Post your pool rules, and don’t be afraid to follow through. Although there is no agency that enforces the Florida HOA statutes, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation deals with elections and recalls. The FHA creates dangerous waters for community associations. Some of these cases have held that rules requiring adult supervision violate the FHA. Under the law, swimming pools … As for deactivating pool keys, both the Condo and HOA Acts provide that the board of directors can suspend an owner’s or resident’s right to use … 515.21 Short title. You should not send us any information through this website that you would want treated confidentially. The settlement requires the owners to, among other things, build a $10,000 playground. “Can Pool Remain Closed?,” Naples Daily News. A: The Governor’s Office has issued certain Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQ”) relating to his recent Orders, including Order 20-91 referenced in the preceding question. Rules should address conduct, not age or status – and constitute the least restrictive means to meet a compelling business necessity (such as safety and peaceful enjoyment). If Association representatives become aware of violations of governmental orders, a suggested first step is to inform the individual that they are in violation. Because children are vulnerable to pool accidents and so could be a source of liability for the association, … If you have more questions about HOA's and their rules, please ask us in the comment section. The Grove Homeowner’s Association Swimming Pool is a privately-owned recreation entity, entirely funded by annual assessment paying members. § 720.301, et. As the seesaw battle of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, HOA boards and managers are torn between the fear of reopening amenities and the desire of residents to enjoy their use. HOA Voting Rules in Florida. Review your pool, clubhouse, recreation room, exercise room, and common area rules with your association’s legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with fair housing laws. Hopefully this will result in compliance. And almost every set of pool rules contains a statement similar to this: “No one under the age of 18 may use the pool unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.” It makes sense, right? SWIMMING POOL LIABILITY FOR CONDOS AND HOA’S. On April 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order Number 20-91 (“Order 20-91”). When I was young, every summer my friends and I would look for a pool in the local area to swim in during hot days. Go in at the first sign of thunderstorms. 515.27 Residential swimming pool safety feature options; … Condominium associations and HOAs throughout South Florida as well as across the country are seeking effective responses to the problem of short-term rentals that are in violation of their rules and restrictions. After hiring an attorney to compel the homeowners association to change its rules, to no avail, the family filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”). There are no other temperature requirements. Be sure not to step into unsafe legal territory with your pool rules and regs. Feb 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM / by HOA Manager. Advise visitors not to run in the pool area, not to engage in rough play, and not to engage in risky behavior on slides and diving boards. However, as a backup, state law in Florida requires residents who have swimming pools, spas or hot tubs to also have at least one safety feature in place. In high-traffic areas such as the shower room, place visual cues to encourage social distancing. There are different parameters if your pool was in existence before the guidelines went into effect and if it was built afterward, and you must know which rules apply to your situation. It should also be noted that violation of the Governor’s various Executive Orders is a second-degree misdemeanor. A family with five children living in the community dropped off four of their children, who were good swimmers, and law enforcement was called since an adult was not present. The governor and the LEAP guidelines have limited pool capacity to 50 percent of the fire code limit. Community association pools are often considered ‘public pools’ subject to regulation by Chapter 514, Florida Statutes. After FCHR found reasonable cause that a discriminatory practice occurred, the homeowners association changed its rules to allow parents to sign an affidavit to swear to a child’s residency and age. Beyond the typical “no diving” or “no glass container” rules, we also often see rules prohibiting children under the eighteen (18) from swimming without an adult supervision. 64E-9.003 Forms. The homeowners’ association had rules prohibiting children under the age of 16 from using the pool without adult supervision. That was too little too late. The law specifically applies to not-for-profit organizations operating residential homeowners associations in Florida. A family with five children living in the community … Section 1 (A) of Order 20-91 directs senior citizens and citizens with significant underlying medical conditions “to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”. You can have a list of rules outside so that everyone can read them before entering the swimming pool. The homeowners’ association had rules prohibiting children under the age of 16 from using the pool without adult supervision. This leaves the homeowner with one option and that is to litigate against the HOA, however before filing a suit, pre-suit mediation must occur. A: No, the swimming pool closure ordered by the board of your condominium association is not overturned by Governor