We previously discussed in a prior blog post on Florida condo legislation that new requirements were established by the Florida Legislature pertaining to condominium association websites. These new requirements, which apply to all non-timeshare condominium associations with 150 or more units, require that the association must establish and maintain a website (if the association doesn’t already have one), and must also upload specific records and make them available on the website.
While the statutory website requirements were originally enacted in 2017, the deadline for condominium associations to achieve compliance with the new rules was July 1, 2018. However, as the July 2018 deadline approached, the Florida Legislature enacted HB 841, which gave condominium associations more time to bring their websites into compliance. HB 841 became effective on July 1, 2018, and extended the condominium website compliance deadline to January 1, 2019. HB 841 also clarified certain website posting requirements as compared to the law that was originally enacted in 2017.
Now that the deadline has passed, condominium associations should be fully compliant with the following requirements listed in Chapter 718, Florida Statutes:
1) The association should have and maintain a website, which is either independently owned/operated by the association, or leased/operated by a third-party vendor;
2) The association’s website should have a separate portal or subpage that is not accessible to the general public, and is reserved for access by unit owners and association employees, with log-in information like usernames and passwords available upon written request;
3) The association’s website should allow for the posting of notices, agendas, and permitted official records, including copies of the association’s governing documents, as well as other specific documents and records set forth in Fla. Stat. § 718.111(12)(g);
4) Documents and protected information should not be posted on the website, or if there is confidential information in a document that is required to be posted on the website, that material should be redacted prior to posting; and
5) The association’s website should designate to whom requests for estoppel certificates should be directed, including the designated person’s or entity’s street or e-mail address.
The above is not an exclusive list of the statutory website rules governing condominium associations, and of course, there are administrative issues to consider when contracting for an association website. You can read about some of those issues here.
While the statute excuses associations from liability if protected information is accidentally disclosed on the website, and further provides that the failure to post information alone is not sufficient to invalidate an action of the association’s board, there can be serious consequences if these new website rules are not followed. Unit owners can file a lawsuit against the association for injunctive relief, and can also file a complaint with the Florida Division of Condominiums, which can issue penalties against the association. The conclusion here is, if your condominium association isn’t yet compliant with these rules and requirements on association websites, it’s time to consult experienced Florida condominium and homeowners association attorneys like us.
About the Author
Rebecca Newman Casamayor is an experienced commercial litigator with expertise in complex business and commercial litigation, breach of contract cases, construction law, community association law and litigation, business fraud, and bankruptcy. Ms. Casamayor has particular expertise in representing condominium and homeowners’ associations in connection with the various issues that regularly confront those entities, such as collections and foreclosures, unit owner and vendor disputes and lawsuits, enforcement of governing documents, and compliance with rules, bylaws and the Florida Condominium Act.