City of Doral urges Florida Legislature for HOA regulations

City of Doral urges Florida Legislature for HOA regulations

By unanimous vote, the City of Doral recently approved a resolution to strongly urge the Florida Legislature to pass of a bill that would enact a review of Homeowner Associations throughout the state including those operating in Doral.

Sponsored by City of Doral Vice Mayor Claudia Mariaca, the initiative supports residents in their quest for more efficient and effective management in neighborhoods, as HOA’s would be required greater transparency in governance and the handling of day- to-day business. Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez has been a firm advocate and lead city council on making this topic a legislative priority in regards to proposals the city made to the Florida State Legislature.

If passed at the state level, this law would affect and estimated two million homes in Florida; and in Doral, would impact 90 percent of the 136 communities that currently operate under some form of HOA. When HOA’s do not function as planned, homeowners pay a heavy toll in court fines, liens, and even foreclosures. For this, oversight, government regulations, mandatory training for volunteer association boards, background checks, and financial accountability need to be put in place to ensure that the HOA’s are managed well.

Gabriel Rodriguez, president of the Doral Isles Community Association, stated, “We thank the mayor and councilmembers for taking a proactive approach with Resolution 19-48 in urging the legislature to review the current legislation as it relates to HOA’s. The current lack of legislation and oversight on the operations of HOAs allow for far too many abuses of power and corruption to go unchecked, as there is no governing body that comprehensively regulates HOA activity.

“Unscrupulous Board members, HOA management companies, and HOA attorneys skirt the law and cause irreparable damage to the communities they are entrusted to manage. It is imperative that the state legislature immediately review and enact new legislation to regulate these entities and provide for consequences to those few causing harm to so many unsuspecting and defenseless homeowners.”

In 2018, the State of Florida proposed HB 873 and SB 1238 “Homeowners’ Associations,” sponsored by then-Senator Rene Garcia and then Representative Manny Diaz, Jr., prohibiting associations from hiring attorney who represents management company of association; requiring an association to provide members with a copy of the most recent annual financial report or a written notice detailing how to obtain such report; prohibiting an officer, director, or manager from soliciting, offering to accept, or accepting a kickback for which consideration has not been provided; and providing requirements and procedures relating to conflicts of interest; among other regulations.

For information, feel free to reach out to Vice Mayor Mariaca via email or call 305-593-6725.

 


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9 COMMENTS

  1. Doral city commission and Mayor and Vice Mayor rock! As a long-term resident of Weston, I would say that some of these issues don’t just plague senior citizens, etc. HOAs across the board need more oversight and the power balance with homeowners needs to be re-adjusted. Hope this effort by Doral catches on. Very impressed by Doral city government for taking this on. This is leadership!

  2. I am a board member and the main problem is unit owners who do not attend meetings and offer no support, help, suggestions. Etc. If all unit owners would help and do their part (properly disposing of garbage, picking up after pets, following the rules, etc, and help with suggestions.) in keeping the community nice and participating in the maintenance of the community we would all benefit. Our meetings have 3-4 people and people are not interested in participating for a better community. The board members are volunteers and have families so if unit owners don’t want to help or volunteer it is hard for a few board directors to manage everything .

  3. Very true. I have heard rumors that there are State legislators who may be heading in that direction. Making FS 720 (HOAs) closer to FS 718 (COAs). Let’s hope…

  4. Unfortunately, Board service is a voluntary and unpaid position. Basic accountability for their actions is probably the best starting point. While Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to owner members, the only practical recourse is recall (firing them from the Board). Unless they do something clearly against Association interests, or profit through their Board service, or do something criminal…there isn’t much members can do until voting them out at the next election. I agree with you – this is a great start.

  5. The condo law – FS718 is one of the best in the country. Why not fashion the law for HOA, FS720 after that? Condos have to pay $4.00 per door to the DBPR for them to SUPPOSEDLY protect the interests of condo owners. The only thing we’ve seen in the past several years is our money being used for other pet projects and the duties of the DBPR shrinking.

  6. It’s one of the most positive and encouraging post to date, I live in a community that is plagued with a multitude of problems from our Board of Directors to the Management Company who not only supports their unscrupulous activities but partake in them. They continue to violate our govern documents and by-laws, by not holding meetings, hiring the presidents son to do all the work in the community even without proper licensing. They use HOA funds to do favors for each other and friends. We don’t have proper annual elections or budget meetings. Our Board is know to bully homeowners and send out letters to discredit anyone who calls them on their unscrupulous activities. They have not only have threaten homeowners with law suits they actually filed a civil conspiracy agains’t some homeowners which was thrown out of court but at a great cost to the community not to mention the homeowners. The Board President thinks nothing of going onto homeowners business pages and stated false and damaging accusations to discredit them in their personal lives and even going to their place of work to try and get them fired. We the homeowners have tried to change these problems but as you stated our pockets are limited but the Board of Directors have and endless piggy bank..our dues. State statues have laws on the books but no entity to enforcement these laws no consequences for rogue Boards and Management Companies. I commend the city of Doral and the people who live there for taking a stand and Vice Mayor Claudia Mariaca and council members for supporting her community and also helping all of us in the State of Florida who not only share the same problems but also want to see Boards and Management Companies to be held accountable.

  7. Definitely a good initiative. Incompetent Boards and uncaring management have brought about this poor environment for owners. Obviously, self-regulation isn’t working. Time for the State to step in to protect owners.

  8. Volusia county has hundreds of condo HOAs and needs to get on board with this proposed bill. Owners are senior citizens. Abuse of senior citizens is Attorney General’s new Mission.

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