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Subject:  Florida HOA Bills Under Consideration
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DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 10:10 AM  

Hi To All,

We have a State legislator who has a variety of Bills that he is going to introduce to the legislature during their 2008 session. Among them are topics that we recently have been discussing Below are some of them (just the basic parts)

1) HOA Board members must live year round in order to sit on a Board.

2)Board members, P.Ms and C.A.M.s must must disclose a "conflict of Interest" in awarding a contract to family members or friends. his includes any and all potential contractore doing business within the community. The Board member involved in a decision to award a contract may not vote in the awarding of such a contract.

3) Boards must provide or make available no less than 3 bids for services within the community.

As I aid, these are just the basic idea of these proposals. The Legislators name is Julio Robaina


SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


01/25/2008 11:20 AM  
1) HOA Board members must live year round in order to sit on a Board. (Year 'round? This will never fly . . . and with all the electronic media avialable, ie. email, teleconferences, etc, there are many options avialable for members to hold meetings.
***This shows a lack of understanding for what "governance" is. Board members don't have to DO everything, they just have to be sure it gets done. ean

2)Board members, P.Ms and C.A.M.s must must disclose a "conflict of Interest" in awarding a contract to family members or friends. his includes any and all potential contractore doing business within the community. The Board member involved in a decision to award a contract may not vote in the awarding of such a contract.

***I prefer that it be stated that the Board must have a conflict of interest policy in the bylaws. Why shouldn't relatives be able to bid on jobs?)


3) Boards must provide or make available no less than 3 bids for services within the community.
***At every contract level? Again, the Board should have it own policy, not mandated by the State.


This bill is micro-managing at the State level!! My belief is:
"That government which governs least, governs best." - Thomas Jefferson
DJ1
(Ontario)

Posts:798


01/25/2008 11:32 AM  
"This bill is micro-managing at the State level!! My belief is:
"That government which governs least, governs best." - Thomas Jefferson "

Aren't HOA's just mini-governments and if so does the above also apply to them.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 11:48 AM  

It's funny Susan, that these 3 items are just proposals that he has gathered from scads of workshop meetings with Board members and with the P.M committees and these have been discussions on this site just this week.

Will they get to the Legislature for a vote? I don't know. Would I support these as they are written? I don't know that either. But they are PROPOSALS for consideration.

And paying attention to what posters ask of the Statutes, these would answer some of their concerns. Micro managing? I don't think so. Florida has hundreds of thousands of associations, many run by part time people who just plod their way thru running their communities. So I ask, why not allow the Statutes be the guiding force to Covenants and ByLaws? OOPS!, that is what they already are.
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


01/25/2008 12:12 PM  
While they ARE issues of concern, I think that each Board ought to develop its own bylaw to deal with them. The State should only require that the HOA's bylaws have some kind of policy on these issues. But to write a master "law" to cover these managerial/administrative issues is not wise. - besides just WHO is going to enforce it everytime someone's brother in law cuts the lawn?
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


01/25/2008 12:21 PM  
I like what T Jefferson said about the least being the best.
I agree on the board issue concerning conflict of interest. But I would go 1 a lot better and far more usefull.

Change: No BOD member or family member can be a employee of the MC or any of it's supsidies.

We don't need the county/State screwing up what works in 80 percent of the HOA's. They along with the local cities are the biggest problems.

What would I like to see?
A State wide Law making it manditory for the cities to get a release from a HOA prior to issueing building permits

That cities send in to the state omnibudsman copies of inspection reports made in HOAs.
That cities perform Building Inspections by the Building depts in there cities.
We send in copies as well as pictures of illegal modifications done to homes that we cant stop cause the state took away all of our enforcement rights

Further more DONNA S He has never had a BOD meeting with any BOD that I know of. Same old same old politics as usual the BODs are all bad. Show me 1 BOD who has stolen cash, and I will show you 200 politicans who have stolen milions not hundreds but millions why do I say this simple. Most intelligent boards have insurance policys on the BOD and the MC in case they do steal We once had a previous Treas taken to court and he had to pay the insurance co who paid us what he had mis-appropriated. Most have 3 checks on checks the mc the treas and the pres all have to sign our checks.

Treas
BOD of a HOA
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 12:32 PM  

Hey Folks,

Don't shoot the messenger. I found this out by doing research and am not supporting or campaigning for it.

