2018 Legislative Update – Changes Affecting Condominium Association Maintenance and Preservation of Official Records

In this first entry in a series of posts providing 2018 legislative updates, we discuss changes affecting the day-to-day record keeping of condominium associations. HB 841, which became effective on July 1, 2018, has various profound impacts relating to official records.

Website Requirements and Notices

HB 841 extended the deadline for compliance with various condominium website requirements from July 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019.  The website requirement, enacted in 2017, is applicable to all non-timeshare condominium associations managing 150 or more units, and requires the association to maintain a website and post certain records on said website.  HB 841 mitigates the potential ramifications of an association’s noncompliance with certain website requirements, and reduces an association’s potential liability for inadvertently disclosing protected or restricted information on its website.  Furthermore, HB 841 enables associations to adopt rules for providing notice to board and unit owner meetings on the website. Any rule adopted for website notice must require the association to send an electronic notice providing a hyperlink via email to all unit owners whose email addresses are part of the official records. Notably, any owner who consents to receiving an electronic notice assumes responsibility for removing any filters blocking receipt.

Posting Requirements

HB 841 changes the types of documents that associations must maintain on the website.  Previously, the website requirement included an obligation to post any “management agreement, lease, or other contract”.  The statute now instead requires the creation and posting of a list of all contracts or documents to which the association is a party, as well as a list of bids (along with either bid summaries or copies of the bids) received within the past year.  In addition to annual financial reports, associations must also now include any monthly income or expense statement the board will consider at an upcoming meeting.  These posting requirements will require active maintenance, and associations that must comply have to ensure that their managing agent is contractually obligated and has protocols in place to keep up.

Maintenance and Access 

Instead of the previous requirement to maintain non-election related records for seven-years, HB 841 requires associations to maintain certain documents permanently, such as the minutes, as well as copies of the plans, permits, and warranties that the developer is required to turnover pursuant to Section 718.301 (4), Fla. Stat.  This change reinforces the paramount importance for associations to insist on the developer’s compliance with turnover requirements.  Access to official records must now be provided in ten (10) business days, and damages will still accrue if access is willfully denied after ten (10) business days.

These are only a few of the 2018 legislative changes, and in future posts we will examine changes relating to homeowners’ associations, changes relating to condominium material alterations and electric vehicles, conflicts of interest, as well as a closer look at changes relating to condominium and homeowner association voting, elections, and recalls.

Navigating these new rules is a complicated process involving many parties, countless records and legal documents, and expertise in condominium and homeowners association law. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced Miami association law attorney who will understand these new laws and how they apply to your association.