Many significant changes to Chapters 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes – which govern condominiums and homeowner’s associations in the State of Florida, respectively – became effective on July 1, 2021. This article provides highlights of some significant amendments and is not an exhaustive summary. Not all statutory changes apply to all existing Associations. So, associations or owners should consult their legal counsel about these changes and the effect on the activities in their associations.
Delinquent Assessment and Collection Actions
- Both Chapters 718 and 720 were amended to require an association to send a notice of delinquency 30 days prior to an owner being responsible for attorney’s fees incurred in pursuing collection of delinquent assessments. [See F.S. §§ 718.121(5) & 720.3085(3)(d)]
- In condominiums, the timeline for payment under both intent to lien notices and notices of intent to foreclose has been increased from 30 to 45 days. [See F.S. §§ 718.121(6) & 718.116(6)(b)]
Condominium Director Term Limits
- 718.112(2)(d)2. has been amended to clarify that the 8-year term limit for condominium directors (that was established in 2018) only includes service years that occurred after July 1, 2018.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
- 718.1255 has been amended to allow the choice of either non-binding arbitration with D.B.P.R. or presuit mediation (as setout in § 720.311) for covered disputes in condominium association, except for election and recall disputes.
Rental Restriction Grandfathering in Homeowners Associations
- 720.306(d) was added providing that except for restrictions prohibiting or regulating rentals of 6 months or less or prohibiting more than 3 rentals in a calendar year, all other amendments to HOA documents prohibiting or regulating rental activity can only be enforced against owners who affirmatively approve the amendment or subsequent owners who purchase within the community.
- The Condominium Act has had a broader rental grandfathering provision since 2004. [See § 718.110(13)]
- A careful analysis must be done in each community to determine whether this new statutory provision applies to a community that already existed prior to July 1, 2021.
Many other miscellaneous amendments were passed in both Chapters 718 and 720 (and Ch. 719 for cooperatives) related to official records, dollar amounts for transfer fees, and other matters. Associations should always consult their legal counsel before reviewing or interpreting Florida statutes and governing documents to be sure they are properly applied.
About the author: Frank S. Ganz is board certified by the Florida Bar Association in the area of Condominium and Planned Development Law. He and the firm have represented more than 75 condominium and homeowner’s associations in Volusia, Flagler, St. John’s, and Brevard counties and other areas of the State of Florida. Such representation includes regularly advising association clients on all corporate and operational legal issues including but not limited to levying of assessments and charges, issues with sub-associations, amendments to governing documents, contract negotiations, meeting requirements and procedures, marketable record title, fining and violations, pet policies, developer disputes and more.
Smith Bigman Brock, PA is a full-service law firm serving all of Florida, but primarily representing clients in Volusia County, Flagler County and the surrounding areas. The firm has lawyers who are board certified in the areas of Condominium and Planned Development, Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Marital and Family, and Criminal Trial.