- Official Records (Condominiums and Cooperatives): The bill amends the official records “catch-all” provision which currently provides that “all other records of the association…which are related to the operation of the association” are official records. The new law states that these “other” records are limited to “written” records. This makes the condominium and cooperative statute consistent with the HOA statute. So, non-written records (for example audio tapes of board meetings or security camera video recordings) are presumably not “official records” under the new law and thus not available for owner inspection as a matter of right.
- Extension of Distressed Condominium Relief Act (Condominiums): The bill extends the “distressed condominium relief act” also known as the “bulk buyer law” until July 1, 2018. Currently, the bulk buyer law is set to expire on July 1, 2016. This law gives companies that buy out distressed condominium projects immunity from various obligations affiliated with being a developer.
- Insurance (Condominiums): The bill removes the provision that requires the association to be responsible for “uninsured losses.” This is a glitch fix and is intended to clarify that the association’s obligation to subsidize insurance shortfalls for items that may otherwise be the unit owner’s responsibility and limited to situations where the association is responsible to insure the damaged element.
- Definition of Governing Documents (Homeowners’ Associations): The new law provides that the term “governing documents” of an HOA, as used throughout the statute includes rules and regulations.
- Amendments (Homeowners’ Associations): Under the new law, the failure to provide the statutorily required notice of recording an HOA governing document amendment does not affect the validity of the amendment.
- Names Chapter 720, Florida Statutes (Homeowners’ Associations): Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes will know be officially known as the “Homeowners’ Association Act.”
- Board Member Eligibility (Homeowners’ Associations): The Homeowners’ Association Act now provides that a person who is delinquent in the payment of any financial obligation as of the last day that he or she could nominate himself or herself to the board, is not eligible to be a candidate and may not be listed on the ballot. Further, a person serving on the HOA board who becomes 90 days delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation shall be deemed to have abandoned his or her seat on the board, creating a vacancy on the board to be filled according to law.
There are a couple of other Bills that affect community associations.
- HB 779, relating to rental agreements, protects tenants who are renting a home that is the subject of a foreclosure sale. The bill provides that a bona fide tenant must be given at least 30 days’ notice before eviction from a foreclosed home. This bill was approved by the Governor on June 2, 2015 and became law on that date.
- HB 643 makes changes to the laws regarding condominium terminations. Currently, the law allows an “optional termination” if 80 percent or more of the members vote in favor of termination, and no more than 10 percent reject the termination. The new law, among other things, provides that if a termination vote fails, another vote to terminate may not be considered for 18 months. When holding a termination vote, voting interests that have been suspended are still entitled to vote on the termination. In addition, a termination vote may not take place until 5 years after the recording of the declaration of condominium, unless there is no objection to the termination. There are other details in the new law that may be of interest for those affected. This bill was signed by the Governor on June 16, 2015 and became law on that date.