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813 225 1918
1010 N. Florida Ave. Tampa, Fl 33602

2016 LEGAL UPDATE – 2015 LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

HB 71: Chapter 2015-131

Service Animals; Requires public accommodation to permit use of service animal by individual with disability; provides conditions for public accommodation to exclude or remove service animal; revises penalties for certain persons or entities who interfere with use of service animal; provides penalty for knowing & willful misrepresentation with respect to use or training of service animal.

Effective Date: 7/1/2015

This legislation only applies to the Americans With Disabilities Act and public accommodations, and will not apply to most Associations. And, it does not address emotional support animals, because ESA’s are not recognized under the ADA.

 

HB 87: Chapter 2015-165

An act relating to construction defect claims; amending s. 558.001, F.S.; revising legislative intent; amending s. 558.002, F.S.; revising the definition of the term “completion of a building or improvement”; amending s. 558.004, F.S.; providing additional requirements for a notice of claim; revising requirements for a response; revising provisions relating to production of certain records; amending ss. 718.203 and 719.203, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the act.

Effective Date: 10/1/2015

 Clarification of rights to certain records and information related to construction during the initial complaint phases; addition to definitions

 

HB 305: Chapter 2015-89

This law creates s. 82.045, F.S.; defining the term “transient occupant”; providing factors that establish a transient occupancy; providing for removal of a transient occupant by a law enforcement officer; providing a cause of action for wrongful removal; limiting actions for wrongful removal; providing a civil action for removal of a transient occupant.

Effective Date: 7/1/15

Remedies to remove non-tenant occupants once the party in possession has left.

 

HB 307: Chapter 2015-90

Mobile Homes; Requires Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, & Mobile Homes to approve training & educational programs for board members of mobile home owners associations; provides requirements for education curriculum information for board member & mobile home owner training; revises mobile home owner’s general obligations; provides & revises requirements for lot rental increases; revises provisions relating to rights of purchasers of lifetime leases; provides for removal of member of board of directors; revises quorum & voting requirements; revises provisions relating to board of directors, committee, & member meetings; revises requirements for amendment of articles of incorporation & bylaws; revises requirements for recall of board members; provides requirements for alternative resolution of recall disputes; specifies certification or educational requirements for newly elected or appointed board member; revises & provides requirements relating to official records of association.

Effective Date: 7/1/2015

 Matches 723 association regulations to 720 associations. Adding list of Official Records, meeting notice, quorum and proxy requirements; Board Certification class/certificate requirement to Mobile Home associations in non-resident owned rental parks.

 

HB 453: Chapter 2015-144

Timeshares; Revises provisions relating to timeshares, including amendments made to timeshare instrument, public offering statements, release of certain escrow funds, real estate licensure requirements, multisite timeshare plans, substitutions & deletions of component site accommodations or facilities, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2015

 Termination of timeshare; termination of managing entity

 

HB 643: Chapter 2015-175

Termination of condominium association and condominium property; requiring all voting interests to weigh in (no suspensions for any reason); modifications related to termination when a bulk owner has title to 80 percent or more of the units; provisions related to mortgage holders’ rights to proceeds; alternative dispute resolution.

Effective Date: 6/16/2015

 

All voting interests would include Association-owned units. Adds rights of owners when bulk owner of 80% of the units terminates. Provides clarification of procedures for termination. Adds termination disputes to mandatory arbitration.

 

SB 702: Chapter 2015-2

Florida Statutes; Deleting provisions that have expired, have become obsolete, have had their effect, have served their purpose, or have been impliedly repealed or superseded; replacing incorrect cross-references and citations; correcting grammatical, typographical, and like errors; removing inconsistencies, redundancies, and unnecessary repetition in the statutes; improving the clarity of the statutes and facilitating their correct interpretation; and confirming the restoration of provisions unintentionally omitted from republication in the acts of the Legislature during the amendatory process, etc.

Effective Date: 6/30/2015

 

718.116(6)(c) and (d) reinstated; 721.13(4) fixed a typo.


HB 715: Chapter 2015-94

Eligibility for Coverage by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Removes provision that prohibited certain improvements to major structures from being eligible for Citizens Property Insurance coverage; revises provisions regarding coverage for major structures that have undergone specified changes after a date certain.

Effective Date: 7/1/2015  

Excludes coverage for new construction or remodel, rebuild, repair which increases sq. footage by more than 25%, if location is seaward of the coastal construction control line.


SB 766: Chapter 2015-26

Regulation of drone surveillance on private property: amending s. 934.50, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting a person, a state agency, or a political subdivision from using a drone to capture an image of privately owned real property or of the owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of such property with the intent to conduct surveillance without his or her written consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists; specifying when a reasonable expectation of privacy may be presumed; authorizing the use of a drone by a person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state in certain circumstances; authorizing the use of a drone by an employee or contractor of a property appraiser for the purpose of assessing property for ad valorem taxation; authorizing the use of a drone by or on behalf of certain utilities for specified purposes; for aerial mapping under certain circumstances; for delivering cargo under certain circumstances; to capture certain images under certain circumstances; providing that an owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee may initiate a civil action for compensatory damages and may seek injunctive relief against a person, a state agency, or a political subdivision that violates the act; providing for construction; providing for the recovery of attorney fees and punitive damages; specifying that remedies provided by the act are cumulative to other remedies.

