New Florida Association Laws – HB 1195

Posted on March 8, 2012 by The Richards Law Group, PLLC

House Bill 1195 (HB1195), effective July 1st, 2011, established some new laws governing Florida’s Condominium and Homeowner’s Associations. These changes to Florida Statute 718 and 720 are not major ones, but there are a few items that should be looked at.

Closed Door Board Meetings
Florida Statute 718.112(2)(c)3 now allows for a Condo Board to hold closed meetings for the purposes of discussing matters that pertain to personnel, but an attorney must still be present when discussing any purposed or pending litigation in order for any other type of closed door meeting to be held. This now makes the Condo requirements consistent with the HOA requirements of Florida Statute 720.303(2).

Participation in Board Meetings
Florida Statute 720.303(2)(b) removes the requirement that HOA members must petition the Board in order to speak at any Board meetings, and also allows for HOA members that have the right to speak at any Board meeting, the ability to reference all items.

Collection of Rents
Florida Statutes 718.116(11) (for Condos) and 720.3085(8) (for HOAs) address the laws that went into effect last year as to the directing of rents from a tenant in an property, directly to the Association if the owner of the property is delinquent in their assessments. Then new laws delete references to “future monetary obligations” and they clarify that demand for rent is for subsequent rental payments due from the tenant. A very important part that is clarified, is that upon written notice from the Association, a tenant is responsible to pay all subsequent rental payments to the Association until all monetary obligations of the unit owner that concern the unit the tenant is living in have been paid in full.

Official Records
There is come clarification in Florida Statute 718.111(12) that “personnel records” are records that pertain to both the Association’s employees as well as the Association’s management company’s employees. It goes on to state that “personnel records” cannot be accessed by owners, but any written agreements between and Association and their employees or management company, as well as financial and budgetary documents that show the compensation paid to an employee are available to owners.

The new law also provides that owner’s email addresses and fax numbers are not to be made available to other owners, unless an owner consents in writing to release personal identifying information (such as emails, phone numbers and alternative addresses).

Florida Statute 720.303(5)(c) also provides that owner’s email addresses and fax numbers are not to be made available to other owners, unless an owner consents in writing to release personal identifying information (such as emails, phone numbers and alternative addresses), and that “personnel records” cannot be accessed by owners, but any written agreements between and Association and their employees or management company, as well as financial and budgetary documents that show the compensation paid to an employee are available to owners.

Board Elections
Florida Statute 718.112(2)(d) Provides some clarification added that if at an annual meeting of the Association, if a Board member’s term would expire, but there are no candidates, the Board member’s term will not expire. If there are candidates, and if there are candidates equal to, or less than the number of Board positions expiring at the meeting, all candidates shall become members of the Board, upon the close of the meeting. If there are any Board positions that are not filled, an affirmative vote by a majority of the Board (even if there is just one person on the Board and no quorum) shall be used to fill the openings on the Board.

A Board candidate must be eligible to serve on the Board when the candidate submits the required notice of intent to serve 40 days before the election for the candidates name to be on the ballot.

Florida Statute 720.306(9) now states that any owner who is more than 90 days delinquent in making payment of any assessment or fine, or has been convicted of a felony in Florida (with some exceptions as to having their civil rights restored) is not eligible to sit on the Board. It also allows for any actions by the Board in which a member of the Board is/was ineligible to sit on the Board, to still be valid, despite the ineligibility of a member.

Master and Sub Association
Both Florida Statutes 718.116(1)(b)2 and 720.3085(2)(d) now allow for both Condo and HOAs that when an Association takes title to a property through foreclosure of it’s lien based on assessments, they are not liable for unpaid assessments, interest, late fees, costs, or attorney’s fees that were incurred by a Master Association (one that has a superior interest on the property) prior to the Association taking title.

Suspensions and Fines
Florida Statutes 718.303(3)‐(6) state that a Condominium Association Board can suspend the use voting and use rights of a owner who is more than 90 days delinquent, but it must be done at a duly-noticed Board meeting, and the Board must set forth in writing the suspension and deliver it (by mail or by hand).

An Association can fine and also suspend the rights of an owner (as well as or their guests, tenants or invitees ) to use the common areas and other facilities of the Association for a “reasonable period of time” , for the failure of any party to comply with the Association’s rules, regulations, and governing documents. There is still a $100 maximum per violation limit, and $1,000 aggregate amount. There still also must be a 14 day written notice provided to an owner as well as a hearing prior to the implementation of suspension of use, as well as fines for the any party’s failure to comply with the governing documents.

