Florida – June 26, 2018 – ConnectLuxe™, a virtual community website system, helps communities comply with the new Florida CS/CS/HB 1237 law approved by Florida Governor Rick Scott on June 26, 2017. Subsequently, The Florida Legislature amended the bill to state that communities must be compliant to this law by January 1, 2018. The community law states that a condominium association with 150 or more units, which does not contain timeshare units, must post community documents and notices on a secure community website.
The Florida community law provides specific guidelines for communities to provide residents with a secure community website or web portal to get access to community documents, notices and records. Each resident is provided with a secure login to access their profile and view the community information. Such documents that are required to be posted are the declaration, rules and regulations, articles of incorporation of the association, annual budget, financial budget, certification of each director, notices about meetings and the agenda for those meetings, and any bids over $500 that was submitted within the year.
This “transparency law” was enacted to educate residents on what is happening in their community and with the board of directors overseeing the community. It was first sponsored by Representative Jose Felix Diaz and approved unanimously by the Florida Legislature. The reforms help to stem the many fraud and mismanagement cases involving community members and establish criminal penalties for administrators of condominiums who do not follow the best interest of the communities they serve.
“The importance of these reforms is that all these ideas came from the people and from all the residents that we interviewed,” said state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, chairman of the Miami-Dade delegation to the Florida Legislature and prime sponsor of the proposal in the state House, “For the first time there will be criminal consequences for those who commit fraud.” (Miami Herald*).
In addition, The Florida Legislature has been in discussion that this law should also apply to other types of communities, including homeowners associations (HOA), and other multi-family communities. Although other communities are not categorized as the same of condominiums, residents and lawmakers have expressed that the rights should be the same.
ConnectLuxe™ is a virtual concierge system designed for Homes, Buildings & Communities which provides communities a safe and secure website system. In addition to adhering to the guidelines of the law, the ConnectLuxe™ system allows residents to reserve amenities, order services, view events and meeting information, pay bills, make comments, connect with other residents, view documents in a secure (password protected) system, search and create classifieds/search for businesses and experts and the system is accessible via desktop, tablet and mobile phone, 24/7/365. ConnectLuxe™ is a smart home and community technology system, making communities connect better. For more information on ConnectLuxe™, go to ConnectLuxe™ or call 888-318-3884.
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* Medina, Brenda and Carrillo, Erika (2017, March 11). Miami-Dade lawmakers want criminal penalties for fraud and abuse by condo directors. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article137954873.html#storylink=cpy
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Actual 2018 Florida Statutes:
Re-posted from The Florida Legislature:
2. An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing such information in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: “The responses herein are made in good faith and to the best of my ability as to their accuracy.”
(f) An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession or under his or her control to the incoming board within 5 days after the election. The division shall impose a civil penalty as set forth in s. 718.501(1)(d)6. against an outgoing board or committee member who willfully and knowingly fails to relinquish such records and property
(g)1. By January 1, 2019, an association managing a condominium with 150 or more units which does not contain 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.
2. A current copy of the following documents must be posted in digital format on the association’s website:
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 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 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).
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 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.