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Three Bills That Deserve a Closer Look

HB 1153 (DuBose) and its companion bill SB 1270 (Farmer) seek to amend Section 501.172, F.S. to create the Florida Biometric Information Privacy Act.

A growing number of Florida associations use electronic means to keep fingerprints and other biometric information on file when guests and vendors enter the community. Biometric information can include a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voice print, or scan of hand or face geometry. Many boards are looking to use this kind of technology to control access to their communities and deter crime. A growing number of homeowners are also using video doorbells which record sounds and persons as an additional security measure in their communities.

HB 1153 identifies biometric information as any information, regardless of the manner in which it is captured, converted, stored, or shared which can be used to identify an individual. These bills would require private entities (which term includes community associations) to develop a publicly available written policy establishing a retention schedule for the biometric information they gather and guidelines for permanently destroying that biometric information after the purpose for which it was collected has passed or within three (3) years after the individual’s last interaction with the private entity whichever occurs first.

A private entity (which term includes community associations) would not be able to collect, capture, purchase or otherwise obtain a person’s driver license number, a Florida ID card, or a social security number unless the private entity informs the subject in writing that biometric information is being collected or stored; informs the subject of the specific purpose and length of term for which the information is being collected, stored and used and receives a written release from the subject.

CALL is concerned about this bill. While the state of Florida has an explicit privacy clause in its Constitution, there are legitimate security reasons for private entities like your community association to want to gather information about entrants to prevent crime, to help solve a crime and/or simply to enforce certain provisions of the governing documents when a crime or violation occurs. Your community should be able to use the latest technology to protect the person and property of your residents and enforce the governing documents. However, if your entry gate is backed up now, imagine the lines associated with providing this information and obtaining a written release from visitors as they enter the community.

HB 1153 is now in the Commerce Committee. You may email members of the Commerce Committee by clicking their email below:

Commerce Committee Chair:
Mike LaRosa – R. Dist. 42 (Osceola/Polk) – Mike.LaRosa@myfloridahouse.gov

Commerce Committee Members:
(Vice Chair) Jason Fischer – R. Dist. 16 (Duval) – Jason.Fischer@myfloridahouse.gov
(Ranking Member) Evan Jenne – D. 99 (Broward) – Evan.Jenne@myfloridahouse.gov
Robert Andrade – R. Dist. 2 (Escambia/Santa Rosa) – alex.andrade@myfloridahouse.gov
Bryan Avila – R. Dist. 111 (Miami-Dade) – Bryan.Avila@myfloridahouse.gov
James Buchanan – R. Dist. 74 (Sarasota) – James.Buchanan@myfloridahouse.gov
Joseph Casello – D. Dist. 90 (Palm Beach) – Joseph.Casello@myfloridahouse.gov
Javier Fernandez – D. Dist. 114 (Miami-Dade) – Javier.Fernandez@myfloridahouse.gov
Heather Fitzenhagen – R. Dist. 78 (Lee) – Heather.Fitzenhagen@myfloridahouse.gov
Brett Hage – R. Dist. 33 (Sumter/Laek/Marion) – Brett.Hage@myfloridahouse.gov
Al Jacquet – D. Dist. 88 (Palm Beach) – Al.Jacquet@myfloridahouse.gov
Tobin Overdorf – R. Dist. 83 (Martin/St. Lucie) – Toby.Overdorf@myfloridahouse.gov
Rene Plasencia – R. Dist. 50 (Brevard/.Orange) – Rene.Plasencia@myfloridahouse.gov
William Robinson – R. Dist. 71 (Manatee/Sarasota) – Will.Robinson@myfloridahouse.gov
Ray Rodrigues – R. Dist. 76 (Lee) – Ray.Rodrigues@myfloridahouse.gov
Anthony Sabatani – R. Dist. 32 (Lake) – Anthony.Sabatini@myfloridahouse.gov
David Santiago – R. Dist. 27 (Volusia) – David.Santiago@myfloridahouse.gov
David Silvers – D. Dist. 87 (Palm Beach) – David.Silvers@myfloridahouse.gov
Richard Stark – D. Dist. 104 (Broward) – Richard.Stark@myfloridahouse.gov
Cyndi Stevenson – R. Dist. 17 (St. Johns) – cyndi.stevenson@myfloridahouse.gov
Charlie Stone – R. Dist. 22 (Levy/Marion) – Charlie.Stone@myfloridahouse.gov
Jennifer Webb – D. Dist. 69 (Pinellas) – Jennifer.Webb@myfloridahouse.gov
Matt Willhite – D. Dist. 86 (Palm Beach) – Matt.Willhite@myfloridahouse.gov
Jayer Williamson R. Dist. 3 (Okaloosa/Santa Rosa) – Jayer.Williamson@myfloridahouse.gov

 


 

SB 824 Vacation Rentals (Diaz).

