Florida condominium associations with 150 or more units, which do not manage timeshare units, must have an independent website or web portal by July 1, 2018, according to Section 718.111, Florida Statutes. These websites or web portals can either be wholly owned and operated by the association, or operated by a third-party provider. It is important that associations that meet the 150+ unit prerequisite begin to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are in compliance with the new law by the July 1st deadline.
If your association utilizes a management company, the board of directors may wish to first reach out to the management company to determine if such company will be offering independent website or web portal services that comply with Section 718.111, Florida Statutes. However, even if your association’s management company will be providing such services, it is important that your community association’s counsel reviews your management contract to determine who owns the website, and confirms that all statutory-required documents have been uploaded to such website. If it is established that the management company reserves ownership of the site, your association’s counsel should then assess whether or not the agreement details the terms of transitioning the association’s website content. Ownership of the website will come into play if, and when, your association decides to terminate the management agreement, as the association may be accused of violating the law if such termination causes the website to be shut down for any period of time.
In light of the foregoing, associations may wish to consider hosting their own independent website. If creating an in-house website proves to be too burdensome, we encourage associations to contract third-party providers who can assist in developing a statutory-compliant website or web portal. Regardless of which option is chosen, your association’s board of directors should designate who will be in charge of uploading and updating the required documents to prevent any confusion or violation of the law in the future. It would also be to an association’s advantage to have association counsel review the website to make sure that it is in compliance with the new law. If you or your association’s representatives have any questions regarding this new legislation, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.