2021 Legislative Changes to Florida’s Community Association Laws Part IV: New Laws Affecting Cooperative Associations
On June 18th, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that made substantial changes to the statutes affecting cooperative associations. These new laws become effective on July 1st, 2021. Part I of this 4-part blog series discussed the changes to the laws that affect assessment collections and e-mail notice requirements. Parts II and III discussed other changes affecting condominium associations and HOAs, respectfully. This part IV will explain the numerous changes to the statutes affecting other various aspects of cooperative associations and cite the specific statutory sections where the new laws can be located.
- Clarifies that an interest in a cooperative unit is an interest in real property. Stat. § 719.103.
- Allows a unit owner to inspect the official records of the cooperative without needing a reason. Stat. § 719.104.
- A board member or committee member participating in a meeting via telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication counts toward a quorum, and such member may vote as if physically present. Stat. § 719.106.
- Allows the cooperative to extinguish a discriminatory restriction contained within the governing documents through a board vote. Stat. § 719.106.
- The emergency powers for cooperatives have been expanded to apply to damage and/or injury caused by or anticipated in connection with an emergency situation (e. to cover other emergency situations such as COVID-19 rather than just hurricanes). The law now includes contagions as emergencies and mitigations for contagions. In response to a declared state of emergency, it allows a cooperative to conduct board meetings, committee meetings, elections, and membership meetings, in whole or in part, by telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication. Fla. Stat. § 719.128.
These are significant changes to the statutes affecting cooperative associations. Association directors, officers and managers must ensure they are complying with these new laws beginning July 1st, 2021. You should seek legal guidance from an attorney knowledgeable in community association law if you have any questions or concerns on these new laws and the legal requirements for your association going forward.