Courtesy of The Doral Family Journal
Vice Mayor Claudia Mariaca
Published March 5, 2019
The main objective of this proposal is to achieve
financial transparency, better management of the HOA funds and effective
management of the HOAs to protect the rights of the residents.
The City of Doral will
request the Florida Legislature to approve a project that
will allow the emendation of the Homeowner Associations in
the State, including those in Doral.
As explained by Vice Mayor Claudia Mariaca, who presented
this proposal before the Doral City Council, this request is
in support of the residents in their search of financial
transparency, better management of HOA funds and the
efficiency on the control of the communities.
“This was a proposal that was unanimously approved by all
the members of the City Council, and we are all in agreement
to request the Florida Legislature to enact this law because
we understand that the decisions that are taken in an HOA
affect all the members of a neighborhood,” adds Vice Mayor
If this review to the HOA gets approval at the State level,
it will become a law that will benefit two million
households in Florida. “In our city, the impact of this
legislation is significant because 90% of the communities in
Doral are operated under some HOA.”
When HOAs do not work properly or according to how they are
supposed to, the homeowners pay a high price in courts,
fees, liens and even in mortgage foreclosures. We can also
see neglect and a clear deterioration in the communities and
neighborhoods, and this brings depreciation of the homes
which causes substantial monetary loses to their owners.
“I believe that these
reasons are more than enough to request this legislation.
Government supervision, regulations, mandatory training for
the Board of Directors of the HOAs, background checks and
financial responsibility must be implemented to guarantee
that the HOAs are well managed,” added Vice Mayor Mariaca.
Another important issue that is mentioned in Resolution 19-48 through which
the City of Doral is requesting the Florida Legislature the review of HOAs
is to adopt a proactive approach that avoids abuse by those that are
directing the HOAs, control the power of these and prevents corruption.
It is essential to take into consideration that when HOAs are directed by
unscrupulous members and managed by companies and attorneys that do not
follow the law, the damages to the communities are irreparable. “By
requesting this legislation, we want to avoid actions that are carried by a
few but cause damages to many owners that are trusting and defenseless.”
Let’s remember that during 2018, HB 873 and SB 1238 were presented and
sponsored by then Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Manny Diaz, Jr.
respectively, these tried to establish specific regulations for HOAs.
Unfortunately, at that time these did not pass.
For example, it prohibits that HOAs hire an attorney that also represents
their Management company; establishes also that the associations must
provide their members with a copy of the annual financial statement or a
written notification that details how can they get a copy of such statement;
prohibits an officer, director or manager of the association to request,
offer or accept to provide a service to the association; they also need to
provide the requirements and procedures regarding conflicts of interests,
among other regulations.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT HOAs?
The purchase of a house within a planned development saves from the
responsibility to maintain your own property and the common areas. It also
allows for the use of the facilities, such as pools, gyms and any other
service or facility available only for the residents of the development, but
these benefits have a price, both for the finances and the freedom as the
owner of a house.
When you are an owner within a planned development, you are also a part of
the Homeowners Association, and for this reason, you have to pay your fees
(which are charged monthly, generally speaking) these help cover for the
maintenance of common areas, shared structures, and exterior spaces.
By being a member of the HOA of your community, you are also linked to the
contracts, conditions and rules, regulations and restrictions of the
association. The majority of the owner’s groups are supervised by volunteers
that live in the same development.
Within the associations, there is an essential number of factors that impact
the maintenance payments that each owner has to contribute with. For
example, the amount and size of the services of the complex (common areas,
private entry, clubhouse and security services, among others) affect the
The fees that are paid for the HOA can also differ due to variations in the
square feet, location, and orientation, all of which can affect the
maintenance that the property will require. This also indicates that for a
buyer of a home, it is also essential to know the history of the increase in
fees, together with the amount for the monthly fee.
This obvious importance of HOAs over the households of the residents and
their monthly finances makes more than necessary that this request from the
City of Doral to the Florida Legislature is approved in order to protect the
assets of thousands of homeowners in our State.