F.S. Chapter 720, the Homeowners’ Association Act, defines a homeowners’ association as a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community or a mobile home subdivision in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel. The term “homeowners’ association” does not include a community development district or other similar special taxing district created pursuant to statute.
The association must be incorporated with the governing documents recorded in the local county’s official records. The association includes officers and directors who have a fiduciary relationship to the members (owners). Owners of land parcels are required to become part of the community’s membership and make up the voting membership. Any unpaid membership fee or assessment may result in a lien on the parcel.
Any developer or member who sells a parcel in a homeowner’s association is required to provide the buyer with the following disclosure summary:
(NAME OF COMMUNITY)
1. As a purchaser of property in this community, you will be obligated to be a member of a homeowners’ association.
2. There have been or will be recorded restrictive covenants governing the use and occupancy of properties in this community.
3. You will be obligated to pay assessments to the association. Assessments may be subject to periodic change. If applicable, the current amount is $___ per___. You will also be obligated to pay any special assessments imposed by the association. Such special assessments may be subject to change. If applicable, the current amount is $___ per___.
4. You may be obligated to pay special assessments to the respective municipality, county, or special district. All assessments are subject to periodic change.
5. Your failure to pay special assessments or assessments levied by a mandatory homeowners’ association could result in a lien on your property.
6. There may be an obligation to pay rent or land use fees for recreational or other commonly used facilities as an obligation of membership in the homeowners’ association. If applicable, the current amount is $___ per___.
7. The developer may have the right to amend the restrictive covenants without the approval of the association membership or the approval of the parcel owners.
8. The statements contained in this disclosure form are only summary in nature, and, as a prospective purchaser, you should refer to the covenants and the association governing documents before purchasing property.
9. These documents are either matters of public record and can be obtained from the record office in the county where the property is located, or are not recorded and can be obtained from the developer.
The contract or agreement must also include in prominent language a statement that the buyer should not execute the contract until the disclosure summary has been received and read. The contract must also state that the buyer may cancel the contract with a written notice within 3 days after receiving the summary and prior to closing. This right applies when the disclosure summary was not provided prior to contract execution. This right to cancel may not be waived.