You may recall that a few weeks ago I blogged about the fact that members in an HOA have far less protection than unit owners in a condominium. With the help of Jan Bergemann from CCFJ www.ccfj.net, and our lobbyist, I drafted legislation that would help HOA members throughout Florida. Here are the specifics of the first bill we are filing:
- Just like in condominiums, require members of H.O.A. Boards to become certified. Shouldn’t HOA Board members be required to know the law as well?
- The HOA statute would be amended to prohibit officers and directors from receiving any type of kickbacks from vendors who are awarded HOA contracts.
- Just like in a condominium, the HOA statute would be amended to require HOA directors and officers who want to do business with the association to disclose the relationship, and have two-thirds of the other directors vote in favor of same.
- Just like in a condominium, directors or officers who are arrested for stealing association funds would be removed from the Board pending a determination of their charges.
- Just like in a condominium, the association would be required to purchase insurance or fidelity bonding for all persons who handle association funds.
- Just like in a condominium, access to records would be available within five days and the association would no longer be allowed to charge personnel fees at an hourly rate to owners who want copies. Owners would also be allowed to use a cell phone or camera of their own to photocopy the records.
It would be difficult to come up with any reasons why any Florida Legislator would be opposed to such a bill and I certainly anticipate its passage.
The second bill we prepared and filed attempts to do the following
- Just like in condominiums, HOA’s would now regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. All owners would be required to pay $4.00 per year to the Division. In return, the Division would be able to provide document examiners, answer questions, provide educational materials, investigate wrongdoing and more.
- All HOA’s would be required to utilize the election procedures that condominiums use. If 20% of eligible voters participate in the election, the election will be valid and no longer would a 30% quorum of unit owners be required to attend the annual meeting in order to have a valid election. The condo election statute works and the HOA election procedures are woefully inadequate.
Over the next two months, we will keep you advised of the progress of the bills and what you MUST do in order to get these changes passed. Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option. If you want change, we are going to ask you for some help by getting involved and calling your local House member and Senator demanding their support for the bills. Let’s make some noise together and make sure that this coming legislative session is not wasted like last year’s session was. Buckle up….there’s a bumpy road ahead.