Florida Statute 720.305 now provides that the Association’s governing documents do not have to contain language that provides for the suspension of the voting rights for an owner who is 90 days delinquent in paying any assessments or other monetary obligation. An Association can now also suspend the use rights for an owner (or their guests, tenants or invitees) if the owner is more than 90 days delinquent as well. The Board can suspend the use voting and use rights of a owner who is more than 90 days delinquent , but it must be done at a duly-noticed Board meeting, and the Board must set forth in writing the suspension and deliver it (by mail or by hand).

An Association can fine and also suspend the rights of an owner (as well as or their guests, tenants or invitees ) to use the common areas and other facilities of the Association for a “reasonable period of time” , for the failure of any party to comply with the Association’s rules, regulations, and governing documents. There is still a $100 maximum per violation limit, and $1,000 aggregate amount, however if the governing documents allow for an amount larger than $1,000, the Association can exceed the $1,000 limit. There still also must be a 14 day written notice provided to an owner as well as a hearing prior to the implementation of suspension of use, as well as fines for the any party’s failure to comply with the governing documents.

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21 Responses to New Florida Association Laws – HB 1195
  1. Marsy

    Reply

    As a board member for a condo assn. is it required for all board members to be certified rather than just the President? I read somewhere that the Board may not continue to rule if they all members are not certified.

    Please help me on this matter. Can’t seem to get an answer.

    Thank you.

    • Frans Couperus

      Reply

      Florida Statute § 718.112(2)(d)4.b Fla. Stat (2012) –
      Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, each newly elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. In lieu of this written certification, within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered by a division-approved condominium education provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of election or appointment. The written certification or educational certificate is valid and does not have to be resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without interruption. A director who fails to timely file the written certification or educational certificate is suspended from service on the board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain a director’s written certification or educational certificate for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s election. Failure to have such written certification or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity of any board action.

  2. Herb Santiago

    Reply

    Great information and format. Easy to read and understand.
    Thank you.

    Herb Santiago

  3. KELLI2L

    Reply

    When an Association Board looks to change things in the governing documents (Declaration, etc.) doesn’t the owner voting process also have to be done in an anonymous way? …What page is that on in the Florida Statutes….?

  4. Bill Waun

    Reply

    How many signatures are required on a Condo assoications checking account?

  5. Luis A. Santos

    Reply

    What types of documents are usually send out to homeowners of a deed restricted community prior to the Annual Meeting? Some communities attach a copy of the Voting Certificate, Proxy, Financial Statements, Meeting Agenda, and a letter prepared by the President announcing the date of the meeting, place of the meeting and a briefly outline of the topics to be discussed at the meeting. Are there any standard guidance concerning this matter?
    Please help
    Luis.

  6. Pingback: Condo Owner vs. Condo Lawyer | Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

  7. susan morris

    Reply

    Please let me know the Florida Statute number referring to how long a board member may serve. Is 2 years?.
    thanks
    S. Morris

  8. Fabrizzio C

    Reply

    As an owner of a condo in Tampa FL, Do i have to notify or register any underage children to the office?

    I am having a situation where i live on a second floor and recently about a week ago my children moved in with me.
    Now all of the sudden we got a letter from the office (association) saying that i have “UNAUTHORIZED” tenants living in my Condo.
    My children are 11,9 and 8 years old…….
    Would they be considered UNAUTHORIZED tenants to be living on a condo that i own and they happened to be my own children ???
    Thank You for your response

  9. darlene follese

    Reply

    Emails were sent to all board members except me. These emails were sent by two board members. Things were being discussed and I was not included. Is this a violation of sunshine law . Thank you, I look forward to your answer.

  10. Sue Anderson

    Reply

    Can the Board of Directors of a Condo Association vote to hire a management company without a majority of homeowners in agreement? Must this be put before the Homeowners to vote on at an annual meeting?

  11. Joyce Hartman

    Reply

    Can a Board along with the Property Management Co. force owners to get a background check from their repeat renters? In my case, this is the 4th year for my renters from Canada. They are great tenants and have not once presented a problem. Why must they complete a background check? Could this not be considered discriminatory? Thanks!

