Itís that time of year again when The Florida Legislature
convenes in order to debate and pass new laws. Thereís always
at least a few bills that have something to do with our Florida
community associations. Over the next few weeks, we will
discuss the bills that have been filed, track their progress and
give you our thoughts. Here are but a few:
House Bill 155:
gives the right to 10 percent of the voting interests who
physically reside in the community to initiate a recall
meeting. In other words, it dilutes the importance of those
unit owners who own in the community but may not choose to live
their full time. Opinion: not worth the paper itís written on.
Out of town owners pay the same assessments that in town owners
do and are entitled to nothing less than equal rights. I canít
imagine this bill going anywhere.
House Bill 153:
(5) The landlord shall provide the tenant with a physical
copy of any restrictive covenants governing the use and
occupancy of the premises at the time the landlord and tenant
execute a rental agreement. The landlord shall provide the
tenant written notice by certified mail of any changes to the
covenants or the enforcement of the covenants within 10 business
days. This may be overkill. I can see having to provide
the tenant a copy of the rules and regulations that govern
everyoneís conduct Ė but why would a tenant need a complete set
of the declaration?
House Bill 389:
Before entering into a rental agreement, the landlord, or a
person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the
landlord's behalf, must provide written notice of the tobacco
smoking policy to the tenant or potential tenant stating whether
tobacco smoking is authorized, prohibited, or limited to
specified areas on the premises. If tobacco smoking is limited
to specified areas, the notice must clearly specify the areas in
which smoking is authorized. The landlord, or a person
authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord's
behalf, must obtain written acknowledgment of receipt of the
notice from the tenant or potential tenant before entering into
the rental agreement. I donít think I like this bill
either. Suppose the landlord incorrectly indicates the wrong
place in the condo where smoking is allowed? Now, can the
tenant get out of the lease?
House Bill 565:
removes housing discrimination as a cause of action for certain
relief and damages stemming from violations of the Florida Civil
Rights Act of 1992.
Victims of Housing Discrimination would still have causes of
action under both the Florida and Federal Fair Housing Acts.
So, this does not seem as bad as it may sound.
What are your thoughts? Next week weíll talk about other bills
that have been filed.