GOVERNOR SCOTT VETOES HOUSE BILL 653
"CONDO CRIME BILL" HB 1237 IS SIGNED INTO LAW
In light of the massive fire last week in London, Governor Scott vetoed Florida House Bill 653 yesterday. The bill would have extended the time period for associations to opt out of fire sprinkler requirements. It also would have clarified that condominiums in excess of 75 feet in height do not have to install an engineered life safety system if they already opted out of the fire sprinkler requirement.
The intent of the bill was to allow unit owners in a condominium of 75 feet or taller, the opportunity to opt out of an expensive engineered life safety system
and fire sprinkler system. NOW, EVEN IF YOUR ASSOCIATION OPTED OUT OF A SPRINKLER SYSTEM, YOU ARE STILL REQUIRED TO INSTALL AN ENGINEERED LIFE SAFETY SYSTEM.
The deadline to opt out of the sprinkler requirement has now come and gone. By December 31st, 2018 if your association has not already opted out of the fire sprinkler requirement, your association must make an application for a building permit showing you will be compliant by December 31st, 2019.
"Since my first day as governor, I have fought to make Florida the safest and most affordable place to live and raise a family," Scott wrote in a veto message. "Decisions regarding safety issues are critically important, as they can be the difference between life and death. Fire sprinklers and enhanced life safety systems are particularly effective in improving the safety of occupants in high-rise buildings and ensure the greatest protection to the emergency responders who bravely conduct firefighting and rescue operations. While I am particularly sensitive to regulations that increase the cost of living, the recent London high-rise fire, which tragically took at least 79 lives, illustrates the importance of life safety protections."
House Bill 1237, now commonly known as the Condo Crime Bill was signed into law yesterday Among other provisions, that bill requires associations of 150 units or more to put the association's official records on a website, it makes it a crime for a director to prevent an owner's access to records if done to conceal evidence of a crime, makes it a crime to forge an association's ballot envelope or voting certificate, prevents an attorney from representing both the association and the management company, prevents a board member or manager from purchasing association units at foreclosure sale, allows renters the right to see the bylaws and the rules, prevents use of "debit" cards, prevents board members from serving more than 4 consecutive two-year terms, modifies the recall provisions, allows for private arbitrators, requires arbitration decisions to be made in 30 days and requires board members to disclose conflicts of interest or face removal.