  12. carole saber

    Reply

    can the board take away cable tv which they pay for?
    can an assesment be made to fund a reserve fund?

  13. Patricia Blaine

    Reply

    Having lived in the same condo community which is gated and has 2 maintenances, it seems that living in a condo you are governed by people who are not elected just merely submit their names to managing agents and become board president and determine how to spend your money on their own agenda, especially if there is more than 1 building. Great landscaping for those who have members non a completely non elected by owners board. And many other things claiming we have a working gym, building repairs and maintenance. I was told last year they did not re landscape our building because they did not like me. It seems a condo community ipfeels more like living in a dictatorship than a pleasant community. As an ex Broker from New York City BEWARE before buying a condo in Florida you have no idea what unpleasantness you are in for. I have been physically threatened and vandalized by a board member. While I was threatened bt a non elected appointed by our “president” the managing agent and president looked on and laughed because I was recording a meeting with my I pad and announced that in the beginning, is there no recourse for owners rights?this is supposed to be such a classy neighborhood hahaha iwould never buy a condo in Florida again unless I got on the board and preferably the first board after the developer. Lived in New York City , in a 1 building condo this nonsense never went on.Upgrades are done in politically correct buildings and not others. Laws only apply to th

  14. Jill Arsenault

    Reply

    Is the Board or Property Management Company required to notify the condo owners if a board member resigns? Our President resigned many of the owners contacted Property Management and the Board to clarify if the rumor was true.
    I immediately offered to be the replacement if in fact the rumor was true and sent an email to all stating so with my Professional Profile I was notified that it was true by one of the board members (who is a minority owner) he informed me that the bulk owner replaced the position with someone (no name given) who the bulk owner chose and the replacement is not an owner but an employee of the bulk owner? The Property Management Company nor the other board member who is an employee of the bulk owner has ever responded.

  15. Joanne disidoro

    Reply

    I am treasurer of our condo association. Do all owners have the right to access our checking account. I think that an owner has learned the password from a relative who is also on the board. I thought only board members have access to the checking account.

  16. allen

    Reply

    Our association allows closing of Hurricane shutters only when there is an official huricane warning, and reopened after the hurricane. If we are away during that particular period this rule is preventing us to close our shutters. As a home owner do I have the right to close my shutters during the huricane season and take proper steps to protect my home, regardless of this restraining rule? Please let me know if any one has an answer. Thank you
    Allan

  17. John Creamer

    Reply

    Our by laws only state owners/ownership running for the Board. They do not state specifically that renters may not be on the board. We only want owners on the board but can renters run and be elected on the board?

  18. Tina Smock

    Reply

    Can you please give me the Statue number of how the Association Management Company can store, destroy and time frame of the Communities Documents that are 7 years old and beyond. And, what type of structure it should be stored in. If, there are any written guideline.

  19. Condo Owner Magazine

    Reply

    Section 718.111(12), Florida Statutes, is the official records section of the Condominium Act. Section 718.111(12)(b) states that “The official records of the association must be maintained within the state for at least 7 years.” There is an exception to the 7-year rule provided in Section 718.111(12)(a)12, which permits the following records to be maintained for only 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates: ”Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners.”

    There are no specific regulations concerning what type of structure the records should be stored in, but for non-timeshare condominiums the records do have to be made available to unit owners for inspection within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in which the condominium is located. To ensure that there is no inadvertent loss of records, the structure should be sufficient to protect the records from the elements and preserve them in usable form for at least the required 7 years.

    There are also no specific guidelines for removing/destroying records which are in excess of 7 years old, but it is good practice for a board of directors to adopt a records retention policy, and certainly an association manager should not destroy records without prior board approval. In addition, precautions should be made to ensure that no records of continuing importance are lost (for example, as-built construction drawings for the community or meeting minutes containing critical information) and adequate precautions should be made to ensure that when records are thrown away, there is no inadvertent disclosure of confidential association or unit owner information. It is also a good practice to consult with the association’s legal counsel to ensure that there are no other limitations or special records retention needs, such as additional recordkeeping obligations that can sometimes arise when an association is involved in a pending lawsuit.

    answer submitted on behalf of Robert Kauffman-Dunlap & Shipman, P.A.

  20. Lisa

    Reply

    How many days notice are the home owners to get on information regarding the annual board meeting, and how days for voting proxies for the board of directors for the annual meeting.

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