New Laws for Associations Effective July 1, 2015
What should HOA members should know?
The Florida statutes for Homeowner Associations were updated on July 1, 2015 and are
now officially in effect. These updates may change the way you and your association do things, so it's important to understand what changes have been made and how your community will be affected. Here are some important parts of the new laws for Homeowner Associations:
Condominiums and Insurance
Per Florida Statute 718.111, previously the association or unit owners would have been responsible for the reconstruction, repair or replacement of an insured loss as determined by the declaration or bylaws but now it is limited to only the maintenance provisions. It also eliminates uninsured losses in excess of property insurance coverage as a common expense of the condominium.
According to Florida Statute 718.112, the electronic transmission of notices of certain meetings of a condominium association irrespective of whether authorized by the association's bylaws.
Termination of Condominium
Florida Statute 718.117 specifies that in the case of termination of the condominium, if 10% or more of the total voting interests reject the plan of termination, the plan may not proceed. If this happens, the time required to wait before a new plan of termination is proposed to 18 months.
The new Florida Statute 718.128 allows for the association to conduct elections through an internet-based online voting system as long as the unit owner consents in writing and certain requirements are met. The association has to prove each unit owner with a method to authenticate the unit owner's identity and a method to confirm, at least 14 days before the voting deadline, that the unit owner's electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system. For the elections of the board, a method to transmit the electronic ballot that ensures the secrecy and integrity of each ballot.
For more information on changes in policies regarding electronic voting, click here.
Appointment of an Ad Litem
Florida Statute 49.31 defines the term “ad litem” to mean an attorney, administrator, or guardian ad litem and authorizes a court to appoint an ad litem for any party upon whom service of process by publication has been properly made and who has failed to file or serve any paper in the action within the time required by law. The statute also provides actions an ad litem must take upon discovery the party it represents is already being represented or is deceased. It prohibits a court from requiring an ad litem to post a bond or designate a resident agent and requires the court to discharge an ad litem once final judgment is entered or otherwise ordered by the court.
Remedy for Unlawful Detention by a Transient Occupant of Residential Property
In Florida Statute 82.045, the term “transient occupant” is defined as a person whose residency in a dwelling intended for residential use has occurred for a brief length of time, is not pursuant to a lease and whose occupancy was intended as transient in nature. There are factors to consider whether a person is a transient occupant. The statute also provides for removal by a law enforcement officer and provides a cause of action and limiting actions for wrongful removal, as well as a civil action.
Termination of rental agreement upon foreclosure
Florida Statutes 83.561 says that a purchaser taking title to a tenant-occupied residential property following a foreclosure sale takes title to the property, subject to the rights of the tenant. It also specifies the rights of the tenant and allows the tenant to remain in possession of the property for 30 days following receipt of written notice formatted in the matter provided and delivered under the established requirements. The purchaser is authorized to apply for a writ of possession if a tenant refuses to vacate the property. Additionally, the statute provides exceptions and states a purchaser does not assume the obligations of a landlord unless the purchaser assumes the rental agreement or enters into a new one.
To know more about changes in policies regarding the appointment of an ad litem, remedies for unlawful detention by a transient occupant of residential property, and the termination of rental agreement upon foreclosure, click here.
For more information on the updated Florida Statutes for Homeowner Associations, contact PeytonBolin today.