Bill Summary By
CCFJ Director for Legislative Affairs
Milena Macias, Esq.





HB 1203 (SUMMARY): Homeowners Associations


We should support this bill relating to Homeowners' Associations. This bill revises and amends provisions relating to homeowners' associations including criminal penalties for certain actions by officers, directors, or managers of HOA; the impact of HOA rules and covenants, including fines and suspension, attorney fees and costs, priority of payments.; the provision of HOA’s rules & covenants to members; fines and suspensions; attorney fees and costs; priority of payments; liens; appeals of certain decisions; prohibited clauses in association documents; & assessments.

The bill amends s. 720.303, F.S., and provides that officers and directors of a homeowners' association are subject to s. 617.0830 F.S. That provision means that a director must act in good faith, (basically just following the business judgment rule) in discharging his or her duties, and director and may rely on information of legal counsel, public accountants, or other persons as to matters the director reasonably believes are within the persons’ professional or expert competence. However, if the director has knowledge concerning the matter that would prevent reliance otherwise permitted, it will be deemed as through the director is acting in bad faith.

The bill adds a new sub section s. 720.303(1)(13) allowing that a parcel owner or any occupant, licensee, or invitee of the parcel owner to make a written request to the board for a detailed accounting of the amounts due to the association. In such event, the board shall provide such information within 10 days after receipt of the written request. If the board fails to respond within 10 days to the request, it will be deemed a complete waiver of any outstanding fines of the person who requested such accounting. In the event of an appeal, the bill requires that the appeals committee provide a written response to the owner within 7 days of the hearing. The bill amends 720.305 (2), F.S. so that a fine that amounts to less than 1 percent of the parcel's property value at the time the fine was levied may only become a lien against the parcel with approval by 75 percent (supermajority) vote aggregated to create a lien against a parcel.

The bill authorizes a parcel owner to appeal certain decisions of the association or certain committees of the association to an appeals committee, and in the event a violation is found, provides that the fine must be paid at least 30 days after the written notice The bill authorizes law enforcement officers to park their assigned law enforcement vehicles on their property, as well on the public road and rights of way.

The bill amends s. 720.3045, F.S. to authorize parcel owners or their tenants to install, display, or store clotheslines and vegetable gardens under certain circumstances that are not visible from the or that is not visible from the parcel's frontage or an adjacent parcel.
The bill also amends s. 720.3035, F.S.; prohibiting an association (or committees on architectural or construction) from enforcing or adopting covenants or guidelines that limits or places requirements on the interior of a structure that is not visible from the parcel's frontage or an adjacent parcel. In addition, the association and/or committee cannot enforce or adopt certain covenants or rules in their review on specifications and include central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, or ventilating system that are not visible from the parcel’s frontage. and is substantially like the present system.

The bill provides that the association cannot prohibit an owner from installing hurricane protection or home hardening, such as hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, or other similar protection that complies with or exceeds the applicable building code.

Another feature of this bill is that is geared to helping owners is that the association cannot preclude a property owner from inviting, hiring, or allowing entry to a contractor or worker on the owner's parcel solely because the contractor or worker is not on a preferred vendor list of the association. Additionally, homeowners' association documents may not preclude a property owner from inviting, hiring, or allowing entry to a contractor or worker on his or her parcel solely because the contractor or worker does not have a professional or an occupational license. In addition, the association may not require a contractor or worker to present or prove possession of a professional or an occupational license to be allowed entry onto a property owner's parcel.



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