Florida Condominium communities with more than 150 individual units must provide a website that offers digital copies of association rules, notices, records and more. It must feature a protected sub-page or web portal that allows access for unit owners and association employees only.
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It’s the Law – January 1, 2019 Effective Date
On June 26, 2017 Governor Rick Scott approved HB 1237*, amending Florida Statutes 718, and requiring that an association with 150 units or more to have a website and post digital copies of official records on it. In today’s digital world, the public’s view of an organization frequently comes with the click of a mouse, leading to a website. Thanks to a new bill governing the operations of condominium associations in Florida, these associations must abide by strict regulations regarding the characteristics of these online properties. This became law in June with Gov. Rick Scott’s signature. It provides specific guidelines for how condominium associations must be run. To foster accountability and transparency, the legislation also governs how those associations’ websites must be built and managed to better serve residents. The legislation is going into effect on January 1, 2019 and adds several requirements and prohibitions to the Florida Condominium Act and Florida Statutes Chapter 718. In a nutshell, the legislation mandates that boards become more accountable and transparent.
While most of the thousands of associations in Florida are managed with integrity, some aren’t. The bill puts board members on notice that they can face felony charges if found guilty of specific breaches. There is a laundry list covering electoral fraud, forged signatures on ballots, conflict of interest and misappropriation of funds, to name a few. In today’s world, transparency and communication start with a website; the law clearly stipulates how these destinations must be structured. They must be secure and provide specific information. The Legislature clearly believes they must be much more than online brochures.
The bill requires that all condominium associations with more than 150 units have a compliant website by January 1, 2019. It is one of the first steps in associations creating an environment that is transparent for residents. One of the major concerns with online commerce is that sensitive documents and personal information will somehow be compromised and shared with those outside of the association. Associations have time to select a website developer familiar with protocols related to security. In short, information should be available only to those entitled to see it – residents of the association.