Important Legal Update!

29 Mar 2018

You may recall that on March 20th, our firm provided an update on certain legislation that may be entered into law this session. That update can be found here. Shortly thereafter, Governor Rick Scott signed HB617 into law; it is now Chapter 2018-55, Laws of Florida. A few days later, Governor Scott also signed HB841 into law; it is now Chapter 2018-96, Laws of Florida.

House Bill 617 and its resulting law amended and created several Florida Statutes. Perhaps most importantly for community associations, it revised the procedures for renewing a community association's covenants and restrictions. Some of the changes, which become effective October 1, 2018, are as follows:

  • Fla. Stat. Chap. 712 (the "Marketable Record Title Act") now expressly applies to all mandatory property owners' associations governed by Chapter 720, including commercial owners' associations, rather than only applying to residential homeowners associations;
  • Fla. Stat. § 712.05(2)(b) now provides an option for a simplified procedure for renewing covenants within a mandatory property owners' association before the 30 year renewal period expires, which where appropriate, and under certain conditions, may permit the Association to record a notice without a separately noticed Board Meeting;
  • A failure in indexing by the County Recording Office no longer affects the validity of a MRTA notice;
  • In certain circumstances, rather than having to attach a physical copy of the covenants, they may be incorporated by reference to the book and page or instrument number where they were recorded in the county's Official Records (a practice which could save significant recording costs); and
  • Fla. Stat. § 712.12 now provides a procedure for revitalizing covenants for communities not subject to a homeowners association.

If your community is approaching its 30 year anniversary, please contact us to discuss how we can assist your community in ensuring that your governing documents remain enforceable.

Additionally, as discussed in our prior legislative update, House Bill 841 and its resulting law also amended and created several Florida Statutes. Most of the changes contained within the law, which is effective as of July 1, 2018, involved changes to condominium associations(F.S. 718)... pushback until January 2019 for the requirement of a website for certain condos and changes to requirements for the website; changes to notice requirements for certain assessments; changes to board member term limits/multiple year terms (8 consecutive years, with certain exceptions); provisions for electronic notice of certain meetings under certain conditions; slight (but not nearly comprehensive enough) corrections to the recent changes to recalls in condominium associations; new standards for installation of electric vehicle charging stations on certain common elements in condos; changes to certain condominium association director conflict of interest statutes; and changes to fining procedures for condos (yet again!).

For Co-Ops (F.S. 719): new restrictions on service of co-owners on the Board (similar to condos); changes to notice requirements for assessments; changes regarding use of e-mail; changes regarding electronic notice of certain meetings under certain conditions; a statement as to the ability of delinquent directors to continue to serve on the Board (similar to condos); and changes to fining procedures (yet again!).

For HOAs (F.S. 720): new statements on the use by Board members of e-mail for communication; provisions for electronic notice of certain meetings under certain conditions; changes to fining procedures (yet again!); fairly substantial changes regarding amendments for HOAs (including new rental restriction language effective as of July 1 and requirements for underline and strike-through notice procedures like currently exist for condos); certain election changes where nominations are held in advance of the annual meeting; and changes re accord and satisfaction for collections efforts.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Public Relations Department.