New Emergency Powers (and More) in Florida

A far-reaching new piece of legislation targeting community associations, Senate Bill (S.B.) 630, took effect in Florida on July 1, 2021. “It’s a mixed bag,” says Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “There’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff.”

Good or bad, though, Berger says “there are operational changes boards and managers need to know about.”

“We’ve always had emergency provisions, but they were geared toward hurricanes,” says Jennifer Biletnikoff, a shareholder in the Naples, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. S.B. 630 makes clear that they apply to emergencies caused by contagion, too, and not just after damage has occurred but also to prevent it. The clarification extends to HOAs, condo associations, and co-ops.

“One thing that’s striking is that emergency powers can’t be used to prohibit owners, tenants, guests, agents, or invitees of a unit owner from accessing the unit, common elements, or limited common elements when necessary for the sale, lease, or transfer of a unit,” Biletnikoff says. “Many associations had bans on showing properties for sale during the pandemic.”

Berger finds this provision “befuddling and disappointing.”

“Even if you have to shut things down to your owners,” she says, “you still have to open them up to these other people.”

Read the full article now to learn more about S.B. 630 — its provisions could start, or reflect, a trend for other states’ association laws:

Sweeping New Association Law Takes Effect in Florida

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Matt Humphrey

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