and Video Courtesy of Channel 9 News
By Nancy Alvarez
September 5, 2015
There's a new effort underway to protect residents
living under homeowner association rules.
Channel 9 has reported on a battle among HOA members in Poinciana that
grew heated and ended up in front of a judge. Now that battle could lead
to a new state law that would affect HOAs statewide.
State Rep. John Cortes said HOA
disputes shouldn't have to play out with residents
protesting in the streets and board members heading to
In Poinciana, the board members fired the property
management company and moved $1.6 million in HOA funds
to a new account.
A judge has now ordered them to move the money back and
reinstate the company.
It is a legal battle Cortes has watched closely.
"I would say it's a giant fiasco," he said.
Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez learned that about 4 million homes and condos
in Florida are run by HOAs.
Cortes said millions of members have little recourse
when it comes to filing complaints.
He's drafting a bill that he said simplifies things by
combining three different statutes that address HOAs into
It would also give HOAs access to the Department of Business
and Professional Regulation. That state agency would enforce
HOA laws, investigate complaints and help settle disputes
like the one that played out in Poinciana.
"This way, it doesn't have to go to court. They can
settle out of court, be mediators," Cortes said.
Poinciana is home to 70,000 people, with roughly 50,000 governed by the
Cortes said he's determined to ensure the problems in that community
lead to much-needed change statewide.
"Poinciana is not alone. There are a lot of people in Florida and other
states that have sent emails and said, 'Yeah, this is happening here,'"