Florida Homeowner Association Members Speak Out on Issues Important to their Communities
FT. LAUDERDALE— Florida homeowners want more authority to go after neighbors who fail to pay their association dues and want more enforcement powers against owners who violate community rules and regulations. That’s the conclusion of a new survey recently conducted by the Community Advocacy Network (CAN), a not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of community associations statewide.
The survey asked respondents to “rate how the following legislative changes would assist them in the operation and administration of their community?” With several options to choose from, 44 percent said the most important change would be to have “greater ability to pursue delinquent owners via the lien and foreclosure process.” Forty-three percent said the most important change would be “greater enforcement ability against owners who violate the governing documents.”
One bill that lawmakers have already indicated they’re going to file next year is to have the State regulate homeowners’ associations the way condominiums and cooperatives are regulated now. When asked if they would support such regulation, 63 percent of the survey respondents said yes and 37 percent said no. However, far fewer of the people appeared willing to pay a $4 per year fee to cover the cost of State regulation, 52 percent saying they would be in favor of the fee and 48 percent saying they would be against. The fee is modeled after the $4 per unit fee that condos and cooperatives currently pay the State to fund the Division for such oversight and alternative dispute resolution.
In other issues: A majority of the survey respondents said less than 5 percent of their residents regularly attend board meetings in their communities; 53 percent of homeowners said they would be against prohibiting HOA directors from serving more than two-year staggered terms; 80% said they are in favor of prohibiting board members from accepting a salary or any other compensation related to their HOA duties; and 68 percent percent think homeowners should be able to speak to every item on a board meeting agenda, not just items that owners have petitioned to be on the agenda.
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