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2018 Legislative Session Preview

The 2018 Legislative Session is scheduled to begin on January 9, 2018, and end on March 9, 2018.  The following are some of the bills that have been filed that, if passed, will have an impact on community associations.

HB 841/SB 1274, Relating to Community Associations.  Among other things, the bills make the bulk buyer law permanent; add new budget and reserve requirements for homeowners’ associations; and require a vote of the owners to be taken before a material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements.

HB 1061, Relating to Community Association Fire and Life Safety Systems.  This bill will allow high-rise condominiums and cooperatives to opt out of an engineered life safety system (ELSS).  It will also require buildings without fire sprinklers to post notice regarding the lack of fire sprinklers.

HB 873/SB 1238, Relating to Homeowners’ Associations.  Among other things, the bills require homeowners’ associations (HOAs) with 150 or more parcels to post digital copies of its official records on a website by July 1, 2019; prohibit the use of debit cards by HOAs; revise the recall procedures; create new criminal penalties; revise the association’s suspension rights; impose term limits; prohibit a board member, manager or management company from purchasing a parcel at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure; and provide for new conflict of interest provisions.

HB 123/SB 1366, Relating to Bullying and Harassment in Community Associations.  The bills are titled “Stand Up for Seniors Act” and appear to apply only to condominium and homeowners’ associations intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older.  The bills prohibit bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment and require associations to adopt, every 3 years, a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment.

SB 266/HB 617, Relating to Covenants and Restrictions, by Sen. Passidomo and Rep. Edwards.  These bills deal with the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA).  The intent is to simplify the process for preserving covenants and restrictions of homeowners’ associations, and allow non-residential property owners’ associations to preserve covenants and restrictions.  It will also allow non-mandatory homeowners’ associations to revitalize covenants and restrictions that have expired.

HB 377/SB 734, Relating to Homeowners’ Associations, by Rep. Stone and Sen. Baxley.  These bills provide for some regulation of homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”) by the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes (“Division”).

HB 625, Relating to Community Associations, by Rep. J. Cortes.  This bill requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to establish an Office of Community Association Hearings to employ community association hearing officers (instead of arbitrators) and revises the provisions related to alternative dispute resolution for community associations.

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