Florida Associations Must Embrace New Laws – Part I
It has been a month since HB 791 went into effect. How has your Association adapted to the change? This law did a wonderful job of bringing Associations into the present by allowing electronic voting. It also clearly defined the applications of payments and distributing fines and penalties, as well as official records and membership eligibility. We’ll outline the major changes here in this blog and encourage you to give us a call if you have any further questions about how the amendments and changes we did not cover may affect your Association.
Electronic Voting and Communications– HB 791 laid heavy focus on electronic communication and voting. This is something that many owners are thankful for; however, putting this procedure into practice can be more difficult for Associations than it may seem. Configuring these platforms may be a headache at first, but once they’re in place and secure, allowing electronic voting, transmission of proxies and notice is a major step forward. It will make Association living much more convenient for owners in the long run.
Fines and Penalties – HB 791 clarified that the Board of Administration of the Association is responsible for levying fines. Also, the committee that hears cases regarding fines must remain impartial and only serve the purpose of hearing cases regarding fines.
Defining Official Records – Official records were clearly defined and limited to “written” records. Non-written records, including video and audio records, are not considered, “official records” and therefore are unavailable for owner inspection as a matter of right.
Board Member Eligibility for HOAs – If a member is delinquent in payment of any financial obligation as of the final day to nominate himself or herself, they are ineligible to be a member of the board. Along with that, a person who is already serving on the HOA board who becomes 90-days delinquent on any financial obligation is considered to have abandoned their seat, and the vacancy must be filled.
These are just a few of the changes made that Associations will need to embrace going forward. Be aware that there are many more we did not cover in this post. Please be in contact with your attorney for clarification on how the signing of HB 791 affects you and your Association.