department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles? (FHSMV) The statutes (FS320) and Administrative Rules (15C-1 &15C-2) may be found in the LEGAL section of the website. Other information may be found in the RESOURCES section.

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Member Input Needed!

We are looking for your input! Our nominations for Park Representative of the month come from members. If your FMO Park Representative has impressed you with their dedication, diligence, and ability to represent FMO in your park we would like to hear about it.

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