Join Us for the Condominium and HOA Board Certification Training Course

Join us from the comfort of your own home for the Condominium and HOA Board of Directors Training Course. Shumaker is a division-approved education provider and this class will satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. §§ 720.3033 and 718.112 if completed within 1 year before or 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board.

Date Options:

October 6 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
November 11 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

RSVP to rsvp@shumaker.com or 813.676.7242

RSVP to reserve your spot for one or both classes today!

Client Alert: 2021 Changes to Florida Statutes: SB 56 Creates New Delinquent Assessment Collection Time Limits and Notice Requirements for Condominium, Cooperative, and Homeowners Associations

On June 16, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 56, adding new requirements to various sections of the Florida Statues relating to condominium, homeowners, and cooperative associations, with an effective date of July 1, 2021.

SB 56 increases the period of time a condominium or cooperative unit owner has to pay a monetary obligation under current statutory lien notices from 30 to 45 days, synchronizing the time frames with homeowners associations.

Additionally, SB 56 adds an additional mandatory notice for condominium, cooperative, and homeowners associations as part of the assessment collection process: the association must provide owners with written notice of a past due assessment before it may require payment of attorney fees by an owner in connection with the past due assessment. The association must send the notice by first-class mail to the owner at his or her last known address reflected in the association’s records in addition to the unit address in substantially the following form for condominium, cooperative, and homeowners associations:

Continue reading “Client Alert: 2021 Changes to Florida Statutes: SB 56 Creates New Delinquent Assessment Collection Time Limits and Notice Requirements for Condominium, Cooperative, and Homeowners Associations”

Client Alert: Governor DeSantis Signs SB 630 Into Law, Containing Significant Amendments to Florida’s Condominium Act, Cooperative Act, and Homeowners Association Act

On June 16, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 630 into law, which enacts numerous amendments to the Condominium Act (Chapter 718, Florida Statutes), the Cooperative Act (Chapter 719, Florida Statutes), and the Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720, Florida Statutes). The list below summarizes the primary effect of SB 630, but is not exhaustive. We suggest that you review the legislation and check with counsel if you have questions or comments.

CONDOMINIUM ACT, CHAPTER 718, FLORIDA STATUTES

  • Amends § 718.111, Florida Statutes to:
    • Limit the time required for keeping competitive bids in the condominium association’s official records to one year.
    • Establish a right of tenants to access a copy of the Declaration, in addition to Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, but clarify that those are the only records accessible to tenants.
    • Prohibit condominium associations from requiring unit owners to state a purpose for accessing official records.
    • Allow condominium association to make its documents available through a mobile device or posting on a web site.
  • Amends § 718.112, Florida Statutes to:
    • Provide that a majority vote of a condominium association may extinguish a discriminatory restriction as provided in § 712.065, Florida Statutes.
      • § 712.065, Florida Statutes allows the Board of Directors to amend governing documents by majority vote to remove provisions which are discriminatory towards “any natural person on the basis of a characteristic that has been held, or is held after September 4, 2020, by the United States Supreme Court or the Florida Supreme Court to be protected against discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution or under s. 2, Art. I of the State Constitution, including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, or physical disability.”
    • Clarify that only board service that occurs on or after July 1, 2018 may be used when calculating term limits.
    • Defer to the condominium association’s Bylaws for the required time period for special members meetings, but requires 14 days if the Bylaws are silent. The prior version of the statute required 14 days for the special members meetings regardless of the Bylaws. At least a 14-days notice is still required for annual meetings.
    • Require the Association to send the second election notice not less than 14 days and not more than 34 days prior to the election.
    • Increases the maximum transfer fee condominium associations may charge from $100 to $150 initially, and thereafter provides for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to publish a maximum fee increase according to Consumer Price Index (CPI).
    • Allow condominium associations and management companies to use the same legal counsel, which was prohibited under prior versions of the statute.
    • Establish rights for installation of natural gas vehicle fueling stations similar to current requirements for electric vehicle charging stations.
    • Allow the Board of Directors to establish electric vehicle charging stations and natural gas fueling stations on the common elements and provide that such installations are not material alterations or substantial additions.
  • Amends § 718.121, Florida Statutes to clarify that notices of intent to lien meeting the statutory requirements are deemed delivered upon mailing.
  • Amends § 718.121, Florida Statutes to replace mandatory nonbinding arbitration with an option for either 1) pre-suit mediation, or 2) non-binding arbitration. However, election disputes are excluded from pre-suit mediation and may be arbitrated or filed in court.
  • Amends § 718.1265 to provide additional emergency powers to condominium associations to conduct all meetings remotely to expressly allow the condominium association to close parts of the property and take other actions in mitigation of contagious disease. However, the association may not prohibit ingress and egress to the unit by the owner or in connection with a sale, lease, or other transfer of the unit.
  • Amends § 718.202 to include additional details regarding permissible and prohibited costs for which a developer may use certain portions of initial purchase deposits.
  • Amends § 718.405 to codify law allowing for multi-condominium to adopt consolidated governing documents if compliant with § 718.104.
  • Related to the condominium act, amends § 627.14, Florida Statutes to provide that a unit owner’s insurance policy may only provide for subrogation against the condominium association if the condominium association’s policy provides for subrogation against the unit owner.

