Hope everyone had both a happy and a healthy new year. I also hope you are all well rested and are now ready to stand-up and protect yourselves by demanding new laws that benefit our community associations. For the next few weeks, we will let you know what community association law bills have been filed in either The Florida House of Representatives or The Florida Senate. We will also keep track of their progress and tell you whether or not we believe they deserve a thumbs up or down. Let’s start:
HB 0137 (REPRESENTATIVE CORTES): Changes the HOA recall statute to allow directors to be recalled if 60% of the people who are living in the HOA vote to remove the current board or board member, rather than a majority vote of all of the owners. This bill is dead on arrival and will go nowhere. Just because someone does not live at the HOA does not mean that their vote is worth less than other owners who happen to live at the condominium. The recall statute is definitely broken, but this is not the way to fix it.
HB 0233 (REPRESENTATIVE CORTES): This bill would require the parties to attend arbitration, should pre-suit mediation fail. This bill is also DOA. As if the cost of pursuing a dispute is not expensive enough, this bill would require the parties to first mediate and then arbitrate before you finally get to tell your story to a judge. Under this bill, it would take you up to 90 days to get to a mediator, then several months or more in arbitration. Think of the costs and expenses. Bad idea.
CS/HB 476: 718.129 Law enforcement vehicles.—For condominiums, HOAs and co-ops, provides that an association may not prohibit a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(1), who is a unit owner, or who is a tenant, guest, or invitee of a unit owner, from parking his or her assigned law enforcement vehicle in an area where the unit owner, or the tenant, guest, or invitee of the unit owner, otherwise has a right to park. This bill is already breezing through The Florida Legislature and I see no obstacles in sight. This removes the fight about whether or not a law enforcement vehicle is a “commercial vehicle” that is typically prohibited. I think this is a great bill that is long over due.
Stay tuned……we will update you throughout the legislative session.