BLG's Monthly Newsletter - July 2014

Legislative Action and Corporate Governance

By Candice Gundel, Esq.

In my June memo I addressed the statutory changes as they pertain to the collection of delinquent assessments.   This month I will address a few of the most impactful legislative changes which effect the corporate governance of Community Associations.  The complexity of these provisions cannot be understated and I strongly urge every community consult an attorney regarding the application of the statutes. The following provisions apply to both Condominiums and Homeowners Associations.

1)      The Association is required to retain certain official records for at least 7 years and make those records available for review and copying by a member of the Association.  The Association may charge a member the costs incurred retrieving and copying records.  Members seeking to review and copy official records may now do so using a personal electronic device and the Association may not charge for this electronic access.  Personnel records of the Association or Management Company are not accessible by members.

2)      An Association may create and distribute a directory to all members which provides the name, property address and telephone number of the members.   By written request a member may exclude their telephone number from the directory.

3)      A member seeking to challenge an Association election must do so within sixty (60) days from the announcement of the election results.

4)      A Director of a Condominium or Homeowners Association may be recalled by the members.  Additional procedural guidelines have been provided to ensure the Board of Directors properly complies with a recall petition.

5)      Licensed Community Association Managers may be disciplined for violating any of the provisions of Florida Statute Chapters 718, 719, or 720

The legislature addressed several issues unique to Condominium Associations, most notably:

1)      A Condominium may postpone the required elevator upgrades until substantial repair or replacement of the elevator is required.

2)      In specific circumstances and as permitted by the Declaration of Condominium or a vote of the members a “secondary” condominium may be created within an existing Condominium.

Many of the Statutes within Chapter 720 governing Homeowners Associations have been updated this year to mirror the existing requirements for Condominiums under Chapter 718.  These include:

1)      Reporting requirements to the State of Florida, with a deadline of November 22, 2013;

2)      Certification and education requirements for Board of Director members elected after July 1, 2013;

3)      Insurance and bonding requirements which may be waived only by a vote of the members. 

Additional legislation was passed pertaining to Homeowners Associations and amendments to the governing Declaration.  New provisions have been established to streamline the process for getting mortgagee consent to amendments as well as notice requirements after a new amendment has been adopted and recorded.