Week One and All's Well...So Far

The first week of the 2017 Legislative Session is in the books - and no citizens, children, or small animals have been harmed.

Week one is typically full of pomp, circumstance and ceremony. However, bills can, and do make their way through committees. The new bill filing deadline of noon has now passed, so your Community Association Network (CAN) team has a full picture of the new proposed laws that can really affect you.

Jail Time? Really?

HB 1237 is a NEW proposed law relating to volunteer Board Members providing for felonies and misdemeanors imposed on Board Members. If this bill passes in it's current version, it will have a chilling affect on those volunteering to serve on Florida's more than 50,000 community associations.

Update on estoppel

As we've said before, the high-profile issue facing community associations is estoppels. There is an all out war going on. Fortunately, CAN and other advocacy partners are working in good faith with bill sponsors Senator Passidomo and Representative Donalds to craft a reasonable, balanced solution that works for everyone, including homeowners and associations. Those discussions are ongoing and productive, and we look forward to continuing them.

The new and the old

Last week, we shared other legislation that has implications for community associations. Those bills, discussed in detail, include language regulating board elections, non-binding arbitration, vacation rentals, and financial reporting.

There are many other bills CAN is watching closely for you, especially since bills can sometimes become vehicles to carry negative amendments, (that become BINDING NEW LAWS IN YOUR COMMUNITY). Rest assured, CAN will be ready if that happens - we're monitoring all legislation affecting community associations, good and bad. We will report and educate as we always do. The below are a few of the new proposed law we are monitoring:

HB 115: Cable and video service agreements

Filed by Rep. Barrington Russell of Lauderdale Lakes, this bill states that cable providers must clearly state in service agreements whether service will automatically be renewed without the customer's written consent.

HB 295: New chapter re: Condominium Trust Fund

Filed by Rep. Charlie Stone of Ocala. Among other provisions, the bill increases the penalty for not providing official records to homeowners to $500/day for 30 days, up from $50/day for 10 days; prohibits management companies from indemnifying from this provision; prohibits reimbursement to association manager for certain fines.

SB 318: New chapter re: covenants and restrictions

Filed by Senator Passidomo, this bill creates a new section.

The bill authorizes community associations to protect certain covenants and restrictions from extinguishment.

Watching out for you

As Florida's lawmakers hunker down in week two and dive deeper into the thousands of bills filed annually, we'll keep you posted on the latest developments from Tallahassee.

We promise to report on new bills, amendments and activities that affect you and your neighbors, In the meantime, know that we're here to help.

Yours in Community,

Alan Garfinkel

Community Association Network (CAN)

Chairman of the Board of Directors




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