DeSantis’ “Stay at Home” Order. Remember to keep your HOA safe from risk, too. My position remains that since community associations are located on private property their boards have legal authority, based on various statutes and their own governing documents, to adopt additional, more restrictive protocols than those imposed by the government to address the COVID-19 threat. RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL SAFETY ACT. HOAs should place signs in the swimming pool area to remind homeowners to practice safe behaviors. B.T. Section 2 of Order 20-91 defines “essential services” by incorporating guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Executive Order 20-89, and further leaves open the opportunity for other “essential services” to be added to the foregoing list. 515.25 Definitions. If it does not, you can report the violation to local law enforcement and/or the Florida Department of Health. Consider rules restricting or limiting the use of alcohol, and specifying the types of containers that can be used. As of the date of submission of this column, the list of “essential activities” has not been further expanded by subsequent order. Our association is considering eliminating the lifeguard at our pool. The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination against persons on the basis of their “familial status.” The FHA is applicable to both condominium and homeowners’ associations. Here are three rules to look out for. One of the family’s sons, once he turned 16, was still denied an amenity card and access to the pool since he only provided a letter from his mother instead of a state issued ID showing residency. 4. A community associations pools typically have prominently displayed pool rules. Partner Post: Landscape Watering Guide. On the topic of enforcement, the FAQ confirms that “law enforcement” will enforce the respective Orders. §720.301, et. If the condominium or cooperative has more than 32 units, any pool or spa is considered a ‘public pool… Adult supervision is the key to accomplishing the obj . Please click the "Accept" button if you understand the forgoing statement and wish to proceed. A clock must be visible from the spa pool. The GHOA Board of Directors administers the Pool Rules and Regulations. To determine whether your pool needs to be compliant with the ADA requirements, you should have a discussion with your association’s attorney. While pools provide a great way for HOA residents of all ages to cool off, get exercise, and socialize in the summer heat, they can also present safety risks. Q: My condominium association board voted to close the swimming pool in late March due to the COVID-19 threat. Pools and spa owners should follow current guidelines of only allowing 10 people in the pool and deck area at a time. Although most adults will rarely dive into the shallow end, engage in “horseplay”, or run around the pool deck, such … A private swimming pool run by a condo or homeowners’ association can be a very attractive amenity to potential homebuyers. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death of young children and is also a significant cause of death for medically frail elderly persons. State Laws Impacting Florida Associations Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, Fla. Stat. Previous Article. Several lawsuits have tested swimming pool rules on the basis that they discriminate against families with children. 64E-9.008 Supervision and Safety. No diving in shallow water and always steer your dive up. You can minimize these risks for residents in your HOA community by employing the following six swimming pool safety tips. Sending an e-mail through this website does not create an attorney client relationship. Tweet; With summer days right around the corner, I've been thinking about swimming pools and summer sun. Thereafter, the homeowners association implemented a rule whereby any resident wishing to use the pool would need an amenity card. Now, some of you want … The voting process required is described in Chapter 718 or 719, Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.0021 or 61B-75.005 of the Florida Administrative Code. 64E-9.004 Operational Requirements. Although these rules may have been enacted from a risk management standpoint, they must also be considered against the framework of the Fair Housing Act. The Florida Homeowners’ Association Act (HAA), Fla. Stat. Learn More About HOA Rules. To prevent heat stroke, the State of Florida requires that swimming pools (or spa pools) with heaters operate at a maximum temperature of 104° F. Spa pool rules must also state that the maximum use is 15 minutes. 64E-9.006 Construction Plan Approval Standards. Stat. The HOA President of The Villas of Cypress West in Tarpon Springs reached out to 8 On Your Side for help. 1. Rules that Govern Conduct You can also check out our free ebook, "Is It a Good HOA Rule?" Pool Rules and Procedures at Your Homeowners Association. However, while they can be popular with owners, pools create a number of liabilities for the association that need to be addressed to avoid safety and legal concerns. If you have a PA system, the HOA can make regular announcements over the air. Florida statutes provide that an association may schedule board meetings with less than the required notice. They're concerned they could be held liable if they reopen their pool … 515.23 Legislative findings and intent. You can place … seq., governs the formation, management, powers, and operation of HOAs in Florida, specifically applying to not-for-profit organizations operating residential homeowners associations in Florida. Recently, in the Stonebrier Homeowner’s Association, north of Tampa, the Florida Commission on Human Relations who investigates FHA complaints in Florida, found reasonable cause to believe a discriminatory housing practice occurred. Section 1(A) of Order 20-91 directs senior citizens and citizens with significant underlying medical conditions “to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”    Section 1(B) of Order 20-91 directs that “all persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.”