Senate Bill 2816

Relating to Community Associations

 

S2816    GENERAL BILL by Villalobos ( H 1373, Compare CS/H 0433,
CS/S 0902)
Community Associations [EPCC]; provides disclosure requirements for certain contracts for initial sale of parcel of real property & each contract for initial sale of residential unit; requires notice of proposed amendments to be provided to unit owners; authorizes board to install hurricane protection that complies with applicable building
code; revises powers & duties of homeowners' associations, etc. Amends FS. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007.
03/05/07 SENATE Filed
03/20/07 SENATE Introduced, referred to Regulated Industries; Community
                  Affairs; Judiciary; General Government Appropriations
                  -SJ 00196
04/11/07 SENATE On Committee agenda-- Regulated Industries, 04/16/07, 1:30
                  pm, 110-S


TIMESHARES CONDOMINIUMS CO-OPERATIVES
HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS DBPR -- DIVISION MOBILE HOME PARKS

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS

1
A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to community associations; amending s.
3 190.048, F.S.; providing disclosure requirements for
4 certain contracts for the initial sale of a parcel of real
5 property and each contract for the initial sale of a
6 residential unit; amending s. 718.104, F.S.; revising
7 required contents of a condominium declaration; amending
8 s. 718.110, F.S.; requiring notice of proposed amendments
9 to be provided to unit owners; amending s. 718.111, F.S.;
10 providing requirements for condominium associations to
11 access units for specified purposes; requiring official
12 records of the association to be made available at certain
13 locations; providing that certain records shall not be
14 accessible to unit owners; removing the requirement that
15 the association's annual financial report be provided only
16 to unit owners providing a written request for the report;
17 restricting a condominium association from waiving a
18 financial report for more than 2 years; providing duties
19 for condominium boards of administration in the event of
20 certain casualties; providing that certain assessments may
21 be made against unit owners under certain conditions;
22 amending s. 718.112, F.S.; authorizing the board or
23 membership to determine the composition of the board of
24 administration under certain circumstances; requiring
25 members of the board of administration to be unit owners,
26 absent provisions indicating board member requirements;
27 requiring the board to respond to certain inquiries by
28 certified mail, return receipt requested; removing a
29 provision allowing a condominium association to only
30 respond once every 30 days to unit owner inquiries;
31 providing board of administration and unit owners' meeting
32 requirements; providing that no action shall be taken or
33 resolution made without an open meeting of the board;
34 requiring the board to address agenda items proposed by a
35 petition of 20 percent of the unit owners; revising notice
36 procedures; revising the terms of office and reelection of
37 the members of a condominium association board; providing
38 that certain persons providing notice of a meeting must
39 provide an affidavit affirming that the notices were
40 delivered; authorizing the association's representative to
41 provide certain notices; removing a provision allowing an
42 association to print or duplicate certain information
43 sheets on both sides of the paper; providing for the
44 securing of ballots; revising procedures relating to the
45 filling of a vacancy on the board; removing a provision
46 allowing an association to provide for different voting
47 and election procedures in its bylaws; providing unit
48 owners with the right to have items placed on the agenda
49 of the annual meeting and voted upon under certain
50 conditions; requiring the association to prepare an annual
51 budget of estimated revenues and expenses; requiring the
52 budget to include reserve accounts for certain purposes;
53 requiring certain ballot statements to contain certain
54 statements; requiring a vote to provide for no reserves or
55 percentage of reserves to be made at certain times;
56 authorizing the association to use reserve funds for
57 nonscheduled purposes under certain conditions;
58 prohibiting the board from applying for or accepting
59 certain loans or lines of credit; requiring common
60 expenses to be paid by the developer during a specified
61 time; requiring that assessments be made against units on
62 a quarter-annual or more frequent basis; providing that
63 certain provisions shall not preclude the right of an
64 association to accelerate assessments of certain owners
65 delinquent in payment of common expenses; providing that
66 accelerated assessments shall be due and payable after the
67 claim of lien is filed; revising assessment requirements;
68 revising procedures relating to the recall of a board
69 member; deleting the requirement that the bylaws include
70 an element for mandatory nonbinding arbitration; amending
71 s. 718.113, F.S.; requiring boards of administration to
72 adopt or restate hurricane shutter specifications yearly
73 at the annual meeting; authorizing the board to install
74 hurricane protection that complies with the applicable
75 building code; requiring the board to have the condominium
76 buildings periodically inspected for structural and
77 electrical soundness by a professional engineer or
78 professional architect registered in the state; requiring
79 the inspector to provide a report to the association;
80 prohibiting the board from impairing certain
81 constitutional rights of unit owners; prohibiting the
82 board from prohibiting the display of certain religiously
83 mandated objects on the front-door area of a unit;
84 amending s. 718.115, F.S.; providing that a bulk contract
85 for basic service may be deemed a common expense; creating
86 s. 718.1123, F.S.; requiring any complaint of abuse filed
87 with the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
88 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes to be
89 immediately investigated by the division; requiring the
90 division to institute enforcement proceedings under
91 certain circumstances; defining the term "abuse"; creating
92 s. 718.1224, F.S.; prohibiting certain lawsuits arising
93 from unit owners' appearances and presentations before a
94 governmental entity; providing a definition; providing for
95 award of damages and attorney's fees; amending s.
96 718.1255, F.S.; requiring the division to promptly refer
97 certain cases to mediation; amending s. 718.302, F.S.;
98 conforming provisions; amending s. 718.3025, F.S.;
99 providing requirements for certain contracts between a
100 party contracting to provide maintenance or management
101 services and an association; amending s. 718.3026, F.S.;
102 providing that certain contracts between a service
103 provider and an association shall not be for a term in
104 excess of 3 years and shall not contain an automatic
105 renewal clause; requiring that certain contracts for
106 construction have approval from an attorney hired by the
107 association; amending s. 718.303, F.S.; requiring hearings
108 to levy fines to be held before a committee of unit owners
109 who are not members of the board; requiring that persons
110 subject to certain actions be notified of their violations
111 in a certain manner; providing a timeframe in which a
112 person must respond; authorizing the budget to include
113 reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred
114 maintenance; providing a formula for calculating the
115 amount to be reserved; authorizing the association to
116 adjust replacement reserve assessments annually;
117 authorizing the developer to vote to waive the reserves or
118 reduce the funding of reserves for a certain period;
119 revising provisions relating to financial reporting;
120 revising time periods in which the association must
121 complete its reporting; amending s. 718.501, F.S.;
122 requiring the division to prepare and disseminate a
123 prospectus and other information for use by owners,
124 purchasers, lessees, and developers of residential
125 condominiums; providing that the board member training
126 provided by the division shall be provided in conjunction
127 with recommendations by the ombudsman; providing powers
128 and duties of the division with respect to association
129 violations; requiring associations to provide certain
130 notice and to participate in certain educational training;
131 providing a fine for failure to comply; requiring certain
132 fees deposited by the division to be allocated and
133 transferred to the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman;
134 amending s. 718.5011, F.S.; restricting location of the
135 Office of the Condominium Ombudsman; providing that the
136 ombudsman shall exercise his or her policymaking and other
137 functions independently of the Department of Business and
138 Professional Regulation and without approval or control of
139 the department; requiring the department to render
140 administrative support for certain matters; requiring that
141 revenues collected by the department for the Office of the
142 Condominium Ombudsman be deposited in a separate fund or
143 account under specified conditions; removing provisions
144 prohibiting the ombudsman and staff from engaging in any
145 other profession, serving as a representative or employee
146 of any political party, or receiving remuneration for
147 activities on behalf of political candidates; removing
148 provisions prohibiting the ombudsman and staff from
149 seeking public office unless resigned from the Office of
150 the Condominium Ombudsman; amending s. 718.5012, F.S.;
151 removing requirements that the ombudsman develop certain
152 policies and procedures; providing additional powers and
153 duties of the ombudsman; providing that the division shall
154 process the ombudsman's recommendations and petitions in
155 an expedited manner and defer to his or her findings;
156 authorizing the ombudsman to order meetings between
157 certain parties; authorizing the ombudsman to make
158 recommendations to the division to pursue enforcement
159 action in circuit court on behalf of a class of unit
160 owners, lessees, or purchasers for certain purposes;
161 authorizing the ombudsman to order that any aspect of an
162 association election be conducted by an election monitor;
163 authorizing the ombudsman to order an association to
164 implement certain remedies; authorizing the ombudsman to
165 order certain persons to cease and desist from unlawful
166 practices; amending s. 718.504, F.S.; revising and
167 providing information to be contained in the condominium
168 prospectus or offering circular; amending s. 719.1055,
169 F.S.; providing application of amendments restricting
170 cooperative owners' rights relating to the rental of
171 units; amending s. 720.301, F.S.; revising and providing
172 definitions; amending s. 720.302, F.S.; revising the
173 purpose, scope, and application of the chapter; providing
174 legislative findings and intent; requiring the office to
175 establish a process for collecting an annual fee for
176 association members; requiring governing documents
177 transferred from the developer to parcel owners to be
178 approved by a two-thirds vote; amending s. 720.303, F.S.;
179 revising powers and duties of homeowners' associations;
180 prohibiting officers and directors from taking any action
181 inconsistent with the declaration of covenants; revising
182 requirements authorizing the association to participate in
183 litigation; creating liability for officers and directors
184 under certain circumstances; providing criteria for
185 setback limits; revising procedures relating to board
186 meetings; providing for notice of board meetings and the
187 agenda; revising voting procedures; requiring board
188 director votes to be recorded in the minutes; requiring
189 the association to maintain certain documents; revising
190 procedures relating to the inspection and copying of
191 records; authorizing a fee; revising procedures used in
192 preparing the association's annual financial report;
193 prohibiting developers in control of a homeowners'
194 association from commingling association funds with funds
195 of a corporation for profit created by the developer;
196 revising board director recall procedures, including
197 voting procedures of such recalls; amending s. 720.304,
198 F.S.; authorizing homeowners to display certain flags;
199 providing criteria for the display of signs in certain
200 areas; prohibiting associations from abridging the
201 constitutional rights of homeowners relating to use of
202 common areas; providing penalties; amending s. 720.305,
203 F.S.; revising remedies at law or in equity against
204 certain association officers or directors; amending s.
205 720.3055, F.S.; removing a requirement that governing
206 documents be in writing; providing that certain contracts
207 are subject to competitive bid; amending s. 720.306, F.S.;
208 deleting provisions relating to quorum at a meeting of
209 members; revising provisions relating to the voting on an
210 amendment of governing documents; requiring amendments to
211 be submitted in their entirety; providing a timeframe for
212 registered covenants and restrictions to be in a certain
213 form; removing authority of governing documents to provide
214 for the election of directors, to provide for special
215 meetings, and to require notice of the annual meeting;
216 requiring an annual meeting notice to include an agenda;
217 providing members with the right to speak about any item
218 on the agenda; authorizing members to speak at least once
219 on each agenda item for a specified time; authorizing vote
220 by limited proxy; providing guidelines for elections;
221 requiring members to be provided with certain information
222 regarding the elections; providing voting requirements;
223 authorizing directors to fill vacancies; authorizing a
224 specified amount of voting interests to petition the
225 division to appoint an election monitor; providing
226 eligibility requirements for candidates; authorizing any
227 parcel owner to electronically record any meeting of the
228 board or members; providing that the directors may adopt
229 certain rules governing such recording but may not
230 restrict an owner's right to record the meeting; amending
231 s. 720.307, F.S., relating to transition of association
232 control in a community; revising criteria with respect to
233 election of members to the board of directors; requiring
234 certain developers and owners to convey title to all
235 common areas prior to turnover; revising requirements for
236 turnover of documents; requiring certain information to be
237 included in the records and for the records to be prepared
238 in a specified manner; revising application to include
239 certain associations; creating s. 720.3071, F.S.;
240 requiring training of homeowners' association board
241 members; amending s. 720.3075, F.S.; prohibiting
242 association documents at the time of transition from
243 preventing associations from functioning; prohibiting
244 association documents at the time of transition from
245 restricting an association's ability to amend association
246 documents; prohibiting associations from restricting the
247 use of hurricane shutters in certain circumstances;
248 providing guidelines for the use of hurricane shutters;
249 authorizing associations to enforce certain hurricane
250 shutter restrictions; amending s. 720.3086, F.S.;
251 requiring the annual financial report to be mailed to
252 certain parcel owners; providing for the exclusive use of
253 certain properties; amending s. 720.401, F.S.; requiring
254 certain documents to be provided to prospective
255 purchasers; revising information to be contained in a
256 disclosure summary; creating s. 720.501, F.S.; providing
257 powers and duties of the Division of Florida Land Sales,
258 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes;
259 authorizing the division to conduct certain
260 investigations; authorizing certain officers and employees
261 to administer oaths or affirmations and to subpoena
262 witnesses and compel their attendance; authorizing the
263 division to issue certain orders; authorizing the division
264 to bring certain actions in circuit court; authorizing the
265 division to impose civil penalties; authorizing the
266 division to prepare and disseminate a prospectus;
267 requiring the division to provide associations with
268 certain documents; requiring the division to provide
269 training programs for association board members and lot
270 owners; requiring the division to develop a mediation
271 certification program; requiring homeowners' associations
272 to pay an annual fee to the division; creating s. 720.505,
273 F.S.; creating the Advisory Council on Mandated
274 Properties; providing for appointments by the President of
275 the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
276 and the Governor; providing limited compensation and other
277 terms of service; specifying functions; amending s.
278 20.165, F.S.; redesignating the Division of Florida Land
279 Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes as the Division of
280 Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
281 Associations, and Mobile Homes; amending ss. 73.073,
282 190.009, 190.0485, 192.037, 213.053, 215.20, 326.002,
283 326.006, 380.0651, 455.116, 475.455, 498.005, 498.019,
284 498.047, 498.049, 509.512, 559.935, 718.103, 718.105,
285 718.502, 718.504, 718.508, 718.509, 718.608, 719.103,
286 719.1255, 719.501, 719.502, 719.504, 719.508, 719.608,
287 721.05, 721.07, 721.08, 721.26, 721.28, 721.301, 723.003,
288 723.006, 723.009, and 723.0611, F.S.; conforming
289 provisions; requiring condominium developers to pay
290 monthly maintenance fees on unsold condominium units that
291 are rented; providing an effective date.
