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Is Your HOA Breaking The Law?

Sep 15, 2018 | Uncategorized

The Florida Sunshine Law was created to guarantee that the public has access to government public records in the state of Florida. Governor Rick Scott approved House Bill 1237 on June 26th, 2017 making it a requirement that every condominium association with over 150 units needs to have a website with access to digital records. 

Senate Bill 841 was recently passed, which extends the deadline from July 1st, 2018 to January 1st, 2019.

 

There Is Still Time to be Fully Compliant With The Florida Condo Laws!

 

CS/CS/CS/HB 841: Community Associations

(g)1. By January July 1, 2019 2018, an association managing a condominium with 150 or more units which does not contain manage timeshare units shall post digital copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its website.

a. The association’s website must be:
(I) An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or
(II) A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or
otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records, and documents may be posted by the association.

b. The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association.

c. Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association must provide the unit owner with a username and password and access to the protected sections of the association’s website that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be electronically provided.

A current copy of the following documents must be posted in digital format on the association’s website:

Required Documents (Click to Open)
a. The recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and each amendment to each declaration.

b. The recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.

c. The articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and each amendment thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the Department of State.

d. The rules of the association.

e. A list of all executory contracts or documents Any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility and, after bidding for the related materials, equipment, or services has closed, a list of bids received by the association within the past year. Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services which exceed $500 must be maintained on the website for 1 year. In lieu of summaries, complete copies of the bids may be posted.

f. The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.

g. The financial report required by subsection (13) and any monthly income or expense statement proposed financial report to be considered at a meeting.

h. The certification of each director required by s. 718.112(2)(d)4.b.

i. All contracts or transactions between the association and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other entity in which an association director is also a director or officer and financially interested.

j. Any contract or document regarding a conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
468.436(2)(b)6. and 718.3027(3) ss. 468.436(2) and 718.3026(3).

k. The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14 days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and linked from the front page. The association must also post on its website any document to be considered and voted on by the owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the information within the document will be considered.

l. Notice of any board meeting, the agenda, and any other document required for the meeting as required by s. 718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
3. The association shall ensure that the information and records described in paragraph (c), which are not allowed permitted to be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the association’s website. If protected information or information restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in documents that are required to be posted on the association’s website, the association shall ensure the information is redacted before posting the documents online. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the association or its agent is not liable for disclosing information that is protected or restricted pursuant to this paragraph unless such disclosure was made with a knowing or intentional disregard of the protected or restricted nature of such information.
4. The failure of the association to post information required under subparagraph 2. is not in and of itself sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or its committees.

Manage Your Community

Automate HOA Fees

Communicate With Owners

Running an online website can be very troublesome and time consuming for many homeowner associations. We get it, board members have busy lives and don’t have time to deal with technical related issues.

 

If you live in the state of Florida, by law your association NEEDS a website. Even if you live in another state and you are not legally required, you should still have a website for owners to login and access important information. The law states that only condo associations over 150 units need compliance, however every association should have an online presence.  

 

Florida by far has the largest amount of condo associations, so by enacted this law they are setting an example for the rest of the country. More states are soon to follow, so it’s best to be ahead of the curve and get your site created today.

How We Can Help

Bright Digital Solutions has a proven track record in the digital real estate markets. We have created turn-key solutions for houses, apartments, and condominiums throughout the country. We are your digital partner, handling everything from Web Development, to Advertising and SEO. Rest easy knowing your website will be built and 100% compliant by the start of next years first quarter.

FEATURES

Front facing website showcasing your condo association

Login portal for condo owners

Responsive design – Make all pages on the site look great on every device (Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Mobile)

SSL Encryption and added security + backups included with every website

Easy for an administrator to make updates (no coding experience necessary)

Condo records available for download for logged in user

Joinable groups and community message boards

Easily cast votes on condo related topics

Fully compliant with the Florida Sunshine Law

We make it easy to manage your community association.

Our company values both families and local neighborhoods very highly, our goal is to promote a safer and more connected community through the use of web-based technologies.

Many different kinds of people need to access information about your community, both residents (owners), staff (management team), board members (trustee board), shareholders, and community vendors. Everyone has their own use, but they all need to be able to login to the same dashboard.

Our vision is to have one unified place that everyone has access to, to give you more than just an accounting or management platform.

Provide residents 24/7 access to your neighborhood information.

 

Communicate effectively with your fellow residents by posting your newsletters, meeting minutes, official documents and forms on your neighborhood website.

 

Too often residents complain about not being informed about association matters. – Keep your residents informed.

Beyond Condos

Although HB 1237 and 2018 SB 841 specify condominiums, homeowners associations should also be wary. Another law (CS/CS/HB 483) was passed that applies to all condos, HOAs and CO-ops, requiring them to post information for estoppel certificate quests on their website.

According to the law, the website must be “An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records, and documents may be posted by the association.”

The association has to run and operate the website, not the owner or developer. Facebook Groups, real estate websites, or Zillow do not count in the eyes of the law. This needs to be a password protected page that only owners can access. Can’t use a single login between users

The key point in the law is that you need to have a private, password controlled section on your website that only homeowners can see. “The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association.”

Florida Statute 718 Amendment of 2017 (HB 1237)

 

Florida Statute 718 Amendment of 2018 (SB 841)