Alliance Delivers Community Association Concerns to Legislators in Tallahassee
The Alliance of Delray Residential Associations' Legislative Delegation visited the office of EVERY Senator & Representative on Palm Beach County Day to deliver written concern over SB1348. A recent Palm Beach Post article featured Alliance Executive Vice President Lori Vinikoor who explained the impact that the additional regulatory oversight which SB1348 calls for would have on homeowner associations (HOA’s). Examples include the following: the authority to levy civil penalties against individual officers and board members, removing the ability of HOA’s to lien for fines, and requiring a $4 per unit fee (with a built-in cost of living change) to fund the new regulations and create an “Ombudsman’s Office” similar to what condominiums now have.
The $4 per unit fee would financially impact property owners but not as much as the legal fees that an Ombudsman's office would incur for an association. In order to protect themselves, most associations would use legal counsel to respond to the complaints and who would be paying the bill? The association membership would and this would lead to higher HOA fees. Prominent community association attorneys voice opposition to this bill even though they would be making more money if this legislation passes. Why do they oppose the extra regulations and regulatory agency? Because an HOA Ombudsman does not make sense. Property owners already have the ability to mediate and in certain circumstances, arbitrate. The thought process behind the SB1348 does not appear to take into account the vast differences between HOA's and COA's, one major difference being that COA's have more common elements (walls/plumbing/recreational facilities) than HOA's and another major difference being in the nature of property ownership and easement rights.
For a summary of the bill, click on the following:
For the complete 122 page bill, click on the following:
For the Alliance’s written concern provided to State Legislators, click on the following: