The Florida State Congress’ House Bill 1237, (HB 1237) has many moving parts and condominium associations and property managers need to be aware of them. Condominium Association Website of Florida wants you to be fully armed and understand the law as it is written. In this blog post, we have re-formatted the Florida statute 718.111 for easy online reading. We have also attached a downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF version of HB 1237. You can get the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader here. Finally, we have also added links to the Florida Senate’s online version of HB 1237 and to Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes on Condominiums.
718.111 The association.—
(1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
(a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or members of the association. The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or service of value or kickback for which consideration has not been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer, director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback is subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) and, if applicable, a criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d). However, this paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director, or manager from accepting services or items received in connection with trade fairs or education programs. An association may operate more than one condominium.
(b) A director of the association who is present at a meeting of its board at which action on any corporate matter is taken shall be presumed to have assented to the action taken unless he or she votes against such action or abstains from voting. A director of the association who abstains from voting on any action taken on any corporate matter shall be presumed to have taken no position with regard to the action. Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings, except that officers may be elected by secret ballot. A vote or abstention for each member present shall be recorded in the minutes.
(c) A unit owner does not have any authority to act for the association by reason of being a unit owner.
(d) As required by s. 617.0830, an officer, director, or agent shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the interests of the association. An officer, director, or agent shall be liable for monetary damages as provided in s. 617.0834 if such officer, director, or agent breached or failed to perform his or her duties and the breach of, or failure to perform, his or her duties constitutes a violation of criminal law as provided in s. 617.0834; constitutes a transaction from which the officer or director derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property. Forgery of a ballot envelope or voting certificate used in a condominium association election is punishable as provided in s. 831.01, the theft or embezzlement of funds of a condominium association is punishable as provided in s. 812.014, and the destruction of or the refusal to allow inspection or copying of an official record of a condominium association that is accessible to unit owners within the time periods required by general law in furtherance of any crime is punishable as tampering with physical evidence as provided in s. 918.13 or as obstruction of justice as provided in chapter 843. An officer or director charged by information or indictment with a crime referenced in this paragraph must be removed from office, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in s. 718.112(2)(d)2. until the end of the officer’s or director’s period of suspension or the end of his or her term of office, whichever occurs first. If a criminal charge is pending against the officer or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected to a position as an officer or a director of any association and may not have access to the official records of any association, except pursuant to a court order. However, if the charges are resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of office, if any.
(2) POWERS AND DUTIES.—The powers and duties of the association include those set forth in this section and, except as expressly limited or restricted in this chapter, those set forth in the declaration and bylaws and part I of chapter 607 and chapter 617, as applicable.
(3) POWER TO MANAGE CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY AND TO CONTRACT, SUE, AND BE SUED; CONFLICT OF INTEREST.—The association may contract, sue, or be sued with respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the condominium property. After control of the association is obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning matters of common interest to most or all unit owners, including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and structural components of a building or other improvements; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an improvement or a building; representations of the developer pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities; and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the authority to maintain a class action, the association may be joined in an action as representative of that class with reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without participation by the association which may otherwise be available. An association may not hire an attorney who represents the management company of the association.
(4) ASSESSMENTS; MANAGEMENT OF COMMON ELEMENTS.—The association has the power to make and collect assessments and to lease, maintain, repair, and replace the common elements or association property; however, the association may not charge a use fee against a unit owner for the use of common elements or association property unless otherwise provided for in the declaration of condominium or by a majority vote of the association or unless the charges relate to expenses incurred by an owner having exclusive use of the common elements or association property.
(5) RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.—
(a) The association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a unit.
(b)1. In addition to the association’s right of access in paragraph (a) and regardless of whether authority is provided in the declaration or other recorded condominium documents, an association, at the sole discretion of the board, may enter an abandoned unit to inspect the unit and adjoining common elements; make repairs to the unit or to the common elements serving the unit, as needed; repair the unit if mold or deterioration is present; turn on the utilities for the unit; or otherwise maintain, preserve, or protect the unit and adjoining common elements. For purposes of this paragraph, a unit is presumed to be abandoned if:
a. The unit is the subject of a foreclosure action and no tenant appears to have resided in the unit for at least 4 continuous weeks without prior written notice to the association; or
b. No tenant appears to have resided in the unit for 2 consecutive months without prior written notice to the association, and the association is unable to contact the owner or determine the whereabouts of the owner after reasonable inquiry.
2. Except in the case of an emergency, an association may not enter an abandoned unit until 2 days after notice of the association’s intent to enter the unit has been mailed or hand-delivered to the owner at the address of the owner as reflected in the records of the association. The notice may be given by electronic transmission to unit owners who previously consented to receive notice by electronic transmission.
3. Any expense incurred by an association pursuant to this paragraph is chargeable to the unit owner and enforceable as an assessment pursuant to s. 718.116, and the association may use its lien authority provided by s. 718.116 to enforce collection of the expense.
4. The association may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to appoint a receiver to lease out an abandoned unit for the benefit of the association to offset against the rental income the association’s costs and expenses of maintaining, preserving, and protecting the unit and the adjoining common elements, including the costs of the receivership and all unpaid assessments, interest, administrative late fees, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.
(6) OPERATION OF CONDOMINIUMS CREATED PRIOR TO 1977.—Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, an association may operate two or more residential condominiums in which the initial condominium declaration was recorded prior to January 1, 1977, and may continue to so operate such condominiums as a single condominium for purposes of financial matters, including budgets, assessments, accounting, recordkeeping, and similar matters, if provision is made for such consolidated operation in the applicable declarations of each such condominium or in the bylaws. An association for such condominiums may also provide for consolidated financial operation as described in this section either by amending its declaration pursuant to s. 718.110(1)(a) or by amending its bylaws and having the amendment approved by not less than two-thirds of the total voting interests. Notwithstanding any provision in this chapter, common expenses for residential condominiums in such a project being operated by a single association may be assessed against all unit owners in such project pursuant to the proportions or percentages established therefor in the declarations as initially recorded or in the bylaws as initially adopted, subject, however, to the limitations of ss. 718.116 and 718.302.
(7) TITLE TO PROPERTY.—
(a) The association has the power to acquire title to property or otherwise hold, convey, lease, and mortgage association property for the use and benefit of its members. The power to acquire personal property shall be exercised by the board of administration. Except as otherwise permitted in subsections (8) and (9) and in s. 718.114, no association may acquire, convey, lease, or mortgage association real property except in the manner provided in the declaration, and if the declaration does not specify the procedure, then approval of 75 percent of the total voting interests shall be required. (b) Subject to the provisions of s. 718.112(2)(m), the association, through its board, has the limited power to convey a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for the purposes of providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent domain proceedings. (8) PURCHASE OF LEASES.—The association has the power to purchase any land or recreation lease, subject to the same manner of approval as in s. 718.114 for the acquisition of leaseholds.
(9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.—The association has the power, unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey them. There shall be no limitation on the association’s right to purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure. However, except for a timeshare condominium, a board member, manager, or management company may not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
(10) EASEMENTS.—Unless prohibited by the declaration, the board of administration has the authority, without the joinder of any unit owner, to grant, modify, or move any easement if the easement constitutes part of or crosses the common elements or association property. This subsection does not authorize the board of administration to modify, move, or vacate any easement created in whole or in part for the use or benefit of anyone other than the unit owners, or crossing the property of anyone other than the unit owners, without the consent or approval of those other persons having the use or benefit of the easement, as required by law or by the instrument creating the easement. Nothing in this subsection affects the minimum requirements of s. 718.104(4)(n) or the powers enumerated in subsection (3).
(11) INSURANCE.—In order to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the people of the State of Florida and to ensure consistency in the provision of insurance coverage to condominiums and their unit owners, this subsection applies to every residential condominium in the state, regardless of the date of its declaration of condominium. It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage lower or stable insurance premiums for associations described in this subsection.
(a) Adequate property insurance, regardless of any requirement in the declaration of condominium for coverage by the association for full insurable value, replacement cost, or similar coverage, must be based on the replacement cost of the property to be insured as determined by an independent insurance appraisal or update of a prior appraisal. The replacement cost must be determined at least once every 36 months.
