H 1237 -- CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR VIOLATING CONDO LAWS!
An Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published May 2, 2017
The Condo Reform Bill passed the Florida legislature.
It's a bill that contains quite some "TEETH" and lots of owner-friendly
provisions. Here is the summary of this important bill -- and a link to read
the complete version of H 1237EG. The bill will soon be on its way to the
Governor. Our work isn't done yet. We need lots of owners writing to the
Governor to sign this bill into law!
An act relating to condominiums; amending s. 718.111, F.S.; prohibiting an officer, director, or manager from soliciting, offering to accept, or accepting a kickback for which consideration has not been provided; providing criminal penalties; requiring that an officer or director charged with certain crimes be removed from office; providing requirements for filling the vacancy left by such removal; prohibiting such officer or director from being appointed or elected or having access to official condominium association records for a specified time; providing an exception; requiring an officer or director to be reinstated if the charges are resolved without a finding of guilt; prohibiting an association from hiring an attorney who represents the management company of the association; prohibiting a board member, manager, or management company from purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale under certain circumstances; revising recordkeeping requirements; providing that the official records of an association are open to inspection by an association member's authorized representative; providing that a renter of a unit has a right to inspect and copy the association's bylaws and rules; providing requirements relating to the posting of specified documents on an association's website; providing a remedy for an association's failure to provide a unit owner with a copy of the most recent financial report; requiring the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes to maintain and provide copies of financial reports; prohibiting a condominium association and its officers, directors, employees, and agents from using a debit card issued in the name of the association, or billed directly to the association, for the payment of any association expense; providing that the use of such debit card for any expense that is not a lawful obligation of the association may be prosecuted as credit card fraud; providing a directive to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation; amending s. 718.112, F.S.; providing board member term limits; providing an exception; deleting certification requirements relating to the recall of board members; revising the amount of time in which a recalled board member must turn over records and property of the association to the board; prohibiting certain associations from employing or contracting with a service provider that is owned or operated by certain persons; amending s. 718.1255, F.S.; authorizing, rather than requiring, the division to employ full-time attorneys to conduct certain arbitration hearings; providing requirements for the certification of arbitrators; prohibiting the department from entering into a legal services contract for certain arbitration hearings; requiring the division to assign or enter into contracts with arbitrators; requiring arbitrators to conduct hearings within a specified period; providing an exception; providing arbitration proceeding requirements; amending s. 718.3025, F.S.; prohibiting specified parties from purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association's foreclosure of association lien for unpaid assessments or from taking a deed in lieu of foreclosure; authorizing a contract with a party providing maintenance or management services to be cancelled by a majority vote of certain unit owners under specified conditions; creating s. 718.3027, F.S.; providing requirements relating to board director and officer conflicts of interest; providing that certain contracts are voidable and requiring the termination of such contracts under certain conditions; amending s. 718.303, F.S.; providing requirements relating to the suspension of voting rights of unit owners and members; prohibiting a receiver from exercising the voting rights of a unit owner whose unit is placed in receivership; amending s. 718.5012, F.S.; providing the ombudsman with an additional power; creating s. 718.71, F.S.; providing financial reporting requirements of an association.