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Association board members hold the keys to ensuring the vitality and harmony of homeowners’ communities. If you’re an association board member in Florida, it is essential to understand the implications of HB 919 as it relates to your roles and responsibilities under Florida’s Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) Laws. The bill was signed into law on June 12, 2023 and becomes effective October 1, 2023.

Understanding Florida HOAs and the Impact of HB 919

In Florida, HOAs are responsible for keeping our neighborhoods looking good and working well. Homeowners in these communities automatically become part of the HOA family when they buy a property. The HOA can charge homeowners fees, which might lead to a lien on their property if these fees aren’t paid. HOAs also have the power to give fines or take away certain rights if homeowners break the community rules.

HB 919: What It Means for You

This legislative measure introduces a series of amendments that homeowners and association leaders alike must comprehend to navigate the evolving landscape:

  1. Enhanced Accountability for Officers and Directors. HB 919 lays out stringent provisions for HOA officers and directors. In a bid to uphold the integrity of these leadership roles, the bill mandates the removal of an officer or director if they are charged with specific crimes. These include forgery related to elections, theft or embezzlement of HOA funds, destruction of records, and obstruction of justice. This safeguard ensures that ethical and responsible leaders safeguard homeowners’ interests.
  2. Changes in Fines and Suspensions. HB 919 introduces a requirement for HOAs to give homeowners a minimum of 30 days’ notice and hold a committee hearing before imposing fines or suspensions. This allows homeowners to defend themselves and ensures the process is more transparent and fair. Additionally, homeowners can rectify a violation before the hearing to avoid fines or suspensions. If the violation is addressed within 30 days of receiving the notice, fines are reduced by half, and suspensions are lifted.
  3. Transparency and Conflict of Interest. HOA officers and directors are now mandated to disclose any activity that could be perceived as a conflict of interest. This disclosure promotes responsible decision-making and engenders trust within the community.
  4. Keeping Elections Fair. HB 919 addresses fraudulent voting activities that could compromise the fairness of HOA elections. The bill classifies actions such as providing false information, attempting to influence votes through bribery or intimidation, or altering ballots as misdemeanors. This provision protects homeowners’ rights, resulting in more just and transparent HOA elections.

Bottom Line

By grasping these new rules and their impact, you’re equipped to make thoughtful decisions that benefit homeowners and enhance the neighborhood’s spirit. Your dedication to transparency and accountability helps create a more harmonious and thriving living environment.