Bill updating homeowner association rules clears House
Article Courtesy of Florida Politics
By Kelly Hayes
Published April 28, 2021
A bill that revises state regulations and governance rules for homeowner and community associations cleared the House in a unanimous vote Tuesday.
The House heard the Senate version of the legislation (SB 630), filed by Sen. Dennis Baxley, which also passed the Senate unanimously. The bill, presented by House sponsor Rep. Jason Shoaf, seeks to address statewide standards around community associations.
In a sign of the times, the legislation updates the emergency powers of community association boards during a state health emergency. Specifically, the bill allows board members to attend meetings remotely and implement emergency plans.
The legislation also seeks to improve transparency among associations by allowing them to post documents not only to their websites, but also on mobile apps. Similar to other public meetings, the bill mandates timely notices be posted for all community association member meetings, not just the annual one.
Voting records would also be added to the list of official documents that must be maintained by the association. Associations would also be required to provide a due date for homeowners to pay fines.
The legislation may also reduce costs for Florida homeowners by allowing associations to better recoup actual costs related to background checks in connection with sale, lease or mortgage of a unit, preventing those costs from being passed onto current unit owners.
The bill was praised by the Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC), which represents more than 18,000 licensed, professional community association managers who manage more than 14,000 community associations.
“We are very thankful to Reps. Jason Shoaf and Anthony Rodriguez and their Senate counterparts, Sens. Dennis Baxley and Travis Hutson, for successfully carrying this important bill across the finish line today,” CEOMC executive director and lobbyist Mark Anderson said in a statement. “Once signed by Governor (Ron) DeSantis, this critical and time-sensitive legislation will ensure Florida’s community associations are pandemic-safe, more transparent, streamlined, modern and affordable.”