Governor Crist signed Senate Bill 1196 into law last week and I’ll be posting several entries about the amendments to Florida’s statutes affecting condominiums, cooperatives, and mandatory homeowners’ associations in the coming weeks. 

I’d like to first mention a provision in Senate Bill 1196 that corrects a "glitch" in the statutes governing cooperative associations.

SB 1196 amends Florida Statute Section 719.106(1)(d)6 to provide that, unless a cooperative association’s bylaws provide otherwise, a board member appointed or elected to fill a vacancy on the board that occurs before the expiration of the term serves for the full remaining term of the seat being filled.   Although the Florida Administrative Code Section that expanded on F.S. 719.106(1)(d) specifically provides for a vacant seat being filled for the full remaining term, because the statute itself was silent on the issue, there was some uncertainty as to whether the vacancy was filled for the full term or only until the next annual meeting.   This amendment removes any potential inconsistency between condominium associations and cooperative associations on the issue of filling a vacant position on the board that occurs before the expiration of the term.

SB 1196 further amends the statutes governing retrofitting for fire sprinkler systems in both condominiums and cooperatives by prohibiting local authorities from requiring completion of fire sprinkler system retrofitting before the end of 2019.   This is a five year extension from the date provided for prior to this amendment.   The association membership still has the right to "opt out" of retrofitting.

SB 1196 also adds several categories of information that is not to be made available to members or parcel owners in mandatory homeowners associations.

In my next entry, I’ll discuss some changes found in SB 1196 that are intended to help ROC boards and managers deal with our foreclosure crisis.