Controversial bill provokes homeowners’ associations

April 26, 2012 04:30PM

From left: Gov. Rick Scott, Rep. Frank Artiles and Lisa Magill of Becker & Poliakoff

The Florida Legislature has enraged homeowners with a bill that lets developers off the hook for faulty infrastructure outside a property, the Miami Herald reported. The bill removes the “implied warranty” from amenities, such as driveways and drainage systems, and passes the financial liability for poor work onto the homeowner. Gov. Rick Scott is under increasing pressure from voters and Florida homeowners’ associations to veto the bill.

“How can you expect people to buy what may be the most significant investment of their entire lives and have no way for them to seek redress?” Lisa Magill, an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, said. But Rep. Frank Artiles, a Republican from Miami and the bill’s sponsor, argues that struggling builders cannot afford the extra costs during a housing bust.

The bill, HB 1013, emerged from a court case between a Central Florida homeowners’ association and a developer over shoddy drainage pipes and roads. The case has now reached Florida’s Supreme Court, whose ruling will test the constitutionality of the bill, if Scott doesn’t veto it first. [Miami Herald]