A new bill filed in the Florida Legislature could change how homeowners associations operate and require them to donate money to their surrounding communities.
House Bill 173 is sponsored by state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, and is aimed at nonprofit organizations that operate residential homeowners' associations. The bill would amend Florida law stipulating specific requirements for these organizations to operate as homeowners' associations.
The bill would require these organizations to donate at least 15% of the association's total income back to the community in the county where it is located and make available all records and documentation detailing where these funds were used or donated.
The bill's text states that a homeowners' association that operates a community defined in laws must be operated by an association that is a Florida corporation.
As of Oct. 1, 1995, Florida law required associations to be incorporated with their governing documents recorded officially in county records where the association is located.
While an association can operate more than a single community, the directors and officers of that association are responsible to all members they serve, according to the bill.
The bill states that an association's powers and duties include those outlined in state law and the association's governing documents.
Once members obtain control of an association, the association can institute, maintain, settle, or appeal specific actions and hearings on behalf of all members concerning matters of common interest.
This includes the use and maintenance of common areas, the roof, and the structure of a building and improvements that the association is responsible. This could encompass any mechanical, electrical, or plumbing elements required to improve a building.
However, the association can defend its actions before commencing any litigation against another party in the association's name that involves cash amounts greater than $100,000. Still, approval must first be obtained from the majority of members.
It further stipulates that members must have the authority to act on behalf of the association simply by being a member. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1.
Daniels did not respond to a request for comment about her bill.