Federation of Manufactured Home Owners of Florida FMO Newsletter October 2019 IN THIS ISSUE President's Report Executive Director update Committee Reports Upcoming District Meetings Rumblings heard from communities around the state Featured Articles on our Website Monthly Legal Tip Announcements The Biannual FMO Assembly will be held Dec. 5 – 6, 2019 at the Ramada Gateway in Kissimmee. Contact your District President if you are interested in attending. The assembly is open to all members but seating is limited and reservations are required.
Should you want to run for a position on the FMO Board of Directors, please fill out the Candidate Profile Form. The form may be downloaded Here. We will use the information to print a bio of yourself along with your picture to be submitted in the next FMO Magazine. This will give all members the opportunity to see who is running for what position to be elected at the State Assembly to be held this December 4, and 5 at the Ramada Gateway in Kissimmee. Please return to Jane Clapp, [email protected] , or by regular mail on or before Oct 15, 2019.
HOAs - There are many new and historical articles you can download Here and use as meeting talking points or add to your newsletter. All we ask is you properly credit FMO as the source and publish them in original form.
Legislative Briefs - Nancy Black Stewart At this writing the 2020 FMO bill is under-construction. We will be providing you the text, information, and summaries as quickly as possible. It is our understanding that the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (park owners) are filing a bill this year as well. Read the full report Here.
Did you know? In 1977 State Senator Jim Glisson sponsored legislation to create a statewide Mobile Home Tenant-Landlord Commission. Glisson said the law is designed to discourage speculators from buying up mobile home parks and raising rents once parks are full. Tenants could petition the commission to look into any increase greater than cost of living. The bill took effect July 1st and was scheduled to be implemented on January first. Seven members were appointed to the Commission including Henry Van Engen, President of the Manatee County chapter of the Federation of Mobile Home Owners of Florida. (FMO). On Dec 28th, in response to a lawsuit by the National Manufactured Housing Federation (park owners), Tallahassee circuit judge James Joanos ruled the law was too broad and gave the commission powers to impose permanent rent controls.
Updates from Washington DC The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), a Federal Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD) will meet in Washington DC Oct 29 – Oct 31, 2019. FMO Director at Large Russ Watson is a member of the committee and will be attending.
News from NMHOA NMHOA joins partner Prosperity Now's I'm Home network in highlighting the problem of stigma in the month of October. Past President Tim Sheehan has put together a video titled "My HOME is NOT MOBILE" to use in presentations. It can be viewed Here.
Approved FMO Board Minutes Approved minutes for FMO Board of Director's meetings have been posted through Aug 2019 Here.
FMHRC Public Notice FMHRC Board Meeting Oct 15, 2019 The Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation (“FMHRC”) announces a public meeting to which all persons are invited. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. via-telephone only. Details may be downloaded Here.
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PRESIDENT'S REPORT Greetings everyone,
Summer is behind us and things are beginning to move forward. We hope you all had an enjoyable summer and had some opportunity for family time. Barb and I were fortunate to spend time with her mom, our children and most importantly our Grandchildren.
That being said your Board, our staff and our committees have been working through the summer. I have asked each Committee to present plans to the Board at our October 16th in person meeting. We have been working on adding value to an FMO membership through discount and insurance programs, improving our communications with new and potential members and offering more educational opportunities for residents of mobile/manufactured home communities.
On the Legislative front we have been under pressure to put a bill together as the Legislative session for 2020 begins in January. Only a few of you have submitted any ideas and we have incorporated them into our package. We will make this public once our Board has reviewed and endorses the Legislation. We chose not to pursue the suggestion that we pursue Legislation to stop mandatory evacuations.
FMO and FMHA have both concluded that we have negotiated those items we could agree on and the issues that are most important to each party would not be negotiable. Therefore, we expect FMHA to submit their own Legislative Amendments to FL Statute Chapter 723. On the plus side they have informed me that they also intend to present an amendment to reduce the sales tax on the sale of new and used mobile/manufacture homes.
While we can certainly support the sales tax reduction there will be a battle in Tallahassee. How the Legislature deals with this remains to be seen. They can force us to the negotiating table, advance both bills, advance neither or most unlikely only advance ours. We expect to seek your assistance with the Legislators and Committees. Stay Tuned!
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE State Assembly is only a couple of months away. As you may have already seen the article in the September/October issue of the FMO Magazine (page 14), the dates are Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday December 5, 2019. A District Presidents’ meeting is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, December 3. The location is the same as the 2015 and 2017 State Assemblies – the Ramada Gateway, 7470 Irlo Bronson Highway West (Highway 192), Kissimmee, FL 34747.
I will soon be sending an email to each District President along with a form to be filled out indicating who their delegates will be attending State Assembly to represent their districts. Once we know how many will be attending, we can move forward with the final plans.