292
293 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
294
295      Section 1.  Subsection (2) of section 20.165, Florida
296 Statutes, is amended to read:
297      20.165  Department of Business and Professional
298 Regulation.--There is created a Department of Business and
299 Professional Regulation.
300      (2)  The following divisions of the Department of Business
301 and Professional Regulation are established:
302      (a)  Division of Administration.
303      (b)  Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.
304      (c)  Division of Certified Public Accounting.
305      1.  The director of the division shall be appointed by the
306 secretary of the department, subject to approval by a majority
307 of the Board of Accountancy.
308      2.  The offices of the division shall be located in
309 Gainesville.
310      (d)  Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
311 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes.
312      (e)  Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
313      (f)  Division of Mandated Properties.
314      (g)(f)  Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering.
315      (h)(g)  Division of Professions.
316      (i)(h)  Division of Real Estate.
317      1.  The director of the division shall be appointed by the
318 secretary of the department, subject to approval by a majority
319 of the Florida Real Estate Commission.
320      2.  The offices of the division shall be located in
321 Orlando.
322      (j)(i)  Division of Regulation.
323      (k)(j)  Division of Technology, Licensure, and Testing.
324      Section 2.  Subsection (2) of section 73.073, Florida
325 Statutes, is amended to read:
326      73.073  Eminent domain procedure with respect to
327 condominium common elements.--
328      (2)  With respect to the exercise of eminent domain or a
329 negotiated sale for the purchase or taking of a portion of the
330 common elements of a condominium, the condemning authority shall
331 have the responsibility of contacting the condominium
332 association and acquiring the most recent rolls indicating the
333 names of the unit owners or contacting the appropriate taxing
334 authority to obtain the names of the owners of record on the tax
335 rolls. Notification shall thereupon be sent by certified mail,
336 return receipt requested, to the unit owners of record of the
337 condominium units by the condemning authority indicating the
338 intent to purchase or take the required property and requesting
339 a response from the unit owner. The condemning authority shall
340 be responsible for the expense of sending notification pursuant
341 to this section. Such notice shall, at a minimum, include:
342      (a)  The name and address of the condemning authority.
343      (b)  A written or visual description of the property.
344      (c)  The public purpose for which the property is needed.
345      (d)  The appraisal value of the property.
346      (e)  A clear, concise statement relating to the unit
347 owner's right to object to the taking or appraisal value and the
348 procedures and effects of exercising that right.
349      (f)  A clear, concise statement relating to the power of
350 the association to convey the property on behalf of the unit
351 owners if no objection to the taking or appraisal value is
352 raised, and the effects of this alternative on the unit owner.
353
354 The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
355 Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and
356 Professional Regulation may adopt, by rule, a standard form for
357 such notice and may require the notice to include any additional
358 relevant information.
359      Section 3.  Subsection (2) of section 190.009, Florida
360 Statutes, is amended to read:
361      190.009  Disclosure of public financing.--
362      (2)  The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
363 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
364 Business and Professional Regulation shall ensure that
365 disclosures made by developers pursuant to chapter 498 meet the
366 requirements of subsection (1).
367      Section 4.  Section 190.048, Florida Statutes, is amended
368 to read:
369      190.048  Sale of real estate within a district; required
370 disclosure to purchaser.--
371      (1)(a)  Subsequent to the establishment of a district under
372 this chapter, each contract for the initial sale of a parcel of
373 real property and each contract for the initial sale of a
374 residential unit within the district shall include as a separate
375 addendum to the contract, immediately prior to the space
376 reserved in the contract for the signature of the purchaser, the
377 following disclosure statement in boldfaced and conspicuous type
378 which is larger than the type in the remaining text of the
379 contract: "THE   (Name of District)   COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
380 DISTRICT MAY IMPOSE AND LEVY TAXES OR ASSESSMENTS, OR BOTH TAXES
381 AND ASSESSMENTS, ON THIS PROPERTY. THESE TAXES AND ASSESSMENTS
382 PAY THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE COSTS OF
383 CERTAIN PUBLIC FACILITIES AND SERVICES OF THE DISTRICT AND ARE
384 SET ANNUALLY BY THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE DISTRICT. THESE TAXES
385 AND ASSESSMENTS ARE IN ADDITION TO COUNTY AND OTHER LOCAL
386 GOVERNMENTAL TAXES AND ASSESSMENTS AND ALL OTHER TAXES AND
387 ASSESSMENTS PROVIDED FOR BY LAW."
388      (b)  The disclosure statement in paragraph (a) shall also
389 fully disclose all covenants and restrictions to which the
390 property is subject. This addendum shall disclose any existing
391 agreement between a developer and other party that obligates the
392 purchaser of the unit to additional taxes, assessments, or fees
393 within 10 years following the sale of the unit. Such disclosure
394 shall provide a reasonable estimate of the first 3 years for
395 each tax, assessment, or fee. Such disclosure shall be provided
396 to the purchaser within 10 days after the execution of the sales
397 contract; otherwise, the contract may be voided at the election
398 of the purchaser and any deposits shall be returned in full.
399 However, such disclosure may be provided to the purchaser later
400 than 10 days after the execution of the sales contract if the
401 closing date has been extended by an additional 10 days.
402      (2)(a)  Failure to provide the disclosure statement as
403 required in subsection (1) within 10 days shall constitute a
404 rebuttable presumption of willful noncompliance with subsection
405 (1) and shall result in a fine of $2,500 for each violation, up
406 to a maximum of $10,000, payable to the prospective buyer, and
407 shall include reasonable attorney's fees and collection costs,
408 due 30 days after the execution or voiding of the sales
409 contract.
410      (b)  The developer and sales agent shall submit an annual
411 report to the Department of Community Affairs that certifies
412 compliance with this section and payment of any related fines
413 and criminal penalties for such noncompliance as may be passed
414 by the Legislature. Failure by the developer or sales agent to
415 provide an annual report shall result in a $50,000 fine payable
416 to the department.
417      Section 5.  Section 190.0485, Florida Statutes, is amended
418 to read:
419      190.0485  Notice of establishment.--Within 30 days after
420 the effective date of a rule or ordinance establishing a
421 community development district under this act, the district
422 shall cause to be recorded in the property records in the county
423 in which it is located a "Notice of Establishment of the
424 __________ Community Development District." The notice shall, at
425 a minimum, include the legal description of the district and a
426 copy of the disclosure statement specified in s. 190.048(1)(a).
427      Section 6.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (6) of section
428 192.037, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
429      192.037  Fee timeshare real property; taxes and
430 assessments; escrow.--
431      (6)
432      (e)  On or before May 1 of each year, a statement of
433 receipts and disbursements of the escrow account must be filed
434 with the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
435 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
436 Business and Professional Regulation, which may enforce this
437 paragraph pursuant to s. 721.26. This statement must
438 appropriately show the amount of principal and interest in such
439 account.
440      Section 7.  Paragraph (i) of subsection (8) of section
441 213.053, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
442      213.053  Confidentiality and information sharing.--
443      (8)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
444 the department may provide:
445      (i)  Information relative to chapters 212 and 326 to the
446 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
447 Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and
448 Professional Regulation in the conduct of its official duties.
449
450 Disclosure of information under this subsection shall be
451 pursuant to a written agreement between the executive director
452 and the agency. Such agencies, governmental or nongovernmental,
453 shall be bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as
454 the Department of Revenue. Breach of confidentiality is a
455 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided by s.
456 775.082 or s. 775.083.
457      Section 8.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (4) of section
458 215.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
459      215.20  Certain income and certain trust funds to
460 contribute to the General Revenue Fund.--
461      (4)  The income of a revenue nature deposited in the
462 following described trust funds, by whatever name designated, is
463 that from which the appropriations authorized by subsection (3)
464 shall be made:
465      (d)  Within the Department of Business and Professional
466 Regulation:
467      1.  The Administrative Trust Fund.
468      2.  The Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Trust Fund.
469      3.  The Cigarette Tax Collection Trust Fund.
470      4.  The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
471 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund.
472      5.  The Hotel and Restaurant Trust Fund, with the exception
473 of those fees collected for the purpose of funding of the
474 hospitality education program as stated in s. 509.302.
475      6.  The Professional Regulation Trust Fund.
476      7.  The trust funds administered by the Division of Pari-
477 mutuel Wagering.
478
479 The enumeration of the foregoing moneys or trust funds shall not
480 prohibit the applicability thereto of s. 215.24 should the
481 Governor determine that for the reasons mentioned in s. 215.24
482 the money or trust funds should be exempt herefrom, as it is the
483 purpose of this law to exempt income from its force and effect
484 when, by the operation of this law, federal matching funds or
485 contributions or private grants to any trust fund would be lost
486 to the state.
487      Section 9.  Subsection (2) of section 326.002, Florida
488 Statutes, is amended to read:
489      326.002  Definitions.--As used in ss. 326.001-326.006, the
490 term:
491      (2)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales,
492 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the
493 Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
494      Section 10.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and subsection
495 (3) of section 326.006, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
496      326.006  Powers and duties of division.--
497      (2)  The division has the power to enforce and ensure
498 compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted
499 under this chapter relating to the sale and ownership of yachts
500 and ships. In performing its duties, the division has the
501 following powers and duties:
502      (d)  Notwithstanding any remedies available to a yacht or
503 ship purchaser, if the division has reasonable cause to believe
504 that a violation of any provision of this chapter or rule
505 adopted under this chapter has occurred, the division may
506 institute enforcement proceedings in its own name against any
507 broker or salesperson or any of his or her assignees or agents,
508 or against any unlicensed person or any of his or her assignees
509 or agents, as follows:
510      1.  The division may permit a person whose conduct or
511 actions are under investigation to waive formal proceedings and
512 enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or
513 letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may
514 be entered against the person.
515      2.  The division may issue an order requiring the broker or
516 salesperson or any of his or her assignees or agents, or
517 requiring any unlicensed person or any of his or her assignees
518 or agents, to cease and desist from the unlawful practice and
519 take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the division
520 will carry out the purposes of this chapter.
521      3.  The division may bring an action in circuit court on
522 behalf of a class of yacht or ship purchasers for declaratory
523 relief, injunctive relief, or restitution.
524      4.  The division may impose a civil penalty against a
525 broker or salesperson or any of his or her assignees or agents,
526 or against an unlicensed person or any of his or her assignees
527 or agents, for any violation of this chapter or a rule adopted
528 under this chapter. A penalty may be imposed for each day of
529 continuing violation, but in no event may the penalty for any
530 offense exceed $10,000. All amounts collected must be deposited
531 with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the Division
532 of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations,
533 and Mobile Homes Trust Fund. If a broker, salesperson, or
534 unlicensed person working for a broker, fails to pay the civil
535 penalty, the division shall thereupon issue an order suspending
536 the broker's license until such time as the civil penalty is
537 paid or may pursue enforcement of the penalty in a court of
538 competent jurisdiction. The order imposing the civil penalty or
539 the order of suspension may not become effective until 20 days
540 after the date of such order. Any action commenced by the
541 division must be brought in the county in which the division has
542 its executive offices or in the county where the violation
543 occurred.
544      (3)  All fees must be deposited in the Division of Florida
545 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
546 Homes Trust Fund as provided by law.
547      Section 11.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
548 380.0651, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
549      380.0651  Statewide guidelines and standards.--
550      (4)  Two or more developments, represented by their owners
551 or developers to be separate developments, shall be aggregated
552 and treated as a single development under this chapter when they
553 are determined to be part of a unified plan of development and
554 are physically proximate to one other.
555      (a)  The criteria of two of the following subparagraphs
556 must be met in order for the state land planning agency to
557 determine that there is a unified plan of development:
558      1.a.  The same person has retained or shared control of the
559 developments;
560      b.  The same person has ownership or a significant legal or
561 equitable interest in the developments; or
562      c.  There is common management of the developments
563 controlling the form of physical development or disposition of
564 parcels of the development.
565      2.  There is a reasonable closeness in time between the
566 completion of 80 percent or less of one development and the
567 submission to a governmental agency of a master plan or series
568 of plans or drawings for the other development which is
569 indicative of a common development effort.
570      3.  A master plan or series of plans or drawings exists
571 covering the developments sought to be aggregated which have
572 been submitted to a local general-purpose government, water
573 management district, the Florida Department of Environmental
574 Protection, or the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
575 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes for authorization to
576 commence development. The existence or implementation of a
577 utility's master utility plan required by the Public Service
578 Commission or general-purpose local government or a master
579 drainage plan shall not be the sole determinant of the existence
580 of a master plan.
581      4.  The voluntary sharing of infrastructure that is
582 indicative of a common development effort or is designated
583 specifically to accommodate the developments sought to be
584 aggregated, except that which was implemented because it was
585 required by a local general-purpose government; water management
586 district; the Department of Environmental Protection; the
587 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
588 Associations, and Mobile Homes; or the Public Service
589 Commission.
590      5.  There is a common advertising scheme or promotional
591 plan in effect for the developments sought to be aggregated.
592      Section 12.  Subsection (5) of section 455.116, Florida
593 Statutes, is amended to read:
594      455.116  Regulation trust funds.--The following trust funds
595 shall be placed in the department:
596      (5)  Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
597 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund.
598      Section 13.  Section 475.455, Florida Statutes, is amended
599 to read:
600      475.455  Exchange of disciplinary information.--The
601 commission shall inform the Division of Florida Land Sales,
602 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the
603 Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any
604 disciplinary action the commission has taken against any of its
605 licensees. The division shall inform the commission of any
606 disciplinary action the division has taken against any broker or
607 sales associate registered with the division.
608      Section 14.  Subsection (5) of section 498.005, Florida
609 Statutes, is amended to read:
610      498.005  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless the
611 context otherwise requires, the term:
612      (5)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales,
613 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the
614 Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
615      Section 15.  Section 498.019, Florida Statutes, is amended
616 to read:
617      498.019  Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
618 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund.--
619      (1)  There is created within the State Treasury the
620 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
621 Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund to be used for the
622 administration and operation of this chapter and chapters 718,
623 719, 721, and 723 by the division.
