Florida's Legislators Update ROC Fining Committees

 Florida's lawmakers "tweaked" the provisions relating to ROC "fining committees" during the recent legislative session in Tallahassee.  In summary, condominium associations, cooperative associations, and mandatory homeowners' associations now follow a similar process:

  • The revisions now clarify that it is the "board of administration" (which most ROC's refer to as the Board of Directors) that imposes the fine or suspension
  • However, the fine or suspension levied by the Board may not be imposed unless the Board first provides at least 14 days' written notice and an opportunity for a hearing to the unit or parcel owner (and, if applicable, the occupant, licensee or invitee of the unit or parcel)
  • This hearing must be held before a "fining committee"  of unit owners (or association members in mandatory HOA's).  The legislative revisions to the cooperative laws added a provision that prohibits board members and persons residing in the home of a board member from serving on this fining committee.  This restriction has existed for "fining committees" in condominium associations for a number of years.  The restrictions on persons who can comprise the fining committee in a mandatory homeowners' association are somewhat more expansive.
  • Finally, there is a new statement in the provisions governing fining committees in all three types of associations that the role of the fining committee "is limited to determining whether to confirm or reject the fine or suspension levied by the board".

I'm posting a link to HB 791 for those of my blog followers who wish to review these changes and well as others that I will be discussing in future entries.  

All of these revisions become effective in just a few weeks--on July 1, 2015.

I hope all of you are enjoying the "off season" whether you are up North or remaining in the Sunshine State for the summer.



ROC Boards Should Consider the Costs of "Principle"

I've been conducting "mini board orientations" at our current series of ROC seminars at Harbor Oaks in Fruitland Park, Japanese Gardens in Venice, and Golf Lakes in Bradenton.  In my presentation, I provide a list of ten suggestions to help board members deal with the issues that arise in resident owned communities.

One of those suggestions is that board members should know and understand the costs that may be involved in actions that they take to enforce community rules.  There is always someone in a resident owned community (quite often a board member) that insists that the "principle" of the situation requires that the board take a "hard line" approach.

I'll be highlighting an article from last Friday's Sarasota Herald Tribune when I conduct my next "mini board orientation during  our seminar at Enchanting Shores in Naples on the morning of April 1.  The article describes a battle that's being fought between the resident of the Summerfield community in Lakewood Ranch and the homeowners association that has fined her over $4000 because she has displayed too many decorations on her lawn. 

After you've read this article, you'll probably understand why the outline for the portion of my "mini board orientation" that deals with these types of situations is titled "Principle Costs HOW MUCH?"

I'll try to keep you advised of further developments in this situation within the Summerfield community.