1. An association or group of associations may provide adequate property insurance through a self-insurance fund that complies with the requirements of ss. 624.460–624.488. 2. The association may also provide adequate property insurance coverage for a group of at least three communities created and operating under this chapter, chapter 719, chapter 720, or chapter 721 by obtaining and maintaining for such communities insurance coverage sufficient to cover an amount equal to the probable maximum loss for the communities for a 250-year windstorm event. Such probable maximum loss must be determined through the use of a competent model that has been accepted by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. A policy or program providing such coverage may not be issued or renewed after July 1, 2008, unless it has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation. The review and approval must include approval of the policy and related forms pursuant to ss. 627.410 and 627.411, approval of the rates pursuant to s. 627.062, a determination that the loss model approved by the commission was accurately and appropriately applied to the insured structures to determine the 250-year probable maximum loss, and a determination that complete and accurate disclosure of all material provisions is provided to condominium unit owners before execution of the agreement by a condominium association.
3. When determining the adequate amount of property insurance coverage, the association may consider deductibles as determined by this subsection.
(b) If an association is a developer-controlled association, the association shall exercise its best efforts to obtain and maintain insurance as described in paragraph (a). Failure to obtain and maintain adequate property insurance during any period of developer control constitutes a breach of fiduciary responsibility by the developer-appointed members of the board of directors of the association, unless the members can show that despite such failure, they have made their best efforts to maintain the required coverage.
(c) Policies may include deductibles as determined by the board.
1. The deductibles must be consistent with industry standards and prevailing practice for communities of similar size and age, and having similar construction and facilities in the locale where the condominium property is situated.
2. The deductibles may be based upon available funds, including reserve accounts, or predetermined assessment authority at the time the insurance is obtained.
3. The board shall establish the amount of deductibles based upon the level of available funds and predetermined assessment authority at a meeting of the board in the manner set forth in s. 718.112(2)(e).
(d) An association controlled by unit owners operating as a residential condominium shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate property insurance to protect the association, the association property, the common elements, and the condominium property that must be insured by the association pursuant to this subsection.
(e) The declaration of condominium as originally recorded, or as amended pursuant to procedures provided therein, may provide that condominium property consisting of freestanding buildings comprised of no more than one building in or on such unit need not be insured by the association if the declaration requires the unit owner to obtain adequate insurance for the condominium property. An association may also obtain and maintain liability insurance for directors and officers, insurance for the benefit of association employees, and flood insurance for common elements, association property, and units.
(f) Every property insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2009, for the purpose of protecting the condominium must provide primary coverage for:
1. All portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications.
2. All alterations or additions made to the condominium property or association property pursuant to s. 718.113(2).
3. The coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.
(g) A condominium unit owner policy must conform to the requirements of s. 627.714.
1. All reconstruction work after a property loss must be undertaken by the association except as otherwise authorized in this section. A unit owner may undertake reconstruction work on portions of the unit with the prior written consent of the board of administration. However, such work may be conditioned upon the approval of the repair methods, the qualifications of the proposed contractor, or the contract that is used for that purpose. A unit owner must obtain all required governmental permits and approvals before commencing reconstruction.
2. Unit owners are responsible for the cost of reconstruction of any portions of the condominium property for which the unit owner is required to carry property insurance, or for which the unit owner is responsible under paragraph (j), and the cost of any such reconstruction work undertaken by the association is chargeable to the unit owner and enforceable as an assessment and may be collected in the manner provided for the collection of assessments pursuant to s. 718.116. 3. A multicondominium association may elect, by a majority vote of the collective members of the condominiums operated by the association, to operate the condominiums as a single condominium for purposes of insurance matters, including, but not limited to, the purchase of the property insurance required by this section and the apportionment of deductibles and damages in excess of coverage. The election to aggregate the treatment of insurance premiums, deductibles, and excess damages constitutes an amendment to the declaration of all condominiums operated by the association, and the costs of insurance must be stated in the association budget. The amendments must be recorded as required by s. 718.110.
