Articles Posted in New Laws

Florida is home to countless condominiums, homeowners’ associations, and cooperatives. These types of residences can offer convenient and affordable ways to live, but they often come with a bundle of laws and regulations that the homeowner may not know about. Earlier this year, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 791 into law, a bill that provides a package of new laws that affect the aforementioned types of residents. Taking effect on July 1, 2015, the bill creates several new laws that change the way homeowners’ associations and condominiums can go about their business.

  1. The bill allows associations to conduct elections and other votes regarding membership electronically. The bill provides specific requirements that the association must use when setting up an electronic–or internet-based–voting system, including a board resolution approving electronic voting. An owner must be given the right to consent or opt out of electronic voting, and if they opt out the owner must be provided with a paper ballot.
  2. HB 791 amends the existing official records catch-all provision, providing that “all other records of the association . . . which are related to the operation of the association” are official records. Now, any non-written records like audio tapes or security camera footage are most likely not official records and therefore not available for owner review and inspection as a matter of right.

Recently, e-cigarettes have taken the market by storm, promising smokers a safer and healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.  Although there are many types of e-cigarettes, most of them include a rechargeable lithium battery, a nicotine-containing cartridge, a heating coil, and an LED light. The heating element, or atomizer, heats the nicotine liquid to a boiling point, creating a vapor that the smoker inhales.

Despite e-cigarette companies’ promises that using the device is healthier than cigarettes, many e-cigarette users have suffered devastating personal injuries while using e-cigarettes. For example, the FDA has determined that some liquid cartridges that are marketed as nicotine-free actually contain nicotine, while others did not include the amount of nicotine that is printed on the cartridge’s label.

Additionally, the Nicotine and Tobacco Research Journal recently reported that some e-cigarettes produce formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen. Based on e-cigarette companies’ misleading practices, many e-cigarette consumers are in the dark when it comes to understanding these products. Other reports suggest that e-cigarette vapor may include harmful lung irritants and other addiction-causing chemicals.

The state of Florida does not have any statewide leash laws governing the restraint of dogs. Instead, each county has enacted its own statutes governing pet-related issues, including leash laws. While these laws are similar from country to county, they are not identical. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the unique laws that apply to the county in which you reside.

Under the statutes enacted by Lee County, all dog owners are prohibited from allowing the dog in their control from becoming stray or roaming at large on:

• Public streets
• Sidewalks
• School grounds or in the vicinity of school vehicles
• Beaches
• Parks
• Private property of others without the property owner’s consent

Contact Information