Courtesy of The Real Deal
Published May 8, 2017
The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill that would
impose sweeping changes to condominium violations.
Senate bill 1682
imposes criminal punishments on violations that include
fraud, falsifying information, failing to provide financial
information, stealing, manipulating records and more. It was
sponsored by Hialeah Republican Sen. René Garca and Miami
Democrat José Javier Rodríguez, El Nuevo Herald reported.
The bill is now headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk, and would
become law on July 1.
On the Senate floor on Monday, Garcia said some homeowners’
associations had become “mini dictatorships” or
“totalitarian regimes.” The legislation makes withholding
condo information, to commit or cover up a crime, a felony.
Greater Downtown Miami
Electoral fraud in condos, which is widespread in
Miami-Dade, isn’t typically investigated by police and prosecutors because
criminal penalties aren’t mentioned in the current statutes governing
If Scott signs the bill, condo associations with more than 149 units will be
required to publish password-protected financial reports online, board
directors will be term-limited, and directors would not be allowed to
receive money from their associations or be allowed to hire their relatives,
according to El Nuevo Herald.
The newspaper, along with Univision, has been covering condo fraud as part
of its “Condo nightmares” series. The Miami-Dade Police Department has been
cracking down on fraud: last year, a former accounting assistant accused of
stealing nearly $150,000 from a condo association in Kendall was arrested
and charged with first-degree grand theft.
In a separate case, a former condo manager and two relatives pleaded guilty
in October to theft-related charges tied to managing an older condo complex
in North Bay Village.