. The department may not require compliance with rules relating to swimming pool lifeguard standards. It should also be noted that Order 20-91 does not attempt to take away or limit the emergency powers community association boards have to adopt restrictions to protect the residents in their community. A few days later Governor DeSantis signed the “Stay at Home” Order and specifically defined “swimming” as an essential activity. The rules contain common sense prohibitions against dangerous pool activities, such as having glass in the pool area and diving into the shallow end. seq., governs the formation, management, powers, and operation of HOAs in Florida. The office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a discrimination lawsuit against the homeowners association and alleged “overly-restrictive pool rules” for families with children. Q: If an association board becomes aware of an individual who is violating one of the Governor’s Orders pertaining to self-isolation, what should be done? Other than posting “swim at your own risk” signs, is there anything else we need to do to ensure swimmers safety? R.W. In Florida HOA’s are governed by Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. Pools operated by private condominium and cooperative associations with less than 32 units are generally exempt from certain regulations, but still have to comply with water quality standards. The association can close portions … § 720.303 (6) (b). In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a settlement with a Denver-area apartment complex over its rules governing kids' behavior in the complex. 64E-9.007 Recirculation and Treatment System Requirements. Does this mean that my condominium’s swimming pool closure is overturned by the Governor’s Order? The FHA makes it illegal to discriminate against any person “in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin….” Therefore, any rule that discriminates on the basis of whether or not a household has children violates the FHA. Keeping a green yard requires thought and effort. On April 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order Number 20-91 (“Order 20-91”). Do not use glass containers around the pool. Public Swimming Facilities are regulated by Florida Administrative Code 64E-9. These are amenities most homeowners pay for in their HOA dues. The Florida Swimming Pool Association reminds everyone that while staying at home during the current pandemic, it is a great time to enjoy swimming pools and hot tubs. As a practitioner, it is my experience that pool rules are intended to keep children safe – not to keep them out. Board vacancies can be filled only by electing a new member, and the election … As such, the Governor’s inclusion of swimming as an “essential activity” does not mean that all community association swimming pools, which were previously closed, must now be reopened. ■ Limit the number of people in the pool or the gym at any one time. Day to day management of the pool is the responsibility of the Pool Management Company. to learn more about HOA rules and how they are made. Recently, in the Stonebrier Homeowner’s Association, north of Tampa, the Florida Commission on Human Relations who investigates FHA complaints in Florida, found reasonable cause to believe a discriminatory housing practice occurred. Neighborhood pools, gyms and clubhouses are closed. Next Article. "There are things that might not be obvious," says Drewes. By Dawn Bauman. 64E-9.005 Construction Plan or Modification Plan Approval. The phone number for the Florida Department of Health is (866) 779-6121. Drowning Prevention Drowning Prevention: Our division is represented on the local Safe Kids Coalition Water Safety Committee. The 2020 Florida Statutes: Title XXXIII REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS : Chapter 515 RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL SAFETY ACT: View Entire Chapter: CHAPTER 515. The civil suit is seeking a declaratory judgment that the actions of the homeowners association violate the FHA, as well as injunctive relief and unspecified compensatory damages. Never stand or play on a pool cover. Swimming Pool Policies, Rules and Regulations. CHAPTER 64E-9 PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND BATHING PLACES 64E-9.001 General. HOA Pool Safety: Debate over Eliminating Lifeguards. Section 3 of Order 20-91 also allows people to engage in “essential activities”, which are specifically defined as including: “participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming…”. Three Unenforceable Rules. 64E-9.002 Definitions. Do not play with drains of any kind. 1) Any rule that prohibits children under a specified age from swimming in the community pool. Florida law allows for two types of reserve funding, one of which is the pooled method (also referred to as the “cash flow” method) and the other is the component method (also referred to as the “straight-line” method). 64E-9.0035 Exemptions. No running or rough play in or near the pool. In order to obtain the amenity card, the resident needed to show a driver’s license or Florida identification card. The annual election for board members is most likely the biggest voting event for Florida homeowner's association members. 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