It’s that time of year again when The Florida Legislature convenes in order to debate and pass new laws.  There’s always at least a few bills that have something to do with our Florida community associations.  Over the next few weeks, we will discuss the bills that have been filed, track their progress and give you our thoughts. Here are but a few:


House Bill 155: gives the right to 10 percent of the voting interests who physically reside in the community to initiate a recall meeting.  In other words, it dilutes the importance of those unit owners who own in the community but may not choose to live their full time.  Opinion: not worth the paper it’s written on.  Out of town owners pay the same assessments that in town owners do and are entitled to nothing less than equal rights.  I can’t imagine this bill going anywhere.


House Bill 153: (5)  The landlord shall provide the tenant with a physical copy of any restrictive covenants governing the use and occupancy of the premises at the time the landlord and tenant execute a rental agreement. The landlord shall provide the tenant written notice by certified mail of any changes to the covenants or the enforcement of the covenants within 10 business days.  This may be overkill.  I can see having to provide the tenant a copy of the rules and regulations that govern everyone’s conduct – but why would a tenant need a complete set of the declaration?


House Bill 389: Before entering into a rental agreement, the landlord, or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord’s behalf, must provide written notice of the tobacco smoking policy to the tenant or potential tenant stating whether tobacco smoking is authorized, prohibited, or limited to specified areas on the premises. If tobacco smoking is limited to specified areas, the notice must clearly specify the areas in which smoking is authorized. The landlord, or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord’s behalf, must obtain written acknowledgment of receipt of the notice from the tenant or potential tenant before entering into the rental agreement.  I don’t think I like this bill either.  Suppose the landlord incorrectly indicates the wrong place in the condo where smoking is allowed?  Now, can the tenant get out of the lease?


House Bill 565: removes housing discrimination as a cause of action for certain relief and damages stemming from violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.  Victims of Housing Discrimination would still have causes of action under both the Florida and Federal Fair Housing Acts.  So, this does not seem as bad as it may sound.


What are your thoughts?  Next week we’ll talk about other bills that have been filed.

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