Reminder: New Laws Go into Effect on July 1, 2018
Dear CALL Members,
This is a friendly reminder that a number of new laws impacting condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations will go into effect on Sunday, July 1, 2018.
For a complete overview of the 2018 Legislative Session, download CALL’s 2018 Legislative Guide: https://www.callbp.com/florida-legislative-guide/
The following is a summary of the changes that will go into effect on July 1, 2018:
- The amount of time that condominium associations have to respond to a written records request is extended to 10 business days;
- A condominium association that manages more than 150 units must post a majority of its official records on a website by January 1, 2019;
- If a condominium association fails to comply with the division’s request to provide a unit owner with a financial report, the association may not waive the financial reporting requirement for the fiscal year in which the owner’s request was made and the following fiscal year;
- Condominium association meeting notices must be posted on the condominium property (not association property);
- Condominium and cooperative associations may, by rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting meeting notices and the agenda on the association’s website. Any rule adopted, in addition to other matters, must include a requirement that the association send an electronic notice in the same manner as a notice for a meeting of the members, which must include a hyperlink to the website where the notice is posted, to unit owners whose e-mail addresses are included in the association’s official records;
- A condominium association director may serve no more than eight consecutive years, unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting interests voting in the election or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies;
- A condominium or cooperative unit owner who consents to receive notice by electronic transmission is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of mass emails sent to members;
- Condominium recalls must be “facially valid” and a recalled board member may challenge the facial validity of the written agreement or the substantial compliance with the procedural requirements for the recall. A board member who is successful in challenging a recall is entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs from the respondents. The arbitrator may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the respondents if they prevail, if the arbitrator makes a finding that the petitioner’s claim is frivolous;
- A vote of condominium unit owners must be taken before a material alteration or substantial addition;
- A condominium association may not prohibit any unit owner from installing an electric vehicle charging station within the boundaries of the unit owner’s limited common element parking area, under certain circumstances;
- The condominium conflict of interest provisions (Sections 718.3026 and 718.3027) are amended to remove redundant provisions;
- Condominium and cooperative fining committees must be composed of three members who are not officers, directors, or employees of the association, or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer, director or employee.
- For condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations, if the proposed fine or suspension is approved by the committee, the fine payment is due 5 days after the date of the committee meeting at which the fine is approved. The association must provide written notice of the fine or suspension by mail or hand delivery to the unit owner, and if applicable, to any tenant, licensee, or invitee of the unit owner.
- The “sunset” date in the condominium “bulk buyer” law is removed, thereby making the bulk buyer law permanent;
- In a residential cooperative of more than 10 units, co-owners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time unless the co-owners own more than one unit or unless there are not eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy;
- Members of the board of a cooperative or homeowners’ association may use email as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on association matters via e-mail.
- A cooperative association director or officer that is more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the association shall be deemed to have abandoned the office, creating a vacancy in the office to be filled according to law;
- A cooperative association may enter into bulk contracts for communications services if provided by the bylaws;
- Amendments to homeowners’ association governing documents must be presented either with underlining and strike-throughs, or in a “substantial rewording” format. Further, an amendment to a governing document is effective upon recording in the public records; an immaterial error or omission in the amendment process does not invalidate an otherwise properly adopted amendment.
- Any notices required pursuant to Section 720.306 must be mailed or delivered to the address identified as the parcel owner’s mailing address on the property appraiser’s website for the county in which the parcel is located, or electronically transmitted in a manner authorized by the association if the parcel owner has consented in writing to receive notice by electronic transmission;
- An election of a homeowners’ association is not required if there are either an equal number or fewer qualified candidates than vacancies exist. If nominations from the floor are not required, write-in nominations are not permitted and such qualified candidates shall commence service on the board, regardless of whether a quorum is attained at the annual meeting;
- The application of payment made to a homeowners’ association (first to interest, then to any late fees, then to costs and reasonable attorney fees, and then to the delinquent assessment) applies regardless of any purported accord and satisfaction, or any restrictive endorsement, designation, or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment.