As of July 1, 2013, the following changes to the House Bill 7119 have gone into effect.
Reporting to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR): In an attempt to take an accurate inventory of the number of homeowner’s association in the state, it is required by law that all Florida HOA’s report to the DBPR by November 22, 3013.
Board Member Certification and Education: Within 90 days of being elected or appointed to the board of a Florida homeowner’s association, the director is required to provide written agreement to the secretary of the association that he/she has read the governing documents and will uphold them to the best of his/her ability. Alternatively, newly elected or appointed directors may instead submit proof of attending an educational course through a provider that has been approved by the DBPR.
Insurance and Fidelity Bonding: All HOAs are required to maintain a fidelity bond (also known as “crime coverage,” “theft insurance” or “employee dishonesty coverage”) for all individuals who control or disperse association monies. Coverage is to be purchased in an amount sufficient to cover all reserved funds. This requirement may be waived annually by a majority vote of the voting interests of the HOA at an official association meeting. Although this legislation is designed to cover members of the board, it is also advised that the property management company (if applicable) also be endorsed on the policy, as well as all their employees with ties to that particular HOA’s financial accounts. If the property management company currently covers employee theft on their business insurance policy, one might think this would also cover their HOA’s accounts; however, this only provides coverage for accounts owned by the property management company, not individual HOA accounts that are owned by the individual associations. Since the HOA account is owned by the association, not the property management company, the association would need coverage in the event of theft, not the property management company.
Homeowner’s access to official records of the association: Records must be maintained for seven years, and within 45 miles of the community or within the same county. HOA records are permitted to be maintained electronically.HOA members are authorized to photograph records at no charge; however, additional restrictions have been placed on copying costs.
For more information regarding Florida Homeowners Association laws, click here.