State Senator Linda Stewart has introduced legislation that would prohibit Home Owner’s Associations or HOA from charging late fines and fees immediately after the death of a homeowner. The bill aims to protect families from immediate financial scrutiny following the death of a loved one.
The law currently allows an HOA to implement liens 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. The bill would prohibit fines and assessments for 6 months and late charges for one year following death of the parcel owner.
“Residents deserve to be treated fairly,” said Stewart. “HOAs 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.”
The bill will likely find opposition from HOAs who already have challenges collecting fees from absentee owners and spend much of their bank balances on Attorney’s fees for collections and property rights cases.
South Florida State Representative Emily Slosberg will be filing companion legislation in the State House.