New Condo and HOA Laws have been passed in the state of Florida
The Florida legislature recently passed bills HB 807,HB 7037, and SB 440, that the governor has signed into law. These changes went into effect on July 1, 2014, so we wanted to provide you with a quick update on some of the changes made. This update is not intended as legal advice, and the below information does not include complete update information. For a full recap, stay tuned for our 2014 Legal Update!
LAWS RELATING TO COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS AND MANAGEMENT
Florida Statute 468.431- Notable Revision To The Definition Of Community Association Management
The statute stated “[c]ommunity association management is any of the following practices requiring substantial specialized knowledge, judgment, and managerial skill when done for remuneration and when the association or associations served contain more than 10 units or have an annual budget or budgets in excess of $100,000: controlling or disbursing funds of a community association, preparing budgets or other financial documents for a community association, assisting in the noticing or conduct of community association meetings, …”
The following has been added, along with new language about how a Community Association Manager should conduct themselves as agents of the association:
- Determining the number of days required for statutory notices
- Determining amounts due to the association
- Collecting amounts due to the association before the filing of a civil action
- Calculating the votes required for a quorum or to approve a proposition or amendment
- Completing forms related to the management of a community association that have been created by statute or by a state agency
- Drafting meeting notices and agendas
- Calculating and preparing certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates
- Responding to requests for certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates
- Negotiating monetary or performance terms of a contract subject to approval by an association
- Drafting pre arbitration demands
- Coordinating or performing maintenance for real or personal property and other related routine services involved in the operation of a community association
- Complying with the association's governing documents and
LAWS RELATING TO HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS
Florida Statute 720.303 – Meeting Access For Handicapped Persons
Meetings must be held a location that is accessible to a physically handicapped person if requested by a physically handicapped person who has the right to attend.
Florida Statute 720.303 – OWNER INFORMATION DISCLOSURE
An owner may consent in writing to the disclosure of other contact information
Florida Statute 712.05 – Marketable Record Title Act
Clarification of existing law relating to notification for purposes of preserving marketable title. The meeting of the board to preserve the covenants and restrictions must be mailed or hand delivered at least 7 days before the meeting to vote on the preservation of covenants. The association nor the clerk or court are required to provide additional notice pursuant to 712.06(1)(b).
Florida Statute 720.3085 – New Forms For Pre-Lien Notice & Pre-Foreclosure Notice, Removal Of Expiration Of Lien, New Requirements For Execution Of Claim Of Lien
LAWS RELATING TO CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS
Florida Statute 718.116 – New Requirement For Release Of Lien To Be In A Form And Pre-Foreclosure Notice To Be A Specific Form
Florida Statute 718.121 – New Form For Notice Of Intent To Foreclose
Florida Statute 718.111(5)(B)(1) – Abandoned Units – No More!
Associations may enter a unit and inspect and/or repair an abandoned condominium unit. This specifically includes the ability to repair or remediate for mold, and to turn on utilities – all at the board's sole discretion.
Florida Statute 718.111(11) – Insurable Events
The legislature has added new language providing that in the absence of an insurable event, the association or unit owners are responsible for repairs, reconstruction, or replacement as provided for by the declaration or bylaws.
Florida Statute 718.111(12)(C)(5) – Owner Disclosure Of Information
New language that an owner may consent in writing to the disclosure of certain contact information.
Florida Statute 718.111(12)(F) – Outgoing Board Member Required To Turnover Records
An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession, or under his or her control to the incoming board, within 5 days after the election. The division shall impose a civil penalty as set forth in s. 718.501(1)(d)6. against an outgoing board or committee member who willfully and knowingly fails to relinquish such records and property.
Florida Statute 718.112 – Board Member Votes
A board or committee member's participation in a meeting via real-time videoconferencing, Internet-enabled videoconferencing, or similar electronic or video communication counts toward a quorum and that such member may vote as if physically present; prohibiting the board from voting via e-mail.
Florida Statute 718.116 – Joint & Several Liability For Assessments
The term “previous owner” (in the phrase “a unit owner is jointly and severally liable with the previous owner for all unpaid assessment that came due up to the time for transfer of title”) has been clarified to NOT include an association that acquires title though foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure. And, the present owner's liability for unpaid assessments is limited to any unpaid assessments that accrued before the association acquired title to the delinquent property through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Florida Statute 718.117 – Condo Terminator
If the plan of termination fails to receive the required approval, the plan shall not be recorded and a new attempt to terminate the condominium may not be proposed at a meeting or by solicitation for joinder and consent for 180 days after the date that such failed plan of termination was first given to the owners.
Florida Statute 718.707 – Bulk Buyer Extension
A person acquiring condominium parcels may not be classified as a bulk assignee or bulk buyer unless the condominium parcels were acquired on or after July 1, 2010, but before July 1, 2016. This changed from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016.
Florida Statute 718.112(2)(A)(2) – Bylaws – Response To Unit Owner Clarified
When a unit owner of a residential condominium files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days after receipt of the inquiry. The board's response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within 10 days after its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the board from recovering attorney's fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry. The association may, through its board of administration, adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries, one of which may be that the association is only obligated to respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as applicable.
Florida Statute 718.112(2)(B)(2) – Proxy Clarification
Clarifies that owners of a residential condominium may not vote by general proxy, but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division. Residential condominium owners may not use proxies, general or limited, for elections.
Florida Statute 718.1255 – Nonresidential Condominium Associations
Exempting nonresidential condominiums from mandatory arbitration unless specifically provided for in their declarations.
Florida Statute 718.403 – Developer Changes
Relating to the authority to develop a condominium in phases; authorizing the developer to modify the plot plan as to unit or building types; limiting the circumstances under which a plot plan may be modified as to a residential condominium to only the extent that such changes are described in the declaration; specifying the provisions relating to phase condominiums that are inapplicable to nonresidential condominiums specifically paragraphs (2)(b)-(f).
For a complete recap of the new changes, be sure to stay tuned for our 2014 legal update!