This bill is sounding alarm bells for many throughout Florida. The bill provides that “property owners who choose to use their property as a vacation rental have constitutionally protected property rights” and goes on to provide that “the regulation, of vacation rentals, including but not limited to, inspection, licensing and occupancy limits is expressly preempted to the state.”

Equally troubling is the following language found in the bill:

“Vacation rentals are residential in nature, a residential use and thus permitted in residential neighborhoods.”

Are vacation rentals truly residential in nature, though? A revolving door of new guests, particularly at high peak times like spring break might not seem particularly residential to the full-time residents in a community. And, vacation rentals have become big business for many owners who engage in year-round short-term rental activity.

Naturally, private residential communities with restrictions that either regulate or outright prohibit short-term rental activity are concerned that SB 824 may remove their ability to continue doing so, thus permanently altering the nature of the community. The issue becomes an even greater concern when the board faces the regulatory and retrofitting requirements applicable to structures that allow repeated short term rentals and are then categorized as a transient public lodging establishment under Chapter 509 of the Florida Statutes.

SB 824 will be heard in the Innovation, Industry, and Technology, 04/10/19, 1:30 pm, 110 Senate Building.

You may email the members of the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee by clicking their email below:

Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee Chair:
W. Simpson – R. Dist. 10 (Citrus/Hernando/Pasco) – Simpson.Wilton@flsenate.gov

Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee Members:
Lizbeth Benacquisto – R. Dist. 27 (Lee County) – Benacquisto.Lizbeth@flsenate.gov
Randolph Bracy D, Dist. 11 (Orange) – Bracy.Randolph@flsenate.gov
Rob Bradley – R. Dist. 5 (Baker/Bradford/Levy/Marion/etc.) – Bradley.Rob@flsenate.gov
Jeff Brandes – R. Dist. 24 (Pinellas) – Brandes.Jeff@flsenate.gov
Oscar Braynon II, – D. Dist. 35 (Broward/Miami-Dade) – Braynon.Oscar@flsenate.gov
Gary Farmer, Jr. – D. Dist. 34 (Broward) – Farmer.Gary@flsenate.gov
Audrey Gibson – D. Dist. 6 (Duval) – Gibson.Audrey@flsenate.gov
Travis Hutson – R. Dist. 7 (Flagler/St.John/Volusia) – Hutson.Travis@flsenate.gov
Kathleen Passidomo – R. Dist. 28 (Collier/Hendry/Lee) – Passidomo.Kathleen@flsenate.gov

 


 

HB 1075 (Rodriguez) seeks to amend certain portions of Chapters 627, 718, 719 and 720 of the Florida Statutes.

HB 1075 is currently a mixed bag. It is a 104-page bill so we will touch on only some of the more interesting changes proposed by this bill. Several of those changes are quite helpful while others may draw unnecessary fire as well as create unintended consequences.

One of the more positive aspects of HB 1075 is the clarification that the board member term limits passed two years ago will apply only to board service that occurs on or after July 1, 2018. This change is very helpful as conflicting information about how to calculate past board service to evaluate the applicability of term limits has created confusion throughout Florida.

Section 627.714(4) would be amended to provide that any insurance policy issued to an individual unit owner may not provide for the right of subrogation against the condominium association. A plethora of lawsuits brought by insurance companies seeking subrogation for every water leak has created the backlash seen in HB 1075. The concern, however, is that this language might make it more difficult for owners to obtain interior unit coverage known as an HO-6 policy and the goal in every multifamily building should be to have all units insured.

HB 1075 also provides that an association may not charge an applicant any fees to purchase or lease a unit, except the actual costs of any background check or screening performed by the association. The statute preserves the current language which permits an association to charge up to a $100 application fee for transfers. This language should be clarified. Can the association pass through all costs? What if the association uses a third party vendor to screen the applicant but the association’s management company also charges an administrative fee to handle the paperwork? Would both of those fees added together equal the “actual costs” of the background check or screening? What about the administrative cost to the association for staff? While it may be time for the $100 fee to be increased, some regulation of the permissible charges should be preserved and those charges that may be passed through should be described as clearly as possible.