(h) The association shall maintain insurance or fidelity bonding of all persons who control or disburse funds of the association. The insurance policy or fidelity bond must cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. As used in this paragraph, the term “persons who control or disburse funds of the association” includes, but is not limited to, those individuals authorized to sign checks on behalf of the association, and the president, secretary, and treasurer of the association. The association shall bear the cost of any such bonding.
(i) The association may amend the declaration of condominium without regard to any requirement for approval by mortgagees of amendments affecting insurance requirements for the purpose of conforming the declaration of condominium to the coverage requirements of this subsection.
(j) Any portion of the condominium property that must be insured by the association against property loss pursuant to paragraph (f) which is damaged by an insurable event shall be reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the association as a common expense. In the absence of an insurable event, the association or the unit owners shall be responsible for the reconstruction, repair, or replacement as determined by the maintenance provisions of the declaration or bylaws. All property insurance deductibles and other damages in excess of property insurance coverage under the property insurance policies maintained by the association are a common expense of the condominium, except that:
1. A unit owner is responsible for the costs of repair or replacement of any portion of the condominium property not paid by insurance proceeds if such damage is caused by intentional conduct, negligence, or failure to comply with the terms of the declaration or the rules of the association by a unit owner, the members of his or her family, unit occupants, tenants, guests, or invitees, without compromise of the subrogation rights of the insurer.
2. The provisions of subparagraph 1. regarding the financial responsibility of a unit owner for the costs of repairing or replacing other portions of the condominium property also apply to the costs of repair or replacement of personal property of other unit owners or the association, as well as other property, whether real or personal, which the unit owners are required to insure.
3. To the extent the cost of repair or reconstruction for which the unit owner is responsible under this paragraph is reimbursed to the association by insurance proceeds, and the association has collected the cost of such repair or reconstruction from the unit owner, the association shall reimburse the unit owner without the waiver of any rights of subrogation.
4. The association is not obligated to pay for reconstruction or repairs of property losses as a common expense if the property losses were known or should have been known to a unit owner and were not reported to the association until after the insurance claim of the association for that property was settled or resolved with finality, or denied because it was untimely filed.
(k) An association may, upon the approval of a majority of the total voting interests in the association, opt out of the provisions of paragraph (j) for the allocation of repair or reconstruction expenses and allocate repair or reconstruction expenses in the manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or as amended. Such vote may be approved by the voting interests of the association without regard to any mortgagee consent requirements.
(l) In a multicondominium association that has not consolidated its financial operations under subsection (6), any condominium operated by the association may opt out of the provisions of paragraph (j) with the approval of a majority of the total voting interests in that condominium. Such vote may be approved by the voting interests without regard to any mortgagee consent requirements.
(m) Any association or condominium voting to opt out of the guidelines for repair or reconstruction expenses as described in paragraph (j) must record a notice setting forth the date of the opt-out vote and the page of the official records book on which the declaration is recorded. The decision to opt out is effective upon the date of recording of the notice in the public records by the association. An association that has voted to opt out of paragraph (j) may reverse that decision by the same vote required in paragraphs (k) and (l), and notice thereof shall be recorded in the official records.
(n) The association is not obligated to pay for any reconstruction or repair expenses due to property loss to any improvements installed by a current or former owner of the unit or by the developer if the improvement benefits only the unit for which it was installed and is not part of the standard improvements installed by the developer on all units as part of original construction, whether or not such improvement is located within the unit. This paragraph does not relieve any party of its obligations regarding recovery due under any insurance implemented specifically for such improvements.
(o) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to timeshare condominium associations. Insurance for timeshare condominium associations shall be maintained pursuant to s.721.165.
(12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
(a) From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which constitutes the official records of the association:
1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and each amendment to each declaration.
3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.
4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and each amendment thereto.
5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, the board of administration, and the unit owners.
7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain the e-mail addresses and facsimile numbers of unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The e-mail addresses and facsimile numbers are not accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with sub-subparagraph (c)3.e. However, the association is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the e-mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.
8. All current insurance policies of the association and condominiums operated by the association.
9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.
11. Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each condominium that the association operates. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not limited to:
a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.
b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium.
d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed are also considered official records and must be maintained by the association.
12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers and electronic records relating to voting by unit owners, which must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph (b).
