New HOA Laws Will Affect You

losing-money

By: Patti Lynn

If you live in a Homeowners Association in Tamarac, or anywhere else in Broward County, some new laws have been enacted which will affect you, your association, your financial records, and your property manager. The bills have not been sent to the Governor yet, so there is time for you to act.

HB 7119 is the most far-reaching of all of this year’s association bills. It will require that each association provide the Division of Building & Professional Regulation, (DBPR), the following information, by November 22, 2013:

  • Number of parcels in the association
  • Annual association income
  • Annual association expenses

Once that information is sent to the State, it automatically qualifies as “Public Information,” and is available to anyone who might ask for it. This is not required of condo & coop associations, just HOAs. Should you choose not to comply, and you have a property manager, that manager, or management company, will have their license censured.

The creators of the bill indicated to legislators, that their aim is to require a “per door” fee for each home in an association, just as they do for condos. That, my friends, is an additional tax on homeowners. You may remember that for the last 2 years, the state legislature has “raided” the condo “trust” fund in order to balance their budget. The $4.00 per condominium unit, that the legislature said was needed to oversee the associations’ operations was, obviously, way more than was necessary. Adding money from homeowners will just add more $$$ to their ever increasing bottomless slush fund.

Another provision in the bill is that, when documents are amended, the association must provide, to each member, a copy of the amendment(s) within 30 days of recording. Do you know how expensive that will be? You will have already have had to mail each member a copy of the proposed amendments. Now, after they are accepted, you have to do it again. Wasteful!

Another provision of HB 7119is that a Fidelity Bond must be purchased, for any board member with access to association accounts, in an amount equal to the annual gross receipts. Still another permits your association to charge up to $20.00 per hour for office personnel to provide required records.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Call, or email, Governor Rick Scott and ask him to VETO HB 7119.

He may be reached at: (850) 488-7146

EMail the Governor at: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

This bill has not yet reached his desk. Once it does, he will have 10 days to either sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

Act today.

About Patti Lynn

Patti Lynn has been a Broward County Resident since 1963 and a Resident of Tamarac since 2001. Retired as manager for the US Post Office, she is the mother of two children and has a grandchild. Patti is currently the President of the Broward Coalition which is a coalition of condominium associations, homeowner associations and community business organizations representing over 100,000 families in Broward County. She is also on the Board of Directors of Mainlands 8 of Tamarac Lakes 8.

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  • Mitch P.

    Likely governor will sign it. It’s got 13 yeas no nays in the House. I agree, some aspects appear burdensome, but then again, the record-keeping of numerous HOAs and their property manager counterparts have been giving homeowners the shaft for years.
    As far as copies. I believe an HOA can write into their documents clauses for electronic records which if share among hundreds will cut back on costs. Not sure though.
    That said, to a certain extent I’m glad these are the only HOA laws entertained by state lawmakers this year. The state needs to keep their hands out of community business and stick to water, sewer, public safety and education. That’s about all they can handle if that.

  • Joseph S.

    Patti, you’re just upset because you and the Broward Coalition spent a lot of time lobbying against this bill. In the end, you were only able to convince 4 of 155 state legislators that it was bad for we proletarians. I welcome anything that makes it harder for Boards, CAMs, and attorneys to steal my money.

    The other side of the H 7119 (S 580) story can be found at http://www.hoareformbill.net/.

  • Steve

    HOA’s use the services of the DBPR so they should pay for it like condo’s do. This should also allow the individual fees to be reduced. But the politicians need to keep their hands off the money.

    The bill doesn’t state how you are to provide copies of the recorded amendments. There is no requirement for mailing them. You could post them to a website, make them available at an office, or charge a person if they want a copy mailed.

    Records have to be saved for 7 years. If an owner is going to have office staff research through 7 yrs of records to find provide what they want and take the time to make copies, they owner should be charged.

  • Joe Delagdo

    As the Secretary of my Homeowner Association in Fort Collins, it’s sometimes a challenge trying to maintain work, family and my HOA duties . However, when I discovered Association Online all of that changed. No need to worry about piles of paperwork, their software is quite easy to use and all our HOA documents are stored and managed online. This allows our Board of Directors to operate in a more effective way. You should check them out at http://www.associationonline.com or call (970-226-1324). I highly recommend them for all Homeowner Association needs.