Effective Date: 7/1/15

 

Regulates the use of drones on private property

 

HB 779: Chapter 2015-96

This law creates a new Section 83.561, F.S.; providing that a purchaser taking title to a tenant-occupied residential property following a foreclosure sale takes title to the property, subject to the rights of the tenant; specifying the rights of the tenant; authorizing a tenant to remain in possession of the property for 30 days following receipt of written notice; prescribing the form for a 30-day notice of termination; establishing requirements for delivery of the notice; authorizing a purchaser to apply for a writ of possession if a tenant refuses to vacate the property; providing exceptions.

Effective Date: 6/2/15

 

On December 31, 2014, the Federal Tenant Protection Law expired. This law gives some rights back to tenants in possession at the time title to the property transfers.

 

HB 791: Chapter 2015-97

Residential Properties; Authorizing the use of a copy, facsimile transmission, or other reliable reproduction of an original proxy vote for certain purposes; authorizing condominium associations to conduct votes of the membership by online voting under certain conditions; authorizing the electronic transmission of notices of certain meetings of a cooperative association irrespective of whether authorized by the association’s bylaws, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2015

 

617.0721 – can email, fax or send a copy of a proxy.

THIS CHANGE DOES NOT APPLY TO TIMESHARE CONDOMINIUMS.

718.111(12) – Official Records include all other written records related to operating of the association.

718.112 – ability to provide notices electronically, without authority in the By-Laws.

Adds 718.128 – Electronic voting for all purposes, including election of directors – through on-line internet-based voting system if unit owner consents in writing, and other conditions are met. Electronic voting counts toward quorum

Matching provisions:

719.106; 719.129

720.303; 720.317

718.116

718.303 – clarify that fine is levied by Board of Directors; clarify that monetary obligation includes fee, fine or any other obligation; clarify that suspended votes are deducted from total for any approval vote. Suspensions count for all units owned by one person, even if the violations did not involve all units owned.

 

Matching provisions:

719.303

720.305

720.301 – adds rules and regulations to defined Governing Documents

720.306 – failure to timely provide notice of the recording of amendment does not affect validity of the amendment.

 

——————————                                                     ——————————

 

CHAPTER 468, Part VIII and Florida Bar Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law

 

The Florida Bar Re: Advisory Opinion – Activities of Community Association Managers. [May 14, 2015]

 

The Florida Supreme Court re-examined a 1996 advisory opinion from that Court: Florida Bar re Advisory Opinion–Activities of Community Association Managers, 681 So. 2d 1119 (Fla. 1996).

The petitioner sought confirmation that the activities found to be the unlicensed practice of law in the 1996 opinion (Florida Bar re: Advisory Opinion– Activities of Community Association Managers, 681 So. 2d 1119 (Fla. 1996)) continue to be the unlicensed practice of law. Those activities (hereinafter 1996 opinion) include the following:

  1. drafting of a claim of lien and satisfaction of claim of lien;
  2. preparing a notice of commencement;
  3. determining the timing, method, and form of giving notices of meetings;
  4. determining the votes necessary for certain actions by community associations;
  5. addressing questions asking for the application of a statute or rule; and
  6. advising community associations whether a course of action is authorized by statute or rule.

The petitioner also asked if it was the unlicensed practice of law for a CAM

to engage in any of the following activities (hereinafter “2012 request”):

  1. Preparation of a Certificate of assessments due once the delinquent account is turned over to the association’s lawyer;
  2. Preparation of a Certificate of assessments due once a foreclosure against the unit has commenced;
  3. Preparation of Certificate of assessments due once a member disputes in writing to the association the amount alleged as owed;
  4. Drafting of amendments (and certificates of amendment that are recorded in the official records) to declaration of covenants, bylaws, and articles of incorporation when such documents are to be voted upon by the members;
  5. Determination of number of days to be provided for statutory notice;
  6. Modification of limited proxy forms promulgated by the State;
  7. Preparation of documents concerning the right of the association to approve new prospective owners;
  1. Determination of affirmative votes needed to pass a proposition or amendment to recorded documents;
  2. Determination of owners’ votes needed to establish a quorum;
  3. Drafting of pre-arbitration demand letters required by 718.1255, Fla. Stat.;
  4. Preparation of construction lien documents (e.g. notice of commencement, and lien waivers, etc.);
  5. Preparation, review, drafting and/or substantial involvement in the preparation/execution of contracts, including construction contracts, management contracts, cable television contracts, etc.;
  6. Identifying, through review of title instruments, the owners to receive pre-lien letters; and
  7. Any activity that requires statutory or case law analysis to reach a legal conclusion.

 

ATTORNEY ONLY:

  1. Amendments
  2. Preparation of construction lien documents, including notices of commencement and lien waivers.
  3. Preparation of contracts, including construction or bulk cable services
  4. Analysis of case law or statutes to reach a legal conclusion

The findings of the Court in Florida Bar re: Advisory Opinion – Activities of Community Association Managers, 681 So. 2d 1119 (Fla. 1996) should not be disturbed. Areas which required clarification have been clarified by way of example using the 1996 opinion as guidance. Similarly, activities that were not addressed in 1996 are addressed using the 1996 opinion and other case law as guidance.

 

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