A message from Cohen Law Group Pertaining to our Claim
“Good morning All,
Please allow this correspondence to serve as a brief status update in regards to the claim and appraisal process. As you know, as of the last update Mr. PJ Smith has submitted our extensive appraisal packet to Mr. Buz Carrol (Appraiser for Frontline). As I have continued to stay in contact with Mr. Smith, he and Mr. Carrol have begun to go over the our extensive estimate and supporting documentation determining areas in which they are in agreement and areas in which they disagree. At this time, it appears that as least a small portion of the claim including the windows and connecting damages may be forced to go to an umpire, although this is not yet set in stone. We will likely know in the next 1-2 weeks whether Mr. Carrol is going to agree with Mr. Smith, if we will be able to have a bifurcated appraisal award and which items would need to be submitted to an Umpire.
Moving forward, in response to your email Lynn (which is attached) the appraisal process is mandatory per the policy we have and continue to move this appraisal process with all haste. Due to the size and scope of the loss, the various engineering issues, the lack of ordinance and law coverage under the policy, and the issues explaining the damages to Frontline we have done everything we can to make sure Frontline fully compensates Bay Point and Steadfast and maximize the value of the claim.
I know this is a trying time for Bay Point Harbour Villas, but know that your concerns are very important to us and we are working diligently to finalize this process as quickly as possible.
As always, should you have any questions or need anything,
please let me know.”
Sean Schultz, Esq.
Attorney Cohen Law Group
Dear Harbour Villas Owners,
Currently contract negotiations are underway with Great Engineering Services and Specco Environmental Services for them to serve as our general contractor. Engineering reports and condo unit evaluations are being used along with other considerations to determine the scope of work. Even though no work can commence until we receive an insurance payment, determining the scope of work now will enable construction repairs to commence when funds become available.
As part of the preparation of the scope of work, Specco Environmental Services has requested to inspect the interiors of all units. This is necessary to ascertain the current state of each unit, to determine if any additional remediation will be necessary, collect measurements, and determine any additional data that may be necessary to provide a precise estimate. Justino Ferrer, Specco Environmental Services working in conjunction with Jorge Medina of Great Engineering Services will provide an estimate for the exteriors as well. This estimate will be based on the previously published list of windows expected to be replaced and engineering reports provided by the appraiser PJ Smith, Orbis Consulting, as well as the engineering drawings borrowed from Great Engineering Services current project at Bay View Villas. Bay View Villas, which is located within Bay Point is the same type of condo buildings as Harbour Villas.
The BOD also has determined the need for an independent Project Manager to oversee construction once work begins. The BOD is actively searching for someone to fill this part time position. Please note that Harbour Villas Construction hours for both exterior and interior construction are determined by BPCA. Currently the hours set by BPCA are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Owners who desire to begin interior work on their unit are reminded to follow the guidelines developed for Construction work inside units by individual owners. This document has been mailed to owners and is posted on our website.
In addition, there have been several complaints of owners or individual contractors dumping interiors debris on property and not in dumpsters or receptacles. This has been a problem now for sometime. If your individual contractors require roll off dumpsters for debris please inform them to acquire them rather than relying on your neighbors to fund the debris removals.
The attorneys working on the claim for Harbour Villas updated the BOD the most recent status of the claim and it is as follows:
“Good afternoon All,
Please allow this correspondence to serve as a brief status update in regards to the claim and appraisal process. I am pleased to inform you that PJ Smith has submitted his draft award and supporting documents to Buz Carroll for his review and consideration. They will now work through this estimate and Buz’s estimate and see if they can come to resolution. I will keep you posted as to the status of same.
Also, we have been monitoring Tropical Storm Nestor and it appears you may be affected by the passing of this storm. Please be safe and should there be any new or exacerbated damages, please photographs same. Should you need anything please let me know. Below is the most current link to the National Hurricane Center for your review. Please continue to monitor the situation and let me know if you need anything. Thank you.
Sean Schultz - Cohen Law Group"
As all of the ownership is aware, there currently is no construction work on our property due to a lack funds due to non payment from Frontline, our insurance company. Any approval of a General Contractor does not mean construction will commence; funding for the project must first come available. As mentioned in detail on the August updates, the appraisal process is still ongoing; no report has been issued at this time.
"Since the appraisal is still underway there has not been any award of insurance funding to the Harbour Villas. Ultimately, without funding to continue the project currently correcting concerns with the associations contractor is now both timely and prudent."
The Harbour Villas Board of Directors recognizes that many owners understandably want to complete repairs to their individual units. An owner certainly has the right to commence work within their unit. At the September 19th Board of Directors meeting, a proposal was made to recognize an individual owner’s right and responsibilities when undergoing repairs to their unit and the Association’s responsibilities. Declarations of the association 9.1-9.9 pertaining to unit owner’s responsibility for maintenance applies in addition to the attached adopted proposal.
