Florida Condo Lawyer discusses impact of New Condominium Reform Bill on Condo Owners and Homeowners

Most Condominium Owners and Homeowners may already be aware that Governer Crist signed into law Senate Bill 1196, which is a sweeping condominium reform bill.

The highlights of the bill are that it now requires banks that foreclose on condo units to pay 12 months of unpaid assessments as opposed to the previous requirement of 6 months. Many proponents of the bill believe that this will immediately help struggling associations and take some of the burden off of the owners that pay their assessments. For high-rises that were facing potentially special assessments for sprinkler retrofits, this bill allows the associations to now determine for themselves, by a majority vote of their membership, whether or not they wish to retrofit with sprinklers.  Condominium boards will now be able to suspend the use and voting rights of those owners who are more than 90 days’ delinquent. (Remember it is never a good idea to stop paying your maintenance even if you think think your association has done something wrong.)

As a Florida Condominium Attorney that focuses on representing owners, I would like to know what you, the individual Condominium owner and Homeowner think about this bill that goes into effect July 1,2010. Please post your comments below. It is important that your voice be heard.  We fight for condo owners’ rights.

While this new bill mainly impacts Condo Associations there are some provisions that concern Homeowner’s Associations (HOA’s). In the area of document inspection requests;

  • they will now have to be sent via certified mail
  • HOA’s will now be able to charge, in addition to copying costs, “any reasonable costs involving personnel fees and charges at an hourly rate for vendor or employee time to cover administrative costs to the vendor or association”
  •  Health and insurance records as wells as disciplinary and payroll records of association employees will not be subject to inspection by owners
  • personal information pertaining to owners, such as social security, driver’s license, credit card and phone numbers will also be exempt from inspection
  • electronic security measures used by the association to protect data are exempt from inspection.

Some of the other highlights concerning HOA’s include delinquency issues, fine issues,  elections, leases by the HOA, tenant issues, and prohibitions on special assessments before turnover. The text of the bill can be found on the Florida Senate’s official website or by clicking here.

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