As you pointed out John, there are many items that you would like included. There are some that I would like and there are probably a thousand more like us. I am pointing this out for Florida Board members to get involved, call or write to the Legislation or do what makes you feel good but don't complain if you don't help out.
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


01/25/2008 12:36 PM  
I will be there. I have no fear of any discision I have ever made and have always been willing to listen to my owners tales of woe and concern. Maybe thats why I have been on the board so long. I apologize for flaming you but please when dealing with politicans never assume anything.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 12:56 PM  

John,

I have always said that "POLITICIANS ARE LIKE A BUNCH OF BANANAS, THEY ARE YELLOW, HANG AROUND IN BUNCHES AND THERE ISN'T A STRAIGHT ONE AMONG THEM"
Feel better now?
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


01/25/2008 1:00 PM  
Ha -Ha - I wish this board has smiley faces to post!
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 1:03 PM  

Susan,

JeanneK3
(Maryland)

Posts:562


01/25/2008 1:21 PM  
Maryland has many pro-homeowner bills pending such as HB 42 which mandates that minutes and requested financial information must be sent to the requester (ridiculous that people are told to go to the manager's office which is sometimes in another county to get this information) ; HB 195 saying a reserve study must be done every 5 years and the results sent to all the homeowners, HB 71 and HB 117 saying an association cannot deny anyone the installation of solar panels, SB 101, allowing associations to amend documents every 5 years with a 67% vote no matter what the original documents say. There are also many foreclosure protection bills which hopefully will extend to foreclosures initiated by homeowner associations, condominium association and co-operatives. Should be a banner year for consumers in Maryland.
LaverneB


Posts:0


01/25/2008 1:59 PM  
Donna I find you most interesting and knowledgeable. You have help me make many decisions. Where can I find all this out about what is in Tallahasse, goings on?We just elected a new member and she has a "dormant" C.A.M so this might come into play.
MikeS1


Posts:0


01/25/2008 2:25 PM  
Regarding items 2 and 3 - It's too bad that you have to legislate common sense and basice ethics. IMO, there is nothing wrong with disclosure. It doesn't mean that you can't award a contract to a family member or friends. You just need to be upfront. This year VA tightened up the 'conflict of interest' clause in the Va Property Assoc act.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 3:34 PM  

Laverne,
My best friend -"GOOGLE" shows me the way everytime I am searching for good stuff or nonsense. So I keyed in Florida Online Sunshine and searched a couple of the sites. If that doesn't give you enough, then key Florida Legislature. There are so many areas to search but of course, zero in on HOAs.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 3:41 PM  

Mike,
I totally agree with you on why do we need to legislate common sense. But the older I get, the more that I am blown away with what people will try to get away with when no one is looking. Like "don't take association funds" " and "count all of the votes" You know where I am going with this? Therefore the States have to enact laws for everyone to read, just in case someone doesn't get the concept of being fair and honest. Simple, simple stuff.
GeraldT4


Posts:1022


01/25/2008 7:39 PM  
SusanW1 & JohnM -Thomas Jefferson's statement that government which governs least, governs best, does not mean that government should not govern, especially when it's necessary to protect it citizens. Florida Sunshine Law does not apply to HOA's, unless under very special and specific circumstances of an HOA acting as advisory to a municipality and that then pertains to minutes, agendas and the such.

One matter that all HOA's and COA's nationwide should be mandated to satisfy is a capital reserve analysis and deficiency study. Additionally, and probably radical, that no officer can serve for more than two consecutive terms, meaning rotate duties, no stagnancy. Which I might add is one of the contributing factors, if not the root, of corruption.
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


01/26/2008 5:52 AM  
I could have sworn that mention was made of a meeting today in Pembroke Pines on these issues. Does anybody know where the meeting is being held and what the legislaters name is. Please respond. I lost my copy of yesterdays discussion.
email is [email protected]

Thank you.
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


01/26/2008 5:57 AM  
Gerald: We were told by our atty's years ago if 2 or more of us meet and discuss hoa business we have to submit minutes of what we spoke of and what was said. Thats why we use nothing but email between BOD Members. Its safer for us and we have a written record ( We are a 307 home hoa 38.5 acres )
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/26/2008 1:41 PM  

John,

So you are functioning against the Statutes re; open meetings. Your attorneys concern about you having minutes is the least of what you should be worrying about. How can it be safer? Safe , yes, if your members don't know what you are doing. I agree that there is a certain amount of Board member to Board member conversation allowed but that isn't giving your members the opportunity to hear what is going on. Anyhow, that isn't how we do it on my Board.
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


01/27/2008 10:48 AM  
Donna: Are you now or have you ever been a board member? You seem to never have been on a board or you might not understand what I am talking about.

We in 20 years have never ever had more than 6-12 people of a 307 member community attend a meeting. We started out 21 years ago at $25 per month with no sprinklers, no clubhouse, no nothing. Now we have community sprinklers on 60 percent of the property. We have a community clubhouse, we have a full size basketball court 3 brand new parking lots.We have a community web site with the past 2 years minutes on the site along with a complete copy of the docs and the ccrs. As well as committee meeting minutes.
We have wide open meetings we post signs at all entrances 4 days before board meetings.We also have 2 open bod seats for anyone who wants to be on the bod.

Does yours have that?

Serve before you point a finger.