In the face of lengthy insurance payout delays, the Harbour Villas Association recognizes that individual condominium owners desire to repair the damage inside their unit caused by Hurricane Michael.
An owner certainly has the right to commence work within their unit.
**Please read it carefully…
Relative to the interior work, it is the board’s responsibility to provide the following guidance and cautionary information:
A. It must be understood that the Association will not be responsible for costs incurred for these repairs.
B. Another major consideration prior to commencing interior repairs is that of secondary damage. The possibility exists that secondary damage may occur due to the existing condition of the buildings. Secondary damage may also occur due to new temporary leaks or unavoidable physical damage to the interior structure when repairs to the building’s exterior are made. Whatever the cause, it is the board’s responsibility to inform you that the Association cannot be responsible for secondary damages.
It is the owner’s responsibility to:
1. Obtain Environmental Clearance for your unit
2. Obtain required permits and inspections by Bay County. More than 50% sheetrock replacement requires permits and inspections at the insulation stage before the walls are closed in with sheetrock.
3. Insure their contractor abides by the Bay Point Harbour Villas RULES FOR CONTRACTORS (provided below and available for download)
⚠ Please be aware that structural changes to the unit’s interiors must first be submitted to the Board for approval and require Engineering submitted to Bay County for permits before the commencement of work.
The Association requires that the owner:
1. Notify the association when you commence work on your unit.
2. Acquire and Supply the association with a copy of your Environmental Clearance paperwork.
3. Acquire and Supply the association with a copy of any permits and inspections.
4. Supply the association with your contractor’s contact information.
ADOPTED by BPHVA, Inc. Board of Directors on 19 day of September, 2019
*The adopted proposals are also attached at the lower portion of this page for easy downloading in .pdf format.
*All permitting, individual environmental clearances and supporting documents may be forwarded to email@example.com
The proposal means If an owner so wishes to move forward with the repairs to their units, they may provided the owner abide by the aforementioned rules, in accordance with all Bay County building codes and with a licensed Florida contractor. This will be at their own cost with no guarantees of a reimbursement. Failure to follow the terms may result in individual unit repairs to reverse upon final inspections at a later date. If owners do not wish to pay out of pocket for the remaining repairs of insulation and sheetrock wallboard installation, the owner may wait. As mentioned many times before the association has not and may not receive funding to continue the project for many months. There are no guarantees when the project will be able to continue from a time standpoint.
On other matters, several months ago the Harbour Villas board had the parking curbs at building 6 moved to allow access at the south end of the Harbour Villas parking lot. Unfortunately, this created a nuisance traffic problem and upon recommendation of owners, the Board of Directors has decided to have the parking curbs replaced to disallow through traffic.
In regards to the storage closets, the Board of Directors made the decision in May to no longer have closets available to individual owners due to our ongoing construction and the condition of our buildings. At that time the closets were cleared of personal items but unfortunately some owners have taken advantage of this and returned items to the closets. Please be aware that items stored in the closets may be discarded as construction continues. At no time should items be placed in the electrical closets as this a potential safety issue. Items in electrical closet will be removed when necessary.
In addition, at the September 19 meeting the Board approved for the Association to enter into contract negotiations with Great Engineering Services, LLC and Specco Environmental, INC for the replacement General Contractor for BPHV. The Board of Directors will now begin contract negotiations and development of the scope of work.
“As our association works to recover from Hurricane Michael, we hope everyone will work together. The lack of progress is discouraging for all of us but without an immense special assessment, construction cannot commence until the association receives a payment from Frontline Insurance. Again, please do keep in mind that all reconstruction, the pace, and logistics are all based on the funding of the project.”
⚖ INFORMATION REGARDING LIENS FILED ON HARBOUR VILLAS UNITS
Some Harbour Villas Owners have received notification that a lien has been filed against your individual unit by a contractor. Information regarding this issue is contained below.
ACCORDING TO FLORIDA'S CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW (SECTIONS 713.001 713.37, FLORIDA STATUTES) THOSE WHO WORK ON YOUR PROPERTY OR PROVIDE MATERIALS AND SERVICES AND ARE NOT PAID IN FULL HAVE A RIGHT TO ENFORCE THEIR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY. THIS CLAIM IS KNOWN AS A CONSTRUCTION LIEN.
In the case of Harbour Villas, several of the sub-contractors who performed work for the General Contractor Steadfast Development, have not been paid for work performed. In some cases there may be a dispute between the Steadfast and the sub-contractor. Of importance to note is the fact that the Harbour Villas Board of Directors terminated Steadfast Development several weeks ago, non-payment to sub contractors being only one of the reasons. This, along with many issues, are currently being investigated by our association attorney.
