The following is a brief summary of some of the legislation included in Senate Bill 1196 which was signed into law on June 1, 2010 by Governor Charlie Crist. S.B. 1196 amends portions of Chapter 718 (the Condominium Act) and the new provisions portend changes for condominium unit owners and associations alike. The changes were made effective July 1, 2010 and include the following:
- Distressed Condominium Relief Act: The Distressed Condominium Relief Act removes some barriers to condominium bulk buyer acquisitions. Investors purchasing more than 7 condominium units will not be subject to assuming the original developer’s liabilities. Under the Act, a bulk assignee is not responsible for the warranties of the developer, the obligations to fund the developer’s converter reserves or warranties, the obligations to fund the developer’s assessments or budgetary deficits or the obligation to provide an audit during the time period in which the developer controlled the association. To utilize the Act, all statutory requirements must be followed and the bulk buyer or bulk assignee must acquire title to the units prior to July 1, 2012.
- Suspension of Rights of Delinquent Unit Owners: SB 1196 permits an association to suspend the rights of a unit owner to use the common elements or facilities if the unit owner has not paid the required maintenance assessments.
- Tenant Payment of Assessments Should Owner Fail to Do So: S.B. 1196 authorizes the condominium association to require that a unit owner’s tenant, in lieu of paying rent to the unit owner, pay rent directly to the Association to pay the money owed by the unit owner to the Association.
- Insurance Changes: S.B. 1196 clarifies that the property excluded from the association’s condominium coverages is properly located within the unit and serves only such unit. Such property includes the personal property within the unit or limited common elements; floor, wall and ceiling coverings; electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built in cabinets and countertops and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware and similar window treatment components. The law further states that the excluded property is the responsibility of the unit owner and the unit owner’s insurance. Additionally, the condominium association is no longer required to be named as an additional insured and loss payee on all insurance policies issued to condominium unit owners.
- Board of Director Delinquencies: A director or officer who is more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due the association shall be deemed to have abandoned the office.
- Fire Sprinkler System: SB 1196 states that a condominium association cannot be required to retrofit its fire sprinkler system before the end of 2019.
- Directors Must Read Condominium Docs: SB 1196 now requires that all newly elected directors, within 90 days of being elected, must certify to the secretary that he or she has read and will uphold the association documents. Alternatively the newly elected or appointed directors must take a course administered by an appointed condo educational provider.
Compiled by Harry M. Wilson, IV