Major Changes In Florida Community Association Law
On July 1, 2021, Senate Bill 630 was signed into law by Florida’s governor, making sweeping alterations to several of Florida’s community association laws. Major changes have come into effect with the law’s passage, and if you are a member of a homeowners’ association (HOA) or are under the aegis of a condominium board, it is a good idea to make yourself aware of the alterations to the law. Life happens fast, and no one knows when bad luck might befall them.
Restrictions on Rental Agreements. One of the major parts of SB 630 is amending the state’s laws on homeowners’ associations to allow HOAs to impose a 6-month minimum rental requirement and limit rentals to no more than three times a year. This part of the law is clearly aimed at those who use their homes as temporary time-shares or “Air B&Bs” to make extra money, which can be divisive and disruptive to many HOAs. SB 630 also establishes that any amendments regarding rental restrictions do not apply to owners who join the association after July 1, 2021 (unless they consent to be bound by the amendment). This essentially brings HOA law into line with condominium law.
Emergency Powers Grant. While most condo boards and HOAs have emergency powers, many of those only previously applied in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane. SB 630 makes these powers both preventative (to a certain degree) and specifies that they do apply during contagion issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This is considered highly overdue in general, given that since the start of the pandemic, community associations have often needed to make decisions for the welfare of their members, but lacked the concrete authority to do so.
Greater Access To Records. Until recently, condominium owners were not able to inspect or copy their declaration, but SB 630 both permits more documents like this to be inspected without requiring a reason from the condo owner. The new law also requires condo associations with more than 150 units to have a website from which certain records must be accessible. The law actually permits this information to be conveyed via app instead of website, but this is not something many community associations have adopted yet.
More Options For Board Members. If members of condo or co-op boards or HOAs are recalled, they could formerly only contest such a measure via arbitration. The new law allows them to file suit in the relevant court, though pre-suit alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is required before doing so. Mediation is also a new option for that ADR period.
Contact A Tampa Community Association Attorney
While there are other provisions in SB 630, even just taking these into account shows that things have changed for community associations in Florida. If you have questions or concerns about your association, enlisting an experienced Tampa HOA & condo association attorney may help to get them managed. Attorney Alicia Seward and the Seward Law Office are happy to try and assist you. Contact our offices today via our website, or on the phone at 813-252-6789.