13. All rental records if the association is acting as agent for the rental of condominium units.
14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504.
15. All other written records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.
16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s. 718.301(4)(p).
17. Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
(b) The official records specified in subparagraphs (a)1.-6. must be permanently maintained from the inception of the association. All other official records must be maintained within the state for at least 7 years, unless otherwise provided by general law. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in which the condominium property is located within 10 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property or association property, or the association may offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. The association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to an association member or his or her authorized representative pursuant to the compliance requirements of this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose such information pursuant to this chapter.
(c)1. The official records of the association are open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member or authorized representative of such member. A renter of a unit has a right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records.
2. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to be maintained during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
3. The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and year-end financial information required under this section, on the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or his or her authorized representative to use a portable device, including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the association’s providing the member or his or her authorized representative with a copy of such records. The association may not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph, the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
a. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including a record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
b. Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.
c. Personnel records of association or management company employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll, health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not include written employment agreements with an association employee or management company, or budgetary or financial records that indicate the compensation paid to an association employee.
d. Medical records of unit owners.
e. Social security numbers, driver license numbers, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail address, or facsimile number provided to the association to fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding the restrictions in this sub-subparagraph, an association may print and distribute to parcel owners a directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to the disclosure of other contact information described in this sub-subparagraph. The association is not liable for the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected under this sub-subparagraph if the information is included in an official record of the association and is voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the association.
f. Electronic security measures that are used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords.
g. The software and operating system used by the association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association.
(d) The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually.
(e)1. The association or its authorized agent is not required to provide a prospective purchaser or lienholder with information about the condominium or the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney’s fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.
2. An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing such information in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: “The responses herein are made in good faith and to the best of my ability as to their accuracy.”
(f) An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession or under his or her control to the incoming board within 5 days after the election. The division shall impose a civil penalty as set forth in s. 718.501(1)(d)6. against an outgoing board or committee member who willfully and knowingly fails to relinquish such records and property.
(g)1. By January 1, 2019, an association managing a condominium with 150 or more units which does not contain timeshare units shall post digital copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its website.
a. The association’s website must be:
(I) An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or
(II) A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records, and documents may be posted by the association.
b. The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association.
c. Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association must provide the unit owner with a username and password and access to the protected sections of the association’s website that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be electronically provided.
2. A current copy of the following documents must be posted in digital format on the association’s website:
a. The recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and each amendment to each declaration.
b. The recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.
c. The articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and each amendment thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the Department of State.
d. The rules of the association.
e. A list of all executory contracts or documents to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility and, after bidding for the related materials, equipment, or services has closed, a list of bids received by the association within the past year. Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services which exceed $500 must be maintained on the website for 1 year. In lieu of summaries, complete copies of the bids may be posted.
f. The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
g. The financial report required by subsection (13) and any monthly income or expense statement to be considered at a meeting.
h. The certification of each director required by s. 718.112(2)(d)4.b.
i. All contracts or transactions between the association and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other entity in which an association director is also a director or officer and financially interested.
j. Any contract or document regarding a conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss. 468.436(2)(b)6. and 718.3027(3). k. The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14 days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and linked from the front page. The association must also post on its website any document to be considered and voted on by the owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the information within the document will be considered. l. Notice of any board meeting, the agenda, and any other document required for the meeting as required by s. 718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
3. The association shall ensure that the information and records described in paragraph (c), which are not allowed to be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the association’s website. If protected information or information restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in documents that are required to be posted on the association’s website, the association shall ensure the information is redacted before posting the documents online. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the association or its agent is not liable for disclosing information that is protected or restricted pursuant to this paragraph unless such disclosure was made with a knowing or intentional disregard of the protected or restricted nature of such information.
4. The failure of the association to post information required under subparagraph 2. is not in and of itself sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or its committees.
(13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws, the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the preparation and completion of, a financial report for the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial report is completed by the association or received from the third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver to each unit owner, a copy of the most recent financial report or a notice that a copy of the most recent financial report will be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge, within 5 business days after receipt of a written request from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by all associations and addressing the financial reporting requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the number of members and annual revenues of an association. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
(a) An association that meets the criteria of this paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The financial statements must be based upon the association’s total annual revenues, as follows:
1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements.
