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Subject: Community Directory - Florida
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11/08/2019 12:04 PM  
We have recently changed software providers for our community website. The new provider's community directory feature is setup with an "opt in" feature which means that many residents will probably not list themselves in our directory. We also have "visibility" choices, such as limiting what information is visible (email, phone number, address.)

FL Statute 720.302
"... an association may print and distribute to parcel owners a directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone numbers of each parcel owner." (owners can opt-out of listing phone numbers)

So my question is.... would it be appropriate to request the software company to remove the opt in feature and have all owners listed with at least their name and address? This would provide the residents with essentially a resident directory.

Do you us NABR software for your community and if yes, how do you handle this feature?


11/08/2019 12:19 PM  
I would leave the opt-in feature in. If the information is available via the website, interested parties can be directed there to obtain a owner list.

There may be owners that do not want their names and/or address given out. One of the reason may be that the unit may be a rental and they wouldn't want their mailing address given out or the tenants sent mail by other owners.


11/08/2019 12:36 PM  
I'd keep it in and let the homeowner decide. Since the directory supposed to be made available to the homeowners, perhaps your software provide can make this information accessable to homeowners only (they'd need a specific password to access it.

Or leave it off the website altogether, but make it available as a PDF. After you learn who wants their phone number and/or emails published, you can prepare one document with and without that information and send the appropriate one upon written request. You might also ask homeowners to be considerate when using the information (e.g. don't use it to solicit buyers for products and services ad nauseum, forward chain emails, etc.)


11/08/2019 6:20 PM  
The statute is tricky. FS 720.303(4)(g) [OFFICIAL RECORDS] says the following must be maintained as an official record of the association:

"A current roster of all members and their mailing addresses and parcel identifications. The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers designated by members for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those members consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission."

Mailing addresses may very well be somewhere outside of the community (or even out of state). These official records must be made available to any homeowner who requests accesss.

Then, in FS 720.303(5)(c), the statute says the following should NOT be accessible to members or parcel owners:

"... electronic mailing addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, any addresses for a parcel owner other than as provided for association notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, parcel designation, mailing address, and property address."

Note that "mailing address" doesn't necessarily mean the address where an owner actually lives. It could be a P.O. Box, for instance.

So all owners are entitled to know who owns what property in the HOA, their names, the parcel(s) they own, their designated "mailing address", and the address designated for association notice requirements.

None of this pertains to renters or tenants. In fact, FS 720.303(5)(c) also calls for the following to be NOT accessible to parcel owners or members:

"Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a parcel."

It's arguable that that means an association must keep private the names of any tenants living in a residence which is leased.

I would make everything opt-in if it's anything that's going to be casually published on a website or in an ad-hoc "community directory" or newsletter.

The only thing mandatory is a roster of homeowners which gives owner names, parcel identifications, lot numbers, and mailing addresses. The roster need not include phone numbers or email addresses.

A "community directory" may include phone numbers (with an owner opt-out) and email addresses (with an owner opt-in). Information on tenants is a gray area.

We have a lot of problems in my HOA with people understanding all this. I think that's probably widespread.


11/09/2019 10:56 AM  
Thank you, everyone. I should have added that this directory will be on a password-protected website. Also, we can choose between an "owner" directory and a resident (includes renters) directory.

Personally, I would like to have the owner directory mandatory with the name and address as a minimum. I would encourage residents to list their phone numbers as it sure makes it easy to contact your neighbors, but I understand that some may wish to have it hidden (for personal reasons.)

Our current (will only be visible until the end of the year) directory contains everyone's name and address along with 99% of all phone numbers. I think it is the most widely used area of our website. So many of our houses look alike that we are constantly looking up addresses


12/04/2019 9:43 PM  
Curious - the website we use has similar opt-in/out with 8 levels of privacy settings. Much of this was setup to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation that was adopted in 2018.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Community Directory - Florida

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