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Proposed new bill would protect HOA homeowners

New bill to protect HOA homeowners
New bill to protect HOA homeowners 02:52

MIAMI - HOA board members who refuse to share financial records with homeowners could face criminal charges under a proposed bill.

On Friday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle joined Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and State Representative Juan Carlos Porras to announce a measure that would protect condo owners of abusive HOA board members.

Porras is the sponsor of the bill submitted to the state legislature, HB 919.

The Hammocks is in Porras' district and the measure was inspired after the arrests of the recent arrests of members of the Hammocks HOA.

"It ensures that board members are criminally responsible for any monetary damages, including embezzlement, including monetary theft," said Porras.

"We spent five years waiting for financial records," said Ana Danton, a Hammocks resident.

Danton and other homeowners sued the association and managed to get a receiver to take over the association.

It happened after members and former members of the board were arrested. They face charges of stealing millions of dollars in a scheme of corruption which started with controlling elections and denying document access to home owners.

"Even the state attorney went through trying to get access to financial records, they always said no, no, no," said Danton, referring to the men and women who ended up behind bar.

Fernandez Rundle says she would go to Tallahassee because she believes in the bill sponsored by Porras.

"It reduces election fraud; it gives owners greater access to records and outlaws kickbacks. We are recommending to criminalize fraudulent activity in association elections," said Fernandez Rundle, who says that more than 50% of Florida's population lives in homes ruled by HOAs.

The bill still has to go through three committees before it gets to the floor for votes.

These local elected officials are encouraging Florida residents to contact their state politicians if they want the bill to become law.

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