624      (2)  All moneys collected by the division from fees, fines,
625 or penalties or from costs awarded to the division by a court
626 shall be paid into the Division of Florida Land Sales,
627 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust
628 Fund. The Legislature shall appropriate funds from this trust
629 fund sufficient to carry out the provisions of this chapter and
630 the provisions of law with respect to each category of business
631 covered by this trust fund. The division shall maintain separate
632 revenue accounts in the trust fund for each of the businesses
633 regulated by the division. The division shall provide for the
634 proportionate allocation among the accounts of expenses incurred
635 by the division in the performance of its duties with respect to
636 each of these businesses. As part of its normal budgetary
637 process, the division shall prepare an annual report of revenue
638 and allocated expenses related to the operation of each of these
639 businesses which may be used to determine fees charged by the
640 division. This subsection shall operate pursuant to the
641 provisions of s. 215.20.
642      Section 16.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section
643 498.047, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
644      498.047  Investigations.--
645      (8)(a)  Information held by the Division of Florida Land
646 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
647 relative to an investigation pursuant to this chapter, including
648 any consumer complaint, is confidential and exempt from s.
649 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until
650 10 days after a notice to show cause has been filed by the
651 division, or, in the case in which no notice to show cause is
652 filed, the investigation is completed or ceases to be active.
653 For purposes of this section, an investigation shall be
654 considered "active" so long as the division or any law
655 enforcement or administrative agency or regulatory organization
656 is proceeding with reasonable dispatch and has a reasonable good
657 faith belief that the investigation may lead to the filing of an
658 administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding or to the denial
659 or conditional grant of a license or registration. However, in
660 response to a specific inquiry about the registration status of
661 a registered or unregistered subdivider, the division may
662 disclose the existence and the status of an active
663 investigation. This subsection shall not be construed to
664 prohibit disclosure of information which is required by law to
665 be filed with the division and which, but for the investigation,
666 would be subject to s. 119.07(1).
667      Section 17.  Subsection (5) of section 498.049, Florida
668 Statutes, is amended to read:
669      498.049  Suspension; revocation; civil penalties.--
670      (5)  Each person who materially participates in any offer
671 or disposition of any interest in subdivided lands in violation
672 of this chapter or relevant rules involving fraud, deception,
673 false pretenses, misrepresentation, or false advertising or the
674 disposition, concealment, or diversion of any funds or assets of
675 any person which adversely affects the interests of a purchaser
676 of any interest in subdivided lands, and who directly or
677 indirectly controls a subdivider or is a general partner,
678 officer, director, agent, or employee of a subdivider shall also
679 be liable under this subsection jointly and severally with and
680 to the same extent as the subdivider, unless that person did not
681 know, and in the exercise of reasonable care could not have
682 known, of the existence of the facts creating the alleged
683 liability. Among these persons a right of contribution shall
684 exist, except that a creditor of a subdivider shall not be
685 jointly and severally liable unless the creditor has assumed
686 managerial or fiduciary responsibility in a manner related to
687 the basis for the liability of the subdivider under this
688 subsection. Civil penalties shall be limited to $10,000 for each
689 offense, and all amounts collected shall be deposited with the
690 Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the Division of Florida
691 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
692 Homes Trust Fund. No order requiring the payment of a civil
693 penalty shall become effective until 20 days after the date of
694 the order, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the person on
695 whom the penalty is imposed.
696      Section 18.  Section 509.512, Florida Statutes, is amended
697 to read:
698      509.512  Timeshare plan developer and exchange company
699 exemption.--Sections 509.501-509.511 do not apply to a developer
700 of a timeshare plan or an exchange company approved by the
701 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
702 Associations, and Mobile Homes pursuant to chapter 721, but only
703 to the extent that the developer or exchange company engages in
704 conduct regulated under chapter 721.
705      Section 19.  Paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of section
706 559.935, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
707      559.935  Exemptions.--
708      (1)  This part does not apply to:
709      (h)  A developer of a timeshare plan or an exchange company
710 approved by the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
711 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes pursuant to chapter
712 721, but only to the extent that the developer or exchange
713 company engages in conduct regulated under chapter 721; or
714      Section 20.  Subsection (17) of section 718.103, Florida
715 Statutes, is amended to read:
716      718.103  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the term:
717      (17)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales,
718 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the
719 Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
720      Section 21.  Paragraph (f) of subsection (4) of section
721 718.104, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
722      718.104  Creation of condominiums; contents of
723 declaration.--Every condominium created in this state shall be
724 created pursuant to this chapter.
725      (4)  The declaration must contain or provide for the
726 following matters:
727      (f)  The undivided share of ownership of the common
728 elements and common surplus of the condominium that is
729 appurtenant to each unit stated as a percentage or a fraction of
730 the whole. In the declaration of condominium for residential
731 condominiums created after April 1, 2007 1992, the ownership
732 share of the common elements assigned to each residential unit
733 shall be based either upon the total square footage of each
734 residential unit in uniform relationship to the total square
735 footage of each other residential unit in the condominium or on
736 an equal fractional basis.
737      Section 22.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section
738 718.105, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
739      718.105  Recording of declaration.--
740      (4)
741      (c)  If the sum of money held by the clerk has not been
742 paid to the developer or association as provided in paragraph
743 (b) by 3 years after the date the declaration was originally
744 recorded, the clerk in his or her discretion may notify, in
745 writing, the registered agent of the association that the sum is
746 still available and the purpose for which it was deposited. If
747 the association does not record the certificate within 90 days
748 after the clerk has given the notice, the clerk may disburse the
749 money to the developer. If the developer cannot be located, the
750 clerk shall disburse the money to the Division of Florida Land
751 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
752 for deposit in the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
753 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund.
754      Section 23.  Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (1) of
755 section 718.110, Florida Statutes, to read:
756      718.110  Amendment of declaration; correction of error or
757 omission in declaration by circuit court.--
758      (1)
759      (d)  Notice of a proposed amendment to the declaration
760 shall be sent to the unit owner by certified mail.
761      Section 24.  Subsection (5), paragraph (b) of subsection
762 (7), paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (12), and subsection
763 (13) of section 718.111, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
764 subsection (15) is added to that section, to read:
765      718.111  The association.--
766      (5)  RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.--The association has the
767 irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable
768 hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or
769 replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit
770 to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration
771 or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a
772 unit or units. Except in cases of emergency, the association
773 must give the unit owner 24 hours' advance written notice of
774 intent to access the unit and such access must include two
775 persons, one of whom must be a member of the board of
776 administration.
777      (7)  TITLE TO PROPERTY.--
778      (b)  Subject to the provisions of s. 718.112(2)(l)(m), the
779 association, through its board, has the limited power to convey
780 a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for
781 the purposes of providing utility easements, right-of-way
782 expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a
783 result of eminent domain proceedings.
784      (12)  OFFICIAL RECORDS.--
785      (b)  The official records of the association shall be
786 maintained within the state. The records of the association
787 shall be made available to a unit owner, at a location within 30
788 miles' driving distance of the condominium property, within 5
789 working days after receipt of written request by the board or
790 its designee. This paragraph may be complied with by having a
791 copy of the official records of the association available for
792 inspection or copying on the condominium property or association
793 property.
794      (c)  The official records of the association are open to
795 inspection by any association member or the authorized
796 representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right
797 to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain
798 copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the association
799 member. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the
800 frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record
801 inspections and copying. The failure of an association to
802 provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a
803 written request shall create a rebuttable presumption that the
804 association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A
805 unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled
806 to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's
807 willful failure to comply with this paragraph. The minimum
808 damages shall be $50 per calendar day up to 10 days, the
809 calculation to begin on the 11th working day after receipt of
810 the written request. The failure to permit inspection of the
811 association records as provided herein entitles any person
812 prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable
813 attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who,
814 directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records
815 for inspection. The association shall maintain an adequate
816 number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation,
817 bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing,
818 as well as the question and answer sheet provided for in s.
819 718.504 and year-end financial information required in this
820 section on the condominium property to ensure their availability
821 to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its
822 actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to
823 those requesting the same. Notwithstanding the provisions of
824 this paragraph, the following records shall not be accessible to
825 unit owners:
826      1.  Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
827 described in s. 90.502; and any record protected by the work-
828 product privilege, including any record prepared by an
829 association attorney or prepared at the attorney's express
830 direction; which reflects a mental impression, conclusion,
831 litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the
832 association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or
833 criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative
834 proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent
835 civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial
836 administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the
837 litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.
838      2.  Information obtained by an association in connection
839 with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
840 unit.
841      3.  Medical records of unit owners.
842      4.  Social security numbers, driver's license numbers,
843 credit card numbers, and other personal identifying information
844 of unit owners, occupants, or tenants.
845      (13)  FINANCIAL REPORTING.--Within 90 days after the end of
846 the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
847 the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the
848 preparation and completion of, a financial report for the
849 preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial
850 report is completed by the association or received from the
851 third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the
852 fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the
853 association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last
854 furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver
855 to each unit owner, a copy of the financial report or a notice
856 that a copy of the financial report will be mailed or hand
857 delivered to the unit owner, without charge, upon receipt of a
858 written request from the unit owner. The division shall adopt
859 rules setting forth uniform accounting principles and standards
860 to be used by all associations and shall adopt rules addressing
861 financial reporting requirements for multicondominium
862 associations. In adopting such rules, the division shall
863 consider the number of members and annual revenues of an
864 association. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
865      (a)  An association that meets the criteria of this
866 paragraph shall prepare or cause to be prepared a complete set
867 of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted
868 accounting principles. The financial statements shall be based
869 upon the association's total annual revenues, as follows:
870      1.  An association with total annual revenues of $100,000
871 or more, but less than $200,000, shall prepare compiled
872 financial statements.
873      2.  An association with total annual revenues of at least
874 $200,000, but less than $400,000, shall prepare reviewed
875 financial statements.
876      3.  An association with total annual revenues of $400,000
877 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.
878      (b)1.  An association with total annual revenues of less
879 than $100,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
880 expenditures.
881      2.  An association which operates less than 50 units,
882 regardless of the association's annual revenues, shall prepare a
883 report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
884 statements required by paragraph (a).
885      3.  A report of cash receipts and disbursements must
886 disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
887 classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
888 expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
889 following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and
890 management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation
891 facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services,
892 expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and
893 repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and
894 reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures,
895 deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the
896 association maintains reserves.
897      (c)  An association may prepare or cause to be prepared,
898 without a meeting of or approval by the unit owners:
899      1.  Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
900 the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts
901 and expenditures;
902      2.  Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
903 association is required to prepare compiled financial
904 statements; or
905      3.  Audited financial statements if the association is
906 required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
907      (d)  If approved by a majority of the voting interests
908 present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
909 association may prepare or cause to be prepared:
910      1.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
911 compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
912      2.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a
913 compiled financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited
914 financial statement; or
915      3.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
916 financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
917 of an audited financial statement.
918
919 Such meeting and approval must occur prior to the end of the
920 fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which
921 the vote is taken. With respect to an association to which the
922 developer has not turned over control of the association, all
923 unit owners, including the developer, may vote on issues related
924 to the preparation of financial reports for the first 2 fiscal
925 years of the association's operation, beginning with the fiscal
926 year in which the declaration is recorded. Thereafter, all unit
927 owners except the developer may vote on such issues until
928 control is turned over to the association by the developer. An
929 association or board of administration may not waive the
930 financial reporting requirements of this section for more than 2
931 years.
932      (15)  RECONSTRUCTION AFTER CASUALTY.--
933      (a)  In the event the condominium property and units are
934 damaged after a casualty, the board of administration shall
935 obtain reliable and detailed estimates of the cost necessary to
936 repair and replace the damaged property to substantially the
937 same condition existing immediately prior to the casualty and
938 substantially in accordance with the original plans and
939 specifications of the condominium as soon as possible and not
940 later than 60 days after the casualty. If the damage to the
941 condominium property exceeds 50 percent of the property's value,
942 the condominium may be terminated unless 75 percent of the unit
943 owners agree to reconstruction and repair within 90 days after
944 the casualty.
945      (b)  The board of administration shall engage the services
946 of a registered architect and knowledgeable construction
947 specialists to prepare any necessary plans and specifications
948 and shall receive and approve bids for reconstruction, execute
949 all necessary contracts for restoration, and arrange for
950 disbursement of construction funds, the approval of work, and
951 all other matters pertaining to the repairs and reconstruction
952 required.
953      (c)  If the proceeds of the hazard insurance policy
954 maintained by the association pursuant to paragraph (11)(b) are
955 insufficient to pay the estimated costs of reconstruction or at
956 any time during reconstruction and repair, assessments shall be
957 made against all unit owners according to their share of the
958 common elements and expenses as set forth in the declaration of
959 condominium.
960      (d)  Assessments shall be made against unit owners for
961 damage to their units according to the cost of reconstruction or
962 repair of their respective units. The assessments shall be
963 levied and collected as all other assessments are provided for
964 in this chapter.
965      Section 25.  Subsection (2) of section 718.112, Florida
966 Statutes, is amended to read:
967      718.112  Bylaws.--
968      (2)  REQUIRED PROVISIONS.--The bylaws of the association
969 shall provide for the following and, if they do not do so, shall
970 be deemed to include the following:
971      (a)  Administration.--
972      1.  The form of administration of the association shall be
973 described indicating the title of the officers and board of
974 administration and specifying the powers, duties, manner of
975 selection and removal, and compensation, if any, of officers and
976 boards. In the absence of such a provision or determination by
977 the board or membership, the board of administration shall be
978 composed of five members who are unit owners, except in the case
979 of a condominium which has five or fewer units, in which case in
980 a not-for-profit corporation the board shall consist of not
981 fewer than three members who are unit owners. In the absence of
982 provisions to the contrary in the bylaws, the board of
983 administration shall have a president, a secretary, and a
984 treasurer, who shall perform the duties of such officers
985 customarily performed by officers of corporations. Unless
986 prohibited in the bylaws, the board of administration may
987 appoint other officers and grant them the duties it deems
988 appropriate. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the
989 officers shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of
990 the board of administration. Unless otherwise provided in the
991 bylaws, the members of the board shall serve without
992 compensation.
