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2021 Legislative Update - Condominium Associations

As you may be aware, the Florida legislature was quite active this year and passed several bills affecting condominium associations. These laws took effect on July 1, 2021. The following provides a brief summary of some of the more significant changes made of which you should take note (this is not an exhaustive list). Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. § 718.111(12)(a)11 and (b), Florida Statutes Bids for work or for materials, equipment, or services must be kept at least 1 year after receipt of the bid. § 718.111(12)(c)1 Florida Statutes An association cannot mandate that unit owners provide reasons to inspect official records. Renters must be given access to the declaration, bylaws and rules, but they have no rights to other official records. § 718.112(2)(d)2, Florida Statutes Board member 8 year terms limits shall run from the first day of any term beginning on or after July 1, 2018. Clarifies that the 8 years does not include any time served prior to July 1, 2018. § 718.112(2)(d)2, Florida Statutes Members of an association’s board of directors can be disqualified only for a delinquency in the payment of assessments instead of “any monetary obligation” (which was the previous language, and included fines). § 718.112(2)(f)1, Florida Statutes The board must adopt the association’s annual budget at least 14 days prior to the start of the association’s fiscal year. If a board does not adopt a new budget as required, the prior budget shall stay in effect until a new budget it adopted. Failure to timely adopt a budget twice shall be deemed a “minor violation” and could subject the association to monetary penalties as set forth in the Florida Administrative Code. § 718.112(2)(I), Florida Statutes If authority to charge a transfer fee is set forth in the governing documents, the upper limit for the transfer fee is raised to $150.00 per adult applicant. The amount of the fee will increase in accordance with the Consumer Price Index every 5 years. § 718.116(6), Florida Statutes Notices of an association’s intent to lien, and its intent to foreclose, must now provide 45 days to comply instead of 30. Before sending a delinquent account to the association attorney, a new, form 30-day courtesy notice must be provided to the owner. § 718.1255, Florida Statutes A party may now choose whether to pursue an arbitrable dispute via non-binding arbitration, or alternatively via presuit mediation followed by a lawsuit. Previously, arbitration was the only and mandatory choice for arbitrable disputes.