If you’re an HOA Board Member in Florida, you know taking care of your community is a difficult task. The state’s unique HOA laws often present significant hurdles for new board members and smaller community associations. Don’t worry, though! Here’s our helpful guide for what you’ll need to know about Florida’s unique HOA laws.
1. Florida’s HOA Laws are Governed by Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes
One of the most important things to understand about Florida’s HOA laws is that they are governed by Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. This chapter contains detailed provisions regarding the governance and operation of HOAs in Florida. It covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Membership and voting rights
- Board of directors and officers
- Finances and assessments
- Meetings and records
- Covenants and restrictions
- Dispute resolution
As an HOA manager, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of Chapter 720 and how it applies to your community.
2. HOAs Must Follow Strict Financial Reporting Requirements
Florida’s HOA laws require HOAs to follow strict financial reporting requirements. This includes preparing and submitting annual financial reports to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These reports must include a detailed breakdown of the HOA’s income and expenses, as well as information on any outstanding debts or liabilities.
Failing to comply with these reporting requirements can result in serious consequences for HOAs, including fines and legal action. For example, in the case of The Greens Condominium Association, Inc. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., the association’s failure to submit timely financial reports led to a lawsuit that ultimately resulted in a $4 million judgment against the association.
3. HOAs Must Follow Strict Rules Regarding Collections and Liens
Florida’s HOA laws also contain strict rules regarding collections and liens. HOAs have the authority to place liens on the property of homeowners who are delinquent on their assessments. These liens can be foreclosed upon if the homeowner continues to refuse to pay their assessments.
However, HOAs must follow a specific process before placing a lien on a property. This includes providing the homeowner with notice of the delinquency and an opportunity to pay the assessments before the lien is filed. Failure to follow this process can result in the lien being invalidated, as was the case in the 2017 decision of BBX Capital Real Estate v. 2700 North Ocean, LLC.
4. HOAs Must Follow Strict Rules Regarding Board Meetings
Even something as simple as board meetings are subject to rules outlined by Floridian lawmakers. These rules cover everything from how and when meetings must be noticed to how minutes must be recorded and distributed. Failure to follow these rules can result in legal challenges to board actions or even the removal of board members.
For example, in the case of Ventura at Turtle Creek Condominium Association, Inc. v. California Federal Bank, FSB, the association was found to have violated Florida’s HOA laws by failing to properly notice a board meeting. This led to a lawsuit that ultimately resulted in the association being forced to rescind its decision to approve a new roofing project.
Navigating Florida’s unique HOA laws can be a challenging task for any community, but with the help of a professional HOA management company like Ardent Residential, it can be a much smoother process. From financial reporting and collections to board meetings and dispute resolution, Ardent Residential is here to help your HOA thrive in the face of Florida’s HOA laws.
If you’re looking for an experienced partner to help guide your community through the complexities of Florida’s HOA laws, don’t hesitate to reach out to Ardent Residential today! Our team of experts is ready to help your association achieve its goals and succeed in the years to come. Call us today at 844-9-ARDENT to learn more about how we can help your Florida association thrive!