TALLAHASSEE, Florida – November 3, 2015 – Associa, the industry’s leading community management company, voiced its opposition to today’s Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee’s approval of bill HB 203. The bill, if it becomes law, will lead to higher fees for homeowners living in planned communities, which currently includes more than nine million Floridians.
In a standard residential real estate transaction, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are paid for providing required information and documentation to prospective buyers, much like other service providers in the transaction (e.g. surveyors, appraisers, inspectors, etc.). Under HB 203, the HOA service fee would be arbitrarily capped and the payment delayed until after closing. This procedure could force many HOAs to increase fees and assessments for all homeowners to make up for potential revenue shortfalls, creating what effectively is a tax increase on these homeowners.
“The information provided by HOAs is critical for the buyer to fully understand any potential fees and fines that buyer will be expected to pay for taking ownership of a property,” explains Michael Fleming, Associa Gulf Coast’s president. “The legislature, through this proposed bill, is going to shift the costs for this information from the seller and buyer to the rest of the homeowners in the community through higher dues.”
Hundreds of thousands of residential real estate transactions have closed in Florida in recent years, yet not a single complaint has been registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation regarding the target of this legislation. Despite this fact, the House subcommittee’s action today forwards this bill on its legislative trek in the House and Senate. To find out more about the potential implications of this bill go to www.smashthehometax.com.
Building and managing successful communities for more than 35 years, Associa is the worldwide leader in community management with over 9,000 employees operating more than 170 branch offices in the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Based in Dallas, Texas, our industry expertise, financial strength, and innovation meet the unique needs of clients across the world with customized services and solutions designed to help communities achieve their vision. To learn more about Associa and its charitable organization, Associa Cares, go to www.associaonline.com or www.associacares.com.
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