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New Florida Law Requires HOAs to Adopt Hurricane Protection Measures

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 293 in an effort to help protect Florida’s single-family homes. Effective immediately, all homeowners associations in the state are mandated to establish hurricane protection specifications along with any other pertinent factors as determined by the association’s board of directors. These specifications should be adopted to ensure a cohesive external appearance for buildings within the HOA – including considerations such as “color and style” – while adhering to relevant building codes and affording exceptional protection to Florida homes.

The primary objective of House Bill 239 is to safeguard the welfare and safety of the state’s residents, as well as to guarantee consistency and uniformity in the implementation of hurricane protection measures by parcel owners. It is imperative to note that, except in cases where violations to these specifications occur, HOAs are prohibited from preventing homeowners from installing or upgrading hurricane protection products. This legislation applies universally to all homeowners associations, regardless of when the community was created.

Hurricane protection products under House Bill 239, include but are not limited to:

  • Roof systems recognized by the Florida Building Code which meet ASCE 7-22 48 standards
  • Permanent fixed storm shutters
  • Roll-down track storm shutters
  • Impact-resistant windows and doors
  • Reinforced garage doors
  • Erosion controls
  • Exterior fixed generators
  • Fuel storage tanks
  • Other hurricane protection products used to preserve and protect the structures or improvements on a parcel governed by the association

Most weather analysts have projected an above average hurricane season for 2024, predicting one of the busier hurricane seasons on record. This increase in activity has been attributed to record warm water temperatures and the influence of La Niña. As such, it underscores the critical importance of proactive measures to safeguard property and ensure the well-being of residents.

It is strongly encouraged that all homeowners associations begin the process of considering the standards for hurricane protection that are right for their communities and adopt a resolution encompassing these guidelines immediately.

© 2024 Varnum LLP
For more news on Protecting Florida Homes during Hurricane Season, visit the NLR Real Estate section.

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