Tuesday, June 28, 2011
First the Florida Statute governing homeowner associations, Fla. Stat. § 720 et seq. provided the HOAs with the authority to suspend your use of amenities (the pool, clubhouse, tennis court, etc.) if you were niney (90) days delinquent in paying your assessments. [Fla. Stat. § 720.305(2)] Then it was changed to give the HOAs the authority to do the same if you were late paying any monetary obligation, including fines. Thanks to our elected leaders, the statute giving HOAs the statutory right to impose fines was overturned.
NOW, beginning in July 1, 2011, your HOA has the authority, by statute (and this will be important later) to deny you the right to use the amenities if you have any outstanding covenant violation. So, if they want to keep you out of the pool, they can issue violations for not cutting your grass, or planting landscaping without their approval. It still requires a hearing before a three-member committee that is no relation to board members, but that part of the statute is not allows complied with by the HOA.
It is important to keep in mind these legislative changes do not affect your HOA unless your Declaration of Restrictive Covenants refers to Fla. Stat. § 720 and adds the magic words "as amended from time to time." Thanks to the Florida Supreme Court ruling in Cohn v. The Grand Condominium, (36 Fla. L. Weekly S129a, March 31, 2011, homeowners still have a fighting chance.
For the current version of the statute go to: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0720/0720ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2010&Title=%2D%3E2010%2D%3EChapter%20720