Joseph Adams of Becker and Poliakoff in Florida posted this detailed article of the new condominium laws that recently took effect.
None of these should have any bearing on their ability to get approved with HUD/FHA. The only one that overlaps a little is the changes to the Fidelity coverage. To me the language is kind of vague and says that coverage must be purchased in an amount sufficient to cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time.
I can see where this could be difficult to calculate especially in the event of unit owners prepaying common charges. The Board wouldn’t be able to predict this and account for it.
I think that HUD’s rule on this is better which says that the coverage should be 3 months aggregate of the common charges plus the amount held in reserve accounts. To me, that is much more straightforward yet still mitigates risk.
New HOA Laws Effective July 1Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A
Today, we will continue reviewing new laws for homeowners’ associations, often referred to as HOAs. The main changes for HOAs are found in House Bill 7119, which is now officially cited as Chapter 2013-218, Laws of Florida, effective July 1, 2013 and which amend Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, often called the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act:
• Reporting to DBPR: In what some see as a precursor to regulation of HOAs, every homeowners’ association must file a report with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) by November 22, 2013. The apparent intent of the statute is to allow state government to take inventory of how many homeowners’ associations actually exist in Florida. The DBPR is obligated to set up a registration system through the internet, no later than October 1, 2013. The law does not contain any penalty for noncompliance.
• Board Member Certification and Education: Chapter 720 has been amended to mirror the Florida Condominium Act. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, each HOA director must now certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has read the governing documents and will uphold them to the best of his or her ability. The director must also certify that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility. In lieu of written certification, newly elected or appointed directors may submit proof of attendance at an educational course, through a provider who has been approved by the DBPR.
• Insurance and Fidelity Bonding: All HOAs are now required to maintain a fidelity bond (sometimes called “crime coverage” or “theft insurance”) for all persons who control or disburse funds of the association. Coverage must be purchased in an amount sufficient to cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. The requirement for fidelity bonding may be waived annually by a majority vote of the voting interests of the HOA present at a properly called meeting of the association.
Next week, we will continue our review of the July 1 changes applicable to HOAs, and space permitting, begin exploration of those changes to the law that will affect condominiums and cooperatives.
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Check out my article in the latest issue of Common Interest magazine on page 19!