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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 630 — Community Associations

by Rules Committee; Regulated Industries Committee; and Senators Baxley, Hutson, and Rodriguez

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill revises the regulation and governance of condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations under chs. 718, 719, and 720, F.S., respectively. The bill authorizes condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations to extinguish discriminatory restrictions in recorded title transactions.

For condominium associations, the bill:

  • Prohibits a unit owner’s insurance policy from including rights of subrogation against the association if the association’s policy does not provide subrogation rights against the unit owner;
  • Provides that a multicondominium association may adopt a consolidated or combined declaration of condominium if such declaration complies with the requirements for the creation of a condominium, does not merge the condominiums, or change the legal descriptions of the condominium parcels, unless accomplished in accordance with law;
  • Reduces the time period an association must maintain official records of bids for work, equipment, or services to be performed from seven years to one year after receipt of the bid;
  • Allows a renter to inspect and copy the declaration of condominium.
  • Permits associations with 150 or more units to make official records available for inspection through an application that can be downloaded to a mobile device;
  • Provides that only a board member’s service that occurs on or after July 1, 2018, may be used when calculating a board member’s term limit;
  • Permits associations to electronically transmit the written notice of a meeting;
  • Increases the maximum permissible fee an association may charge for the transfer of a unit from $100 to $150, and provides for the adjustment of the fee every five years to an amount equal to the total annual increases in the Consumer Price Index during that period;
  • Removes the prohibition against an association employing or contracting with any service provider that is owned or operated by a board member or person who has a financial relationship with a board member or officer;
  • Permits unit owners to install a charging station for an electric vehicle or a natural gas fuel vehicle on a parking area exclusively designated for use by the unit owner. The unit owner is required to be responsible for the costs related to the installation, maintenance, and removal of the charging station for an electric vehicle or a natural gas fuel vehicle;
  • Authorizes the board of administration to make available, install, or operate an electric vehicle charging station or a natural gas fuel station upon the common elements or association property, and to establish the charges or the manner of payments for the unit owners, residents, or guests who use the electric vehicle charging station or natural gas fuel station;
  • Provides that a condominium developer may expend escrow funds to satisfy actual costs of construction and development, but excludes other specified costs, such as marketing costs, loan expenses, professional fees, and insurance costs;
  • Repeals the requirement that the condominium ombudsman must maintain his or her office in Leon County.

For cooperative associations, the bill:

  • Provides that an interest in a cooperative unit is an interest in real property; and
  • Permits board or committee members to appear and vote by telephone, real-time video conferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication.

For homeowners’ associations, the bill:

  • Removes an association’s rules and regulations from the definition of the term “governing documents;”
  • Permits an association to adopt, by rule, procedures for posting meeting notices and agendas on a website and emailing members meeting notices and agendas;
  • Requires sign-in sheets, voting proxies, ballots, and all other papers related to voting to be maintained as official records for at least one year after the event;
  • Makes confidential any information an association obtains in connection to guests visiting homeowners in a gated community;
  • Clarifies the situations in which an association is obligated to create or fund association reserve accounts;
  • Specifies the types of expenses the developer is not obligated to pay;
  • Provides that any governing document or an amendment to a governing document of a homeowners’ association enacted after July 1, 2021 prohibiting rentals or regulating rental rights applies only to a parcel owner who acquires title to the parcel after the effective date of the governing document or amendment or who consents, individually or through a representative, to the governing document or amendment;
  • Allows associations to prohibit or regulate rentals for less than six months or to prohibit rentals more than three times in a calendar year and to apply such prohibitions or regulations to all parcel owners, regardless of when the parcel owner acquired title to their parcel or whether they consent to the amendment;
  • Exempts homeowners’ associations with 15 or fewer parcel owners from the provisions in the bill related to rental rights;
  • Provides that a change of ownership does not occur for purposes of applying an amendment restricting rental rights when a parcel owner conveys the parcel to an affiliated entity, when beneficial ownership of the parcel does not change, or when an heir becomes a parcel owner; and
  • Revises the conditions under which non-developer members of a homeowners’ association are entitled to elect the majority of the board, to consistently distinguish between developer members and non-developer members.

For condominium and cooperative associations, the bill:

  • Prohibits an association from requiring members to demonstrate any purpose or state any reason for inspecting official records; and
  • Provides a process to resolve disputes by initiating presuit mediation as an alternative to mandatory nonbinding arbitration by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes (division) within the Department of Business the Professional Regulation.

For condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations, the bill:

  • Provides that recall and election disputes are not eligible for mediation and must be arbitrated by the division or filed in court;
  • Provides additional emergency powers to respond to injury and to an anticipated declared state of emergency; and
  • Clarifies that payment of a fine is due five days after notice of the fine is provided to the unit owner, tenant, or invitee of the unit owner.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 114-0