2017 Legal Update for Homeowners Associations
2017 Legislative changes affecting condominiums, cooperatives, homeowners associations and mobile home parks.
INTRODUCTION: In the 2016 Legislative Session, 44 Bills which related to Community Association operations in Florida were brought before various Committees. However, the Legislature abruptly adjourned at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016, most of the community association legislation either dead in committee or never making it to the floor of the Legislature for consideration. There were some Bills which peripherally affect community association operations that were adopted and became Law on July 1, 2016.
A bill to be entitled: An act relating to discharging a firearm; amending s. 790.15, F.S.; prohibiting the recreational discharge of a firearm in certain residential areas; providing criminal penalties; providing exceptions. Effective upon becoming Law.
An act relating to military and veterans affairs; Creating Section 83.683, Florida Statutes setting a time frame for processing rental applications of service members in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners association. The law provides a 7 day deadline for processing rental applications for service members. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to fire safety; amending s. 633.202, 2 F.S.; providing definitions; revising provisions relating to certain structures located on agricultural property which are exempt from the Florida Fire Prevention Code; requiring that certain structures used for agritourism activity be classified; providing criteria for such classifications; providing that certain structures are subject to annual inspection; specifying applicable fire prevention standards; requiring the State Fire Marshal to adopt rules; revising certain dimensions of a tent that is exempt from the code; requiring that the State Fire Marshal adopt rules; amending s. 633.208, F.S.; authorizing a local fire official to consider a specified publication when identifying an alternative to a firesafety code. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to the repeal of a prohibition on cohabitation; amending s. 798.02, F.S.; deleting provisions prohibiting cohabitation by unmarried men and women. Effective upon becoming law.
An act relating to building codes; adding “single-family residence” to definition of “residence” in Florida Statutes Section 489.1402(1)(i). Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to mobile homes; amending s. 723.006, F.S.; revising certain notice requirements for written complaints; requiring the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes to adopt rules to implement board member training requirements; providing notice and requirements of such rules; amending s. 723.031, F.S.; authorizing a mobile home park owner to pass on non-ad valorem assessments to a tenant under certain circumstances; providing that a mobile home park owner is deemed to have disclosed the passing on of certain taxes and assessments under certain circumstances; requiring the non-ad valorem assessments to be a part of the lot rental amount; requiring that a renewed rental agreement remain under the same terms unless certain notice is provided; amending s. 723.059, F.S.; authorizing a mobile home purchaser to cancel or rescind the contract to purchase under certain circumstances; amending s. 723.075, F.S.; revising the rights that mobile home owners exercise if they form an association; authorizing mobile home owners to become members upon incorporation of the association; defining the terms “member” and “shareholder”; deleting provisions relating to memberships of successors to homeowners; amending s. 723.078, F.S.; specifying voting requirements for homeowners’ associations; specifying the requirements for a majority of votes; authorizing members to vote by secret ballot and absentee ballot; prohibiting the tape recording or videotaping of meetings between the board of directors or its committees and the park owner; amending s. 723.0781, F.S.; providing a date on which certain provisions are effective; providing that board members may not be considered in violation of such provisions until after a specified date. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to operations of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; amending s. 627.351, F.S.; specifying that a consumer representative appointed by the Governor to the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s board of governors is not prohibited from practicing in a certain profession if required or permitted by law or ordinance; revising the requirements for licensed agents of the corporation; revising provisions related to the corporation’s use of certain public and private hurricane loss-projection models in establishing certain rates; revising a provision to permit specified information from certain underwriting and claims files to be made available to certain entities; providing limitations for the use of such information by the entities; requiring the take-out program to be revised for specified purposes by a specified date; requiring the corporation to publish a periodic schedule of cycles during which an insurer may identify and submit policy take-out requests; specifying information required to be included in such requests; requiring the corporation to maintain and make available to the agent of record a specified list; requiring the corporation to provide policyholders and the agents of record with a specified notice regarding take-out offers. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to fire safety; amending s. 429.41, F.S.; requiring the State Fire Marshal to establish uniform firesafety standards for assisted living facilities; revising provisions relating to the minimum standards that must be adopted by the Department of Elderly Affairs for fire safety in assisted living facilities; clarifying the fees a utility may charge for the installation and maintenance of an automatic fire sprinkler system; providing an exemption from uniform firesafety code requirements for certain assisted living facilities. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to community development districts, including regulations related to merger of community development districts and scope of enforcement authority. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to residential facilities; amending s. 419.001, F.S.; specifying applicability of siting requirements for community residential homes; providing applicability with respect to local land use and zoning. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to growth management, which affects construction and phase development deadlines. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to service of process, adding virtual offices and executive offices or mini suites in the same manner as permitted for a service at a private mailbox. Effective: July 1, 2016
An act relating to construction of elevators inside a private residence. Effective: July 1, 2016
FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
61B-23.0021 Electronic Voting and 61B-23.00211 related to Electronic Voting
Federal Aviation Administration Operations Rules – Part 107
- Regulation of small unmanned aircraft systems (drones)
Fair Housing Act Standards
- Application to the use of criminal records for real-estate related transactions
If you have questions on anything referenced in this article you are welcome to join us on October 25th for this year’s 2017 Legal Update, covering the few changes to Community Association Law which went into effect on July 1, 2016. Usually, we are not safe when the Legislature is in session, but as you can see from the above, this year the impact on your operations is minimal. The session will also cover the proposed changes which did not pass, but which are guaranteed to reappear during the 2017 session. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
Ellen Hirsch de Haan, Esq.