993      2.  When a unit owner files a written inquiry by certified
994 mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond
995 in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the
996 unit owner within 30 days after of receipt of the inquiry. The
997 board's response shall either give a substantive response to the
998 inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been
999 requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested
1000 from the division. If the board requests advice from the
1001 division, the board shall, within 10 days after of its receipt
1002 of the advice, provide in writing by certified mail a
1003 substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is
1004 requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of
1005 the inquiry, provide in writing by certified mail a substantive
1006 response to the inquiry. The failure to provide a substantive
1007 response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the board
1008 from recovering attorney's fees and costs in any subsequent
1009 litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising
1010 out of the inquiry. The association may through its board of
1011 administration adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding
1012 the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries,
1013 one of which may be that the association is only obligated to
1014 respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day
1015 period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must
1016 be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as
1017 applicable.
1018      (b)  Quorum; voting requirements; proxies.--
1019      1.  Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the
1020 percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum
1021 at a meeting of the members shall be a majority of the voting
1022 interests. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the
1023 declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws, and except as
1024 provided in subparagraph (d)3., decisions shall be made by
1025 owners of a majority of the voting interests represented at a
1026 meeting at which a quorum is present.
1027      2.  Except as specifically otherwise provided herein, after
1028 January 1, 1992, unit owners may not vote by general proxy, but
1029 may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a
1030 limited proxy form adopted by the division. Limited proxies and
1031 general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Limited
1032 proxies shall be used for votes taken to waive or reduce
1033 reserves in accordance with subparagraph (f)2.; for votes taken
1034 to waive the financial reporting requirements of s. 718.111(13);
1035 for votes taken to amend the declaration pursuant to s. 718.110;
1036 for votes taken to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws
1037 pursuant to this section; and for any other matter for which
1038 this chapter requires or permits a vote of the unit owners.
1039 Except as provided in paragraph (d), after January 1, 1992, No
1040 proxy, limited or general, shall be used in the election of
1041 board members. General proxies may be used for other matters for
1042 which limited proxies are not required, and may also be used in
1043 voting for nonsubstantive changes to items for which a limited
1044 proxy is required and given. Notwithstanding the provisions of
1045 this subparagraph, unit owners may vote in person at unit owner
1046 meetings. Nothing contained herein shall limit the use of
1047 general proxies or require the use of limited proxies for any
1048 agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
1049 condominium association.
1050      3.  Any proxy given shall be effective only for the
1051 specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully
1052 adjourned meetings thereof. In no event shall any proxy be valid
1053 for a period longer than 90 days after the date of the first
1054 meeting for which it was given. Every proxy is revocable at any
1055 time at the pleasure of the unit owner executing it.
1056      4.  A member of the board of administration or a committee
1057 may submit in writing his or her agreement or disagreement with
1058 any action taken at a meeting that the member did not attend.
1059 This agreement or disagreement may not be used as a vote for or
1060 against the action taken and may not be used for the purposes of
1061 creating a quorum.
1062      5.  When any of the board or committee members meet by
1063 telephone conference, those board or committee members attending
1064 by telephone conference may be counted toward obtaining a quorum
1065 and may vote by telephone. A telephone speaker must be used so
1066 that the conversation of those board or committee members
1067 attending by telephone may be heard by the board or committee
1068 members attending in person as well as by any unit owners
1069 present at a meeting.
1070      (c)  Board of administration meetings.--Meetings of the
1071 board of administration at which a quorum of the members is
1072 present shall be open to all unit owners. No action shall be
1073 taken or resolution made without an open meeting of the board of
1074 administration. The board of administration shall address agenda
1075 items proposed by a petition of 20 percent of the unit owners.
1076 Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, boards of
1077 administration shall use rules of parliamentary procedure in
1078 conducting all association meetings and business. A unit owner's
1079 facsimile signature shall constitute the unit owner's original
1080 signature in any matter under this chapter that requires the
1081 unit owner's signature. Correspondence from the board of
1082 administration to unit owners shall be accomplished by the same
1083 delivery method used by the unit owner except as otherwise
1084 provided in this paragraph. Any unit owner may tape record or
1085 videotape meetings of the board of administration. The right to
1086 attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such
1087 meetings with reference to all designated agenda items. The
1088 division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the tape
1089 recording and videotaping of the meeting. The association may
1090 adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency,
1091 duration, and manner of unit owner statements. Adequate notice
1092 of all meetings, which notice shall specifically incorporate an
1093 identification of agenda items, shall be posted conspicuously on
1094 the condominium property at least 48 continuous hours preceding
1095 the meeting except in an emergency. Any item not included on the
1096 notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a
1097 majority plus one of the members of the board or by a petition
1098 of 20 percent of the unit owners. Such emergency action shall be
1099 noticed and ratified at the next regular meeting of the board.
1100 However, written notice of any meeting at which nonemergency
1101 special assessments, or at which amendment to rules regarding
1102 unit use, will be considered shall be mailed, delivered, or
1103 electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted
1104 conspicuously on the condominium property not less than 14 days
1105 prior to the meeting. Evidence of compliance with this 14-day
1106 notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the person
1107 providing the notice and filed among the official records of the
1108 association. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall by
1109 duly adopted rule designate a specific location on the
1110 condominium property or association property upon which all
1111 notices of board meetings shall be posted. If there is no
1112 condominium property or association property upon which notices
1113 can be posted, notices of board meetings shall be mailed,
1114 delivered, or electronically transmitted at least 14 days before
1115 the meeting to the owner of each unit. In lieu of or in addition
1116 to the physical posting of notice of any meeting of the board of
1117 administration on the condominium property, the association may,
1118 by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting
1119 and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a
1120 closed-circuit cable television system serving the condominium
1121 association. However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a
1122 notice posted physically on the condominium property, the notice
1123 and agenda must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast
1124 hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required
1125 under this section. When broadcast notice is provided, the
1126 notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a
1127 sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average
1128 reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire
1129 content of the notice and the agenda. Notice of any meeting in
1130 which regular or special assessments against unit owners are to
1131 be considered for any reason shall specifically state contain a
1132 statement that assessments will be considered and the nature,
1133 cost, and breakdown of any such assessments. Meetings of a
1134 committee to take final action on behalf of the board or make
1135 recommendations to the board regarding the association budget
1136 are subject to the provisions of this paragraph. Meetings of a
1137 committee that does not take final action on behalf of the board
1138 or make recommendations to the board regarding the association
1139 budget are subject to the provisions of this section, unless
1140 those meetings are exempted from this section by the bylaws of
1141 the association. Notwithstanding any other law, the requirement
1142 that board meetings and committee meetings be open to the unit
1143 owners is inapplicable to meetings between the board or a
1144 committee and the association's attorney, with respect to
1145 proposed or pending litigation, when the meeting is held for the
1146 purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice.
1147      (d)  Unit owner meetings.--
1148      1.  There shall be an annual meeting of the unit owners.
1149 Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the board
1150 caused by the expiration of a director's term shall be filled by
1151 electing a new board member, and the election shall be by secret
1152 ballot; however, if the number of vacancies equals or exceeds
1153 the number of candidates, no election is required. If there is
1154 no provision in the bylaws for terms of the members of the
1155 board, the terms of all members of the board shall expire upon
1156 the election of their successors at the annual meeting. Any unit
1157 owner desiring to be a candidate for board membership shall
1158 comply with subparagraph 3. The only prohibition against
1159 eligibility for board membership shall be for a person who has
1160 been convicted of any felony by any court of record in the
1161 United States and who has not had his or her right to vote
1162 restored pursuant to law in the jurisdiction of his or her
1163 residence is not eligible for board membership. The validity of
1164 an action by the board is not affected if it is later determined
1165 that a member of the board is ineligible for board membership
1166 due to having been convicted of a felony.
1167      2.  The bylaws shall provide the method of calling meetings
1168 of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice, which
1169 notice must include an agenda, shall be mailed, hand delivered,
1170 or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14
1171 days prior to the annual meeting and shall be posted in a
1172 conspicuous place on the condominium property at least 14
1173 continuous days preceding the annual meeting. Upon notice to the
1174 unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a
1175 specific location on the condominium property or association
1176 property upon which all notices of unit owner meetings shall be
1177 posted; however, if there is no condominium property or
1178 association property upon which notices can be posted, this
1179 requirement does not apply. In lieu of or in addition to the
1180 physical posting of notice of any meeting of the unit owners on
1181 the condominium property, the association may, by reasonable
1182 rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly
1183 broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable
1184 television system serving the condominium association. However,
1185 if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted
1186 physically on the condominium property, the notice and agenda
1187 must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of
1188 each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this
1189 section. When broadcast notice is provided, the notice and
1190 agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient
1191 continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to
1192 observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of
1193 the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner waives in writing
1194 the right to receive notice of the annual meeting, such notice
1195 shall be hand delivered, mailed, or electronically transmitted
1196 to each unit owner. Notice for meetings and notice for all other
1197 purposes shall be mailed to each unit owner at the address last
1198 furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand
1199 delivered to each unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by
1200 more than one person, the association shall provide notice, for
1201 meetings and all other purposes, to that one address which the
1202 developer initially identifies for that purpose and thereafter
1203 as one or more of the owners of the unit shall so advise the
1204 association in writing, or if no address is given or the owners
1205 of the unit do not agree, to the address provided on the deed of
1206 record. An officer of the association, or the manager or other
1207 person providing the first notice of the association meeting,
1208 and the second notice as provided for in subparagraph 3., shall
1209 provide an affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate
1210 of mailing, to be included in the official records of the
1211 association affirming that the notices were notice was mailed or
1212 hand delivered, in accordance with this provision.
1213      3.  The members of the board shall be elected by written
1214 ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall in no event be used in
1215 electing the board, either in general elections or elections to
1216 fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise,
1217 unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Not less than 60 days
1218 before a scheduled election, the association or its
1219 representative shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit,
1220 whether by separate association mailing or included in another
1221 association mailing, delivery, or transmission, including
1222 regularly published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to
1223 a vote, a first notice of the date of the election. Any unit
1224 owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for
1225 the board must give written notice to the association or its
1226 representative not less than 40 days before a scheduled
1227 election. Together with the written notice and agenda as set
1228 forth in subparagraph 2., the association or its representative
1229 shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit a second notice
1230 of the election to all unit owners entitled to vote therein,
1231 together with a ballot which shall list all candidates. Upon
1232 request of a candidate, the association or its representative
1233 shall include an information sheet, no larger than 81/2 inches
1234 by 11 inches, which must be furnished by the candidate not less
1235 than 35 days before the election, to be included with the
1236 mailing, delivery, or transmission of the ballot, with the costs
1237 of mailing, delivery, or electronic transmission and copying to
1238 be borne by the association. The association or its
1239 representative is not liable for the contents of the information
1240 sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the
1241 association may print or duplicate the information sheets on
1242 both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish
1243 voting procedures consistent with the provisions contained
1244 herein, including rules establishing procedures for giving
1245 notice by electronic transmission and rules providing for the
1246 secrecy of ballots. All ballot envelopes must be placed in a
1247 locked or sealed ballot drop box immediately upon receipt, and
1248 the box shall not be opened in advance of the election meeting.
1249 Elections shall be decided by a plurality of those ballots cast.
1250 There shall be no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
1251 percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
1252 have a valid election of members of the board. No unit owner
1253 shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any
1254 such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided
1255 any unit owner who violates this provision may be fined by the
1256 association in accordance with s. 718.303. A unit owner who
1257 needs assistance in casting the ballot for the reasons stated in
1258 s. 101.051 may obtain assistance in casting the ballot. The
1259 regular election shall occur on the date of the annual meeting.
1260 The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to timeshare
1261 condominium associations. Notwithstanding the provisions of this
1262 subparagraph, an election is not required unless more candidates
1263 file notices of intent to run or are nominated than board
1264 vacancies exist.
1265      4.  Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
1266 or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
1267 limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), shall be
1268 made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and shall be
1269 subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable
1270 condominium documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking,
1271 except that unit owners may take action by written agreement,
1272 without meetings, on matters for which action by written
1273 agreement without meetings is expressly allowed by the
1274 applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute that provides
1275 for such action.
1276      5.  Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
1277 allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute.
1278 If authorized by the bylaws, notice of meetings of the board of
1279 administration, unit owner meetings, except unit owner meetings
1280 called to recall board members under paragraph (j), and
1281 committee meetings may be given by electronic transmission to
1282 unit owners who consent to receive notice by electronic
1283 transmission.
1284      6.  Unit owners shall have the right to participate in
1285 meetings of unit owners with reference to all designated agenda
1286 items. However, the association may adopt reasonable rules
1287 governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner
1288 participation.
1289      7.  Any unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting
1290 of the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
1291 division.
1292      8.  Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
1293 occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
1294 filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
1295 directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
1296 a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
1297 a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
1298 the election procedures must conform to the requirements of
1299 subparagraph 3. unless the association has opted out of the
1300 statutory election process, in which case the bylaws of the
1301 association control. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a
1302 board member appointed or elected under this section shall fill
1303 the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being filled.
1304 Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by paragraph (j)
1305 and rules adopted by the division.
1306      9.  Unit owners shall have the right to have items placed
1307 on the agenda of the annual meeting and voted upon if a written
1308 request is made to the board of administration by 20 percent or
1309 more of all voting interests at least 90 days before the date of
1310 the annual meeting.
1311
1312 Notwithstanding subparagraphs (b)2. and (d)3., an association
1313 may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting
1314 interests, provide for different voting and election procedures
1315 in its bylaws, which vote may be by a proxy specifically
1316 delineating the different voting and election procedures. The
1317 different voting and election procedures may provide for
1318 elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy.
1319      (e)  Budget meeting.--
1320      1.  Any meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an
1321 association will be considered by the board or unit owners shall
1322 be open to all unit owners. At least 14 days prior to such a
1323 meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, mail
1324 to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the
1325 association by the unit owner, or electronically transmit to the
1326 location furnished by the unit owner for that purpose a notice
1327 of such meeting and a copy of the proposed annual budget. An
1328 officer or manager of the association, or other person providing
1329 notice of such meeting, shall execute an affidavit evidencing
1330 compliance with such notice requirement, and such affidavit
1331 shall be filed among the official records of the association.
