The “Quick and Dirty” Mid-Legislative Session Update

10 Apr 2019

Today we are at the virtual halfway point of this year’s legislative session.  Most years there are a number of bills that are proposed that attempt to either regulate or impact community associations.  This year, that is an understatement.  We are currently monitoring more than eighty (80!) bills that seek to have an impact on residential communities and/or community associations. This article, while short, will emphasize those bills that we have seen moving quickly through the legislature that appear to have the greatest impact on our community association clients.

SB 610- This is this year’s omnibus bill for condominium associations.  As has been the trend over the last several years, the current iteration of this bill seems to impose greater penalties for “bad actors” and “bad actions” by associations and Board members, as well as increase the responsibilities of associations for official records productions, creating a website, and conducting elections. If the legislation as currently proposed becomes law, expect significant increases in costs to your condominium association. 

SB 908/1152 and HB 647/723- These bills address different approaches to the ongoing concerns over retrofitting of fire sprinkler and life safety systems in condominiums, especially including high rise condominiums, as well as signage and related issues. 

HB 1075- This is this year’s general omnibus bill relating to homeowners associations, cooperative associations, and condominium associations.  There are a large variety of topics addressed in this bill, including contracts, documents, records, assessments, fines, liens, improvements, online voting, and electronic notice.

SB 824 and HB 987- This bill relates to short term and vacation rentals.  In its current rendition, the bill would preempt short-term vacation rental and leasing covenants in homeowners associations and condominiums…making such rentals instead subject only to statewide regulation. 

SB1128 and HB 721- This bill attempts to place greater specificity on the rules and regulations related to emotional support animals.  What remains to be seen is what role federal regulations on these issues would play regardless of any Florida legislation on this topic.  

Please keep in mind that any of these bills may change substantially or fail before the end of the session.  Please also keep in mind that already-filed bills that do not appear to be progressing at this time may “come out of nowhere” and may progress quickly through the session. Clayton &McCulloh will make every effort to keep you informed of how the legislature’s actions may affect you and your association.