Dania Beach, Fla. (January 4, 2024)

Florida legislators are discussing introducing new legislation regulating homeowners associations (HOAs), bolstering a law already on the books that looks to improve oversight. Numerous court filings have arisen over the past year in Florida, and this new legislation looks to help solve that.

In October, a Florida law known as the Homeowners Association Bill of Rights took effect. The law, which was created to improve oversight of the state's HOAs, required notices for homeowners association board meetings to specifically identify agenda items and made it easier to get notifications about the meetings...

...One pain point for some Florida homeowners is that the monthly cost of HOAs continues to increase, with much of that attributed to the state’s rising insurance rates. According to Insurance.com, the average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $4,218 a year, well above the national average. Florida insurance rates have increased by 42.1 percent since 2022, according to S&P Global.

Amy Sanchez, the Central Florida president of FirstService Residential, a property management firm that oversees HOAs, says there are ample assessment restrictions and limits on fees on the books. Still, insurance costs are continuing to drive up rates.

“Florida has regulations that control how much a budget will go up every year. But with insurance premiums and taxes climbing, an association has no direct control over these,” she told The Epoch Times. "There are a lot of different things being addressed by the Florida Legislature right now, from insurance premiums to fraud. We need greater clarity on what the guardrails and parameters need to be.”

..According to Ms. Sanchez, buyers need to remember that HOAs can add value to a home and save money, with monthly fees covering gardening, painting, and sidewalk repair, eliminating the need to pay for outside vendors. “The reality is that homeowners associations are becoming more popular and frequent as [homebuyers] choose associations as a way of life," she said.

She believes that communities run by associations have residents who are “a lot more understanding" and cited the convenience of knowing what a community looks like before a home purchase. "I like to know who my neighbors are and the community amenities before I buy.”

To read the full article, click here: https://www.theepochtimes.com/us/florida-tries-to-reign-in-homeowners-associations-5547069?welcomeuser=1
Jan 04, 2024