SUMMARY OF CHANGES TO CONDO ACT:
Liability for Monetary Damages Provides that an officer, director, or agent must act in good faith and is liable for monetary damage under certain circumstances: violation of criminal law or a derived personal benefit or an act or omission in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
FS 718.111(12) 11
Civil Penalty for Destroying Records
Creates a provision that subjects to civil penalties any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces, destroys, or fails to create or maintain accounting records.
Accessibility of Requested Records Requires association to make requested documents available within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county -- within 5 working days. (Not valid for timeshare condominium). Offers option to make requested records available via Internet or being viewed on computer screen and printed upon request.
Disclosure and Information for Reserves Requires the Division to create rules that include disclosure of at least a summary of the reserves, including information as to whether such reserves are being funded at a level sufficient to prevent the need for a special assessment and, if not, the amount of assessments necessary to bring the reserves up to the level necessary to avoid a special assessment.
Audit; Financial Reporting Provides that audit or review shall be paid for by the developer if done prior to turnover of control of the association. An association may not waive the financial reporting requirements of this section for more than 3 consecutive years.
Votes for Ghost-Units Votes allocated to units owned by the association may not be cast by proxy, ballot, or otherwise for any purpose (eliminates “ghost votes”).
Add Item To Agenda;
Notice of Assessments being Considered
Creates an avenue for unit owners to place an item on a board meeting agenda or call for special meeting of the board through a petition of 20% of the owners within 60 days.
Requires notice of any meeting in which regular or special assessments against unit owners are to be considered for any reason shall specifically contain a statement that assessments will be considered and the nature, estimated cost, and description of the purposes for any such assessments.
FS 718.112(2)(d) 1
Location Meeting; Eligibility to Serve on Board
Determines location of annual meeting.
Creates provision that permits all board members to stand for re-election each year, but allows staggered terms for no more than two years, if membership approves.
Prohibits co-owners of a unit from serving on any board at the same time in an association of greater than 10 units.
An owner who has been suspended or removed by the Division under this chapter is not eligible for board membership.
Prohibits owners delinquent in the payment of any fees or assessment to serve on board.
Prohibits anyone convicted of a felony anywhere from serving on a board of directors. However, a felon may be eligible to sit on the board if their rights have been restored and they are 5 years removed from the date of restoration.
FS 718.112(2)(d) 3
Certification Form Candidates 60-day election notice shall include certification form provided by the Division attesting that candidates for board membership have read and understand, to the best of his or her ability, the governing documents of the association and the provisions of this chapter and any applicable rules. This form has to be signed and sent to the association by each candidate not less than 35 days before the election.
FS 718.112(2)(d) 8
Prohibits opt-out of Election Process Prohibits associations that are 10 units or more to opt out of statutory election process and mandates that all condominiums over 10 units abide by chapter 718 election laws.
FS 718.112(2)(f) 4
Proxy Reserve Funds Proxy questions relating to reducing or waiving the funding of reserves shall contain a statement explaining the effects of this.
Board Member Due Delinquency A director or officer more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of regular assessments shall be deemed to have abandoned the office, creating a vacancy in the office to be filled according to law.
Removal of Director charged with Theft or Embezzlement A director or officer charged with a felony theft or embezzlement offense involving association's funds or property shall be removed from office, creating a vacancy in the office to be filled according to law. While such criminal charges are pending, he or she may not be appointed or elected to a position as a director or officer. If charges are resolved without a finding of guilt, the director or officer shall be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of office.
Receivership Notice Notice of intent to apply for receivership; 30-day notice must be provided by the unit owner to every other unit owner of the association by certified mail or personal delivery.
Installation of Hurricane Shutters Allows the board to install hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds building code with the approval of a majority of voting interests. Prohibits the board to install hurricane shutters where such protection (meeting or exceeding building code standards) is already in place.
Outlines how to determine who will be responsible for the installation, replacement, operation, and repair of hurricane protection.
If the declaration states the association is responsible, hurricane protection will be treated as a common element.
If the declaration does not say who is responsible, the unit owners shall be responsible for the hurricane protection and the cost shall be charged individually to the unit owners.
Those unit owners who already have installed hurricane protection which complies with the building code shall receive a credit for the portion of the assessed installation cost assigned to each unit. The unit owner shall, however, remain responsible for his or her share of hurricane protection installed on the common elements.
Engineer Report - Requires the condominium building to be inspected and the board to provide a report under seal of an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state attesting to required maintenance, useful life, and replacement costs of the common elements. Opt-out possible, membership vote required!