1332      2.a.  If a board adopts in any fiscal year an annual budget
1333 which requires assessments against unit owners which exceed 115
1334 percent of assessments for the preceding fiscal year, the board
1335 shall conduct a special meeting of the unit owners to consider a
1336 substitute budget if the board receives, within 21 days after
1337 adoption of the annual budget, a written request for a special
1338 meeting from at least 10 percent of all voting interests. The
1339 special meeting shall be conducted within 60 days after adoption
1340 of the annual budget. At least 14 days prior to such special
1341 meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, or
1342 mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the
1343 association, a notice of the meeting. An officer or manager of
1344 the association, or other person providing notice of such
1345 meeting shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with
1346 this notice requirement, and such affidavit shall be filed among
1347 the official records of the association. Unit owners may
1348 consider and adopt a substitute budget at the special meeting. A
1349 substitute budget is adopted if approved by a majority of all
1350 voting interests unless the bylaws require adoption by a greater
1351 percentage of voting interests. If there is not a quorum at the
1352 special meeting or a substitute budget is not adopted, the
1353 annual budget previously adopted by the board shall take effect
1354 as scheduled.
1355      b.  Any determination of whether assessments exceed 115
1356 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year shall exclude
1357 any authorized provision for reasonable reserves for repair or
1358 replacement of the condominium property, anticipated expenses of
1359 the association which the board does not expect to be incurred
1360 on a regular or annual basis, or assessments for betterments to
1361 the condominium property.
1362      c.  If the developer controls the board, assessments shall
1363 not exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year
1364 unless approved by a majority of all voting interests.
1365      (f)  Annual budget.--
1366      1.  The association shall prepare an annual budget of
1367 estimated revenues and expenses. The adopted budget of the prior
1368 fiscal year shall remain in effect until the association has
1369 adopted a new budget for the current fiscal year. The proposed
1370 annual budget of estimated revenues and common expenses shall be
1371 detailed and shall show the amounts budgeted by accounts and
1372 expense classifications, including, if applicable, but not
1373 limited to, those expenses listed in s. 718.504(21). A
1374 multicondominium association shall adopt a separate budget of
1375 common expenses for each condominium the association operates
1376 and shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for the
1377 association. In addition, if the association maintains limited
1378 common elements with the cost to be shared only by those
1379 entitled to use the limited common elements as provided for in
1380 s. 718.113(1), the budget or a schedule attached thereto shall
1381 show amounts budgeted therefor. If, after turnover of control of
1382 the association to the unit owners, any of the expenses listed
1383 in s. 718.504(21) are not applicable, they need not be listed.
1384      2.  In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget
1385 shall include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and
1386 deferred maintenance. These accounts shall include, but are not
1387 limited to, structural repairs, roof replacement, building
1388 painting, and pavement resurfacing, regardless of the amount of
1389 deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost, and for any
1390 other item for which the deferred maintenance expense or
1391 replacement cost exceeds $10,000. The amount to be reserved
1392 shall be computed by means of a formula which is based upon
1393 estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost
1394 or deferred maintenance expense of each reserve item. The
1395 association may adjust replacement reserve assessments annually
1396 to take into account any changes in estimates or extension of
1397 the useful life of a reserve item caused by deferred
1398 maintenance. This subsection does not apply to an adopted budget
1399 in which the members of an association have determined, by a
1400 majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association, to
1401 provide no reserves or less reserves than required by this
1402 subsection. However, prior to turnover of control of an
1403 association by a developer to unit owners other than a developer
1404 pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer may vote to waive the
1405 reserves or reduce the funding of reserves for the first 2
1406 fiscal years of the association's operation, beginning with the
1407 fiscal year in which the initial declaration is recorded, after
1408 which time reserves may be waived or reduced only upon the vote
1409 of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests voting in
1410 person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of the
1411 association. If a meeting of the unit owners has been called to
1412 determine whether to waive or reduce the funding of reserves,
1413 and no such result is achieved or a quorum is not attained, the
1414 reserves as included in the budget shall go into effect. After
1415 the turnover, the developer may vote its voting interest to
1416 waive or reduce the funding of reserves.
1417      3.  Reserve funds and any interest accruing thereon shall
1418 remain in the reserve account or accounts, and shall be used
1419 only for authorized reserve expenditures unless their use for
1420 other purposes is approved in advance by a majority vote at a
1421 duly called meeting of the association. Prior to turnover of
1422 control of an association by a developer to unit owners other
1423 than the developer pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer-
1424 controlled association shall not vote to use reserves for
1425 purposes other than that for which they were intended without
1426 the approval of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests,
1427 voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of
1428 the association.
1429      4.  The only voting interests which are eligible to vote on
1430 questions that involve waiving or reducing the funding of
1431 reserves, or using existing reserve funds for purposes other
1432 than purposes for which the reserves were intended, are the
1433 voting interests of the units subject to assessment to fund the
1434 reserves in question. The face of all ballots that involve
1435 questions relating to waiving or reducing the funding of
1436 reserves, or using existing reserve funds for purposes other
1437 than purposes for which the reserves were intended, shall
1438 contain the following statement in capitalized, bold letters in
1439 a font size larger than any other used on the face of the
1440 ballot: WAIVING OF RESERVES, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OR ALLOWING
1441 ALTERNATE USES OF EXISTING RESERVES, MAY RESULT IN UNIT OWNER
1442 LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT OF UNANTICIPATED SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS
1443 REGARDING THOSE RESERVE ITEMS.
1444      5.  A vote to provide for no reserves or a percentage of
1445 reserves shall be made at the annual meeting of the unit owners
1446 called under paragraph (d). The division shall adopt the form
1447 for the ballot for no reserves and a percentage of reserves.
1448      6.  Notwithstanding subparagraph 3., the association after
1449 turnover of control of the association may, in case of a
1450 catastrophic event, use reserve funds for nonscheduled purposes
1451 to mitigate further damage to units or common elements or to
1452 make the condominium accessible for repairs.
1453      7.  Except in cases of emergency, or unless otherwise
1454 provided for in the bylaws or approved by a vote of a majority
1455 of the unit owners in advance, the board of administration may
1456 not apply for or accept a loan or line of credit in an amount
1457 that exceeds 10 percent of the association's annual budget for
1458 the current year.
1459      (g)  Assessments.--After the declaration has been recorded,
1460 and until such time as the association has been created, all
1461 common expenses shall be paid by the developer. Assessments
1462 shall be levied in an amount determined by the adopted budget or
1463 an authorized special assessment. The manner of collecting from
1464 the unit owners their shares of the common expenses shall be
1465 stated in the bylaws. Assessments shall be made against units on
1466 a quarter-annual, or more frequent, basis not less frequently
1467 than quarterly in an amount which is not less than that required
1468 to provide funds in advance for payment of all of the
1469 anticipated current operating expenses and for all of the unpaid
1470 operating expenses previously incurred. Nothing in this
1471 paragraph shall preclude the right of an association to
1472 accelerate assessments of an owner delinquent in payment of
1473 common expenses against whom a lien has been filed. Accelerated
1474 assessments shall be due and payable after on the date the claim
1475 of lien is filed. Such accelerated assessments shall include the
1476 amounts due for the remainder of the budget year in which the
1477 claim of lien was filed.
1478      (h)  Amendment of bylaws.--
1479      1.  The method by which the bylaws may be amended
1480 consistent with the provisions of this chapter shall be stated.
1481 If the bylaws fail to provide a method of amendment, the bylaws
1482 may be amended if the amendment is approved by the owners of not
1483 less than two-thirds of the voting interests.
1484      2.  No bylaw shall be revised or amended by reference to
1485 its title or number only. Proposals to amend existing bylaws
1486 shall contain the full text of the bylaws to be amended; new
1487 words shall be inserted in the text underlined, and words to be
1488 deleted shall be lined through with hyphens. However, if the
1489 proposed change is so extensive that this procedure would
1490 hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed
1491 amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and hyphens as
1492 indicators of words added or deleted, but, instead, a notation
1493 must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in
1494 substantially the following language: "Substantial rewording of
1495 bylaw. See bylaw _____ for present text."
1496      3.  Nonmaterial errors or omissions in the bylaw process
1497 will not invalidate an otherwise properly promulgated amendment.
1498      (i)  Transfer fees.--No charge shall be made by the
1499 association or any body thereof in connection with the sale,
1500 mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit unless
1501 the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee
1502 for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles,
1503 or bylaws. Any such fee may be preset, but in no event may such
1504 fee exceed $100 per applicant other than husband/wife or
1505 parent/dependent child, which are considered one applicant.
1506 However, if the lease or sublease is a renewal of a lease or
1507 sublease with the same lessee or sublessee, no charge shall be
1508 made. The foregoing notwithstanding, an association may, if the
1509 authority to do so appears in the declaration or bylaws, require
1510 that a prospective lessee place a security deposit, in an amount
1511 not to exceed the equivalent of 1 month's rent, into an escrow
1512 account maintained by the association. The security deposit
1513 shall protect against damages to the common elements or
1514 association property. Payment of interest, claims against the
1515 deposit, refunds, and disputes under this paragraph shall be
1516 handled in the same fashion as provided in part II of chapter
1517 83.
1518      (j)  Recall of board members.--Subject to the provisions of
1519 s. 718.301, any member of the board of administration may be
1520 recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the
1521 vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting
1522 interests. A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a
1523 member or members of the board of administration may be called
1524 by 10 percent of the voting interests giving notice of the
1525 meeting as required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice
1526 shall state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission
1527 may not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called
1528 in whole or in part for this purpose.
1529      1.  If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting
1530 interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective
1531 as provided herein. The board shall duly notice and hold a board
1532 meeting within 5 full business days of the adjournment of the
1533 unit owner meeting to recall one or more board members. At the
1534 meeting, the board shall either certify the recall, in which
1535 case such member or members shall be recalled effective
1536 immediately, and the member or members recalled shall turn over
1537 to the board within 5 full business days any and all records and
1538 property of the association in their possession, or shall
1539 proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
1540      2.  Beginning January 1, 2008, if the proposed recall is by
1541 an agreement in writing by a majority of all voting interests,
1542 the agreement in writing or a copy thereof shall be served on
1543 the association and the ombudsman appointed pursuant to s.
1544 718.5011, together with a current copy of the unit owner roster,
1545 by certified mail or by personal service, Monday through Friday,
1546 excluding legal holidays, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and
1547 5:00 p.m., in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the
1548 Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of administration or
1549 any board member named in the agreement may submit rebuttal
1550 argument and supporting evidence to the ombudsman within 5
1551 business days from the date of service of the agreement. The
1552 ombudsman shall certify or not certify the recall within 10
1553 business days after receipt of the written agreement and the
1554 current unit owner roster. If the ombudsman determines to The
1555 board of administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of
1556 the board within 5 full business days after receipt of the
1557 agreement in writing. At the meeting, the board shall either
1558 certify the written agreement to recall a member or members of
1559 the board, the in which case such member or members shall be
1560 recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board
1561 within 5 full business days any and all records and property of
1562 the association in their possession, or proceed as described in
1563 subparagraph 3.
1564      3.  If the ombudsman board determines not to certify the
1565 written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or
1566 does not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, the
1567 ombudsman board shall, within 5 full business days after the
1568 decision, notify the member or members of the board and the
1569 board president of the reasons for not certifying the agreement,
1570 and the unit owners shall be afforded an additional period of 5
1571 business days to correct the defect or deficiency. The board or
1572 members named in the agreement shall have 5 business days to
1573 submit rebuttal argument and supporting evidence, and the
1574 ombudsman shall have 5 business days thereafter to render a
1575 decision. If the ombudsman certifies the corrected or amended
1576 written recall agreement to recall a member or members of the
1577 board, such member or members shall be recalled effective
1578 immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full
1579 business days any and all records and property of the
1580 association in their possession. If the ombudsman does not
1581 certify the recall as to any or all board members, the board
1582 member or members not certified by the corrected or amended
1583 written recall agreement shall remain in office for the
1584 remainder of their unexpired terms or until properly recalled or
1585 resignation otherwise occurs meeting, file with the division a
1586 petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures in s.
1587 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit owners who
1588 voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in writing
1589 shall constitute one party under the petition for arbitration.
1590 If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any member or
1591 members of the board, the recall will be effective upon mailing
1592 of the final order of arbitration to the association. If the
1593 association fails to comply with the order of the arbitrator,
1594 the division may take action pursuant to s. 718.501. Any member
1595 or members so recalled shall deliver to the board any and all
1596 records of the association in their possession within 5 full
1597 business days of the effective date of the recall.
1598      4.  If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
1599 meeting within 5 full business days of service of an agreement
1600 in writing or within 5 full business days of the adjournment of
1601 the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall be deemed
1602 effective and the board members so recalled shall immediately
1603 turn over to the board any and all records and property of the
1604 association.
1605      4.5.  If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
1606 recall and less than a majority of the board members are
1607 removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote of a
1608 majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
1609 provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If
1610 vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a
1611 majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies
1612 shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be
1613 adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with
1614 this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the
1615 conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the
1616 association during the period after a recall but prior to the
1617 recall election.
1618      (k)  Arbitration.--There shall be a provision for mandatory
1619 nonbinding arbitration as provided for in s. 718.1255.
1620      (k)(l)  Certificate of compliance.--There shall be a
1621 provision that a certificate of compliance from a licensed
1622 electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by the
1623 association's board as evidence of compliance of the condominium
1624 units with the applicable fire and life safety code.
