2021 Legislative review part 11

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This week concludes our review of the 2021 legislative changes by reporting on a number of miscellaneous bills that may have indirect application to community associations.

House Bill 403, relating to home-based businesses, came into force on July 1, 2021. The new law specifies the conditions under which a business is considered a “home-based business”, provides requirements for home-based businesses, authorizes a home business. based business to operate in an area zoned for residential use, clarifies that home-based businesses are subject to certain business taxes and provides for bans and permits for local government actions relating to home-based businesses. It is important to note that this bill does not replace any current or future declaration of co-ownership adopted under Chapter 718, any cooperative document adopted under Chapter 719, or any declaration of commitments adopted under Chapter 720. Commercial use bans in such documents would still be enforceable, although the new law does not speak of rules and regulations.

The Senate Bill 76, relating to insurance, came into force on July 1, 2021. This law prohibits certain practices of contractors, in particular the prohibition on a contractor to perform a contract with a residential owner for a repair or a roof replacement unless the contract contains a notice that the contractor cannot engage in practices prohibited by law, including offering the owner of a residential property a discount, a gift, a gift card, cash, a coupon, an insurance deductible waiver, or anything else of value, in exchange for the contractor’s permission to inspect their roof or make an insurance claim for their roof.

The Senate Bill 1954, on Statewide Flood Resilience and Sea Level Rise Resistance, entered into force on May 12, 2021. The new law establishes the “Resilient Florida Grant Program” within the Department of Environmental Protection and requires the department to conduct a comprehensive statewide flood vulnerability assessment. and sea level rise data set and assessment on specified dates. The law also requires the department to develop an annual “statewide flood and sea level rise resilience plan” and submit the plan to the governor and legislature each year. . The law also obliges the department to set up a rating system to assess projects eligible for inclusion in the plan.

Internal Bill 483, relating to electronic legal documents, entered into force on June 29, 2021. The bill clarifies that the supervision of the testimony of an electronic recording by an online notary public is a “notarial act” and changes testimonial procedures. The new law also revises the statutory forms for affidavits for the acceptance and use of powers of attorney, for election notices relating to the descent of homestead and for self-proof of wills or codicils. The changes made by this law are qualified as “remedial” and apply retroactively to January 1, 2020.

In addition to the many bills that affected community associations, there were also a few notable bills that were not passed. These are worth watching, as issues addressed in failing legislation often arise in the following years. These proposals included a bill that would regulate the investments of condominium associations, a bill increasing the votes required to remove board members of homeowners associations, a bill creating a pilot program to detect fraud. in condominium associations, a bill that would have banned local governments from regulating vacation rentals, and a bill effecting the enforceability of owner association changes related to rental agreements, which was broader than the draft of law that was actually passed and was reported in a previous edition of this column.

Without a doubt, 2021 has been one of the most active years in recent memory when it comes to changes to community association laws. As usual, there was the good, the bad, and the ugly, but overall I would personally rate the changes as useful overall.

Next week’s column will revert to our normal question and answer format.

Joe Adams is a lawyer with Becker & Poliakoff, PA, Fort Myers. Email your questions to Joe Adams at [email protected] Previous editions can be viewed at floridacondohoalawblog.com


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