For some of those who are new to FMO, State Assembly is held every two years to conduct official business of FMO. The proposed Bylaws changes will be reviewed and the delegates will vote on each one to either accept or not accept. Also, voting will take place for each position on the FMO Board of Directors. There will be several open positions on the Board and we would like to have them all filled. On page 15 of the September/October FMO Magazine is a Candidate Profile Form to be filled out and sent to me by those who wish to run for a position. This form is also available here in the Largo Office.
We look forward to seeing everyone at State Assembly and learning who will comprise our FMO Board of Directors.
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COMMITTEE REPORTS Bylaws Committee
The full committee met on Sept 23. The format for presentation of change requests at the assembly was finalized. Committee recommendations which were merely scrivener errors or minor corrections will be handled through a consent agenda to save time to focus on more significant changes. An initial order of presentation was established and sections where multiple changes are needed were addressed. The next meeting is Oct 13th. Once finalized the entire list will be posted on the website prior to the Assembly.
We would like to extend our gratitude to those members who have given input for the committee to consider. The members of your committee, Jerry Durham (President), Richard Twort (Director at Large), Steve Sheridan (Retired Judge), John Salvucci (Director at Large). Fred Osier, and Jesse James (Section IX Director) have worked diligently alongside Lee Colling (FMO Legal Counsel) and Nancy Stewart (FMO Legislative Lobbyist).
This year, FMO will be submitting comprehensive legislative changes to FS723 separate from FMHA (park owners) legislation. It is needless to say that "battle lines" are being drawn. Discussions are expected to be intense before and during State Legislative Committees. We urge our District Presidents to engage your State Representatives and invite him to speak at your District Meetings. Their knowledge of our lifestyle and their support of our Bills are crucial to the success of our legislative efforts.
The November issue of our new FMO Magazine will further elaborate on the details of our legislative content.
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UPCOMING DISTRICT MEETINGS FMO District 14 Meeting Guest Speaker Shannon Boyle POFD & Evan Doyle POPD - Personal Safety October 07, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM La Costa Village
FMO District 9 Meeting Guest Speaker Bryce Mednick - Professional Insurance October 09, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Palm Village (Formally Arrowood)
FMO District 3 Meeting Guest Speaker State Senator Dennis Baxley October 17, 2019 | 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM Corley Island Mobile Manor
FMO District 13 Meeting Guest Speaker to be announced October 23, 2019 | 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Saddle Oak MHP
Additional detailes are on the District Meetings Page.Not sure what District you are in? Check the Map. Don't see a meeting for your District? Contact the District President (Listed Here) or check the FMO Calendar for updates.
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RUMBLINGS HEARD FROM COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE
Law360 reports a case brought by a Lakeland park was allowed to proceed when a Florida federal judge rejected a plea by Tampa law firm Lutz, Bobo, and Telfair to dismiss the proposed class action suit accusing them of engaging in a racketeering scheme to dupe mobile home owners and buyers into accepting more expensive land rental terms. According to the article the homeowner's association estimates the class at about a thousand or more.
Still no word from the Attorney Generals (AG) office regarding the investigation of "Home Prep Fees". A request for documents to the AG's office resulted in an estimate of over 300 pages related to the issue. This may grow when returning snowbirds become aware of the opportunity to question these charges and join those seeking refunds.
Many parks operate on a calendar year. Rent increase notices must be postmarked 90 days before the increase so most will have just received them. Often they are accompanied by tax notices. Your HOA has thirty days to file a request to meet with the park owner and negotiate these items. At a minimum we recommend you document the underlying facts and figures related to the tax bill and the reasons for the increase.
Note: tax estimates are based on TRIM notices which come out in August. Typically there are three scenarios, no increase and two levels of increase. Some park owners choose the highest increase in their new lot rent letters. The final tax rate comes out November 1st. Make sure your rent is adjusted to the actual tax.
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FEATURED ARTICLES ON OUR WEBSITE Getting the most out of Community Living
Folks buy homes in Florida’s manufactured home communities for a variety of reasons. There are the snowbirds - seeking relief from the cold northern winters. Retired couples and singles come looking for an active lifestyle and easy living. Sometimes it’s as simple as joining friends or relatives already living in the park. Others find a particular area or activity that calls them.
In the early years (1960s – 1980s) our parks.......To read the article click Here
Your Park Owner is who they say they are
Every year, among the thousands of manufactured home parks in FL, a Committee of residents (mostly from the community HOA) takes on the daunting task of putting together a strategy for “negotiating” with their park owner for the lowest lot rental increase possible for the community residents.
They start meeting early..........To read the article click Here (Reprinted from Sept/Oct 2019 FMO Magazine)
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MONTHLY LEGAL TIP COMPLIANCE WITH 55 & OVER Is a Chapter 723 Park Owner who claims compliance with the 55 & Over law required to do a census of residents? If so, how frequently and is it obliged to share it with the Homeowner’s Association? ANSWER: The answer to your question is governed by Section 760.20 through 760.37, F.S.,...click Here for the full answer.
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