Bill Summary By Milena Macias, Esq.
CCFJ Director for Legislative Affairs

Published June 11, 2024




ANALYSIS OF CS/CS/HB 1203: Homeowners' Associations


A BILL by Commerce Committee; Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee; Esposito; Anderson; Porras; (CO-INTRODUCERS) Botana; Canady; Daniels; Garcia; López, J.; Lopez, V.; Maggard; Plasencia; Rdondo; Stark; Trabulsy               

Effective Date: 7/1/2024


On May 31, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis approved the bill entitled “CS/CS/HB 1203 for Homeowners’ Associations.”


On June 3, 2024, Governor DeSantis signed into law and enacted Chapter No. 2024-221, with an effective date of July 1, 2024.

        The purpose and passage of this law attempts to protect owners in mandated homeowners' associations governed under s. 720, F.S.  The law adds, revises and amends current provisions, including criminal penalties for certain actions by officers, directors, or managers of HOA (on fraudulent voting); the impact of HOA rules and covenants (including parking of first responders vehicles); fines and suspension; attorney fees and costs; priority of payments; amending provisions of HOA’s rules and covenants to its members; liens; and prohibited clauses in association documents relating to assessments. The law amends s. 468.4334 F.S. in its title to include community association manager requirements.  The requirements for community association  managers or management firms include:  (a) attendance in person of at least one member meeting or board meeting of the homeowners’ association annually; (b) contact information for community association managers or representatives assigned to the homeowners’ association, including hours of availability and summary of duties, which shall be posted on the association’s website or application required under s. 720.303(4)(b  F.S.; (c) updated information must be distributed within 14 business days after any change to such information; (d) contract between the community association manager or community association management firm and the homeowners’ association contract must be provided to members upon request and included with association’s official records.

        The law requires that by January 1, 2025, an association that has 100 or more parcels shall post the following documents on its website or make available such documents through an application that can be downloaded on a mobile device:   Documents that need to be posted include (i) articles of incorporation of the association and each amendment thereto; (ii) recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment thereto; (iii) declaration of covenants and a copy of each amendment thereto; (iv) current rules of the association; (v) a list of all current executory contracts or documents to which the association is a party or under which the association or the parcel owners have an obligation or responsibility and, after bidding for the related materials, equipment, or services has closed, a list of bids received by the association within the past year; (vi)  annual budget and any proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting; (viii)  financial reports;  (ix) any monthly income or expense statement to be considered at a meeting; (x) association’s current insurance policies; ((xi)  certification of each director as required by s. 720.3033(1)(a); (xii)  All contracts or transactions between the association and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association that is not an affiliated homeowners’ association or any other entity in which a director of an association is also a director or an officer and has a financial interest; (xiii) contracts or documents regarding a conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss. 468.436(2)(b)6. and 720.3033, F.S.; and (xiv) notice of any scheduled meeting of members and the agenda for the meeting, as required by s. 720.306 F.S., at least 14 days before such meeting.

        The law provides that a notice must be posted in plain view on the homepage of the website or application, or on a separate subpage of the website or application labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and linked from the homepage. The association shall also post on its website or application any document to be considered and voted on by the members during the meeting or any document listed on the meeting agenda at least 7 days before the meeting and notice of any board meeting, the agenda, and any other document required for such meeting to be posted on the website or application no later than the date required for notice.  In addition, the association’s website or application must be accessible only to owners and employees of the  association and not to the general public.  When presented with a written request by a parcel owner, the association must provide the parcel owner with a username and password and access to the protected sections of the association’s website or application which contains the official documents of the association.

        The law amends s. 720.303(5) F.S. to define criminal penalties (d), (e) and (f).   Subsection (d) provides that a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 is committed if a director, a member of the board or a community association manager knowingly, willfully and repeatedly violate a member’s request for inspection of records or for production of records with the intent to cause harm to the association or a member of the association.  Subsection (e) provides that a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, F.S.  is committed by a person who knowingly and intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records or fails to create or maintain such the records and who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members.  Subsection (f) provides that a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 is committed when a person who willfully and knowingly refuses to release or otherwise produce association records with the intent to avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial, or punishment for the commission of a crime, or to assist another person with such avoidance or escape.

        The law amends F.S.  720.3065 to provide that a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 is committed when a person knowingly aids, abets, or advises a person in the commission of a fraudulent voting activity related to association elections, including to conspire, to avoid detection, arrest,  trial or punishment.

        The law amends s. 468.4337, F.S. to require a renewal license may not be issued by the Department of Business Regulations until the licensee submits proof that the licensee has completed the requisite hours of continuing education, including at least 5 hours of continuing education that pertains specifically to homeowners’ associations, 3 hours of which must relate to recordkeeping.

        The law amends s. 720.303, F.S., to provide that officers and directors of a homeowners' association are subject to s. 617.0830 F.S.   Officers and directors of the association must act in good faith, in discharging his or her duties, and director and may rely on information of legal counsel, public accountants, or other persons as to matters the director reasonably believes are within the persons’ professional or expert ability.

        The law amends s. 720.318 F.s. to authorize first responders to park their first responders vehicles on their property, as well on the public road and rights of way.

        The law amends   s. 720.3045, F.S. to authorize parcel owners or their tenants to install, display, or store clotheslines and vegetable gardens under certain circumstances that are not visible  from the parcel's frontage or an adjacent parcel.

        The law amends s. 720.3035, F.S to prohibit an association (or committees on architectural or construction) from enforcing or adopting covenants or guidelines that limits or places requirements on the interior of a structure that is not visible from the parcel's frontage or an adjacent parcel.   In addition, the association and/or committee cannot enforce or adopt certain covenants or rules in their review on specifications and include central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, or ventilating system that are not visible from the parcel’s frontage and is substantially like the present system.

        The law provides that the association cannot preclude a property owner from inviting, hiring, or allowing entry to a contractor or worker on the owner's parcel solely because the contractor or worker is not on a preferred vendor list of the association. Additionally, homeowners' association documents may not preclude a property owner from inviting, hiring, or allowing entry to a contractor on his or her parcel solely because the contractor or worker does not have a professional or an occupational license. In addition, the association may not require a contractor or worker to present or prove possession of a professional or an occupational license to be allowed entry onto a property owner.

        The law amends 720.305 (2), to provide that a fine or suspension for a violation levied by the board  may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’ written notice of the parcel owner’s right to a hearing, that the hearing must held within 90 days and can be conducted by telephone or other electronic means.   The board must allow the parcel owner to cure the violation.    If a violation has been cured before the hearing or in the manner specified in the written notice, a fine or suspension may not be imposed.  If a violation is not cured and the proposed fine or suspension levied by the board is approved by the committee by a majority vote, the committee must set a date by which the fine must be paid, which date must be at least 30 days after delivery of the written notice required.

        No fine or suspension is allowed on  leaving garbage receptacles at the curb or end of the driveway within 24 hours before or after the designated garbage collection day.    Moreover, no fine or suspension may be imposed by the board on leaving holiday decorations or lights on a structure or other improvement on a parcel longer than indicated in the governing documents.   However, if  decorations or lights are not removed after one week after the association provides written notice of the violation to the parcel owner, a fine or suspension may be issued.

Let's please be civilized when commenting! This is not Facebook or X!
Comment Box is loading comments...