1625 Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 633 or of any other
1626 code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or
1627 any interpretation of the foregoing, an association,
1628 condominium, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the
1629 common elements or units of a residential condominium with a
1630 fire sprinkler system or other engineered lifesafety system in a
1631 building that has been certified for occupancy by the applicable
1632 governmental entity, if the unit owners have voted to forego
1633 such retrofitting and engineered lifesafety system by the
1634 affirmative vote of two-thirds of all voting interests in the
1635 affected condominium. However, a condominium association may not
1636 vote to forego the retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system of
1637 common areas in a high-rise building. For purposes of this
1638 subsection, the term "high-rise building" means a building that
1639 is greater than 75 feet in height where the building height is
1640 measured from the lowest level of fire department access to the
1641 floor of the highest occupiable story. For purposes of this
1642 subsection, the term "common areas" means any enclosed hallway,
1643 corridor, lobby, stairwell, or entryway. In no event shall the
1644 local authority having jurisdiction require completion of
1645 retrofitting of common areas with a sprinkler system before the
1646 end of 2014.
1647      1.  A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by
1648 limited proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called
1649 membership meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the
1650 member, and shall be effective upon the recording of a
1651 certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the
1652 county where the condominium is located. The association shall
1653 mail, hand deliver, or electronically transmit to each unit
1654 owner written notice at least 14 days prior to such membership
1655 meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required
1656 fire sprinkler system is to take place. Within 30 days after the
1657 association's opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out
1658 vote shall be mailed, hand delivered, or electronically
1659 transmitted to all unit owners. Evidence of compliance with this
1660 30-day notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the
1661 person providing the notice and filed among the official records
1662 of the association. After such notice is provided to each owner,
1663 a copy of such notice shall be provided by the current owner to
1664 a new owner prior to closing and shall be provided by a unit
1665 owner to a renter prior to signing a lease.
1666      2.  As part of the information collected annually from
1667 condominiums, the division shall require condominium
1668 associations to report the membership vote and recording of a
1669 certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been
1670 undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall
1671 annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the
1672 Department of Financial Services the number of condominiums that
1673 have elected to forego retrofitting.
1674      (l)(m)  Common elements; limited power to convey.--
1675      1.  With respect to condominiums created on or after
1676 October 1, 1994, the bylaws shall include a provision granting
1677 the association a limited power to convey a portion of the
1678 common elements to a condemning authority for the purpose of
1679 providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other
1680 public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent
1681 domain proceedings.
1682      2.  In any case where the bylaws are silent as to the
1683 association's power to convey common elements as described in
1684 subparagraph 1., the bylaws shall be deemed to include the
1685 provision described in subparagraph 1.
1686      Section 26.  Section 718.113, Florida Statutes, is amended
1687 to read:
1688      718.113  Maintenance; limitation upon improvement; display
1689 of flag; display of religious decorations; hurricane shutters.--
1690      (1)  Maintenance of the common elements is the
1691 responsibility of the association. The declaration may provide
1692 that certain limited common elements shall be maintained by
1693 those entitled to use the limited common elements or that the
1694 association shall provide the maintenance, either as a common
1695 expense or with the cost shared only by those entitled to use
1696 the limited common elements. If the maintenance is to be by the
1697 association at the expense of only those entitled to use the
1698 limited common elements, the declaration shall describe in
1699 detail the method of apportioning such costs among those
1700 entitled to use the limited common elements, and the association
1701 may use the provisions of s. 718.116 to enforce payment of the
1702 shares of such costs by the unit owners entitled to use the
1703 limited common elements.
1704      (2)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, there
1705 shall be no material alteration or substantial additions to the
1706 common elements or to real property which is association
1707 property, except in a manner provided in the declaration as
1708 originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided
1709 therein. If the declaration as originally recorded or as amended
1710 under the procedures provided therein does not specify the
1711 procedure for approval of material alterations or substantial
1712 additions, 75 percent of the total voting interests of the
1713 association must approve the alterations or additions.
1714      (b)  There shall not be any material alteration of, or
1715 substantial addition to, the common elements of any condominium
1716 operated by a multicondominium association unless approved in
1717 the manner provided in the declaration of the affected
1718 condominium or condominiums as originally recorded or as amended
1719 under the procedures provided therein. If a declaration as
1720 originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided
1721 therein does not specify a procedure for approving such an
1722 alteration or addition, the approval of 75 percent of the total
1723 voting interests of each affected condominium is required. This
1724 subsection does not prohibit a provision in any declaration,
1725 articles of incorporation, or bylaws as originally recorded or
1726 as amended under the procedures provided therein requiring the
1727 approval of unit owners in any condominium operated by the same
1728 association or requiring board approval before a material
1729 alteration or substantial addition to the common elements is
1730 permitted. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law
1731 and applies to associations existing on the effective date of
1732 this act.
1733      (c)  There shall not be any material alteration or
1734 substantial addition made to association real property operated
1735 by a multicondominium association, except as provided in the
1736 declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws as originally
1737 recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If
1738 the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws as
1739 originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided
1740 therein do not specify the procedure for approving an alteration
1741 or addition to association real property, the approval of 75
1742 percent of the total voting interests of the association is
1743 required. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and
1744 applies to associations existing on the effective date of this
1745 act.
1746      (3)  A unit owner shall not do anything within his or her
1747 unit or on the common elements which would adversely affect the
1748 safety or soundness of the common elements or any portion of the
1749 association property or condominium property which is to be
1750 maintained by the association.
1751      (4)  Any unit owner may display one portable, removable
1752 United States flag in a respectful way and, on Armed Forces Day,
1753 Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, may
1754 display in a respectful way portable, removable official flags,
1755 not larger than 41/2 feet by 6 feet, that represent the United
1756 States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard,
1757 regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with
1758 flags or decorations.
1759      (5)  Each board of administration shall, at each annual
1760 meeting, adopt or restate hurricane shutter specifications for
1761 each building within each condominium operated by the
1762 association which shall include color, style, and other factors
1763 deemed relevant by the board. All specifications adopted or
1764 restated by the board shall comply with the applicable building
1765 code. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the
1766 condominium documents, if approval is required by the documents,
1767 a board shall not refuse to approve the installation or
1768 replacement of hurricane shutters conforming to the
1769 specifications adopted by the board. The board may, subject to
1770 the provisions of s. 718.3026, and the approval of a majority of
1771 voting interests of the condominium, install hurricane shutters
1772 and may maintain, repair, or replace such approved hurricane
1773 shutters or hurricane protection that complies with the
1774 applicable building code, whether on or within common elements,
1775 limited common elements, units, or association property.
1776 However, where laminated glass or window film architecturally
1777 designed to function as hurricane protection which complies with
1778 the applicable building code has been installed, the board may
1779 not install hurricane shutters. The board may operate shutters
1780 installed pursuant to this subsection without permission of the
1781 unit owners only where such operation is necessary to preserve
1782 and protect the condominium property and association property.
1783 The installation, replacement, operation, repair, and
1784 maintenance of such shutters in accordance with the procedures
1785 set forth herein shall not be deemed a material alteration to
1786 the common elements or association property within the meaning
1787 of this section.
1788      (6)  Every 5 years, the board of administration shall have
1789 the condominium buildings inspected by a professional engineer
1790 or professional architect registered in the state for the
1791 purpose of determining that the building is structurally and
1792 electrically safe. The engineer or architect shall provide a
1793 report indicating the manner and type of inspection forming the
1794 basis for the report and description of any matters identified
1795 as requiring remedial action. The report shall become an
1796 official record of the association to be provided to the members
1797 upon request pursuant to s. 718.111(12).
1798      (7)  The board of administration may not adopt any rule or
1799 regulation impairing any rights guaranteed by the First
1800 Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or s. 3, Art.
1801 I of the Florida Constitution, including, but not limited to,
1802 the free exercise of religion, nor may any rules or regulations
1803 conflict with the provisions of this chapter or the condominium
1804 instruments. A rule or regulation may not prohibit any
1805 reasonable accommodation for religious practices, including the
1806 attachment of religiously mandated objects to the front-door
1807 area of a condominium unit.
1808      Section 27.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of section
1809 718.115, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1810      718.115  Common expenses and common surplus.--
1811      (1)
1812      (d)  If so provided in the declaration, the cost of a
1813 master antenna television system or duly franchised cable
1814 television service obtained pursuant to a bulk contract for
1815 basic service shall be deemed a common expense. If the
1816 declaration does not provide for the cost of a master antenna
1817 television system or duly franchised basic cable television
1818 service obtained under a bulk contract as a common expense, the
1819 board may enter into such a contract, and the cost of the
1820 service will be a common expense but allocated on a per-unit
1821 basis rather than a percentage basis if the declaration provides
1822 for other than an equal sharing of common expenses, and any
1823 contract entered into before July 1, 1998, in which the cost of
1824 the service is not equally divided among all unit owners, may be
1825 changed by vote of a majority of the voting interests present at
1826 a regular or special meeting of the association, to allocate the
1827 cost equally among all units. The contract shall be for a term
1828 of not less than 2 years.
1829      1.  Any contract made by the board after the effective date
1830 hereof for a community antenna system or duly franchised basic
1831 cable television service may be canceled by a majority of the
1832 voting interests present at the next regular or special meeting
1833 of the association. Any member may make a motion to cancel said
1834 contract, but if no motion is made or if such motion fails to
1835 obtain the required majority at the next regular or special
1836 meeting, whichever is sooner, following the making of the
1837 contract, then such contract shall be deemed ratified for the
1838 term therein expressed.
1839      2.  Any such contract shall provide, and shall be deemed to
1840 provide if not expressly set forth, that any hearing-impaired or
1841 legally blind unit owner who does not occupy the unit with a
1842 non-hearing-impaired or sighted person, or any unit owner
1843 receiving supplemental security income under Title XVI of the
1844 Social Security Act or food stamps as administered by the
1845 Department of Children and Family Services pursuant to s.
1846 414.31, may discontinue the service without incurring disconnect
1847 fees, penalties, or subsequent service charges, and, as to such
1848 units, the owners shall not be required to pay any common
1849 expenses charge related to such service. If less than all
1850 members of an association share the expenses of cable
1851 television, the expense shall be shared equally by all
1852 participating unit owners. The association may use the
1853 provisions of s. 718.116 to enforce payment of the shares of
1854 such costs by the unit owners receiving cable television.
1855      Section 28.  Section 718.1123, Florida Statutes, is created
1856 to read:
1857      718.1123  Protection against abuse.--
1858      (1)  In order to protect the safety, health, and welfare of
1859 the people of this state, especially the infirm and elderly, and
1860 to ensure the protection of condominium owners, any complaint of
1861 abuse filed with the Division of Florida Land Sales,
1862 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes shall
1863 immediately be investigated by the division. When the division
1864 has reasonable cause to believe that abuse has occurred against
1865 any unit owner, the division shall institute enforcement
1866 proceedings pursuant to its power and duties as set forth in s.
1867 718.501.
1868      (2)  For purposes of this section, the term "abuse" means
1869 any willful act or threat by a member of the board of directors
1870 of a condominium association or any member of a committee or
1871 subcommittee appointed by the board of directors, or any
1872 employee, volunteer, or agent purporting to act on behalf of the
1873 board of directors, or any officer, director, employee, or agent
1874 of any management company acting on behalf of a condominium
1875 association who denies or is likely to deny a condominium unit
1876 owner or dweller any of the rights and protections afforded to
1877 them under applicable state and federal laws, administrative
1878 rules, and the governing documents of their condominium
1879 association.
1880      Section 29.  Section 718.1224, Florida Statutes, is created
1881 to read:
1882      718.1224  Prohibition against SLAPP suits.--
1883      (1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the
1884 right of condominium unit owners to exercise their rights to
1885 instruct their representatives and petition for redress of
1886 grievances before the various governmental entities of this
1887 state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States
1888 Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution. The
1889 Legislature recognizes that strategic lawsuits against public
1890 participation, or "SLAPP" suits as they are typically referred
1891 to, have occurred when association members are sued by
1892 individuals, business entities, or governmental entities arising
1893 out of a condominium unit owner's appearance and presentation
1894 before a governmental entity on matters related to the
1895 condominium association. However, it is the public policy of
1896 this state that governmental entities, business organizations,
1897 and individuals not to engage in SLAPP suits, because such
1898 actions are inconsistent with the right of condominium unit
1899 owners to participate in the state's institutions of government.
1900 Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that prohibiting
1901 such lawsuits by governmental entities, business entities, and
1902 individuals against condominium unit owners who address matters
1903 concerning their condominium association will preserve this
1904 fundamental state policy, preserve the constitutional rights of
1905 condominium unit owners, and ensure the continuation of
1906 representative government in this state. It is the intent of the
1907 Legislature that such lawsuits be expeditiously disposed of by
1908 the courts. As used in this subsection, the term "governmental
1909 entity" means the state, including the executive, legislative,
1910 and judicial branches of government, the independent
1911 establishments of the state, counties, municipalities,
1912 districts, authorities, boards, or commissions, or any agencies
1913 of these branches which are subject to chapter 286.
1914      (2)  A governmental entity, business organization, or
1915 individual in this state may not file or cause to be filed
1916 through its employees or agents any lawsuit, cause of action,
1917 claim, cross-claim, or counterclaim against a condominium unit
1918 owner without merit and solely because such condominium unit
1919 owner has exercised the right to instruct his or her
1920 representatives or the right to petition for redress of
1921 grievances before the various governmental entities of this
1922 state, as protected by the First Amendment to the United States
1923 Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution.
1924      (3)  A condominium unit owner sued by a governmental
1925 entity, business organization, or individual in violation of
1926 this section has a right to an expeditious resolution of a claim
1927 that the suit is in violation of this section. A condominium
1928 unit owner may petition the court for an order dismissing the
1929 action or granting final judgment in favor of that condominium
1930 unit owner. The petitioner may file a motion for summary
1931 judgment, together with supplemental affidavits, seeking a
1932 determination that the governmental entity's, business
1933 organization's, or individual's lawsuit has been brought in
1934 violation of this section. The governmental entity, business
1935 organization, or individual shall thereafter file its response
1936 and any supplemental affidavits. As soon as practicable, the
1937 court shall set a hearing on the petitioner's motion, which
1938 shall be held at the earliest possible time after the filing of
1939 the governmental entity's, business organization's or
1940 individual's response. The court may award the condominium unit
1941 owner sued by the governmental entity, business organization, or
1942 individual actual damages arising from the governmental
1943 entity's, individual's, or business organization's violation of
1944 this section. A court may treble the damages awarded to a
1945 prevailing condominium unit owner and shall state the basis for
1946 the treble damages award in its judgment. The court shall award
1947 the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs
1948 incurred in connection with a claim that an action was filed in
1949 violation of this section.
