The Florida Legislature passed a bill, signed into law by Governor Rick Scott which tightened up several issues regarding homeowners associations. The bill covered a myriad of issues related to the governing of HOAs. One of the big items in the bill was the requirement that HOAs now have to report to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. From what has been reported, this will eventually provide a stronger regulatory voice for homeowners that have complaints about the governing of their HOA. This is not meant as a sounding board for community grievances but rather offers an ombudsman for HOAs similar to that of condominium associations.
The law firm of Becker-Poliakoff has put together an legislative guide for all of the recent condo, cooperative and homeowner association amendments. If you are a Board member of an HOA or condo, you should read the guides and become familiar of what is required of Board members, CAMs (association managers) and Developers.
One thing to consider is that these amendments regarding HOAs are separate from the regulations governing CDDs. Community Development Districts have their own set of guidelines, regulations and governing bodies.
There are a number of professional community association management companies throughout the state of Florida that have loosely abided by these new legislative requirements for a number of years. There has never been a requirement to register a homeowners association with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation however, all licensed community association managers within the State of Florida have been required to be licensed by DBPR for a number of years.
If you are new to deed restricted communities and the governance of them, take the time to become acquainted with the new (and old) laws and how it will affect your community.