Understanding the Laws Governing Homeowners Associations in Florida

When it comes to homeowners associations in Florida, there are two distinct chapters of the Florida Statutes that govern them. The Florida Condominium Act, chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes, applies to condominiums, while the Florida Homeowners Association Act, chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, applies to homeowners' associations. It is essential to understand which law applies to a particular community. In a homeowners' association, the association typically owns the common areas and the owners have rights to use them.

However, associations can regulate the location of these devices and homeowners must follow the Homeowners' Association's process of approving architectural changes. The Florida Homeowners Association Act also allows homeowners associations to hold elections and other votes for their members through online Internet-based voting systems. Unlike the Florida Condominium Act, which requires the condo association to maintain certain property insurance and details exactly what it must cover, the Florida Homeowners Association Act does not establish property insurance requirements. It does refer to reserve accounts, but whether they are mandatory in a given community depends on how the homeowners association was initially created and whether landlords have since voted to maintain reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance.

Since homeowners association owners usually assume the costs of maintaining the exterior of their homes individually, the periodic fees are usually lower than in a condominium, where the owners must share the costs of maintaining the exterior and the common parts of the condominium building. When a legal problem arises related to homeowners associations in Florida, it is important to seek legal advice from a lawyer specializing in this area. Each factual circumstance and the documents that govern each community will be different.

Kevin Gilstad
Kevin Gilstad

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