FL legislative HOA committee gets subpoena power

View news video at Subpoena

The January 14th Sun-Sentinel article reported that, 

“In his letter creating the committee, [State House Speaker Marco] Rubio said he wants it to examine ‘accounting, budgeting, audits, theft by officers and directors, elections and access to records.” He also wants the committee to consider “state regulation of condominiums and cooperatives by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.'”  

“Rubio gave the committee subpoena power to force reluctant board members, accountants, lawyers and managers to testify and provide records that they have refused to give to unit owners who have the right to see them. All testimony and documents will be public.” 

The committee is the Select Committee on Condominium and Homeowner Association Governance.  Its scheduled meetings are January 26, and February 9, 16 and 23.  

Exposure is necessary and vitally important to understanding HOA private governance. In Arizona, for example, the videotapes of the Office of Administrative Hearings, that has the power to hear HOA disputes, exposed the attitudes, views and conduct of HOA boards, managers and attorneys for all to see.  Listeners heard how they responded when a homeowner disagrees with his board, or a director, or a manager, or who seeks legitimate inquiries into the operations of his HOA.

Let’s hope that the Florida legislature will indeed take a good, investigative look into the real world of HOAs and condos, not paying believing the dual personalities who have come before it saying one thing, and then doing just the opposite.

I’m concerned because in Arizona 8 years ago, the HOA Interim Committee was to look into complaints against HOAs, but quickly went into defensive posture with statements like, “We will be going slowly. We don’t want to upset those 95% of the associations that are good”.  And, after 3 sessions with over 100 homeowners in attendance each time, homeowners were told, “We don’t want to hear anymore horror stories.”  And astonished attendees said to themselves, “Isn’t that the purpose of these hearings?  The questioning of HOA boards and hired hands, the management firms and attorneys, never took place. 

Floridians must make sure that the same whitewash does not take place with this committee.  Homeowner reform stalwart Rep. Robaina was appointed as chairmen of the committee.  Write the media and your legislators!  Support Rep. Robaina.  Support this committee.  Support Florida based Cyber Citizens for Justice.  But, beware of the industry special interests groups, CALL and CAN, lawyers and management firms with $$$ to influence legislation against reforms. Stand up and shout,

 “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” 

The Sun-Sentinel article can be viewed at:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-flbcondo0115sbjan15,0,7138007.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

Published in: on January 17, 2008 at 10:18 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] of the House you created the Select Committee on Condominium and Homeowner Association Governance (FL legislative HOA committee gets subpoena power).  I attended the Tampa hearing and edited the public domain video of the hearing.  These clips […]

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