In 2017, the Florida lawmakers had enough of the fraud that was prevalent in condominiums. Official Record keeping laws were not being followed by boards and owners who were requesting records that the boards were required to keep, were being ignored. So, the lawmakers improved upon penalties for noncompliance with such things as possible criminal sanctions for violators. The lawmakers also required condominiums with 150 or more units to have a website or web portal available by July 1, 2018, for owners to be able to securely access certain official records whenever convenient for them. The lawmakers said they were starting with larger condos because they were not sure the expense involved and believed that larger condos could afford the transparency of the website or web portal. Once compliance methods and expenses were sorted out they would then require all condos other community associations like HOAs to be similarly transparent to their owners.
Many applicable condos did not prepare to satisfy the new requirements, and luckily the Governor is about to sign another law giving them a little more time to comply.
This website requirement was purely aimed at transparency, not pretty websites. Boards were already required, and still are, to maintain a laundry list of Official Records including a catch-all category (“all other written records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association”). The lawmakers figured that if owners could keep an eye on certain Official Records through a web portal then boards would be dissuaded from acting inappropriately and inappropriate conduct could be identified quickly by the watchful owners.
There is no question that condos with 150 or more units must comply with the web portal requirement as soon as possible. In many cases they are not presently maintaining all of the required Official Records and capable of timely providing them to owners who demand to inspect them. The laws have built-in money and criminal penalties for noncompliance and boards certainly want to avoid that. When the law changes regarding what Official Records have to be provided to owners through the web portal, boards need to be equipped to comply. Last year the lawmakers added “bids for materials, equipment, or services” as Official Records that must be maintained. This year, instead of requiring the actual management agreements, leases, and contracts to be available through the web portal, only a list of all executory contracts or documents would have to be available to owners. A pretty website is not sufficient for compliance. Boards need a dynamic, cost-effective framework to comply.
Office of the Board has the all-in-one solution that allows any sized condo or other community association to instantly comply with the Florida Official Record keeping, inspection, and web portal laws. Simply create an Office of the Board for as little as $30 a month and you will immediately be ready to comply. When the laws change, like this year’s expected changes, you’ll be ready to comply simply and easily. Office of the Board comes with the required website or web portal (it’s pretty too and sets up effortlessly) and document management which easily allows compliant Official Record keeping and provision of required Official Records to owners. You’ll also have compliant electronic voting, board email and much more for no additional cost, all safely contained inside your Office of the Board.