Will House Bill 919 Community Associations Afford Homeowners More Rights and Peace of Mind?

Visit Homeowners Fight Back to sign the petition.

The Hammocks Community Association, the investigation and arrest of the HOA board members by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, became a clear sign that homeowners across the state of Florida needed better protections from their HOA board members.

In a press conference on November 15, 2022, Miami-Dade prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated, “Racketeering and money laundering are terms we usually associate with drug cartels and drug transactions or organized crime or large-scale international bribery schemes. Never would anyone have connected these terms to daily operations of a South Florida Homeowners Association. Never would anyone have connected such serious allegations to one of the largest homeowner associations in Florida.

The State Attorney continued stating, “It is alleged that the individuals taken into custody today, transformed the homeowner’s association into a criminal enterprise intended to benefit certain board members, their relatives and their relative’s businesses.

Allegations from across the State and even the Country against a number of associations range from possible embezzlement to omission of records, falsification of board meeting minutes and intimidation of homeowners that speak up to name a few. In some cases, the HOA boards have left homeowners with a mountain of debt from legal proceedings as reported on with Eileen Breitkreutz in the Boca Association.

Today, the State of Florida and its representative are trying to do something about this rampant malicious exposure that some homeowners have endured. On March 3rd, 2023 State Attorney Rundle, held another press conference to introduce the changes proposed to the current statutes available to homeowners in the state of Florida. These include section 720 and section 718 of the Florida statutes.

State Attorney Rundle stated, “As you probably know, Florida with its twenty-two and a half million residents has the third largest population in the United States. What you may not have known is that more than 50% of those residents live in condominiums or homeowners’ associations. Some 3 million Floridians live in Florida’s 1 1/2 million condominium units and roughly 9.6 million people in Florida live in the states 49,000 communities with homeowner’s associations.

She continued, “We are here to show our support of new legislation that will offer very important necessary protections for owners of condominiums and other homes that are governed by HOA’s. The reforms this legislation provides are, it reduces election fraud, it gives owners greater access to records and it outlaws kickbacks… We are recommending criminalize fraudulent activities in association elections… Our records reform are desperately needed to give homeowners and condo owners transparency to the association records… While the present law allows access to records, enforcement is weak at best, and it requires filing a civil lawsuit.

These changes will require HOA communities to publicly appoint a records custodian responsible for turning over the records. It makes it a felony for any person who refuses to produce association records with the intent to avoid punishment for the commission of crime. In addition, it finally makes it a crime for board members to accept kickbacks.

The Florida Senate filing states, “Community Associations; Requires Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, & Mobile Homes to forward certain complaints to FDLE; requires division to review complaints within specified timeframe & take specified actions; revises provisions relating to homeowners’ associations including the governing documents; official records; fines and suspensions; attorney fees and costs; priority of payments; liens; and dispute resolution; authorizes FDLE to investigate certain complaints.”

In a previous report, the People’s Olive Branch wrote a story on the Copper Ridge Community, where it is alleged that requesting records from the homeowner’s association is nearly impossible with the current board members. The Treasurer Miss Catchings, working with homeowners in the community are fighting back to do what they can to acquire both financial and administrative records currently being withheld by the community’s HOA board with the assistance of the HOA board’s attorneys Frazier and Bowels, as it has been alleged.

It is alleged that one board member, a Mr. Shaun Goeckner in particular seems to have taken the lead in the Nextdoor community platform where he allegedly states. “I speak for my group” (the HOA board, it is alleged or understood) as he continued to debate homeowners and residents and mislead them about a case currently in litigation and other issues pertaining to elections, community maintenance and records.

The People’s Olive Branch has done a background check based on free publicly available records of this board member and we have uncovered that as a felon, he continued to violate Florida Statutes from 2008 to 2018.

Section 720 of the Florida Statutes states, “A person who has been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a felony if committed in this state, may not seek election to the board and is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored for at least 5 years as of the date on which such person seeks election to the board.

However, a quick review of the community associations records on shows that this member has been an HOA board of director since 2008. Furthermore, a search on will also show that the board member’s civil rights had not been restored until 2013. According to section 720 of the Florida statutes, such members are not eligible for board membership up to 5 years after their civil rights have been restored. According to public records, the board member has been serving as an HOA BOD from 2008 to 2023. Creating a continuous violation of the Florida Statutes for up to 10 years.

This is just another example why an update to the current HOA laws in the state of Florida are necessary to protect the homeowners. Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Representative Juan Carlos Porras, Representative David Borrero, Representative Alina Garcia and Representative Vicki Lopez are all in support for House Bill 919.

The People’s Olive Branch reached out to Tallahassee and spoke to Miss Switalski to get more information of the bill’s process. This coming Tuesday the 28th at 2pm the Regulatory Reform and Economic Development Sub Committee will be hosting a follow up to the bill to determine where it will go from here. The committee is Chaired by REP. TYLER SIROIS, REP. LAUREN MELO as Vice Chair and REP. JOE CASELLO as Democratic Ranking Member.

There’s currently a petition form created by Homeowners Fight Back for those that want these committee members to support this bill. An email form is automatically generated and submitted to those members for this coming Tuesday’s meeting at Webster Hall. You can visit the petition here.