On March 23, 2018, Governor Scott approved House Bill 841, amending a number of statutes regulating community associations. The following is a summary of House Bill 841 by topic:
With the recent threat from Hurricane Irma, many condominium associations were faced with emergency requests from unit owners for the association to install or for the association to allow owners to install hurricane shutters or other forms of hurricane protection.
If an association had no hurricane protection policy in place, the association was likely unprepared to field these requests. Most board members would cringe at the thought of plywood being mounted on the windows, but if the association has not addressed what hurricane protection is acceptable, nor made arrangements for the association to install hurricane protection, the board of directors may not have the ability to deny an owner’s request to install their own form of code-compliant hurricane protection. Continue reading
Generally speaking, condominium associations have the legal obligation to maintain insurance on all of the condominium improvements, with some exceptions. Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes (the “Condominium Act”), expressly excludes the following from an association’s insurance responsibility:
[A]ll personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner. Continue reading
In recent years, community associations across Florida have encountered difficulties in collecting assessments and other outstanding amounts from delinquent homeowners. Often, the delinquent units are leased to third-parties as a source of income for their owners despite the owners’ non-payment of amounts owed, which can be especially frustrating for a community association. Although tenants are not obligated to pay amounts owed by their landlords under most community associations’ governing documents, the Florida Legislature has provided both Chapter 720 Homeowners Associations and Chapter 718 Condominium Associations with multiple statutory avenues to intervene and recover rent directly from the tenants. Continue reading