COOPERATIVE ACT – CHAPTER 719, FLORIDA STATUTES

  • Amends § 719.104 to prohibit cooperative from requiring unit owners to state a purpose for accessing official records.
  • Amends § 719.106 to provide that:
    • Cooperative directors appearing at meetings remotely by any means count towards quorum.
    • Cooperatives may delete discriminatory provisions from their governing documents pursuant to § 712.065.
  • Amends § 719.128 to provide additional emergency powers to cooperative associations to conduct all meetings remotely to expressly allow the cooperative association to close parts of the property and take other actions in mitigation of contagious disease. However, the association may not prohibit ingress and egress to the unit by the owner or in connection with a sale, lease, or other transfer of the unit.

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ACT – CHAPTER 720, FLORIDA STATUTES

  • Amends § 720.301 to eliminate homeowners association board-adopted rules and regulations from the statutory definition of “governing documents.”
  • Amends § 720.303 to:
    • Allow additional options for electronic notification using an app or website in conjunction with email.
    • Explicitly require keeping of election materials, including ballots, sign in sheets, proxies, and all other records, for one year from the election.
    • Exclude records relating to gate entry systems from official records accessible to owners.
  • Amends § 720.303 to allow a developer the option to establish reserves or not, and if established to deficit fund assessments for reserves along with operating expenses. Legislation provides that this provision applies to all associations, including those formed prior to adoption.
  • Amends § 720.311 to provide that election disputes may be arbitrated or filed in court.
  • Amends § 720.305 to provide that fines are due five days from the date the association provides notice to the owner or tenant (previously ran from the date of committee meeting).
  • Amends § 720.306 to provide, in homeowners associations of more than 15 parcels, that amendments to governing documents prohibiting or regulating rental agreements generally apply only to parcel owners who acquire ownership after adoption or who consent to the amendment. Notwithstanding the general rule, the association may adopt a six month minimum rental period and a prohibition against renting more than three times in a calendar year and apply such requirements against all owners.
  • Amends § 720.3075 to provide that a homeowners associations may delete discriminatory provisions from their governing documents pursuant to § 712.065.
  •  Amends § 720.316 to provide additional emergency powers to homeowners associations to conduct all meetings remotely to expressly allow the homeowners association to close parts of the property and take other actions in mitigation of contagious disease. However, the association may not prohibit ingress and egress to the unit by the owner or in connection with a sale, lease, or other transfer of the unit.

A complete PDF copy of SB 630 is available at this link.

Continue reading “Client Alert: Governor DeSantis Signs SB 630 Into Law, Containing Significant Amendments to Florida’s Condominium Act, Cooperative Act, and Homeowners Association Act”

Join Us for the Condominium and HOA Board Certification Training Course

Join us from the comfort of your own home for the Condominium and HOA Board of Directors Training Course. Shumaker is a division-approved education provider and this class will satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. §§ 720.3033 and 718.112 if completed within 1 year before or 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board.

Date Options:

May 25 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
June 23 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

RSVP to rsvp@shumaker.com or 813.676.7242

Join Us for the Condominium and HOA Board Certification Training Course

Join us from the comfort of your own home for the Condominium and HOA Board of Directors Training Course. Shumaker is a division-approved education provider and this class will satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. §§ 720.3033 and 718.112 if completed within 1 year before or 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board.

Date Options:

January 28 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
February 25 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
March 24 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

RSVP to rsvp@shumaker.com or 813.676.7242

Join Us for the Condominium and HOA Board Certification Training Course

Join us from the comfort of your own home for the Condominium and HOA Board of Directors Training Course. Shumaker is a division-approved education provider and this class will satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. §§ 720.3033 and 718.112 if completed within 1 year before or 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board.

