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New Condo Association Laws In Florida


If you have lived in Florida for any time, there is a high probability that you have had some form of contact with a condominium. There are more than 5,000 condominiums occupied or under construction in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, accounting for more than 20,000 individual units. For those who currently live in or will move to a condominium as a permanent or seasonal residence in Florida, the newest changes to condominium laws are important to understand.

The good news is that the Condominium Act (Chapter 718 F.S.) has been significantly amended with several changes benefiting current and future condominium residents.

There also are significant provisions, however, that are poorly written, ambiguous, vague and open to interpretation.

The scope of the statute is diverse but there are three critical areas for residents: insurance, board qualifications and collection of delinquent assessments. The laws affecting insurance and assessment collection were effective as of July 1, and those involving board qualifications went into effect on Oct. 1.

Condo Insurance and HOA Insurance

One of the hottest topics for all involved with condominiums is insurance. The statute provides that for hazard (casualty) policies which begin Jan. 1, 2009, covering such events as storms, hurricanes or even relatively minor water leaks, the association is required to provide primary coverage for all areas of the condominium property as originally installed and any replacements of the same kind or quality.

The condo associations are also required to cover alterations properly made by the condo association through the years and places the onus on the condo association for reconstruction payments after a casualty loss, such as extensive damage from a hurricane.

Condo insurance policies issued after Jan. 1, 2009 for portions of the property that they are to cover will also be required to include extra coverage that includes loss-assessment insurance for no less than $2,000 per occurrence. Additionally, if the association requests proof of a unit owner hazard and liability insurance coverage and the unit owner fails to provide that proof within 30 days, the association has the authority to purchase coverage for the unit owner and assess that unit for the cost.

Other revisions further clarify what falls under the condo association's responsibility as a common expense. This includes hazard insurance deductibles, uninsured losses and other damages in excess of coverage. All reconstruction and/or repair responsibility following a casualty loss falls to the association to complete, although some of the costs may be apportioned between the condo association and the affected condo unit owners.


Generally speaking, to be an effective leader, one should be knowledgeable in all areas under his or her jurisdiction. The new legislation recognizes this and the statute has been revised to address the qualifications necessary to become a board member, requiring that candidates who wish to be board members submit a certificate as proof of their knowledge of their governing documents, as well as the provisions of the Condominium Act.

The goal is to assure condominium residents that new board members will be knowledgeable in the condominium statutes and documents that apply to their condominium, and be better able to effectively manage their community association. Also, any director who is delinquent for more than 90 days in assessments is automatically deemed to have abandoned his or her office.


Another revision to the statute places a larger burden on a condominium association when it is pursuing delinquent unit owners by adding a new step to the process. The association is now required to provide owners 30 days written notice via certified and regular mail before they can place a lien on the property

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