On June 21, Florida’s Governor approved House Bill 1195.  The provisions contained in this legislation became effective on July 1, 2011.

HB 1195 was considered by many to be a "glitch bill" aimed a correcting oversights in laws passed in recent sessions of Florida’s legislature.  However, HB 1195 does not expand the categories of "protected official records" in Florida Statute Section 719.104 to match those that were included in the 2010 amendments to F.S. Section 718.111(12)(c) and F.S. Section 720.303(5).   For whatever the reason, certain documents that are clearly "off limits" to unit owners in condominium associations and mandatory homeowners associations will continue to be accessible to a unit owner in a cooperative association that makes a proper request to inspect and copy them.  I’ve covered this topic in a previous entry in this blog and it’s clear that cooperative associations have another year of uncertainty in dealing with requests to inspect and copy these "sensitive" official records.

However, HB 1195 did amend Florida Statute Section 719.303(3) to provide that::

  • A cooperative association may now levy reasonable fines for the failure of the occupant of a unit (even if that occupant is not the unit owner) to comply with the association’s "reasonable"  rules or any provision of the documents governing the cooperative.   The fine may not become a lien on the unit, may be levied on the basis of each day of a "continuing violation," and cannot exceed $100 per violation or $1000 total.
  • In addition, a cooperative association can now suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the right of a unit owner, or unit owner’s tenant, guest, or invitee, to use the common elements, common facilities, or any other association property for failure to comply with the association’s "reasonable" rules or any provision of the cooperative documents.
  • The cooperative association must give the unit owner (and, if applicable, the unit owner’s licensee or invitee) reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of unit owners and the committee must agree with the fine or suspension in order for the fine or suspension to be imposed. 

We’ll discuss some  additional enforcement tools extended to cooperative associations through HB 1195 in my next entry.