New laws impacting FL homeowners and HOAs (2023)

Florida HOA laws 2023: a brief summary of key new legislation affecting homeowners in Florida.

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

CS/CS/HB 919  

Chapter No. 2023-228 Homeowners Association Bill of Rights (Effective October 1, 2023) 

Summary of provisions 

HOA Board Meetings: 

  • All notices provided to members/owners must include a specific agenda.

HOA correspondence with members 

  • It is the member’s right and responsibility to provide the preferred postal mail and email addresses for receiving notices from the HOA. An owner can opt in or out of electronic notification of correspondence by providing written notice to the Association.
  • A member’s contact information becomes part of the official records of the HOA. The HOA must use information on file to notify an owner about upcoming meetings, ballot measures, elections, and notices of violation.  

Financial responsibilities of the HOA 

  • HOA must not commingle funds on deposit for repairs or construction work to a member’s home or unit. The HOA must always hold these funds in a separate account. And the HOA must refund any unused money to the member within 30 days after completion of the project.  

Prohibitions on self-dealing for board members and HOA management agents 

  • Bribes and kickbacks to a board member, management agent, or members of their immediate family are now illegal. Offenses can result in monetary penalties.
  • Offending board members shall be removed from the board and the vacancy filled with a replacement chosen by the board.  

Mandatory removal of HOA board members required upon indictment for the following crimes:

  • Forgery of a ballot envelope or voting certificate used in an HOA election,
  • Theft of embezzlement of HOA funds,
  • Destroying or refusing to allow membership access to or copying of official HOA records, or
  • Obstruction of justice.
  • As long as charges are pending, the defendant cannot be appointed or elected to the HOA board and may not have access to any official records of the association.

Conflicts of interest: 

  • Developer appointed board directors must disclose their relationship to the developer each calendar year.
  • Board members must disclose “to the association” potential conflicts of interest at least 14 days before voting on any issue or entering into any contract with the HOA. 

HOA fines and suspensions: 

  • HOA must provide official written notice of violation of covenants, restrictions and rules at least 14 days prior to a hearing on the matter.  
  • The owner is entitled to a detailed description of the violation, the action that must be taken to cure the violation, and the owner’s right to attend a hearing (either in-person, by telephone, or virtually). 
  • The HOA committee, after conducting a hearing, decides whether to impose a fine or suspend access to common amenities or both. The HOA must provide written notice of its decision to the members, as well as the residents of that member’s property. Any monetary fine becomes due within 5 days after receipt of written notice. The HOA board must vote on suspensions at a meeting.  

Fraudulent voting activities, subject to misdemeanor criminal charges: 

  • Willful or false affirmations resulted to voting activities,
  • Committing or attempting to commit fraud, aiding and abetting fraud in connect with the casting of votes,
  • Preventing a member from voting, interfering or tampering with voting ballots, envelopes, or certificates,
  • Making threats or attempting to bribe members to vote or not vote a certain way,
  • Bribing members to entice voting for certain board members, or to influence the vote on a ballot issue, or
  • Threatening or committing an act of violence to influence a member’s vote or to prevent the member from voting. 

Read details of CS/CS/HB 919 


SB 154 

Chapter No. 2023-203, Condo and co-op Structural Inspections and Reserves

This bill makes several clarifications and modifications of last year’s Senate Bill (SB) 4D

SB 4D added the requirement for residential and mixed-use condominium and cooperative associations to conduct a milestone structural inspection at 30 years (25 years for buildings within 3 miles of the coastline), and to repeat those inspections every 10 years.  

SB 154 clarifies the need for a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS). It also more explicitly defines which components must be inspected and included in the report.

Seaside buildings are no longer automatically required to conduct the initial milestone report at 25 years of age, unless local government codes require otherwise.

Members of a condo or co-op association must continue to fund structural maintenance and repairs. However, they can still vote to waive reserves for certain non-structural components, subject to a majority vote of all members.

The bill also adds real estate disclosure requirements, to ensure that prospective buyers can evaluate the structural integrity fo the building and financial health of the association before purchase.  

Read details of SB 154, Summary Analysis here

SB 360 

In SB 360 Florida real estate developers have successfully lobbied state Legislators to reduce the period of time in which homeowners — as well as HOA boards acting on behalf of their communities — can sue developers, builders, designers, and contractors for construction and design defects.

Previously, state law allowed up to 10 years for HOAs to bring legal claims against defendants. As of April 14, 2023, that period of time has been reduced to 7 years. Homeowners and HOA boards should consult with a qualified attorney to determine if their claim is timely. New terms under state law could potentially prevent homeowners and HOAs from making valid legal claims for defects. 

Read full text of SB 360.


Realtor priorities, Affordable Housing 

Realtors can be very influential at the state capitol in Tallahassee! This article summarizes more than a dozen FL Realtor priority bills. One important bill, SB 102, has secured $811 million for affordable housing in the Sunshine State.

The National Law Review provides a concise summary of SB 102, known as the Live Local Act.  

The goal of the Live Local Act is to increase the supply of workforce housing for middle-income residents, as well as low-income households, by providing various new incentives for real estate housing developers.

As of July 1, 2023, counties must streamline the permit process for missing middle and affordable housing in commercial, industrial, or mixed-use zones. Tax incentives apply to certain residential projects meeting specific criteria.

Read full text of SB 102

HB 437

Property Owners’ rights to Install, Display, and Store Items 

HB 437 applies to HOAs in planned communities. (It does not apply to condominium or cooperative association governed communities). This bill amends FL Statute 720, the Homeowners Association Act. 

The bill expands a homeowners’ right to display up to two flags, and to install a flagpole, regardless of any HOA Covenants and Restrictions to the contrary. The bill expands the list of “allowed” flags. For example, additional military and first responder flags are included. Refer to the bill for the complete list of flags that an HOA cannot prohibit. 

The bill also allows, regardless of HOA Covenants and Restrictions, property owners to store an RV or boat on their property, or to add artificial turf – but only on portions of their lot that are not visible from the street or from neighboring properties.

Editorial note: This provision can be tricky for owners of lots that are visible from neighbors along canals, golf courses, or other communities where it can be difficult or impossible to conceal one’s backyard from public view.  

Read full text of HB 437.

Enforcement by lawsuit

Although these new laws provide some additional consumer protections, there is no regulatory agency to assist homeowners in enforcing these laws. The primary means of enforcement is to sue one’s HOA, an expensive and time consuming process, with no guarantee of success.

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