The grass is not always so good when you have to take care of it. I have been treasurer for 8 years and vp for 12 years before that and I keep on getting reelected so I guess I have nothing to worry about. But I really have nothing to be concerned a about except politicans who think they know everything and have silly hearings to try to get horror stories to take to the capital to try and undermine existing hoas and condo boards who try to do what is best for there members. Even thou the balance of the State Leg wants to leave us alone. That is the only productive thing that came out of the meeting yesterday at BCC South.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/27/2008 11:35 AM  

John,

I am a Board member for a large HOA with 565 homes. I chair the Documents committee and was in charge of rewritting the ARB guideline manual and created our R&Rs after our turnover from the Developer.

I am Chair of the Documents committee of a 55+ community where I own 1 of 2 rentals that I have. I am on the Covenants committee at my other rental community.

You are addressing the wrong person if you think that I am not in favor of running a tight ship. I am the documents person as all of the posters who follow this site will attest to. And you better believe that my association runs according to the Statutes.

Do you not think that I understand what you are saying? I certainly do and have sometimes a different view than others but that is okay .

As I said before, I do not or did not condone what the proposed legislature is working on as they have weakened the strength of associations in the last 2 years. Alot of that you can focus on the negative work that CCFJ (Cyber Citizens For Justice & Jan Bergemen)has done .
LaverneB


Posts:0


01/27/2008 11:50 AM  
Donna, how can I find out all this info besides the Fl .sites?Is there a place to go hear them in the Palm Beach area?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/27/2008 11:59 AM  

Hi Laverne,

Go to the website for Becker and Poliakoff. They run many seminars and have newsletters and also run the CALL (Community Association Leadership Lobby) which is a very PRO association group. They looby for association strength. I highly reccomend them. Their web site is---www.becker-poliakoff.com.

My rental community uses their firm and they are state wide, having 700 attorneys, many who just lobby for associations. Lots of good info.
LaverneB


Posts:0


01/27/2008 1:02 PM  
we have a "screening" that before new people can buy they go through a "screening"I like to call it interview. I have heard the word screening can not be used anymore. Any answer to that, and if so, what do other HOA's call it?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/27/2008 1:07 PM  

Laverne,
We just call it an interview. Nothing fancy
LindaC3


Posts:0


01/27/2008 1:23 PM  
LaverneB...ooohh good topic.....Our HOA BOD says that anyone wanting to buy our PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL HOMES
MUST first submit an application and a check for $150.00 per person and go thru a CREDIT CHECK and CRIMINAL background or WE can't sell them our house then the BOD can make an offer to buy the house thru first right of refusal.....I say HOGWASH.......Who are they to interfere with a private transaction.....FDLE has a public site to check for pedophiles and as far as most of here are concerned we feel they are overstepping their boundaries here.......I am sure more to come on this topic.......LindaC3
hoatalk
(California)

Posts:571


01/27/2008 1:34 PM  
Posted By LindaC3 on 01/27/2008 1:23 PM
LaverneB...ooohh good topic.....Our HOA BOD says that anyone wanting to buy our PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL HOMES
MUST first submit an application and a check for $150.00 per person and go thru a CREDIT CHECK and CRIMINAL background or WE can't sell them our house then the BOD can make an offer to buy the house thru first right of refusal.....I say HOGWASH.......Who are they to interfere with a private transaction.....FDLE has a public site to check for pedophiles and as far as most of here are concerned we feel they are overstepping their boundaries here.......I am sure more to come on this topic.......LindaC3


First, does anyone know if this is legal and enforceable? If so, how would a Board enforce it? They can't stop a closing because they are not a party to the transaction and would have no idea the home was ready to close.

Also, couldn't this lower property values? It's hard enough to sell a home without telling the Buyers they need to be screened by their neighbors (e.g. the board) first. Many Buyers would walk away.

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DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/27/2008 2:14 PM  

HOATALK,

Our HOA does NOT screen or do a background check as we are single family homes.

The Condo association and 55+ villa community where I own a unit in each, do the "Interview" process for prospective buyers and renters. It has been done ever since they were formed. What they do is to review and read all Rules and Regs of the communities to the new people and ask them to sign a document stateing that they know and understand the rules. I have discussed this with both associations, letting them know that they cannot deny anyone applying for residency or ownership . It is against the Fair Housing Act to deny anyone unless they are blatingly refusing to agree to adhere to the rules.

Neither association has ever denied anyone to my knowledge. I think that it is antiquated and as you said, probably unenforceable.
GeraldT4


Posts:1022


01/28/2008 6:16 AM  
JohnM3 - Your association is lucky to have dedicated volunteers to steer things for everyone's benefit. However, it's clear that other associations are not so lucky. An association that has nothing to hide and that is already acting according to the by-laws and statutes should not take issue with checks and balances.

As for your getting reelected as a vote of confidence, nothing personal but I'd be impressed if you told me that you keep getting reelected in a very hotly contested battle for your BOD seat and officership.

In my HOA President, VP, and Treasurer can't hold dual officership.
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