Florida Governor signs comprehensive condominium bill into law

On June 14, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a comprehensive condominium bill into law. House Bill 1021 (Community Associations) includes numerous statutory amendments that relate to condominium governance and association management, most of which become effective July 1, 2024. That means board members do not have much time to determine if and how these amendments, including those set forth below, may affect their condominium association or its operations.

Milestone Inspections. Currently, single-family, two-family, and three-family dwellings are exempt from the milestone inspection requirements. On July 1, 2024, four-family dwellings with three or fewer habitable stories above ground will also be exempt from Florida’s milestone inspection requirements.

Official Records. Regarding an association’s official records, House Bill 1021:

  • provides that associations have a good faith obligation to obtain and recover lost or destroyed records;
  • makes e-mail addresses and facsimile numbers accessible to unit owners if consent to receive electronic notice has been provided (but prohibits selling or sharing such information to 3rd parties);
  • effective January 1, 2026, decreases from 150 units to 25 units the threshold requirement for an association to make specified records available on its website or on a mobile device; and
  • requires associations to maintain additional financial records (invoices and other documentation that substantiates receipts and expenditures).

Budgets, Financial Reporting, and Reserves. House Bill 1021:

  • prohibits associations from reducing the required type of financial statement (compiled, reviewed, or audited) for consecutive years; and
  • requires associations to provide unit owners with a notice that the structural integrity reserve study is available for inspection and copying within 45 days of completion, which may be provided electronically.

Meetings of Condominium Associations. The bill requires:

  • associations of 10 or more units to meet at least once each quarter, and at least four times each year, the meeting agenda must allow members an opportunity to ask questions of the board; and
  • notices for assessment meetings to include the cost and purpose of the assessments and a copy of any proposed contract.

Voting. Regarding voting in condominium associations, the bill:

  • requires associations to notify unit owners at least 90 days before an election that their voting rights may be suspended due to nonpayment of a fee or other monetary obligation; and
  • allows owners to electronically consent to electronic voting in elections.

Hurricane Protections. House Bill 1021 revises the requirements for the installation of hurricane protection, including:

    Director Education. HB 1021 revises the education requirements for condominium officers and directors by requiring:

    • new directors to submit both the written certification that they have read the association’s governing documents, will work to uphold the documents to the best of their ability and faithfully discharge their duties, and submit a certificate of completion of an approved condominium education course;
    • four hours of training, including instruction on milestone inspections, reserve studies, elections, recordkeeping, finances, fines, and meetings;
    • directors to annually complete at least one hour of continuing education about recent changes to the condominium laws and rules during the past year; and
    • association directors to certify, on a form provided by the division, that all directors have completed the required written certification and educational certificate requirements.

    Division of Condominium, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. The bill expands the division’s post-turnover jurisdiction to include:

    • procedures and records related to various financial issues;
    • the election, removal and recall of board members;
    • maintenance of and access to association records;
    • meeting procedures (quorums, voting requirements, proxies, budget meetings, etc.);
    • conflicts of interest;
    • structural integrity reserve studies; and
    • written inquiries by unit owners to the association.

    Pre-Sale Disclosures and Requirements. House Bill 1021 revises the form in which the prospective purchaser acknowledges receipt of specified documents, including a copy of the association’s most recent annual financial statement and annual budget.

    Board members should be reviewing all new condominium-specific legislation, as well as any other applicable statutory amendments, to ensure compliance. A copy of House Bill 1021 is available here. Consultation with the association’s attorney may be necessary.

    The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk.

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