Poinciana residents who are in disagreement with their homeowners association are rooting for two Florida house bills that have just been filed.
- FL Rep. John Cortes filed 2 HOA-related bills
- HB 135 adds more guidelines on HOA elections (Read the bill)
- HB 137 deals with arbitration in HOA-related disputes (Read the bill)
Amanda Geltz has lived in Poinciana for more than a decade. She’s one of the many residents in a deadlock with the Association of Poinciana Villages, APV on leadership.
She is also in dispute with the management company, FirstService Residential, on how delinquent fees should be dealt with.
“I have a vested interest because I live here in the community, this is where I raise my family,” Geltz said.
She’s glad to hear FL Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, recently filed two homeowners association-related bills.
HB 135 is meant to add more guidelines on the HOA elections to make the process fairer, Cortes said. HB 137 would allow mandatory nonbinding arbitration in HOA-related disputes to negotiate a settlement instead of involving the courts as a first measure, which can be costly.
“There’s really not that much regulation for homeowners associations and I am trying to get some relief,” Cortes said. “It’s baby steps, but we need more because it's not just here in Osceola County.”
We reached out to APV, who sent a statement saying the bill filed by Cortes makes sense when applied to condos but not a community like Poinciana with 26,000 homes.
“... The type of election process he proposes would come at a very high cost and we would be forced to increase homeowner assessments as a result, something we have not had to do for the past six years.”
“And I don’t know everything. So if you have information talk to me, call me,” Cortes explained. “I like to learn too because you guys live here and you live in other parts of the state and that helps me out to better help you out. Because this is a bill for all of Florida, not just for Poinciana.”
Both bills were referred to respective committees for review. Geltz just hopes the bills can at least make it to the Florida House floor.
“The people running the community aren’t actually vested," Geltz said. "They don’t live here. They don’t have to raise their family here.”
The Association of Poinciana Villages and Poinciana residents are in the middle of litigation. These bills will be presented during Osceola County’s Legislative Delegation meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the County Administration Building.