Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency due to novel coronavirus. This has triggered the availability of statutory emergency powers to condominium associations and homeowners’ associations. Although the applicable statutory sections were clearly written with natural disasters in mind, the majority view of association law practitioners appears to be that emergency powers are now available. However, because condominium associations and homeowners’ associations are unaccustomed to utilizing emergency powers and, in many cases, are unfamiliar with them, many communities have been slow to avail themselves of benefits of the use of such powers.
Nevertheless, emergency powers are expressly limited to times when the use of such powers are “reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare” of residents and may not be abused. If an association has any questions about the use of emergency powers, it is recommended to contact legal counsel and obtain advice. As the state of emergency is likely to continue for some time, associations will likely have ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with available emergency powers and to make use of them.