As to the specific liens against your property if so notified, there is nothing at this point that you need to do. If you are making decisions to either put your property on the market, refinance, or are planning to seek a mortgage on your property, the recorded lien will have to be cleared prior to closing the event you are seeking. In such cases, there is a legal remedy we can assist you with, handled at no cost to you by our association attorney. This is a process that is quite normal and will clear the lien on your property in order for you to proceed with whatever it is you are wanting to do.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please send an email and we’ll respond accordingly.
Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Bay Point Harbour Villas, INC
Board of Directors
Please Email all questions or concerns to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*NOTE: PLEASE Remember to ALWAYS include your Last Name, Building # and Unit # in the subject line of your email (this is vital to our ability to properly record, categorize, index and respond to your inquiry and information accordingly)
*In addition, please use a consistent email for communications. Select owners have changed their emails as many as 6 times since the storm. This creates a huge organizational issue with the hundreds of contacts comprised of Owners, Tenants, Insurance Adjusters, Registered Real Estate Agents, Rental Managers, Etc. Some units have as many as 10 separate email contacts per unit. Whichever email you have been using, please do try to keep it. If you need to update your email address or contact information, please forward it to email@example.com
* Please continue to check this website frequently for any updated material related to The Harbour Villas Hurricane Michael Repair Project @ www.HarbourVillasOnline.com
*please note that all information provided on this website by the BOD and CAM is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed.
Chapter 718.1265 - Association Emergency Powers. (1) To the extent allowed by law and unless specifically prohibited by the declaration of condominium, the articles, or the bylaws of an association, and consistent with the provisions of s. 617.0830, the board of administration, in response to damage caused by an event for which a state of emergency is declared pursuant to s. 252.36 in the locale in which the condominium is located, may, but is not required to, exercise the following powers: (a) Conduct board meetings and membership meetings with notice given as is practicable. Such notice may be given in any practicable manner, including publication, radio, United States mail, the Internet, public service announcements, and conspicuous posting on the condominium property or any other means the board deems reasonable under the circumstances. Notice of board decisions may be communicated as provided in this paragraph. (b) Cancel and reschedule any association meeting. (c) Name as assistant officers persons who are not directors, which assistant officers shall have the same authority as the executive officers to whom they are assistants during the state of emergency to accommodate the incapacity or unavailability of any officer of the association. (d) Relocate the association’s principal office or designate alternative principal offices. (e) Enter into agreements with local counties and municipalities to assist counties and municipalities with debris removal. (f) Implement a disaster plan before or immediately following the event for which a state of emergency is declared which may include, but is not limited to, shutting down or off elevators; electricity; water, sewer, or security systems; or air conditioners. (g) Based upon advice of emergency management officials or upon the advice of licensed professionals retained by the board, determine any portion of the condominium property unavailable for entry or occupancy by unit owners, family members, tenants, guests, agents, or invitees to protect the health, safety, or welfare of such persons. (h) Require the evacuation of the condominium property in the event of a mandatory evacuation order in the locale in which the condominium is located. Should any unit owner or other occupant of a condominium fail or refuse to evacuate the condominium property where the board has required evacuation, the association shall be immune from liability or injury to persons or property arising from such failure or refusal. (i) Based upon advice of emergency management officials or upon the advice of licensed professionals retained by the board, determine whether the condominium property can be safely inhabited or occupied. However, such determination is not conclusive as to any determination of habitability pursuant to the declaration. (j) Mitigate further damage, including taking action to contract for the removal of debris and to prevent or mitigate the spread of fungus, including, but not limited to, mold or mildew, by removing and disposing of wet drywall, insulation, carpet, cabinetry, or other fixtures on or within the condominium property, even if the unit owner is obligated by the declaration or law to insure or replace those fixtures and to remove personal property from a unit. (k) Contract, on behalf of any unit owner or owners, for items or services for which the owners are otherwise individually responsible, but which are necessary to prevent further damage to the condominium property. In such event, the unit owner or owners on whose behalf the board has contracted are responsible for reimbursing the association for the actual costs of the items or services, and the association may use its lien authority provided by s. 718.116 to enforce collection of the charges. Without limitation, such items or services may include the drying of units, the boarding of broken windows or doors, and the replacement of damaged air conditioners or air handlers to provide climate control in the units or other portions of the property. (l) Regardless of any provision to the contrary and even if such authority does not specifically appear in the declaration of condominium, articles, or bylaws of the association, levy special assessments without a vote of the owners. (m) Without unit owners’ approval, borrow money and pledge association assets as collateral to fund emergency repairs and carry out the duties of the association when operating funds are insufficient. This paragraph does not limit the general authority of the association to borrow money, subject to such restrictions as are contained in the declaration of condominium, articles, or bylaws of the association. (2) The special powers authorized under subsection (1) shall be limited to that time reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the association and the unit owners and the unit owners’ family members, tpowersenants, guests, agents, or invitees and shall be reasonably necessary to mitigate further damage and make emergency repairs. History.—s. 15, ch.