2. An association with total annual revenues of at least $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements.
3. An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.
(b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures.
2. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services, expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures, deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the association maintains reserves.
(c) An association may prepare, without a meeting of or approval by the unit owners:
1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures;
2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare compiled financial statements; or
3. Audited financial statements if the association is required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
(d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests present at a properly called meeting of the association, an association may prepare:
1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial statement; or
3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu of an audited financial statement.
Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be effective for the following fiscal year. If the developer has not turned over control of the association, all unit owners, including the developer, may vote on issues related to the preparation of the association’s financial reports, from the date of incorporation of the association through the end of the second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s. 718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such unit is recorded, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, all unit owners except the developer may vote on such issues until control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by the developer if done before turnover of control of the association.
(e) A unit owner may provide written notice to the division of the association’s failure to mail or hand deliver him or her a copy of the most recent financial report within 5 business days after he or she submitted a written request to the association for a copy of such report. If the division determines that the association failed to mail or hand deliver a copy of the most recent financial report to the unit owner, the division shall provide written notice to the association that the association must mail or hand deliver a copy of the most recent financial report to the unit owner and the division within 5 business days after it receives such notice from the division. An association that fails to comply with the division’s request may not waive the financial reporting requirement provided in paragraph (d) for the fiscal year in which the unit owner’s request was made and the following fiscal year. A financial report received by the division pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained, and the division shall provide a copy of such report to an association member upon his or her request.
(14) COMMINGLING.—All funds collected by an association shall be maintained separately in the association’s name. For investment purposes only, reserve funds may be commingled with operating funds of the association. Commingled operating and reserve funds shall be accounted for separately, and a commingled account shall not, at any time, be less than the amount identified as reserve funds. This subsection does not prohibit a multicondominium association from commingling the operating funds of separate condominiums or the reserve funds of separate condominiums. Furthermore, for investment purposes only, a multicondominium association may commingle the operating funds of separate condominiums with the reserve funds of separate condominiums. A manager or business entity required to be licensed or registered under s. 468.432, or an agent, employee, officer, or director of an association, shall not commingle any association funds with his or her funds or with the funds of any other condominium association or the funds of a community association as defined in s. 468.431.
(15) DEBIT CARDS.—
(a) An association and its officers, directors, employees, and agents may not use a debit card issued in the name of the association, or billed directly to the association, for the payment of any association expense.
(b) Use of a debit card issued in the name of the association, or billed directly to the association, for any expense that is not a lawful obligation of the association may be prosecuted as credit card fraud pursuant to s. 817.61.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-222; s. 2, ch. 78-340; ss. 2, 3, 5, ch. 79-314; s. 1, ch. 80-323; s. 1, ch. 81-225; s. 1, ch. 82-199; s. 5, ch. 84-368; s. 5, ch. 86-175; s. 2, ch. 87-46; s. 4, ch. 87-117; s. 6, ch. 90-151; s. 4, ch. 91-103; ss. 3, 5, ch. 91-426; s. 2, ch. 92-49; s. 1, ch. 94-77; s. 231, ch. 94-218; s. 2, ch. 94-336; s. 35, ch. 95-274; s. 854, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 98-322; s. 74, ch. 99-3; s. 52, ch. 2000-302; s. 20, ch. 2001-64; s. 8, ch. 2002-27; s. 4, ch. 2003-14; s. 1, ch. 2004-345; s. 2, ch. 2004-353; s. 37, ch. 2007-1; s. 4, ch. 2007-80; s. 6, ch. 2008-28; ss. 1, 3, ch. 2008-240; s. 87, ch. 2009-21; s. 9, ch. 2010-174; s. 49, ch. 2011-4; s. 2, ch. 2011-196; s. 4, ch. 2013-122; s. 2, ch. 2013-188; s. 8, ch. 2014-133; s. 69, ch. 2014-209; s. 2, ch. 2015-97; s. 1, ch. 2017-161; s. 1, ch. 2017-188; s. 1, ch. 2018-96.