SB 714 Most Significant Change for Community Associations. Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) summarizes changes resulting from SB 714.
While there were a number of bills filed and debated this legislative session, not many of them passed. SB 714, filed by Senator Jones, modifies the insurance provisions of the Condominium Act, extends the deadline for high-rise fire safety retrofits, clarifies board eligibility issues and repeals a law requiring an alternate power source for elevators under certain circumstances. As of the date of this post the bill has not been signed into law. Some of the changes include:
- Condominium Unit insurance policies (“HO-6”) issued or renewed after July 1, 2009 will include at least $2,000.00 loss assessment coverage.
- F.S. 718.111(11) now refers to “property” insurance instead of “hazard” insurance.
- Removes some of the detail required in the notice of the board meeting to set the insurance deductible for the master policy.
- Removes the requirement for each condominium unit owner to purchase contents (HO-6) coverage
- Removes the requirement to name the Association as a loss payee and an additional insured on HO-6 policies issued to condominium unit owners.
- F.S. 718.112(2)(d)1 will allow co-owners to serve on the same board of directors if they own more than one unit and are not co-occupants of a unit.
- Directors will be disqualified from serving on the board by F.S. 718.112(2)(d)1 to include special assessments and fines within financial delinquencies that can disqualify a director.
- Pre-election candidate certification forms are no longer required. However, within 90 days of election, each newly elected Director shall certify that they have read the Condominium Documents, that they will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of their ability, and that they will faithfully discharge their fiduciary duty. In lieu of this certification, the newly elected Director may submit a certificate of satisfactory completion of educational curriculum administered by a Division-approved education provider. Failure to comply will result in disqualification, but does not affect the validity of any appropriate action taken by the board.
- F.S. 718.112(2)(l) will be modified to push the deadline for sprinkler retrofitting from 2014 to 2025.
Fire Alarm Systems:
- F.S. 633.0215 would provide that a condominium that is one or two stories in height and has an exterior means of egress corridor is exempt from installing a manual fire alarm system as required in s. 9.6 of the most recent edition of the Life Safety Code adopted in the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
- Timeshare condominiums would not be subject to the requirement that the terms of all members of the board expire at the annual meeting unless otherwise permitted by the bylaws.
- Co-owners could serve on the board of a timeshare assocaition at the same time.
Generators for Elevators:
- Section 553.509(2), Florida Statutes would be repealed meaning multifamily dwellings of at least 75 feet in height will not need at least one public elevator capable of operating on an alternate power source for emergency purposes and to have a written emergency operations plan.
Community Association’s Institute’s Florida Legislative Alliance also announced its review of the 2009 Florida Legislative Session. It’s Chairman, William D. White, announced that the 2009 Regular Session was extended by a week to enable the Legislature to complete its work on the 2009/10 Appropriations Act. CAI continued to work on the submerged land lease issue which greatly impacted DEP’s (Department of Environmental Protection) budget. SB 1012, originally slated to increase fees payable by community associations for submerged land leases, died in Conference Committee.
CAI-Florida Legislative Alliance (CAI-FLA) and it Lobbyist, Travis Moore, spent many, many hours working on community association legislation right through the final weeks of the session. This included significant work on SB 880/HB 831, SB 714/HB 419, SB 2302/HB 1397, HB 27, SB 998, etc. Mr. Moore met numerous times with Senator Nancy Detert working on “right of first refusal” language for mobile home associations which passed the Senate but failed to pass the House before the session ended. Additionally, there were numerous meetings with various interest groups, committee staff, and scores of legislators including Senators Fasano, Deutch, Ring, and other Senators, as well as Representatives Frishe, Robaina, Sachs, Jenne, Holder, Ambler, Grady and Domino.
The CAI-FLA-sponsored bill, SB 880, was passed out of the Senate Regulated Industries, Senate Community Affairs’ Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. It made it to the Floor of the Senate. However, ultimately the legislation died.
Bills of Industry Interest Passed by the Legislature
CAI-FLA also announced that it will be working with the leaders of the Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) and other organizations to draft legislation addressing financial burdens on associations from the existing lender caps. In addition to the collection statute, CAI-FLA will continue to work on language for a “Distressed Condominium-Bulk Buyer” program to better define the role of foreclosing institutions when taking control of failed communities with defaulted developer loans.