The Developer Turnover Process for Arbor Mill at Mill Creek

July 2019

The transition from a developer-controlled association to a homeowner-controlled association can be a complicated process. It is also subject to legal restrictions. Here’s a summary of the process.

The Developer Turnover Process must take place according to Florida law and within a certain timescale. A common trigger for the transition (or turnover, as it is more commonly called) is three months after 90% of all units have been sold. However, in the case of Arbor Mill at Mill Creek, the Towers Group decided to hand over control at an earlier date.

The first step for all developers is to ‘recruit’ willing and suitable homeowners to serve on the new Board. Some also engage a community association management company. Turnovers require the expertise of professionals across a variety of disciplines, and a community association management company can provide board members all the guidance they need to ensure a successful transition. With this in mind, the Towers Group hired Associa a few weeks before the turnover took place.

The next step in the process is for the developer to ‘turn over’ all the association’s documents to the homeowner-controlled association. These include the articles of incorporation and bylaws, minute books, rules and regulations, financial records, bank accounts and statements, contracts and insurance policies, personal property of the association, a list of contractors and vendors, and resignation of the developer directors.

The turnover meeting of Arbor Mill at Mill Creek Homeowners Association took place on July 29th, 2019 at the office of the Towers Group. Representing the homeowner-controlled association were Bill Honan and Amanda Johannes of Associa. All the documents were handed over in good order, and the checks for all funds were received and banked.

The Towers Group now has 90 days to provide the homeowner-controlled association with an independent audit of the association’s records, from the association’s incorporation through the date of turnover. In the meantime, the association retains its own accountant to review this audit and draw up a detailed report.

This is also the time to address any outstanding issues with the developer, such as uncompleted capital projects, unaddressed repair work, and ongoing landscaping issues. These and any discrepancies that arise between the audit report and the financial review lay the groundwork for negotiating the final financial settlement between the developer and the association. To help us with this, an association attorney who specializes in turnovers and developer issues will be engaged.

The turnover process is more than a transition – it’s also a negotiation between the homeowners and the developer. But Arbor Mill at Mill Creek Homeowners Association is partnering an experienced management company to ensure a successful turnover. This will help our association get off to an excellent start.