COMMITTEE HEARINGS HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS 

SENATE BILL 2504

April 13, 2008

 

This bill is the companion bill to House Bill H-679 (Representative Andy Gardiner).

This bill is actually an insult to the work and recommendations of the 9 members of the HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON CONDOMINIUM AND HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE. Instead of using the recommendations of the excellent Final Committee Report (http://www.ccfj.net/HSCFINALREPORT.html) this bill is detrimental to the welfare of Florida's homeowners living in mandatory homeowners' associations. 

  

SOME HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Invites convicted felons to run for the board of homeowners' associations. Since the condo reform bill restricts ex-felons to serve on the board, they now have to move into HOAs.

  • Problems with record requests? What problems? Let the owners sue if they want to see the financial records!  It's none of their business anyway! Transparency? What's that?

  • The bill rewrites election provisions, but instead of creating clarity it allows for more confusion. Mixing ballots, proxies and votes from the floor makes it a free-for-all -- invitation for sitting boards to do whatever they want. It's great to see that the bill still allows election arbitration conducted by the DBPR. But how should an arbitrator rule if nearly every election scam is allowed?

  • But the main focus of the bill is the fact that it wants to allow kangaroo courts again.  Quote: "A fine of less than $1,000 shall not become a lien against a parcel." The attorneys are at it again, trying to revive the lien and foreclosure threat. They just add two "imagined" violations together and they are legally allowed to go back to their old game again  -- blackmailing owners into paying for invented fines: If you don't pay the fine, we foreclose on your home!

The bill uses some pool provisions -- never heard an owner complaining about that -- and some more unenforceable disclosure provisions to cover up the real problems of the bill. The headline of the bill should read: Let's just make some more special interests happy!

 

Instead of creating further reforms, it removes some of the protection created for homeowners in the previous years!

 

We see news reports and newspaper articles talking about associations going bankrupt unable to pay for all the bulk contracts, homeowners unable pay to the increased dues and the special assessments, but here we see our legislators discussing a bill that will make things even worse. 

 

Our economy is down the drain, our real-estate market as good as dead, and our legislators refuse to help the many families caught in mandatory homeowners' associations. More than twice as many Floridians live in homeowners' associations as live in condominium associations, but the homeowners are treated like the stepchildren of our society by our legislators.

 

Any legislator voting YES on this bill will be responsible for the many headlines we will see in the media talking about serious problems in our HOAs. We are already in a deep recession -- even if our so-called experts don't want to admit it -- and we are just seeing the beginning. It will get much worse -- and so will the problems in homeowners' associations!

 

Call and e-mail the Senators of the Committee on Regulatory Industries and let them know that this is a really bad bill, coming at a time when many Florida homeowners are fighting for financial survival. 

Just remember my words in autumn, when we will really see what our economy and the total lack of regulations and enforcement in our HOAs are doing to our owners. Then it will be too late for many families who will be losing their homes!


S 2504 will be heard by the Committee on Regulated Industries on Tuesday, 04/15/08, at 9:00 am in Room 110-S.  

It is important that the members of the committee will receive as many e-mails and telephone calls as possible -- latest Monday afternoon!

Please ask the Senators to vote NO on this BAD BILL!


SUBJECT LINE: VOTE NO ON S 2504 -- HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS

Dear Senator,

Please vote NO on Senate bill S 2504 (COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION -- Senator Bill Posey) at Tuesday's meeting of the Committee on Regulated Industries. Florida's homeowners living in homeowners' associations just can't afford any more bills that restrict their rights and endanger their financial welfare!


HOW TO CONTACT THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:


SENATE COMMITTEE ON REGULATED INDUSTRIES

Sen. Dennis Jones             Chair (850) 487-5065 jones.dennis.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Steven Geller         Vice Chair (850) 487-5097 geller.steven.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Charlie Dean (850) 487-5017 dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Tony Hill (850) 487-5024 hill.anthony.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Mike Haridopolos (850) 487-5056 haridopolos.mike.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Dave Aronberg (850) 487-5356 aronberg.dave.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Jim King (850) 487-5030 king.james.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Mike Fasano (850) 487-5062 fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Nan Rich (850) 487-5103 rich.nan.web@flsenate.gov
Sen. Stephen R. Wise (850) 487-5027 wise.stephen.web@flsenate.gov

 

Contact the Committee Members using MS e-mail program:

E-MAIL COMMITTEE

 

Contact the Committee Members using AOL e-mail program:

E-MAIL COMMITTEE


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