Date Options:

October 29 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
November 18 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
December 10 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

RSVP to rsvp@shumaker.com or 813.676.7242

RSVP to reserve your spot for one or both classes today!

Join us for the Condominium and HOA Board Certification Webinar and the Advanced Board Certification Webinar on July 30th and August 6th

 

HOA Board Cert. and Advanced Board Cert. July and August 2020

Join us on July 30th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm from the comfort of your own home for the Condominium and HOA Board of Directors Training Course. Shumaker is a division-approved education provider and this class will satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. §§ 720.3033 and 718.112 if completed within 1 year before or 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board.

We will also be offering the Advanced Board Certification class on August 6th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. The course will take a deeper dive into the issues boards deal with most and learn about collections, service animals, selective enforcement, neighbor vs. neighbor disputes, and much more.

RSVP to reserve your spot for one or both classes today!

Case Law Update: Assessments are Consumer Debts Under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

In a recent case, Kelly v. Duggan, 282 So.3d 969 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 2019), out of Florida’s First District Court of Appeals looked at whether condominium association assessments qualify as “consumer debts” under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). The FCCPA, Florida Statutes §559.55 et seq. (“FCCPA”) and its federal counterpart, Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”) protect consumers from unfair and deceptive debt collection activities and regulate consumer debt collection in Florida. Like the FDCPA, the FCCPA prohibits creditors and debt collectors from engaging in fraudulent, abusive, and harassing tactics in collecting debts for the State of Florida.

In Duggan, a dispute arose between a homeowner and condominium association concerning disputed past due assessments. A condominium owner alleged that the president of the Association violated the FCCPA by locking the unit owner out of a storage unit, making derogatory public statements about the unit owner, and disclosing information about the unit owner’s reputation to a vendor. The unit owner claimed that the president’s actions violated the terms of the FCCPA. The trial court dismissed the unit owner’s complaint citing a previous case from Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals, Bryan v. Clayton, 698 So. 2d 1236 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1997), which held that the FDCPA and the FCCPA’s definition of “debt” excludes maintenance assessments owed to a homeowner’s Association. Continue reading “Case Law Update: Assessments are Consumer Debts Under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act”

DBPR Emergency Order 2020-04 Suspending Damage Requirement For Condominium Association Emergency Powers

On March 27, 2020, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”) issued Emergency Order 2020-04 in response to the severe outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).

This Emergency Order suspends one of the precon­ditions on an association’s use of statutory emer­gency powers upon a “response to damage caused by an event,” which qualifying language is contained in Sections 718.1265(1), 719.128(1) and 720.316(1), Florida Statutes, of the Condominium Act, Coop­erative Act, and Homeowners’ Association Act, respectively. This qualifying language raised some concern among Florida communities of the appli­cability of the association’s emergency powers in response to damages caused by infectious diseases in lieu of damages more commonly associated with hurricanes, floods, or other natural disasters. The Emergency Order affirmatively authorizes the use of an association’s emergency powers under Sections 718.1265(1)(a)-(j), 719.128(1)(a)-(j) and 720.316(1)(a)-(h), Florida Statutes, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the association, owners, family members, tenants, guests, agents, or invitees. Section 718.1265(1)(a)-(j), and the substantially similar language in Chapters 719 and 720, provides the association with the following emergency powers: Continue reading “DBPR Emergency Order 2020-04 Suspending Damage Requirement For Condominium Association Emergency Powers”

Coronavirus: What Condominium Associations Need to Know

With the coronavirus having been declared a pandemic and rapidly spreading throughout the United States, many Florida community associations are confronting unique issues and need to know how to combat the spread of coronavirus and comply with recommendations from health professionals while remaining compliant with governing documents and Florida law. If you serve on your association’s board, you may be asking:

  1. What are the association’s emergency powers?
  2. Can the association reschedule or cancel board and membership meetings or prohibit members from attending meetings in person?
  3. Can the association close the recreational facilities and amenities?
  4. Should the association forgive payment of assessments for owners facing hardship due to the coronavirus or stop its collection efforts?
  5. Should the association stop sending violation let­ters or imposing fines?

The answers to some of these questions will de­pend on the language in your community’s governing documents and you may need to consult with the Association’s counsel regarding your unique legal situation. Notwithstanding, this article is intended to give general guidance and a place to start when looking for answers to coronavirus questions. Continue reading “Coronavirus: What Condominium Associations Need to Know”