Solutions to HOA Abuse in Florida
Common Interest Community Association (or HOA’s) Abuse in Florida
Common interest communities (commonly known as Homeowner Associations or HOA’s) have become more popular across the United States, including Florida. As more and more Floridians find themselves living in these associations, a pressing concern has emerged: financial fraud committed by board members. For many unsuspecting property owners, the consequences of this fraud can be devastating. It’s a whirlwind of unexpected costs, escalating assessments, and the daunting task of attempting to recoup stolen funds. Some Floridians have lost their homes.
This is far from an isolated issue. According to a report by the Community Associations Institute, over the past two decades, there’s been a significant increase in cases of financial mismanagement and outright theft within these communities. As the number of common interest communities grows and such incidents become more frequent, the need for protections for property owners has become critical. Safeguarding property owners from the nefarious actions of a few is the responsibility of both state and local governments.
In this document, Floridians For Honest Lending explains the current problems and solutions Florida homeowners need.
Univision 23’s Tayhana Garcia reports on condo abuse allegations from the owners and residents of Sunset Palm Villas in Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava respond to the investigation. The original report (without English subtitles) is available here.
Condo owners fighting hefty HOA assessments for hurricane damage still under repair.
Dockside at Ventura’s HOA Board of Directors is assessing condo owners a damage assessment fee to cover the overall cost of repairing damaged units. One condo owner, Juan Marmol, says the total assessment he’ll have to pay over 12 years is $128,338.12. Read the Spectrum News report here.
Who oversees Common Interest Community Associations in Florida?
Florida statutes governing various types of common interest community associations are delineated across four distinct chapters:
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation plays a pivotal role in governing all of these common interest community associations.
Click on any item below to expand and read a summary of the DBPR’s role with respect to community associations:
Licensing & Education
Regulation & Enforcement:
For certain disputes between unit owners and associations, the DBPR provides a mandatory non-binding arbitration process. This serves as an alternative to litigation, aiming to resolve issues more quickly and at a lower cost.
Complaints & Investigations:
Property owners or other stakeholders can file complaints against community associations or their managers. The DBPR reviews these complaints and, if deemed valid, conducts investigations. Based on the results of these investigations, the department can take various actions, ranging from fines to revoking licenses.
Public Records & Reporting:
The department ensures that community associations submit required financial reports, maintain appropriate records, and provide public access to specific documents as mandated by law.
In summary, the DBPR serves as the primary regulatory body for community associations in Florida, ensuring compliance with state laws, resolving disputes, and safeguarding the interests of property owners and other stakeholders.