Let's face it. If you live in an HOA in South Florida, odds are better than average that roughly 20% or more of your community is made up of rental housing. This is the reality of association life in the post Great Recession era, when short sales and foreclosed homes were bought up by investors who are looking to fill the properties with tenants to offset their expenses.
Recently, the Broward County Commission proposed an ordinance which, if passed, could have a far-reaching impact on all types of community associations in Broward County and across the state. The proposed ordinance would affect an association's authority under its governing documents to scrutinize proposed leasing and sales transactions and to issue an approval or denial in connection with same.
The proposed ordinance:
- Makes it unlawful for an association to deny an applicant for rent or purchase because of a discriminatory classification.
- Requires the association to send written acknowledgement of its receipt of an application for purchase or rent within ten (10)days of receipt of the application.
- If the application is not complete or is completed incorrectly, the information to correct this must be included in the acknowledgement.
- Requires the association to approve or deny a completed application within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the application.
- If the applicant is denied, it further requires the association to send written notice to the applicant setting forth the reasons for the denial.
The public hearing portion of the Commission meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and will start at 2:00 pm in the Commission Chambers on the 4th Floor of the Governmental Center located at 115 S. Andrews Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Broward residents who reside in community associations should take the time to show up and voice concerns. If you live in another county in Florida, this proposed ordinance should still be of concern to you as often counties look to each other and borrow liberally from each other when creating ordinances.
"Discrimination is abhorrent but is there any empirical data to support the idea that Broward County associations are leading the charge in terms of housing discrimination," asked Donna Berger of KGB Law and CAN. "This ordinance feels arbitrary and, in fact, discriminatory, to me."
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