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Bill would require telling buyers about deed restrictions

first_img Bill would require telling buyers about deed restrictions April 15, 2003 Regular News A bill requiring home sellers to tell buyers about all deed restrictions ran into technical problems at the House Judiciary Committee late last month, but was passed at a subsequent meeting.Another bill creating a special task force to study problems with condominium and homeowner associations cleared the committee and went to the Business Regulation Committee. Rep. Manuel Prieguez, R-Miami, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Business Regulation Committee, said he would address some of the concerns raised at the Judiciary Committee there.On the deed bill, Tallahassee attorney Pete Dunbar, representing the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section, said the section didn’t philosophically oppose HB 1551, but had some concerns it could cause unintended problems.Rep. Thomas Anderson, R-Dunedin, sponsored the bill and said it would require a property seller to give a list of all deed restrictions to anyone who enters into a contract to buy the property. The list would have to be provided at least three days before a closing, or the buyer would have a period of time to void the contract after receiving the restrictions.Dunbar said while the bill was a good idea, there were some problems, including potential conflicts with other reporting requirements. He also said it exempted developers, who in some cases are the people who created the restrictions. He said the current law requires the seller to reveal the existence of a mandatory home-owners association and the annual dues, but not any deed restrictions imposed by the association.“We haven’t got it quite right yet,” he said of Anderson’s bill. Anderson agreed to table the bill and work on it with Dunbar and other interested parties. Committee Chair Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, said he would work to schedule the bill on a future agenda.The bill came up again at the committees april 2 meeting. Anderson said the problems had been worked out and it passed unanimously.Prieguez said his bill, HB 547, is aimed at addressing serious problems that have arisen in condominium associations and to a lesser extent with homeowners’ associations. The task force, which is to report next February, would be charged with studying “the changes and additions, if any, to those laws which may be appropriate to protect the interests of consumers and property owners on matters including, but not limited to, control of the homeowners’ association’s operations, management and maintenance, disclosure of financial reports by developers or owners, disclosure of all governing documents governing the real property, penalties for noncompliance, oversight and funding for such protection of interests, alternative dispute resolution, and assistance in the formulation of rules to implement enforcement.”Mark Benson, who runs a management company for condo homeowner associations, said the law currently has different requirements for homeowner and condo associations, and changes are needed. But Bill Hunter, president of the Florida Association of Community Developers, said the proposed task force membership was stacked in favor of homeowners. He also said it was too big and unwieldy.“This is an area rife with problems. It’s a continual struggle between the developers on one side and the homeowners and the associations on the other,” said Brian Bibeau, who represent major development companies. “What is the appropriate level of regulation and when should the turnover [of control from developers to homeowners] take place?”But he agreed the task force was too large.Prieguez said he would address those changes at the next committee, and the bill was approved by the Judiciary Committee.center_img Bill would require telling buyers about deed restrictionslast_img read more

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