Lawmakers consider HOA reform bill for Osceola County

Article Courtesy of NEWS 13

By Bailey Myers

Published October 03, 2015


Osceola County legislators are considering a bill that would reform the way homeowners associations elect leaders. But the bill may not be able to help the largest community in the area – Poinciana.

State Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, and his staff said they are working on an Osceola County HOA bill. The new bill would impact Osceola County HOAs only by creating the following election guidelines:
HOAs must post election times 30 days in advance
The polls must be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The new law also outlines that if a violation were to occur, then the HOA could be reprimanded and the case could be taken to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court.

Cortes' staff member said the new bill is in response to concerns from some Poinciana residents about how their HOA's leaders are elected.

The Association of Poinciana Villages is one of the largest homeowner associations in the world, covering about 25,000 homes.

“Right now we have no voice,” said Annette Brown Best, Poinciana Village 3 resident.

Best says she is frustrated because the HOA elections aren't advertised through a variety of mediums, and the polling is done during hours of the day when most people in the community are working.

She believes several members of the board do not fully represent the community because they are unable to vote.

“They are taking our community from us. It’s time we take our community back,” Best said.

We tried contacting the Association of Poinciana Villages, but they failed to return our calls.

Poinciana spans the Osceola-Polk county line. And since the bill only affects Osceola County, the measure would have no impact on the Polk County side of Poinciana.

Despite the obstacles, Best says she thinks it’s a step in the right direction.

“We need to change this HOA law so that we have some teeth in what’s going on out here in Poinciana,” Best says.

The county’s legislative delegation is expected to discuss the HOA Bill Friday.

They also plan on meeting with the Polk County delegation to discuss Poinciana on Nov. 9.