Condominium & Homeowner Association Emergency Powers to Address Hurricane Dorian

Associations have emergency authority to deal with the aftermath of this storm.
Section 718.1265 Florida Statutes grants condominium association emergency powers, and Section 720.316 grants similar authority to homeowner associations. The special authority becomes effective upon the declaration of a state of emergency by Florida’s Governor. To exercise these powers, the property governed by the association must be located within a county which is subject to the declaration of emergency, and the association governing documents must not specifically prohibit the use of emergency authority.

Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-189, declaring a state of emergency for counties in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The specific counties affected by this order are: Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades,Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia, and Union.

Governor Declaration of Emergency for Hurricane Dorian

The applicable statutes include the following powers:

    • Board and membership may be held without formal notice. Only”practicable” notice is required.
    • Agreements with counties and municipalities for debris removal is explicitly permitted.
    • Disaster plans for the operation of water, sewer, elevators and shutting down facilities may be implemented.
    • Based on the advice of emergency management officials or of engineers, or architects the board may deny entry to any areas to protect residents’ safety.
    • Contract, on behalf of any unit owner or owners, for items or services for which the owners are otherwise individually responsible, but which are necessary to prevent further damage to the condominium property
    • Mitigate damage by removing and disposing of wet drywall, insulation, carpet, cabinetry, or other fixtures on or within the condominium property, even if the unit owner is obligated by the declaration or law to insure or replace those fixtures and to remove personal property from a unit.
    • Borrow money, or levy special assessments without a membership vote.

The special authority is limited to that time reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the association and the parcel owners and their family members, tenants, guests, agents, or invitees, and to mitigate further damage and make emergency repairs.

Ansbacher Law is available to help.