I missed this thread, but just for purposes of venting, a personal experience, and perhaps a lesson for anyone who could be leasing/buying in Florida. Outdated information but a lesson in buyer beware.
First, an explanation of Florida law back in the early 2000's. When leasing land and bringing in a mobile/manufactured home, the owner of the development was required to present a "Prospectus"... delineating the responsibilities for owner, lessee... for maintaining the property, (both sides) and a rental clause.
In our case, the prospectus had a clause that limited the rent increases to the maximum of the CPI or $5/mo. Legally... the prospectus went with the lease, and was transferrable at the point of sale ad infinitum.
I was a member of the HOA in 1995 when the Retirement Community changed ownership. The new owners (soon after purchase) changed the prospectus to read "the maximum of the CPI or 5%/mo.
I saw the implications in this by doing my homework, but was overruled by the other board members who wanted the new owners to "like" them. Though I argued and explained the situation, the president of the board and the other members branded me as a trouble maker, and would not seek legal protection.
In two years, the new owners quietly submitted a legal change, which effectively caused a loss of the $5 vs. 5% protection. Hardly noticed by the residents, because the rents were relatively low at the time...
Other retirement communities with similar "limitation" policies were wise enough to do the right thing, and protect their legal rights.
Long and short... We have owned/rented under the original Prospectus, and our "rent" is now $370/mo. ... resulting from the compounding of the $5/mo increase over the years. Theoretically this should apply to every home in the community, even if the homes changed hands.. Unfortunately, because of the board's bad decision, and refusal to retain legal counsel... Those who bought under the new prospectus are now paying $570/mo. This makes selling more difficult...rental of $7,000/yr, versus what should have been $4500.
since that time, (when I was branded a pariah) has been limited to personal, non organizational works. Teaching, and personal counselling. Hard to deal with older persons who "know what they know" in a group effort.
(I don't know what the current Florida laws are concerning the "Prospectus", but would suggest to anyone buying into a Condo or Retirement community, that they read the details.) We had a similar but much less costly change in our current CCRC... again because of bad advice (from a lawyer in this case).
HOA's are only as good as the intelligence and dedication of the people who "volunteer"... Older, is not necessarily better, and "richer" not necessarily better than less rich.