Religious Object An association may not refuse the request of a unit owner for a reasonable accommodation for the attachment of a religious object on the mantle or frame of the door of the unit owner.
FS 718.115 (1)(e)
Hurricane Shutters Clarifies further who is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of the hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection. Charge of cost.
FS 718.117 (7)(a)
Notice of Receivership Requires written notice to all unit owners if receiver is appointed after natural disaster.
FS 718.121 (4)
Lien Intent Notice by Certified Mail Requires 30-day notice of intent to file a lien to be delivered to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class United States mail to the owner at his or her last known address as reflected in the records of the association.
Prohibition Against SLAPP Suits Protects owners against SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) suits. This form of litigation is frequently filed by associations to intimidate and silence critics or opponents by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense so that they abandon their criticism or opposition. Association boards have attorneys filing frivolous lawsuits forcing the outspoken owner to hire an attorney to defend this lawsuit. These lawsuits are later dropped leaving the owner stuck with his/her attorney's fees.
Association Emergency Powers Provision affords the board the authority to exercise certain powers in the event of a declared emergency by the governor in order to mitigate damages to the property. Power is supposed to be limited to prevention of further damage and emergency repairs.
FS 718.301 (4)(1)
Transfer of Association Control
Adds turnover requirement provisions:
When the developer files a petition seeking protection in bankruptcy;
When a receiver for the developer is appointed and not discharged within 30 days
FS 718.301 (4)(1)(p)
Requires Engineer's Report at Turnover Requires developer to add a report to official records, under seal of an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state, attesting to required maintenance, useful life, and replacement costs of the following applicable common elements comprising a turnover inspection report.
FS 718.3025 (1)(f)
Disclosure Requirement of Financial Interest Requires disclosure of any financial or ownership interest a board member or any party providing maintenance or management services to the association holds with the contracting party.
Option of Contract Cancellation
If such a contract is approved, the contract could be voided with a vote of the majority of unit owners without penalty.
FS 718.303 (3)
Fine Committee Disqualifies board members and persons residing in a board member's household from being members of the grievance (fine) committee.
FS 718.501 (1)
Duties of Division Jurisdiction Gives Division complete jurisdiction to investigate complaints and enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter with respect to associations that are still under developer control and complaints against developers involving improper turnover or failure to turnover.
Limits Division jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to association records after developer turnover.
FS 718.501 (4)
Division Power - Civil Penalty, Removal from Board Empowers Division to levy civil penalty and/or to order the removal of any individual, who willfully and knowingly violates a provision of this chapter, as an officer or from the board of administration or as an officer of the association; and may prohibit such individual from serving as an officer or on the board of a community association for a period of time.
FS 718.501(1)(d) 7.
Division Power - Subpoena Requirement for Requested Records Mandates that the director of the Division exercise the subpoena power granted to him after proof, by certified return-receipt mail, from a unit owner asking for a copy of official records. Upon receipt of such proof the director shall issue a subpoena requiring the production of the requested documents.
FS 718.501 (5)(j)
Education Requires the Division to provide training and educational programs for condominium association board members and unit owners. The training may include web-based electronic media, and live training and seminars in various locations throughout the state.
FS 718.501 (5)(n)
Obligation to Cooperate with Investigation Directors, officers, and employees; condominium developers; community association managers; and community association management firms are required to reasonably cooperate with the Division in any investigation. The Division shall refer to local law enforcement authorities any person whom the Division believes has altered, destroyed, concealed, or removed any record, document, or thing required to be kept or maintained by this chapter with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in the department's investigation.
FS 718.5012 (9)
Ombudsman's Office: Resolution of Disputes Adds requirement to ombudsman's office to assist with the resolution of disputes between unit owners and the association or between unit owners when the dispute is not within the jurisdiction of the Division to resolve.
Community Association Living Study Council Establishes a 7-member Council that shall exist for a 6-month term commencing October 1, 2008. Council shall make recommendations for changes in the law related to condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners' associations. Council shall review, evaluate, and advise the Legislature concerning revisions and improvements to the laws.
FS 718.503 (2)
Entitles prospective purchaser to receive from the seller a copy of a governance form. Division shall provide a form summarizing governance of condominium associations. Form should help prospective purchaser in understanding association governance. Clarifies intention of governance form.
October 1, 2008
ENROLLED VERSION CONDO BILL H 995
NEWS PAGE HOME LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2008