Pressured by community association advocates throughout the Sunshine State, the Florida Legislature backed off a proposed bill (HB 5005) that would have eliminated licensing for community association managers and deregulated the industries overseeing condominiums, HOAs, mobile homes, timeshares and cooperatives.
The legislation was part of an effort by the legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Scott to deregulate more than 50 industries and reduce state oversight and regulation. The bill also would have dissolved the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, along with hundreds of jobs, and put into the state’s operating budget coffers the division’s $6.1 million trust fund that is used for enforcement actions, funding an office of condominium ombudsman and the alternative dispute resolution program that benefits homeowners.
The two proposed committee bills (now known as HB 5005 and HB 5007) easily passed the legislature’s House Business & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on March 15, and were next up before the House Economic Affairs Committee on March 24. The aim of HB 5007 is to streamline and reduce current regulations in the affected industries.
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) representing Florida’s chapters sent out a legislative alert to their membership urging opposition to HB 5005—the deregulation legislation. They requested that members contact the Speaker of the House Dean Cannon, and members of the Economic Affairs Committee and let them know of CAI’s opposition to the bill. “It is important that they hear not just from CAMs, but also from the community associations that employ CAMs,” the alert said.
A Victory for HOAs and
Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., managing partner of Fort Lauderdale-based Katzman Garfinkel and Berger, and executive director of the Community Advocacy Network (CAN), also sprung into action, mobilizing her HOA membership within the community association profession. Collectively, they urged legislators that deregulation would have had grave consequences for HOAs and community association managers.