Co-op Board Members Now Subject to Certification Requirements

On Friday, June 14, Florida's Governor signed into law several bills affecting community associations, including House Bill 73.

One of the important provisions of House Bill 73 amends the statutes governing cooperative associations in Florida by requiring board members in co-ops to meet the same certification requirements as condominium association board members.

Florida Statute Section 719.106 will now require a newly elected or appointed board member in a cooperative association to do one of the following within 90 days of that election or appointment:

  1. Certify in writing to the association's secretary that the board member has read the association's bylaws, articles of incorporation, proprietary lease (or occupancy agreement), and current written policies, and that the board member will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability, and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association's members
  2. Submit a certificate that the board member has--within one year before or 90 days after his or her election or appointment--satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered by an educational provider as approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Division of Condominiums,Timeshares, and Mobile Homes under the requirements established in Florida's statutes governing condominium associations

This educational certificate is valid and does not have to be resubmitted as long as the board member serves on the board without interruption.

The association's secretary is required to retain both of the written certifications described above as part of the association's official records for 5 years after a director's election or the duration of the director's uninterrupted tenure, whichever is longer.

The educational curriculum requires that at least four of these topics be covered in sufficient detail:

  • Budgets and reserves
  • Elections
  • Financial Reporting
  • Cooperative Operations
  • Records maintenance, including unit owner access to records
  • Dispute resolution
  • Bids and contracts

The effective date of HB 73 is July 1, 2013.  I've been working on an outline of curriculum (those of you that attended FLAROC's Board Training event in Punta Gorda in March had a preview of that outline) and hope to provide it to the DBPR for approval--and for use in our resident owned community seminars--within the next week.

I'll keep you posted on this and other important impacts of HB 73 in future blog entries.