1950      (4)  Condominium associations may not expend association
1951 funds in prosecuting a SLAPP suit against a condominium unit
1952 owner.
1953      Section 30.  Subsection (4) of section 718.1255, Florida
1954 Statutes, is amended to read:
1955      718.1255  Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary
1956 mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative
1957 findings.--
1958      (4)  MANDATORY NONBINDING ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION OF
1959 DISPUTES.--The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
1960 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
1961 Business and Professional Regulation shall employ full-time
1962 attorneys to act as arbitrators to conduct the arbitration
1963 hearings provided by this chapter. The division may also certify
1964 attorneys who are not employed by the division to act as
1965 arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearings provided by this
1966 section. No person may be employed by the department as a full-
1967 time arbitrator unless he or she is a member in good standing of
1968 The Florida Bar. The department shall promulgate rules of
1969 procedure to govern such arbitration hearings including
1970 mediation incident thereto. The decision of an arbitrator shall
1971 be final; however, such a decision shall not be deemed final
1972 agency action. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to
1973 foreclose parties from proceeding in a trial de novo unless the
1974 parties have agreed that the arbitration is binding. If such
1975 judicial proceedings are initiated, the final decision of the
1976 arbitrator shall be admissible in evidence in the trial de novo.
1977      (a)  Prior to the institution of court litigation, a party
1978 to a dispute shall petition the division for nonbinding
1979 arbitration. The petition must be accompanied by a filing fee in
1980 the amount of $50. Filing fees collected under this section must
1981 be used to defray the expenses of the alternative dispute
1982 resolution program.
1983      (b)  The petition must recite, and have attached thereto,
1984 supporting proof that the petitioner gave the respondents:
1985      1.  Advance written notice of the specific nature of the
1986 dispute;
1987      2.  A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to
1988 comply or to provide the relief; and
1989      3.  Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition
1990 or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the
1991 dispute.
1992
1993 Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with
1994 these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without
1995 prejudice.
1996      (c)  Upon receipt, the petition shall be promptly reviewed
1997 by the division to determine the existence of a dispute and
1998 compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b). If
1999 emergency relief is required and is not available through
2000 arbitration, a motion to stay the arbitration may be filed. The
2001 motion must be accompanied by a verified petition alleging facts
2002 that, if proven, would support entry of a temporary injunction,
2003 and if an appropriate motion and supporting papers are filed,
2004 the division may abate the arbitration pending a court hearing
2005 and disposition of a motion for temporary injunction.
2006      (d)  Upon determination by the division that a dispute
2007 exists and that the petition substantially meets the
2008 requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) and any other applicable
2009 rules, a copy of the petition shall forthwith be served by the
2010 division upon all respondents.
2011      (e)  Either before or after the filing of the respondents'
2012 answer to the petition, any party may request that the
2013 arbitrator refer the case to mediation under this section and
2014 any rules adopted by the division. Upon receipt of a request for
2015 mediation, the division shall promptly refer the case contact
2016 the parties to determine if there is agreement that mediation
2017 would be appropriate. If all parties agree, the dispute must be
2018 referred to mediation. Notwithstanding a lack of an agreement by
2019 all parties, The arbitrator may refer a dispute to mediation at
2020 any time.
2021      (f)  Upon referral of a case to mediation, the parties must
2022 select a mutually acceptable mediator. To assist in the
2023 selection, the arbitrator shall provide the parties with a list
2024 of both volunteer and paid mediators that have been certified by
2025 the division under s. 718.501. If the parties are unable to
2026 agree on a mediator within the time allowed by the arbitrator,
2027 the arbitrator shall appoint a mediator from the list of
2028 certified mediators. If a case is referred to mediation, the
2029 parties shall attend a mediation conference, as scheduled by the
2030 parties and the mediator. If any party fails to attend a duly
2031 noticed mediation conference, without the permission or approval
2032 of the arbitrator or mediator, the arbitrator must impose
2033 sanctions against the party, including the striking of any
2034 pleadings filed, the entry of an order of dismissal or default
2035 if appropriate, and the award of costs and attorneys' fees
2036 incurred by the other parties. Unless otherwise agreed to by the
2037 parties or as provided by order of the arbitrator, a party is
2038 deemed to have appeared at a mediation conference by the
2039 physical presence of the party or its representative having full
2040 authority to settle without further consultation, provided that
2041 an association may comply by having one or more representatives
2042 present with full authority to negotiate a settlement and
2043 recommend that the board of administration ratify and approve
2044 such a settlement within 5 days from the date of the mediation
2045 conference. The parties shall share equally the expense of
2046 mediation, unless they agree otherwise.
2047      (g)  The purpose of mediation as provided for by this
2048 section is to present the parties with an opportunity to resolve
2049 the underlying dispute in good faith, and with a minimum
2050 expenditure of time and resources.
2051      (h)  Mediation proceedings must generally be conducted in
2052 accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and these
2053 proceedings are privileged and confidential to the same extent
2054 as court-ordered mediation. Persons who are not parties to the
2055 dispute are not allowed to attend the mediation conference
2056 without the consent of all parties, with the exception of
2057 counsel for the parties and corporate representatives designated
2058 to appear for a party. If the mediator declares an impasse after
2059 a mediation conference has been held, the arbitration proceeding
2060 terminates, unless all parties agree in writing to continue the
2061 arbitration proceeding, in which case the arbitrator's decision
2062 shall be either binding or nonbinding, as agreed upon by the
2063 parties; in the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not
2064 consider any evidence relating to the unsuccessful mediation
2065 except in a proceeding to impose sanctions for failure to appear
2066 at the mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to
2067 continue arbitration, the arbitrator shall enter an order of
2068 dismissal, and either party may institute a suit in a court of
2069 competent jurisdiction. The parties may seek to recover any
2070 costs and attorneys' fees incurred in connection with
2071 arbitration and mediation proceedings under this section as part
2072 of the costs and fees that may be recovered by the prevailing
2073 party in any subsequent litigation.
2074      (i)  Arbitration shall be conducted according to rules
2075 promulgated by the division. The filing of a petition for
2076 arbitration shall toll the applicable statute of limitations.
2077      (j)  At the request of any party to the arbitration, such
2078 arbitrator shall issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
2079 and the production of books, records, documents, and other
2080 evidence and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
2081 apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
2082 production. Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable
2083 in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
2084 Discovery may, in the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
2085 in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
2086 Rules adopted by the division may authorize any reasonable
2087 sanctions except contempt for a violation of the arbitration
2088 procedural rules of the division or for the failure of a party
2089 to comply with a reasonable nonfinal order issued by an
2090 arbitrator which is not under judicial review.
2091      (k)  The arbitration decision shall be presented to the
2092 parties in writing. An arbitration decision is final in those
2093 disputes in which the parties have agreed to be bound. An
2094 arbitration decision is also final if a complaint for a trial de
2095 novo is not filed in a court of competent jurisdiction in which
2096 the condominium is located within 30 days. The right to file for
2097 a trial de novo entitles the parties to file a complaint in the
2098 appropriate trial court for a judicial resolution of the
2099 dispute. The prevailing party in an arbitration proceeding shall
2100 be awarded the costs of the arbitration and reasonable
2101 attorney's fees in an amount determined by the arbitrator. Such
2102 an award shall include the costs and reasonable attorney's fees
2103 incurred in the arbitration proceeding as well as the costs and
2104 reasonable attorney's fees incurred in preparing for and
2105 attending any scheduled mediation.
2106      (l)  The party who files a complaint for a trial de novo
2107 shall be assessed the other party's arbitration costs, court
2108 costs, and other reasonable costs, including attorney's fees,
2109 investigation expenses, and expenses for expert or other
2110 testimony or evidence incurred after the arbitration hearing if
2111 the judgment upon the trial de novo is not more favorable than
2112 the arbitration decision. If the judgment is more favorable, the
2113 party who filed a complaint for trial de novo shall be awarded
2114 reasonable court costs and attorney's fees.
2115      (m)  Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
2116 arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
2117 jurisdiction in which the condominium is located. A petition may
2118 not be granted unless the time for appeal by the filing of a
2119 complaint for trial de novo has expired. If a complaint for a
2120 trial de novo has been filed, a petition may not be granted with
2121 respect to an arbitration award that has been stayed. If the
2122 petition for enforcement is granted, the petitioner shall
2123 recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in
2124 enforcing the arbitration award. A mediation settlement may also
2125 be enforced through the county or circuit court, as applicable,
2126 and any costs and fees incurred in the enforcement of a
2127 settlement agreement reached at mediation must be awarded to the
2128 prevailing party in any enforcement action.
2129      Section 31.  Subsection (1) of section 718.302, Florida
2130 Statutes, is amended to read:
2131      718.302  Agreements entered into by the association.--
2132      (1)  Any grant or reservation made by a declaration, lease,
2133 or other document, and any contract made by an association prior
2134 to assumption of control of the association by unit owners other
2135 than the developer, that provides for services, products,
2136 operation, maintenance, or management of a condominium
2137 association or property serving the unit owners of a condominium
2138 shall be fair and reasonable, and such grant, reservation, or
2139 contract may be canceled by unit owners other than the
2140 developer:
2141      (a)  If the association operates only one condominium and
2142 the unit owners other than the developer have assumed control of
2143 the association, or if unit owners other than the developer own
2144 not less than 75 percent of the voting interests in the
2145 condominium, the cancellation shall be by concurrence of the
2146 owners of not less than 75 percent of the voting interests other
2147 than the voting interests owned by the developer. If a grant,
2148 reservation, or contract is so canceled and the unit owners
2149 other than the developer have not assumed control of the
2150 association, the association shall make a new contract or
2151 otherwise provide for maintenance, management, or operation in
2152 lieu of the canceled obligation, at the direction of the owners
2153 of not less than a majority of the voting interests in the
2154 condominium other than the voting interests owned by the
2155 developer.
2156      (b)  If the association operates more than one condominium
2157 and the unit owners other than the developer have not assumed
2158 control of the association, and if unit owners other than the
2159 developer own at least 75 percent of the voting interests in a
2160 condominium operated by the association, any grant, reservation,
2161 or contract for maintenance, management, or operation of
2162 buildings containing the units in that condominium or of
2163 improvements used only by unit owners of that condominium may be
2164 canceled by concurrence of the owners of at least 75 percent of
2165 the voting interests in the condominium other than the voting
2166 interests owned by the developer. No grant, reservation, or
2167 contract for maintenance, management, or operation of
2168 recreational areas or any other property serving more than one
2169 condominium, and operated by more than one association, may be
2170 canceled except pursuant to paragraph (d).
2171      (c)  If the association operates more than one condominium
2172 and the unit owners other than the developer have assumed
2173 control of the association, the cancellation shall be by
2174 concurrence of the owners of not less than 75 percent of the
2175 total number of voting interests in all condominiums operated by
2176 the association other than the voting interests owned by the
2177 developer.
2178      (d)  If the owners of units in a condominium have the right
2179 to use property in common with owners of units in other
2180 condominiums and those condominiums are operated by more than
2181 one association, no grant, reservation, or contract for
2182 maintenance, management, or operation of the property serving
2183 more than one condominium may be canceled until unit owners
2184 other than the developer have assumed control of all of the
2185 associations operating the condominiums that are to be served by
2186 the recreational area or other property, after which
2187 cancellation may be effected by concurrence of the owners of not
2188 less than 75 percent of the total number of voting interests in
2189 those condominiums other than voting interests owned by the
2190 developer.
2191      Section 32.  Paragraphs (f) and (g) are added to subsection
2192 (1) of section 718.3025, Florida Statutes, to read:
2193      718.3025  Agreements for operation, maintenance, or
2194 management of condominiums; specific requirements.--
2195      (1)  No written contract between a party contracting to
2196 provide maintenance or management services and an association
2197 which contract provides for operation, maintenance, or
2198 management of a condominium association or property serving the
2199 unit owners of a condominium shall be valid or enforceable
2200 unless the contract:
2201      (f)  Requires that all obligations under the contract be
2202 completed within a 1-year period.
2203      (g)  Contains a provision expressly prohibiting automatic
2204 renewal of the contract.
2205      Section 33.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
2206 718.3026, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
2207      718.3026  Contracts for products and services; in writing;
2208 bids; exceptions.--Associations with less than 100 units may opt
2209 out of the provisions of this section if two-thirds of the unit
2210 owners vote to do so, which opt-out may be accomplished by a
2211 proxy specifically setting forth the exception from this
2212 section.
2213      (2)(a)1.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, contracts with
2214 employees of the association, and contracts for attorney,
2215 accountant, architect, community association manager, timeshare
2216 management firm, engineering, and landscape architect services
2217 are not subject to the provisions of this section.
2218      2.  A contract executed before January 1, 1992, and any
2219 renewal thereof, is not subject to the competitive bid
2220 requirements of this section. If a contract was awarded under
2221 the competitive bid procedures of this section, any renewal of
2222 that contract is not subject to such competitive bid
2223 requirements if the contract contains a provision that allows
2224 the board to cancel the contract on 30 days' notice. Materials,
2225 equipment, or services provided to a condominium under a local
2226 government franchise agreement by a franchise holder are not
2227 subject to the competitive bid requirements of this section. A
2228 contract with a manager, if made by a competitive bid, may be
2229 made for up to 3 years. A condominium whose declaration or
2230 bylaws provides for competitive bidding for services may operate
2231 under the provisions of that declaration or bylaws in lieu of
2232 this section if those provisions are not less stringent than the
2233 requirements of this section.
2234      3.  A contract by and between a service provider and an
2235 association shall not be for a term in excess of 3 years and
2236 shall not contain an automatic renewal clause.
2237      4.  A contract for construction or repair of the property
2238 that exceeds 10 percent of the total annual budget of the
2239 association, including reserves, should have the approval of an
2240 attorney hired by the association.
