Homeowner Associations are governed by a chain of governing documents and laws.
- The Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State provide the legal basis of the association in the form of an Incorporated Non-Profit Corporation.
- The recorded map or 'plat' defines each owner's title to property including the association's title to common areas.
- The CCR's (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) are publicly recorded deed restrictions.
- The Bylaws are the rules for management and administration.
- Resolutions are additional rules and regulations that the association may adopt.
- Federal Laws also apply. Some but not all include the The Fair Housing Act, Internal Revenue Codes, the American Disabilities Act, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act , the FCC OTARD Rule (Over the Air Reception Devices - Satellite Dishes) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Information regarding State Laws specific to common interest communities such as condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowner associations are provided below and in the FAQ section of the Resouce Center. In addition there are typically additional state laws that are not specific to Common Interest Communities which require compliance. Some examples include stormwater runoff, coastal development, elevator inspections for condos, and pool operations to name a few.
- Local Ordinances, while not specific to homeowner associations, apply to building codes, animal control, abandoned cars, water restrictions, etc.
- Additional legal regulations can exist in the form of case law; standards set by professional organizations such as accountants, engineers, architects, home inspectors, and real estate brokers; as well as lender requirements.
- State laws affecting Common Interest Communities vary widely.
- Bills affecting Common Interest Communities are frequently being introduced in state legislatures and may be in different stages of consideration, approval, or enactment.
- It is not uncommon to find conflicts within or between governing documents such as the covenants and the bylaws. There may also be conflicts between governing documents and statutes. When this occurs, attorneys must often consider applying Rules of Intepretation.
- Because of the wide variance in state laws, constant changes and possible conflicts in governing documents or statutes, it is strongly recommended that association boards and members seek legal counsel and especially with firms that have expertise or strong practice experience in the area of Common Interest Community law. A good starting point is to check the HOA-USA Partner Directory for your respective state.
Florida State Laws
Florida Department of Business & Professional
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes (division)
has authority to enforce the following laws:
718, Florida Statutes The Condominium Act
719, Florida Statutes The Cooperative Act
723, Florida Statutes The Florida Mobile Home Act, Chapter 723
617, Florida Statutes The Florida Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
607, Florida Statutes The Florida Corporations Act
468 Part VIII, Florida Statutes The Community Association Management (CAM) Law
- Chapters 61B-15 through 25, 45 and 50, Florida Administrative Code
- Chapters 61B-75 through 79, Florida Administrative Code
In addition, Chapters 61B-45 and 61B-50, Florida Administrative Code, contain
rules relating to arbitration of disputes. Chapter 61B-25 contains rules
regarding lists maintained by division for volunteer and paid mediators.
In June of 1998, the division adopted administrative rules to implement its
responsibility to ensure compliance with the provisions of Chapters 718 and 719,
Florida Statutes. The resolution guidelines specify the action the division will
take when accepted complaints are received. The rules provide for different
treatment of violations by developers and violations by unit owner controlled
associations, designate violations as either major or minor, provide for
different methods of complaint resolution, discuss repeat violations and
aggravating and mitigating factors, and provide for civil penalties. The
resolution guidelines are found in:
- 61B-20.004 - 61B-20.006 - Resolution Guidelines for Condominium Developers
- 61B-21.001 - 61B-21.003 - Condominium Resolution Guidelines for Unit Owner
- 61B-77.001 - 61B-77.03 - Resolution Guidelines for Cooperative Developers
- 61B-78.002 - 61B-78.004 - Cooperative Resolution Guidelines for Unit Owner
In conjunction with the jurisdiction granted to the division by the
Condominium and Cooperative Acts, the following are responsibilities that the
division has under Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes:
- Each condominium and cooperative association is required to pay annual fees
to the division based on the number of residential condominium or cooperative
units in the association. This fee is currently $4 per unit and is due by
January 1 of each year.
- The division provides training programs for condominium and cooperative
association board members and unit owners, by contracting with a private vendor
to provide training courses.
- The division maintains a toll-free telephone number accessible to
condominium and cooperative board members and unit owners. This number is
- The division has a program to certify both volunteer and paid mediators to
provide mediation of condominium and cooperative disputes.
Community Association Manager Licensing
- A community association manager or community association management firm
manages community associations with 10 or more residential units or budgets of
$100,000 or greater for compensation. Examples of compensation are cash, goods,
- A community association management firm must be licensed, and each community
association manager within the firm must be licensed.
If you have specific questions, please contact the department at
(850) 487-1395 or review the rules for the profession at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cam/index.html.
You should also check with your county or city to learn whether or not a local
business tax receipt is required for services that do not require a state
Office of the Condominium Ombudsman
"It is the mission of the Office
of the Condominium Ombudsman to improve the quality of life for Florida
condominium owners through prompt, professional and courteous service as a
neutral, informative and accessible resource." Created by an act of the
Legislature in 2004, the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman was established to
be a resource for unit owners, board members, condominium associations and
others. The Ombudsman’s duties are described in Section 718.5012 Florida
Statutes. You may e-mail your questions concerning your condominium to the
Ombudsman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call