La Rosa, Cortes bill may aid Poinciana homeowners

Article Courtesy of The Ledger

By Tom Palmer

Published January 25, 2016


A bill (HB 1357) introduced by State Rep. Mike La Rosa and co sponsored by State Rep. John Cortes, both of whose districts include Poinciana, proposes major changes in the way homeowner association are run.

The bill provides more transparency in the HOA’s operations and finances by requiring more documents to be posted on HOA websites.

In addition, the bill outlines procedures for dealing with property owners who fall behind on their assessments.

This has been a big issue in Poinciana after the board turned over delinquent accounts to a collection agency, which added significant charges to what the residents already owed.

The legislation proposes a procedure for establishing payment plans to allow property owners to pay what they owe without having it turned over to a collection agency and requires the association to give resident notice before turning their accounts over to a collection agency.

La Rosa said there is a companion bill in the Senate.

He also made it clear that he cannot guarantee the bill will pass or that any of the provisions in the originally filed version will survive committee review.

Comment: May aid? Only just a little bit. The main issue: FAIR ELECTIONS -- will still not be resolved. As long as FS 720 doesn't contain provisions that guarantee fair elections, the battles -- and the abuse -- will continue. Lots of money that should be used for maintenance and beautification of the community is wasted on legal fees. Fair elections are the foundation of neighborly communities. Condo law provides fair election provisions. Why are homeowners denied these same rights?