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Florida Associations Must Embrace New Laws – Part 2

In a previous blog we discussed a few aspects of HB 791, a new law effective for community associations as of the beginning of this month. The law affects many aspects of homeowners, condominium, and other community associations. Today we’ll venture further into the details of the legislative amendments. 

Homeowners Association Act –Florida Statute Chapter 720 is now officially known as the “Homeowners Association Act.” 

Governing Documents – Rules and regulations adopted by an HOA are now explicitly included in the governing documents. 

Notice of Amendments – The validity of an amendment recorded to the governing documents of an HOA is not affected if notice was not provided. Providing notice to the membership is still required however.

Application of Payments and Assessments – Partial payments are applied first to interest, then late fees, followed by any attorney fees and costs, and, finally, assessments. The legislatures passed this amendment to clarify that the required application of payments applies in a condominium or cooperative regardless of any purported “accord and satisfaction.” This amendments is intended to overrule a recent court case, which held accept of a partial payment accompanied by a an offer to settle results in an accord and satisfaction.

Distressed Condominium Relief Act – HB 791 extended the “Distressed Condominium Relief Act” to July 1, 2018. The law excludes certain companies that buy distressed buildings from taking on certain developer obligations.

Insurance – This section of the bill fixes a glitch that made Associations responsible for subsidizing insurance gaps that should be an owner’s responsibilities.

Termination to Condominiums – When the decision to terminate a condominium is made, many people are affected. Much controversy has surrounded voluntary terminations. Now, Florida Statute 718.117 provides unit owners additional protections. Some of these protections include: 1) suspended voting interests are allowed to vote on termination; 2) a termination vote may take place within the first five years after the recording of the declaration of condominium only if there are no objections; and 3) if a termination vote fails, another vote may not occur for at least 18 months.

Suspension of Voting Rights – The legislature clarified that if voting interest has been suspended, the total number of votes of the suspended interests must be reduced from the total number of voting interests of the association when calculating the vote needed for any action.

The signing of HB 791 certainly created many changes for community associations to comply with. We hope that your association is ready to embrace these new additions. Please be in contact with your attorney for clarification of how these changes may affect your Association.

Posted in Arias Bosinger, Legislation
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