New Florida Association Laws

Starting July 1st, 2010 the new laws (including SB 1196) that were passed in Florida for 2010 go into effect, and there are several provisions that directly relate to association living. Below are some items addressed by the new laws that give associations new tools to combat delinquencies.

Collections:
Florida Statute 718 and 720 will be amended to allow associations to demand payment of future rent from a tenant that rents a property, which is currently being rented out and the owner of that property is delinquent in their association accounts. The landlord must credit the tenant for any amounts paid to an association after such a demand. An association may evict a tenant who refuses to comply with the demand of payment from an association.

Also changed is Florida Statute 718.116, affording a condominium association the same protection as an HOA, allowing for the previous 12 months worth of assessment to be collected from a bank foreclosing on a property (up from the previous 6 months), or 1% of the mortgage amount.

Suspension of common area rights:
Under the new laws, associations can suspend the rights of delinquent owners from using such amenities as the clubhouse, pool and fitness area. These rights can only be suspended if the owner is 90 days delinquent. Keep in mind however, that use of limited common area (parking spaces, balconies, ect..), utility services, elevators, or means of access to a unit cannot be suspended. There also must be board approval and notice to the owner, in order to suspend such use.

As with most new laws, there may be some clarification that needs to be done. For example, something that is currently being discussed, is while association will be able to suspend privileges for delinquent owners under these new laws, they cannot suspend utility privileges for owners, and as such, would cables services provided by an Association be considered a utility, or can cable services be suspended?

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