State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Wednesday filed legislation shielding families from abusive fees and fines levied immediately following a homeowner’s or managed community resident’s death.
“Residents deserve to be treated fairly,” said Stewart. “Homeowners associations are typically important pillars in the communities they manage and they improve the quality of life for those who choose to live in them. But not always. There is nothing sensible about assessing fines on the estate of an elderly resident on a fixed income. There is nothing reasonable about subjecting grieving families to these unnecessary hardships. I look forward to working with my colleagues on resolving an issue that affects every corner of our state.”
Senate Bill 950 places families dealing with death first, and the management of their estate and any violations after.
Presently, Florida law allows a homeowners association to go so far as placing liens on a property immediately following the owner’s death. Senate Bill 950 would change that by placing a hold on how quickly they can begin levying fines and special assessments that would lead to such an action being taken. While the bill does not abrogate those processes, the measure would prohibit for 6-months after death any fines or special assessments, and late charges may not be imposed for one full year after the death of the parcel owner.
Senate Bill 950 is being introduced in the House by Representative Emily Slosberg as House Bill 713. “As a member of the State Legislature, my responsibility is to protect my constituents,” she said. “This bill is to protect homeowners and their families during a time of loss. Our goal is to prevent the unnecessary burdens of excessive fines incurred during the transition of property ownership due to a loss of a loved one. It is not rational for family members to inherit a lien when they do not even know that a home owner association assessment is due.”