Effective July 1, 2014, Homeowner Association (HOA) board members throughtout Florida will have more discretion to raise fees and enter into contracts when the governor declares a state of emergency, such as during a hurricane. Board members will now be able to borrow money & contract for services without the full board's vote during the emergency period. The new legislation will also now allow board members to charge homeowners new fees to repair common areas without sending notices to homeowners, having a meeting or obtaining a quorum of board members.
The bill enacting these changes came from the frustration & chaos following hurricanes in recent years, when local HOAs couldn't get repairs done due to lack of quorums. The changes enacted give HOAs some of the same powers that Condominium associations have during emergencies.
How you feel about these increased powers depends on where you sit. Critics contend that these increased powers aren't necessary & could lead to abusive practices while supporters believe that, in the event of an emergency, being able to act quickly to restore or replace community infrastructure protects property & residents. Time will tell how HOAs use the expanded power.