2018 Community Association Legislative Update

The legislature has again been busy.  During the recent legislative session it produced, and in March of 2018 Governor Scott signed, two bills impacting how community associations operate.

The first bill, entitled Chapter 2018-96, goes into effect on July 1, 2018.  It amends the Condominium Act, the Cooperative Act and the Homeowners’ Association Act.  Some highlights include the following:

  • For condominiums and cooperatives, the law has been amended to clarify how long official records must be kept and maintained, and the term now includes owner email addresses and electronic association voting records.
  • For HOAs and cooperatives, the law now provides that while board member may use email to communicate, votes should not be cast by email.
  • For HOAs, condominiums and cooperatives, the fine procedure has been clarified to ensure that no fine is imposed without the requisite 14-day notice and right to demand a hearing.
  • For HOAs only, in all future proposed amendments to the governing documents, new language must be underlined and deleted language must be stricken through.
  • For cooperatives only, co-owners may not serve on the board at the same time unless they own more than one unit or there are not enough eligible candidates to fill vacancies on the board.
  • For condominiums only, the rules regarding term limits have changed again.  Instead of limiting directors to four consecutive 2 year terms without a special membership vote, directors now may not serve more than 8 consecutive years on the board absent a special membership vote.

The second bill is Chapter 2018-55.  The law, which goes into effect on October 1, 2018, substantially modifies the Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”) and portions of the Homeowners’ Association Act.  Its aim, in part, is to simply the procedure by which HOAs can preserve their governing documents from being extinguished.  In addition, every HOA board is now required, at the organizational board meeting following the association’s next annual meeting, to “consider the desirability of filing notices to preserve the covenants or restrictions affecting” the community.

Community leaders should carefully review the new laws to ensure they and their organizations remain in compliance.

Post Date: May 2, 2018

By: Robert C. Chilton

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