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Association Bills Abound at Start of 2019 Florida Legislative Session

As the 2019 Florida legislative session gets underway, all indications are that this will be a very busy year for new legislation affecting the more than 48,000 community associations in the state. Here are some of the bills that my fellow community association attorneys at our firm and I will be monitoring very closely:

HB 153 – Requires landlord to provide physical copy of any restrictive covenants that govern premises to tenant at specified time; requires written notice be provided to tenant of any changes to covenants within specified time.

HB 155, known as the Community Recall Act – Amend Section 720.303, F.S. to require owners living in an HOA to physically reside in the community in order to vote to recall a member of the board of directors.

HB 565 – Removes housing discrimination as cause of action for relief & damages stemming from violations of Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992; revises timeframe & conditions under which aggrieved person may commence civil action to enforce specified rights; authorizes, rather than requires, civil action after alleged discriminatory housing practice; authorizes civil action regardless of whether aggrieved person filed complaint with commission; prohibits aggrieved person from filing specified action in certain circumstances; provides exception.

Florida-legislature2HB 647 – Requires certain associations to post certain signs or symbols on buildings; requires State Fire Marshal to adopt rules governing such signs & symbols; provides for enforcement; revises provisions relating to evidence of association compliance with fire & life safety code; revises provisions related to retrofitting.

HB 721 – Provides that individual with disability who has emotional support animal is entitled to access to housing accommodation; prohibits housing accommodation from requiring such individual pay extra compensation; authorizes housing accommodation to request written documentation verifying individual’s disability or disability-related need under certain circumstances; specifies individual is liable for certain damage done by emotional support animal; prohibits falsification of written documentation or other misrepresentation; provides penalties.

HB 1075 – Revises & provides requirements relating to community associations, including contracts, documents, records, assessments, fines, liens, improvements, online voting, & electronic notice.

HB 1259 – Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes; Exempts Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund from provision authorizing Legislature, in General Appropriations Act, to transfer unappropriated cash balances from specified trust funds to Budget Stabilization Fund & General Revenue Fund; revises criminal penalties relating to acceptance of things or services of value or kickbacks; provides criminal penalties; revises criminal penalties relating to use of association debit cards; provides criminal penalties for fraudulent voting activities related to association elections.

SB 812 – Vacation Rentals: Requiring persons engaged in certain public lodging-related transactions to display a valid certificate of registration number in rental listings or advertisements; revising the inspection responsibilities of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants regarding vacation rentals; specifying the conditions under which a notice to depart a premises is effective; revising the classification of “vacation rental”, etc.

SB 824 – Private Property Rights of Homeowners; Preempting the regulation of vacation rentals to the state; requiring each person applying for a vacation rental license to provide the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation with specified information, etc.

SB 908 – Firesafety Systems; Revising the definition of the term “qualifying improvement” to include improvements to retrofit existing high-rise residential condominiums with certain fire sprinkler systems; requiring that condominium association bylaws provide requirements for the association’s reasonable compliance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code; specifying the date before which a local authority having jurisdiction may not require completion of installation of an engineered life safety system; authorizing condominium associations, under certain circumstances, to elect to be assessed certain taxes and assessments upon the condominium property as a whole, etc.

SB 1110 – Purchase of Condominium Units: Prohibiting business entities that are owned by a board member, manager, or management company, or in which such board member, manager, or management company has an ownership interest, from purchasing units at certain foreclosure sales, etc.

SB 1152 – Community Association Safety Systems; Providing that a certificate of compliance from a licensed professional engineer may be accepted as evidence of compliance with certain codes; revising the requirements for retrofitting units, association property, and common elements; prohibiting the local authority having jurisdiction from requiring completion of a retrofitting with certain systems before a specified date, etc.

SB 1196 – Vacation Rentals; Requiring licenses issued by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to be displayed conspicuously to the public; requiring the operator of a vacation rental or specified public lodging establishment to display its license number in advertisements; revising the criteria for a public lodging establishment to be classified as a vacation rental, etc.

SB 1246 – Construction Defects; Requiring courts to require parties in actions involving construction defects to take part in nonbinding arbitration; authorizing parties to agree to be bound by the arbitration award; requiring a jury verdict and a final judgment to contain specified information in certain proceedings, etc.

Our firm’s other association attorneys and I will continue to provide updates on the progress of this year’s community association bills in this blog. We encourage association directors, property managers and members to enter their email address in the subscription box on the right to automatically receive all our future blog posts.