Florida HOA Vigilantes

An Opinion By Val Lucier

Published July 9, 2011

What is a Florida HOA Vigilante? It is a fed-up law-abiding HOA owner who has to take the law into his own hands because there isn’t a sheriff in Tallahassee .

Florida Statutes 720.302(2) state:  The Legislature recognizes that it is not in the best interest of homeowners' associations or the individual association members thereof to create or impose a bureau or other agency of state government to regulate the affairs of homeowners' associations.”

The above statement clearly shows how out of touch the legislature is with reality when it continues to maintain that position year after year. The legislature has had it all wrong for a very long time.  It continues to subject Florida HOA owners to injustices by its non-action.  The legislature uses the excuse that it cannot act because it has no way to determine how many Homeowners’ Associations there are in the State of Florida -- despite the fact that associations are required to file reports annually with its Department of State!

This condition will continue to exist until HOA owners demand that legislators draft comprehensive corrective legislation and establish an effective regulatory agency.

When someone calls 911 to report a crime, he is not told to get a gun and go out and arrest the criminal.  The cops take care of business.  Florida HOA owners have been waiting a very long time for the legislature to “take care of business.”  Nobody told us when we moved here that enforcing the law was going to be our own responsibility.

Contrary to the view held by many attorneys, owners should not have to run for the board, institute a recall or seek the services of an attorney when the board fails to do its duty.  Most owners won’t, can’t and should not have to resort to these measures to obtain board compliance.

As long as the HOA Florida Statutes state that it was never the intention of the legislature to regulate HOAs, there is not much hope for change. It can’t be repeated enough times to say until the legislature establishes an effective regulatory agency, owners will continue to carry the state’s enforcement burden. Until this broken community living system is fixed, an estimated 2.5 million Florida HOA owners will continue to live in servitude.

Is HOA living a new homebuyer’s dream or a homeowner’s nightmare?

You decide