New homeowners association law takes effect Monday

Florida Legislature aimed to crack down on HOA 'dictatorships'


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Florida law that aims to crack down on so-called homeowner association dictatorships takes effect Monday. The legislation will require HOAs to register with the state, as well as disclose financial and employee information.

"It's not a bad idea, it's good to have them have accountability when collecting income," homeowner Kevin Vincent said.

Vincent says accountability among Florida's homeowner associations is a step in the right direction. He doesn't have a problem paying the annual HOA fees in his neighborhood, but he likes the idea of the state creating a structure.

"You never know what mom and pop companies have had problems before and decided property management is their avenue now, they could be laundering money that direction, if there's no background check we wouldn't know what's going on with the money today.''

Under a new law, which goes into effect July , every HOA must register with the State Department of Business and Professional Regulations by Nov. 22. Lawmakers also want to know if HOA officers have a criminal past, or some other financial interest.

"I think we need to know who your dealing with, especially in this day and time with the economic situation, people are more likely to attempt to use funds in the incorrect way," Dennis Black said.

Blank says he receives financial disclosures from the company managing his neighborhood, but he'd feel more comfortable with another set of eyes looking in. Lawmakers have admitted that this law is not the finished product, but instead just a start.

Many of the home owners associations throughout the state of Florida are just now learning about the process of registering with the state.

HOA complaints against officers and managers will also be reported to state officials - who hope that this new HOA legislation, will hold HOA responsible.

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