COVENANT REVITALIZATION

IS MY COMMUNITY ELIGIBLE TO REVIVE A DECLARATION OF COVENANTS?

The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible to seek approval from the Department of Economic Opportunity to revive a declaration of covenants:
(1) All parcels that will be governed by the revived declaration must have been governed by a previous declaration that no longer governs some or all of the parcels in the community;
(2) The revived declaration must be approved by a majority of the affected parcel owners in writing or by vote at a meeting of the affected parcel owners; and
(3) The revived declaration may not contain covenants that are more restrictive on the parcel owners than the covenants contained in the previous declaration.

WHAT IS THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE AND WHAT MUST IT DO?

The organizing committee must consist of at least three parcel owners from the community. The organizing committee must prepare the complete text of the proposed revised declaration of covenants to be submitted for approval. The organizing committee must also prepare the full text of the proposed articles of incorporation and bylaws of the revived homeowners’ association to be submitted to the parcel owners for approval, unless the association is already an existing corporation.

WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSED REVIVED DECLARATION AND OTHER GOVERNING DOCUMENTS?

The proposed revived declaration and other governing documents must provide that the voting interests and proportional assessment obligations of each parcel owner shall be the same as it was under the previous governing documents. It must contain the same amendment provisions as the previous documents. If there were no previous amendment provisions than it must include amendment provisions that require the approval of no less than two-thirds of the affected parcel owners. The proposed revived declaration cannot include any provisions that are more restrictive on the new parcel owners than the covenants of the previous governing documents.

WHO NEEDS TO BE NOTIFIED AND WHAT IS THE NOTIFICATION PROCESS?

A complete copy of the proposed revised covenants, the proposed new or existing articles of incorporation and bylaws of the homeowners’ association, and a graphic depiction of the property that will be governed by the revived declaration must be presented to all of the affected parcel owners either by mail or by hand delivery at least 14 days before the time that the consent of the affected parcel owners is sought.

WHAT APPROVAL IS NECESSARY FOR A REVIVED DECLARATION?

A majority of the affected parcel owners must agree, in writing, to the revived declaration of covenants and governing documents of the homeowners’ association or approve the revived declaration and governing documents by a vote at a meeting of the affected parcel owners noticed and conducted in the manner prescribed by 720.306. Proof of notice of the meeting to all affected owners of the meeting and the minutes of the meeting recording the votes of the property owners must be certified by a court reporter or an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Florida.

WHAT DOES THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE NEED TO DO AFTER GETTING APPROVAL FROM THE AFFECTED PARCEL OWNERS?

Within 60 days of the date of approval by the affected parcel owners, the organizing committee must submit the proposed revived governing documents and supporting materials to the Department of Economic Opportunity to review and determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposal.

To submit the necessary documents to the Department of Economic Opportunity, the organizing committee should send the necessary documents to the following address:

Department of Economic Opportunity
Attn: Division of Community Development
107 East Madison Street, MSC 160
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4120

WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE SUBMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT?

The submission must include:
(1) The full text of the proposed revived declaration of covenants and articles of incorporation and bylaws of the homeowners’ association.
(2) A verified copy of the previous declaration of covenants and other previous governing documents for the community and any amendments.
(3) The legal description of each affected parcel and a plat or other graphic depiction of the affected properties in the community.
(4) A verified copy of either:
a. The written consents of the requisite number of affected parcel owners approving the revived declaration and other governing documents; OR
b. If the approval was obtained by a vote at a meeting of the affected parcel owners, the notice of the meeting, attendance, and voting results.
(5) An affidavit by a current or former officer of the association or by a member of the organizing committee verifying that the requirements for the revived declaration have been satisfied.
(6) Any other documentation that the organizing committee believes is supportive of the policy of preserving the residential community and operating, managing, and maintaining the infrastructure, aesthetic character, and common areas serving the residential community.

WHEN WILL THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY MAKE A DETERMINATION?

The department has 60 days from the time it receives the submission to make its determination as to whether the proposed revived declaration of covenants and other governing documents comply with the requirements.

If the department determines that the proposed revived declaration and other governing documents comply with the requirements and have been approved by the affected parcel owners, then the department will provide the organizing committee with written approval.

However, if the department determines that the requirements have not been satisfied, then the department will provide written notice that it does not approve the governing documents. The written notice will also include the department’s reasons for the disapproval.
WHAT DOES THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE NEED TO DO AFTER GETTING APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY?

If the articles of incorporation have not previously been filed with the Division of Corporations, the organizing committee has 30 days to file the articles of incorporation with the Division of Corporations.

Instructions for filing Articles of Incorporation can be found at:
http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/start-business/efile/fl-profit-corporation/instructions/

WHEN & HOW ARE THE REVIVED DECLARATION AND OTHER GOVERNING DOCUMENTS RECORDED?

Within 30 days of receiving approval from the Division of Corporations, the President and Secretary of the association must execute the revived declaration and other governing documents in the name of the association and have the documents recorded with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the affected parcels are located.

WHAT NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE RECORDED DOCUMENTS?

The following must be included in the recorded documents:
(1) The full text of the approved declaration of covenants;
(2) The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the Homeowners’ Association; AND
(3) The legal description of each affected parcel of property.

WHEN DO THE REVIVED DECLARATION AND OTHER GOVERNING DOCUMENTS BECOME EFFECTIVE?

The revived declaration and other governing documents are effective upon recordation in the public records. They are effective as to each affective parcel owner, regardless of whether the particular parcel owner approved the revived declaration. The revived declaration shall replace and supersede the previous declaration as to all affected parcels then governed by the previous declaration and will have the same record priority. The revived declaration may not have retroactive effect with respect to any affected parcels that had ceased to be governed by the previous declaration as of the recording date, and shall take priority with respect to the parcel as of the recording date.

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