29 Aug NEW LAWS AIMED AT EASING ISSUES WITH FLORIDA CONDO ASSOCIATIONS
August 29, 2018 – While some changes started taking place on July 1st of this year, come October 2018 there are many modifications being made to Florida condominium Home Owner’s Association rules that will become new laws for condo owners in Florida. While some were less consequential, for example allowing the board to communicate with owners via email (with the exception of voting), others, including term limits, are more significant. New laws put into effect will limit the time frame of for fines to be paid once issued by the board; in some instances they must be paid in as little as 5 days. While HOA laws in general are nothing new to condo owners in Florida, these laws are helping to curb corruption and are aimed at making the condo HOA process more efficient for boards and more productive for residents.
Among the other new laws are:
- Amendments must now be presented to owners for voting through the strike and underline format or “substantial amendment” notation, and all amendments must be recorded publicly in order for them to be legal; contrary to previous rules, which required no formal recording of Board adopted rules at all.
- Elections are now no longer needed if the number of board applicants is less than or equal to the number of seats available. This means that if someone desires a board position, but there are no other applicants for the seat, he/she will automatically be granted the position.
- In keeping with the evolution of cars and car-ownership, new rules also permit the use of electric vehicle charging stations. Owners now have the ability under the Condominium Act to install electronic vehicle charging stations “within the boundaries of his or her limited common parking area” at the expense of the owner.
- Florida condominium board members are no longer permitted to sit on the board indefinitely – they will be limited to serving a maximum of 8 consecutive years. But this law won’t allow you to immediately oust the current long-serving board members – the law states that the 8-year clock begins ticking once the law hits the books.
- For meetings regarding special or even regular assessments, new laws state that there must be more extensive and specific notice providing detailed description of the purpose of the assessment and estimated costs.
For years, Florida’s HOA condominium boards have been wrought with scandal, corruption and misuse of power. Ranging from board members awarding major contracts to family members, to outright extortion, Florida has some of the most troubling and ineffective HOA laws in the nation. It’s encouraging that lawmakers are working towards new legislation such as this, which will hopefully usher in a more effective and legal process that will prove better for boards, residents and condo-living as a whole.
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