By November 22, 2013, all homeowners associations are required to register with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Registration. In addition, there is a new requirement for directors and officers to carry fidelity insurance.
These rules are similar to ones that already exist for condominium associations and are now starting to apply to homeowners associations.
Here is an overview:
- All HOAs must register by November 22, 2013 to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Registration begins online on October 1, 2013. Here is the website where Associations can register.
- The Association’s legal name, federal employer identification number, mailing and physical addresses, the total number of parcels, and the total amount of revenues and expenses from the Association’s annual budget is information that will be included online.
- Records must be maintained for 7 years, within 45 miles of the community, or within the same county; and allowing that they be recorded electronically. Copy costs are reduced to 0.25 per page and personnel costs for requests that exceed ½ hour or more than 25 pages are $20 per hour.
- New board members must certify that they have read the governing documents and must uphold them to the best of their ability within 90 days of election or appointment.
- Associations must obtain a Fidelity Bond/Crime and Fidelity Insurance, but there is no minimum coverage amount. It can also be waived by a majority vote at an annual or special meeting of the members.
- In order for a contract to be approved with board members, a 2/3rds vote must exist and it must be found fair and reasonable. Once approved, the board must disclose the contract at the next member meeting and any member can make a motion to cancel. If it is canceled by a majority vote, the contract is void.
- Officers, directors, and property managers are prevented from receiving any goods or services without payment except for meals, not to exceed $25, as part of a business meeting or items at trade fairs or education programs. If this is violated, it can mean immediate expulsion from their respective position.
- If any director or officer is charged with a theft of Association funds, he/she must be immediately removed from office. If the charges are later dropped against this person or if they are acquitted, they must be reinstated to office.