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New Condo Measures waiting governor’s signature

In Condo rules, florida, Florida Legislature, government, Home Buyer, home sellers, miami, miami beach, new rules, real estate on April 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Condo bill moves to the governor’s desk

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 29, 2010 – A measure to provide condominium owners economic relief is now headed to the governor’s desk. SB 1196, which passed the Florida House yesterday, was identical to a House proposal by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Fort Lauderdale), Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples) and Rep. Maria Lorts Sachs (D-Delray Beach) that passed earlier.

The bill makes a number of changes to Florida’s condominium laws in line. The bill unanimously passed the Senate on April 16. It now goes to Gov. Crist for approval. If signed, it becomes effective July 1, 2010.

“We recognize that the current economic climate is very challenging for condo owners,” says Hudson. “This bill proposes comprehensive reforms to provide relief to unit owners from certain burdensome regulations and expenses that cause them undue hardship at a time when many are struggling to stretch their dollars.”

Some provisions of SB 1196:

Elevators and Fire Alarms: Permits a condo association, upon a majority vote of membership, to exempt the community from a requirement to retrofit elevators so that they will operate when the building loses power. The legislation also exempts one- and three-story buildings with exterior walkways from retrofit requirements for manual fire alarms.

* Delinquencies: Allows an association to collect delinquent assessments directly from tenants when the unit owner/landlord is delinquent.

* Condominium Insurance: Repeals a requirement that condo owners purchase individual unit owner insurance.

* Rental Units – Assessment Delinquencies: Provides new statutory procedures that allow an association to collect delinquent financial obligations directly from rental payments if a tenant is occupying the unit.

* Assessment Delinquencies – Suspension of Use Rights: Permits the association to suspend use rights to common areas if an owner is more than 90 days delinquent in a financial obligation due the association. It also provides for due process procedures when the association imposes a suspension, fine or other penalty.

* Distressed Communities – Bulk Buyer: Provides for the modified regulation of a purchaser of condominium units in “bulk” in cases of financial distress or pending bankruptcy. It also provides regulations for the protection of existing unit owners.

* Assessment Responsibility: Increases the responsibility of a mortgagee for delinquent assessments from 6 months to 12 months or 1 percent of the original mortgage balance, whichever is less.

* Fire Sprinklers: Extends the deadline for retrofitting fire sprinklers from 2014 to 2019, and it eliminates the restriction on unit owners to waive the retrofit requirement. It also provides that building permits for the retrofit must be applied for by Dec. 31, 2016, if the community does not vote for the exemption.

Reprinted by permission: © 2010 Florida Realtors®

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