Strike-all Amendment to HB 1021
Representative Lopez’s HB 1021 just passed the Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee with a strike-all amendment without objection and will be heard next in the State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate counterpart to this bill, Senator Bradley’s SB 1178, does not currently match up.
The strike-all amendment to this bill impacts Chapters 468, 718, and 719 of the Florida Statutes. The following are some of the highlights of this new version of the bill. For the full bill text please click here.
- Provides that an association may not use common funds to pursue a defamation, libel, slander, or tortious interference claim against a unit owner if the owner has acted in good faith when making public statements that are critical of the operation or management of the association.
- Clarifies that community association managers and management firms may retain records for up to 20 days after their contract is terminated in order to complete an ending financial statement or report.
- Creates a rebuttable presumption of a conflict of interest for certain management activity and requires management disclosures of potential conflicts of interest
- Requires 90 days advance notice before a delinquent owner’s voting rights may be suspended.
- Provides that association records must be maintained in an orderly manner and if there are missing, lost, destroyed, or otherwise unavailable records, an association must make a good faith effort to recreate those records.
- Provides that a condominium association may satisfy a request for access to records by making the records available for download on the association website or through an application on a mobile device.
- Removes the requirement that the checklist made in response to a records request be accompanied by a sworn affidavit.
- Provides a first-degree misdemeanor for knowingly or intentionally defacing or destroying required accounting records or knowingly and intentionally failing to create or maintain required accounting records, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members.
- Provides that officers and directors charged with a specified criminal violation are deemed removed from office and a vacancy declared.
- Requires that meetings of the board of an association with more than 10 units must be at least once each quarter instead of four times a year.
- Removes the requirement that a special assessment must be recorded in the public records.
- Changes the retention period for an officer or director’s educational certificate to 7 years, instead of 5 years.
- Implements mandatory educational training for board members and creates criteria for that educational curriculum to:Clarifies that a majority of the members may vote to temporarily stop contributing to the reserves if there is a determination that the building is uninhabitable due to a natural emergency. Requires reserve contributions to immediately resume when the building is determined to be habitable.
- Require 4 hours of initial instruction.
- Requires specific instruction to include milestone inspections, structural integrity reserve studies, record-keeping, financial literacy and transparency, levying fines, and notice and meeting requirements.
- Requires a director to annually complete one hour of continuing education regarding the recent changes in the past year.
- Removes the prior provisions which would have allowed the association to use a line of credit to fund reserves.
- Clarifies jurisdiction of the Division after turnover from developer control occurs to include investigation of complaints alleging violations of the Condominium Act and other relevant rules or orders.
- Provides that the Secretary of the Division, instead of the Governor, must appoint the ombudsman and that the ombudsman no longer is required to be an attorney.
- Removes the term “planned” maintenance previously found in HB 1021 and changes it back to current the current term found in Chapter 718: “deferred” maintenance.
As always, bills can change dramatically as they wind through the committee process. Our CALL Team will continue to keep you informed about this year’s crop of community association legislation.