Lastly, HB 1075 seeks to transfer the mediation process used by Florida HOAs for many years over to Chapter 718 as a replacement for the current arbitration process. There has been a great deal of concern about the arbitration and dispute resolution process lately and many believe the implementation of mandatory mediation will assist in earlier resolution of association disputes.

If this bill passes in its current iteration, condominium associations would need to participate in mandatory mediation prior to filing an action in court for any dispute between an association and a unit owner except for disputes relating to the collection of any assessment, fine, or other financial obligation. Chapter 720 would also be amended to import some of the arbitration criteria currently found in Chapters 718 and 719 to the mediation process.

Please be sure to speak with your Association attorney to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing mediation to settle a condominium or cooperative dispute as opposed to the current arbitration process.

HB 1075 is now in the Commerce Committee. You may email members of the Commerce Committee by clicking their email below:

Commerce Committee Chair:
Mike LaRosa – R. Dist. 42 (Osceola/Polk) – Mike.LaRosa@myfloridahouse.gov

Commerce Committee Members:
(Vice Chair) Jason Fischer – R. Dist. 16 (Duval) – Jason.Fischer@myfloridahouse.gov
(Ranking Member) Evan Jenne – D. 99 (Broward) – Evan.Jenne@myfloridahouse.gov
Robert Andrade – R. Dist. 2 (Escambia/Santa Rosa) – alex.andrade@myfloridahouse.gov
Bryan Avila – R. Dist. 111 (Miami-Dade) – Bryan.Avila@myfloridahouse.gov
James Buchanan – R. Dist. 74 (Sarasota) – James.Buchanan@myfloridahouse.gov
Joseph Casello – D. Dist. 90 (Palm Beach) – Joseph.Casello@myfloridahouse.gov
Javier Fernandez – D. Dist. 114 (Miami-Dade) – Javier.Fernandez@myfloridahouse.gov
Heather Fitzenhagen – R. Dist. 78 (Lee) – Heather.Fitzenhagen@myfloridahouse.gov
Brett Hage – R. Dist. 33 (Sumter/Laek/Marion) – Brett.Hage@myfloridahouse.gov
Al Jacquet – D. Dist. 88 (Palm Beach) – Al.Jacquet@myfloridahouse.gov
Tobin Overdorf – R. Dist. 83 (Martin/St. Lucie) – Toby.Overdorf@myfloridahouse.gov
Rene Plasencia – R. Dist. 50 (Brevard/.Orange) – Rene.Plasencia@myfloridahouse.gov
William Robinson – R. Dist. 71 (Manatee/Sarasota) – Will.Robinson@myfloridahouse.gov
Ray Rodrigues – R. Dist. 76 (Lee) – Ray.Rodrigues@myfloridahouse.gov
Anthony Sabatani – R. Dist. 32 (Lake) – Anthony.Sabatini@myfloridahouse.gov
David Santiago – R. Dist. 27 (Volusia) – David.Santiago@myfloridahouse.gov
David Silvers – D. Dist. 87 (Palm Beach) – David.Silvers@myfloridahouse.gov
Richard Stark – D. Dist. 104 (Broward) – Richard.Stark@myfloridahouse.gov
Cyndi Stevenson – R. Dist. 17 (St. Johns) – cyndi.stevenson@myfloridahouse.gov
Charlie Stone – R. Dist. 22 (Levy/Marion) – Charlie.Stone@myfloridahouse.gov
Jennifer Webb – D. Dist. 69 (Pinellas) – Jennifer.Webb@myfloridahouse.gov
Matt Willhite – D. Dist. 86 (Palm Beach) – Matt.Willhite@myfloridahouse.gov
Jayer Williamson R. Dist. 3 (Okaloosa/Santa Rosa) – Jayer.Williamson@myfloridahouse.gov

 


 

The foregoing bills are merely three of more than two dozen bills CALL is currently tracking on our members’ behalf. Please be sure to download the Bill Tracker found on CALL’s homepage at www.callbp.com for the most up to date information regarding all of these bills. CALL’s Bill Tracker is updated several times per week to reflect where the bills we are tracking are headed.

