By Nicole R. Kurtz / Published May 2022
The demands for increased access to condominium financial records and structural reports in Florida after the horrific Champlain Towers tragedy are leading to possible changes at the state and local levels, and they just led to a new local ordinance in Miami-Dade County.
On March 1 the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a searchable database for financial statements and structural reports, among other information and documentation, for residential community associations located in Miami-Dade County. The new ordinance requires community associations in Miami-Dade County—including all condominium, cooperative, and homeowners associations—to upload certain documents and information to the county’s database, along with a written registration with the Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, by Feb. 1 of each year beginning February 1, 2023.
The ordinance provides that the documents uploaded to the database will be publicly accessible on the county’s website and will also be searchable. Some of the documents to be attached to the annual registration submitted to the county include the following: the name of the community association; the name and contact information for the association’s property manager or other designated agent; a list of all officers and directors of the association, including their contact information; a link to the association’s website, if any; a legible copy of the association’s governing documents; a list containing the association’s planned capital projects from the date of registration through February 1 of the following year; a copy of the association’s current budget and financial statements, including any applicable current or approved special assessments; and all reports issued within the last 10 years on the structural status of the property governed by the association, including recertification reports, if applicable.
After the tragedy in Surfside, associations are receiving many records inspection requests from their unit owners and lenders, who are seeking similar information and documentation as will be required to be uploaded to the county’s publicly accessible database. Pursuant to the new ordinance, it is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners for the database and annual registration requirements to provide greater accessibility to important information and key documents pertaining to community associations within Miami-Dade County.
The county ordinance presents significant new disclosure requirements for the county’s community associations; however, associations throughout Florida should expect to continue receiving an increased number of records inspection requests and written inquiries related to building safety and financial documentation and other related information. Resultingly and in light of related pending state legislation, community associations throughout the state would be well advised to now work with well-qualified professionals, including association counsel, to take a proactive compliance approach and review any structural, life-safety, or financial elements of their building that may need to be addressed.
To read the new county ordinance, visit https://www.floridahoalawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/139/2022/03/Scan_0098-002.pdf.
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Shareholder, Siegfried Rivera
Nicole Kurtz joined the firm in 2014. She practices community association law, with a concentration in representing homeowners’ associations and condominium associations. In such practice, Ms. Kurtz routinely interprets community associations’ governing documents; provides legal advice to boards of directors as to day-to-day concerns and disputes; prepares and negotiates construction and vendor contracts on behalf of community associations; prepares meeting package documents for annual meetings and other community association meetings; attends owner, board, and committee meetings; and drafts, interprets, and amends community association governing documents. For more information, visit www.siegfriedrivera.com.