Tomorrow, the House’s Government & Technology Committee will be hearing HB 723 (Donalds) which is one of two ELSS retrofit bills. HB 723 extends the deadline to install an ELSS to the end of 2022 but imposes stiff ($500 per day) penalties if that deadline is not met. This bill is a step in the right direction in terms of a delayed deadline but not as helpful as Representative Grieco’s HB 647. You may email the members of the Government & Technology Committee by clicking their email below:

Government Operations & Technology Committee Chair:
Jayer Williamson – R. Dist. 3 (Okaloosa/Santa Rosa) – Jayer.Williamson@myfloridahouse.gov

Government Operations & Technology Committee Members:
Michael Grant – R. Dist. 75 (Charlotte) (Vice Chair) – Michael.Grant@myfloridahouse.gov
John Cortes – D. Dist. 43 (Osceola) (Ranking Member) – John.Cortes@myfloridahouse.gov
Robert Andrade – R. Dist. 2 (Escambia/Santa Rosa) – Alex.Andrade@myfloridahouse.gov
Bruce Antone – D. Dist. 46 (Orange) – Bruce.Antone@myfloridahouse.gov
Melony Bell – R. Dist. 56 (Hardee/Polk) – Melony.Bell@myfloridahouse.gov
Kamia Brown – D. Dist. 45 (Orange) – Kamia.Brown@myfloridahouse.gov
Kimberly Daniels – D. Dist. 14 (Duval) – Kimberly.Daniels@myfloridahouse.gov
Wyman Duggan – R. Dist. 15 (Duval) – Wyman.Duggan@myfloridahouse.gov
Jason Fischer – R. Dist. 16 (Duval) – Jason.Fischer@myfloridahouse.gov
Chip LaMarca – R. Dist. 93 (Broward) – Chip.LaMarca@myfloridahouse.gov
Anthony Sabatini – R. Dist. 32 (Lake) – Anthony.Sabatini@myfloridahouse.gov

 


 

On Wednesday, April 10th, the Senate Rules Committee will be hearing SB 1128 (Diaz) which is the bill that would criminalize fraudulent ESA requests. This bill needs YOUR STRONG SUPPORT if we are to stem the tide of fraudulent requests. You may email the members of the Rules Committee by clicking their email below:

Rules Committee Chair:
Lizbeth. Benacquisto – R. Dist. 27 (Lee) –
Benacquisto.Lizbeth@flsenate.gov

Rules Committee Members:
Audrey Gibson – D. Dist. 6 (Duval) – Gibson.Audrey@flsenate.gov
Lauren Book – D. Dist. 32 (Broward) – Book.Lauren@flsenate.gov
Rob Bradley – R. Dist. 5 (Baker/Levy.Suwanee/Marion/Etc.) – Bradley.Rob@flsenate.gov
Jeff Brandes – R. Dist. 24 (Pinellas) – Brandes.Jeff@flsenate.gov
Oscar Braynon II, D. Dist. 35 (Broward/Miami-Dad) – Braynon.Oscar@flsenate.gov
Gary Farmer, Jr. D. – Dist. 34 (Broward) – Farmer.Gary@flsenate.gov
Anitere Flores – R. Dist. 39 (Monroe/Miami-Dade) – Flores.Anitere@flsenate.gov
Travis Hutson – R. Dist. 7 (Flagler/St.John/Volusia) – Hutson.Travis@flsenate.gov
Tom Lee – R. Dist. 20 (Hillsborough/Pasco/Polk) – Lee.Tom@flsenate.gov
Bill Montford – D. Dist. 3 (Calhoun/Franklin/Gadsden/etc/) – Montford.Bill@flsenate.gov
Kathleen Passidomo – R. Dist. 28 (Collier/Hendry/Lee) – Passidomo.Kathleen@flsenate.gov
Jose Rodriguez – D. Dist. 37 (Miami-Dade) – Rodriguez.Jose@flsenate.gov
David Simmons – R. Dist. 9 (Seminole/Volusia) – Simmons.David@flsenate.gov
Wilton Simpson – R. Dist. 10 (Citrus/Hernando/Pasco) – Simpson.Wilton@flsenate.gov
Kelli Stargel – R. Dist. 22 (Lake/Polk) – Stargel.Kelli@flsenate.gov
Perry Thurston, Jr. – D. Dist. 33 (Broward) – Thurston.Perry@flsenate.gov

Lastly, many of you have asked what you can do to ensure that the most positive legislation passes this Session. Reading and sharing these CALL Alerts and using them to weigh in with your public policy makers is a good start.

Very Truly Yours,

Donna DiMaggio Berger, Founder & Executive Director
Community Association Leadership Lobby

Donna DiMaggio Berger

Donna DiMaggio Berger

Contact: dberger@beckerlawyers.com

Donna DiMaggio Berger is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), a prestigious national organization that acknowledges community association attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the evolution or practice of community association law and who have committed themselves to high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of community association law. Ms. Berger is also one of only 129 attorneys statewide who is a Board Certified Specialist in Condominium and Planned Development Law.