2241      Section 34.  Subsection (3) of section 718.303, Florida
2242 Statutes, is amended and subsection (4) is added to that
2243 section, to read:
2244      718.303  Obligations of owners; waiver; levy of fine
2245 against unit by association.--
2246      (3)  If the declaration or bylaws so provide, the
2247 association may levy reasonable fines against a unit for the
2248 failure of the owner of the unit, or its occupant, licensee, or
2249 invitee, to comply with any provision of the declaration, the
2250 association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association. No
2251 fine will become a lien against a unit. No fine may exceed $100
2252 per violation. However, a fine may be levied on the basis of
2253 each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and
2254 opportunity for hearing, provided that no such fine shall in the
2255 aggregate exceed $1,000. No fine may be levied except after
2256 giving reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing to the
2257 unit owner and, if applicable, its licensee or invitee. The
2258 hearing must be held before a committee of other unit owners who
2259 are not members of the board of administration of the
2260 association. If the committee does not agree with the fine, the
2261 fine may not be levied. The provisions of this subsection do not
2262 apply to unoccupied units.
2263      (4)  Anyone subject to an action under this section shall
2264 be notified of the violation by certified mail, return receipt
2265 requested, and, except in the case of eminent danger to person
2266 or property, have 30 days in which to respond in writing. If no
2267 response is provided and the violation continues or is repeated,
2268 the association may proceed under subsections (1) and (2)
2269 without further notice except as provided in subsection (3).
2270      Section 35.  Section 718.501, Florida Statutes, is amended
2271 to read:
2272      718.501  Powers and duties of Division of Florida Land
2273 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
2274 Homes.--
2275      (1)  The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
2276 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
2277 Business and Professional Regulation, referred to as the
2278 "division" in this part, in addition to other powers and duties
2279 prescribed by chapter 498, has the power to enforce and ensure
2280 compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules
2281 promulgated pursuant hereto relating to the development,
2282 construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management
2283 of residential condominium units. In performing its duties, the
2284 division has the following powers and duties:
2285      (a)  The division may make necessary public or private
2286 investigations within or outside this state to determine whether
2287 any person has violated this chapter or any rule or order
2288 hereunder, to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, or to aid
2289 in the adoption of rules or forms hereunder.
2290      (b)  The division may require or permit any person to file
2291 a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as the division
2292 determines, as to the facts and circumstances concerning a
2293 matter to be investigated.
2294      (c)  For the purpose of any investigation under this
2295 chapter, the division director or any officer or employee
2296 designated by the division director may administer oaths or
2297 affirmations, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance,
2298 take evidence, and require the production of any matter which is
2299 relevant to the investigation, including the existence,
2300 description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any
2301 books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and
2302 location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts or any
2303 other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
2304 material evidence. Upon the failure by a person to obey a
2305 subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the investigating
2306 officer and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected
2307 thereby, the division may apply to the circuit court for an
2308 order compelling compliance.
2309      (d)  Notwithstanding any remedies available to unit owners
2310 and associations, if the division has reasonable cause to
2311 believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or
2312 rule promulgated pursuant hereto has occurred, the division may
2313 institute enforcement proceedings in its own name against any
2314 developer, association, officer, or member of the board of
2315 administration, or its assignees or agents, as follows:
2316      1.  The division may permit a person whose conduct or
2317 actions may be under investigation to waive formal proceedings
2318 and enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or
2319 letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may
2320 be entered against the person.
2321      2.  The division may issue an order requiring the
2322 developer, association, officer, or member of the board of
2323 administration, or its assignees or agents, to cease and desist
2324 from the unlawful practice and take such affirmative action as
2325 in the judgment of the division will carry out the purposes of
2326 this chapter. Such affirmative action may include, but is not
2327 limited to, an order requiring a developer to pay moneys
2328 determined to be owed to a condominium association.
2329      3.  The division may bring an action in circuit court on
2330 behalf of a class of unit owners, lessees, or purchasers for
2331 declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or restitution.
2332      4.  The division may impose a civil penalty against a
2333 developer or association, or its assignee or agent, for any
2334 violation of this chapter or a rule promulgated pursuant hereto.
2335 The division may impose a civil penalty individually against any
2336 officer or board member who willfully and knowingly violates a
2337 provision of this chapter, a rule adopted pursuant hereto, or a
2338 final order of the division. The term "willfully and knowingly"
2339 means that the division informed the officer or board member
2340 that his or her action or intended action violates this chapter,
2341 a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the
2342 division and that the officer or board member refused to comply
2343 with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this
2344 chapter, or a final order of the division. The division, prior
2345 to initiating formal agency action under chapter 120, shall
2346 afford the officer or board member an opportunity to voluntarily
2347 comply with this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or
2348 a final order of the division. An officer or board member who
2349 complies within 10 days is not subject to a civil penalty. A
2350 penalty may be imposed on the basis of each day of continuing
2351 violation, but in no event shall the penalty for any offense
2352 exceed $5,000. By January 1, 1998, the division shall adopt, by
2353 rule, penalty guidelines applicable to possible violations or to
2354 categories of violations of this chapter or rules adopted by the
2355 division. The guidelines must specify a meaningful range of
2356 civil penalties for each such violation of the statute and rules
2357 and must be based upon the harm caused by the violation, the
2358 repetition of the violation, and upon such other factors deemed
2359 relevant by the division. For example, the division may consider
2360 whether the violations were committed by a developer or owner-
2361 controlled association, the size of the association, and other
2362 factors. The guidelines must designate the possible mitigating
2363 or aggravating circumstances that justify a departure from the
2364 range of penalties provided by the rules. It is the legislative
2365 intent that minor violations be distinguished from those which
2366 endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the condominium
2367 residents or other persons and that such guidelines provide
2368 reasonable and meaningful notice to the public of likely
2369 penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct. This
2370 subsection does not limit the ability of the division to
2371 informally dispose of administrative actions or complaints by
2372 stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order. All amounts
2373 collected shall be deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to
2374 the credit of the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
2375 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund. If a
2376 developer fails to pay the civil penalty, the division shall
2377 thereupon issue an order directing that such developer cease and
2378 desist from further operation until such time as the civil
2379 penalty is paid or may pursue enforcement of the penalty in a
2380 court of competent jurisdiction. If an association fails to pay
2381 the civil penalty, the division shall thereupon pursue
2382 enforcement in a court of competent jurisdiction, and the order
2383 imposing the civil penalty or the cease and desist order will
2384 not become effective until 20 days after the date of such order.
2385 Any action commenced by the division shall be brought in the
2386 county in which the division has its executive offices or in the
2387 county where the violation occurred.
2388      (e)  The division shall is authorized to prepare and
2389 disseminate a prospectus and other information to assist
2390 prospective owners, purchasers, lessees, and developers of
2391 residential condominiums in assessing the rights, privileges,
2392 and duties pertaining thereto.
2393      (f)  The division has authority to adopt rules pursuant to
2394 ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement and enforce the
2395 provisions of this chapter.
2396      (g)  The division shall establish procedures for providing
2397 notice to an association when the division is considering the
2398 issuance of a declaratory statement with respect to the
2399 declaration of condominium or any related document governing in
2400 such condominium community.
2401      (h)  The division shall furnish each association which pays
2402 the fees required by paragraph (2)(a) a copy of this act,
2403 subsequent changes to this act on an annual basis, an amended
2404 version of this act as it becomes available from the Secretary
2405 of State's office on a biennial basis, and the rules promulgated
2406 pursuant thereto on an annual basis.
2407      (i)  The division shall annually provide each association
2408 with a summary of declaratory statements and formal legal
2409 opinions relating to the operations of condominiums which were
2410 rendered by the division during the previous year.
2411      (j)  The division shall provide training programs for
2412 condominium association board members and unit owners in
2413 conjunction with the recommendations of the ombudsman, at the
2414 associations' expense.
2415      (k)  The division shall maintain a toll-free telephone
2416 number accessible to condominium unit owners.
2417      (l)  The division shall develop a program to certify both
2418 volunteer and paid mediators to provide mediation of condominium
2419 disputes. The division shall provide, upon request, a list of
2420 such mediators to any association, unit owner, or other
2421 participant in arbitration proceedings under s. 718.1255
2422 requesting a copy of the list. The division shall include on the
2423 list of volunteer mediators only the names of persons who have
2424 received at least 20 hours of training in mediation techniques
2425 or who have mediated at least 20 disputes. In order to become
2426 initially certified by the division, paid mediators must be
2427 certified by the Supreme Court to mediate court cases in either
2428 county or circuit courts. However, the division may adopt, by
2429 rule, additional factors for the certification of paid
2430 mediators, which factors must be related to experience,
2431 education, or background. Any person initially certified as a
2432 paid mediator by the division must, in order to continue to be
2433 certified, comply with the factors or requirements imposed by
2434 rules adopted by the division.
2435      (m)  When a complaint is made, the division shall conduct
2436 its inquiry with due regard to the interests of the affected
2437 parties. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint, the
2438 division shall acknowledge the complaint in writing and notify
2439 the complainant whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction
2440 of the division and whether additional information is needed by
2441 the division from the complainant. The division shall conduct
2442 its investigation and shall, within 90 days after receipt of the
2443 original complaint or of timely requested additional
2444 information, take action upon the complaint. However, the
2445 failure to complete the investigation within 90 days does not
2446 prevent the division from continuing the investigation,
2447 accepting or considering evidence obtained or received after 90
2448 days, or taking administrative action if reasonable cause exists
2449 to believe that a violation of this chapter or a rule of the
2450 division has occurred. If an investigation is not completed
2451 within the time limits established in this paragraph, the
2452 division shall, on a monthly basis, notify the complainant in
2453 writing of the status of the investigation. When reporting its
2454 action to the complainant, the division shall inform the
2455 complainant of any right to a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569
2456 and 120.57.
2457      (n)  Upon a finding that any association has committed a
2458 violation within the jurisdiction of the division, the division
2459 shall require the association to:
2460      1.  Mail and post a notice to all unit owners setting forth
2461 the facts and findings relative to any and all violations, as
2462 well as a description of the corrective action required.
2463      2.  Participate in a mandatory educational training program
2464 that shall be directly related to the violation, taught by a
2465 division-approved provider, and completed within 90 days from
2466 the date of notification of the finding to the board members.
2467
2468 Failure of the association to comply with this paragraph shall
2469 result in a civil penalty to the association in the amount of
2470 $500 for each week the notice is not mailed and posted or the
2471 educational training is not completed.
2472      (2)(a)  Effective January 1, 1992, each condominium
2473 association which operates more than two units shall pay to the
2474 division an annual fee in the amount of $4 for each residential
2475 unit in condominiums operated by the association. If the fee is
2476 not paid by March 1, then the association shall be assessed a
2477 penalty of 10 percent of the amount due, and the association
2478 will not have standing to maintain or defend any action in the
2479 courts of this state until the amount due, plus any penalty, is
2480 paid.
2481      (b)  All fees shall be deposited in the Division of Florida
2482 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
2483 Homes Trust Fund as provided by law. One-fifth of all fees
2484 deposited by the division shall be allocated and transferred to
2485 the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman.
2486      Section 36.  Section 718.5011, Florida Statutes, is amended
2487 to read:
2488      718.5011  Ombudsman; appointment; administration.--
2489      (1)  There is created an Office of the Condominium
2490 Ombudsman, to be located, solely for administrative purposes,
2491 within the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
2492 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes. The ombudsman shall
2493 exercise his or her policymaking and other functions delegated
2494 by this chapter independently of the Department of Business and
2495 Professional Regulation and without approval or control of the
2496 department. The department shall render administrative support
2497 to the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman in matters pertaining
2498 to budget, personnel, office space, equipment, and supplies. All
2499 revenues collected for the office by the department shall be
2500 deposited in a separate fund or account from which the
2501 department may not use or divert the revenues. The functions of
2502 the office shall be funded by the Division of Florida Land
2503 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
2504 Trust Fund. The ombudsman shall be a bureau chief of the
2505 division, and the office shall be set within the division in the
2506 same manner as any other bureau is staffed and funded.
2507      (2)  The Governor shall appoint the ombudsman. The
2508 ombudsman must be an attorney admitted to practice before the
2509 Florida Supreme Court and shall serve at the pleasure of the
2510 Governor. A vacancy in the office shall be filled in the same
2511 manner as the original appointment. An officer or full-time
2512 employee of the ombudsman's office may not actively engage in
2513 any other business or profession; serve as the representative of
2514 any political party, executive committee, or other governing
2515 body of a political party; serve as an executive, officer, or
2516 employee of a political party; receive remuneration for
2517 activities on behalf of any candidate for public office; or
2518 engage in soliciting votes or other activities on behalf of a
2519 candidate for public office. The ombudsman or any employee of
2520 his or her office may not become a candidate for election to
2521 public office unless he or she first resigns from his or her
2522 office or employment.
2523      Section 37.  Section 718.5012, Florida Statutes, is amended
2524 to read:
2525      718.5012  Ombudsman; powers and duties.--
2526      (1)  The ombudsman shall have the powers that are necessary
2527 to carry out the duties of his or her office, including the
2528 following specific powers:
2529      (a)(1)  To have access to and use of all files and records
2530 of the division.
2531      (b)(2)  To employ professional and clerical staff as
2532 necessary for the efficient operation of the office.
2533      (c)(3)  To prepare and issue reports and recommendations to
2534 the Governor, the department, the division, the Advisory Council
2535 on Condominiums, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
2536 the House of Representatives on any matter or subject within the
2537 jurisdiction of the division. The ombudsman shall make
2538 recommendations he or she deems appropriate for legislation
2539 relative to division procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel,
2540 and functions.
2541      (d)(4)  To act as liaison between the division, unit
2542 owners, boards of directors, board members, community
2543 association managers, and other affected parties. The ombudsman
2544 shall develop policies and procedures to assist unit owners,
2545 boards of directors, board members, community association
2546 managers, and other affected parties to understand their rights
2547 and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and the
2548 condominium documents governing their respective association.
2549 The ombudsman shall coordinate and assist in the preparation and
2550 adoption of educational and reference material, and shall
2551 endeavor to coordinate with private or volunteer providers of
2552 these services, so that the availability of these resources is
2553 made known to the largest possible audience.
2554      (e)(5)  To monitor and review procedures and disputes
2555 concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not
2556 limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement
2557 action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe
2558 that election misconduct has occurred. The division shall
2559 process the ombudsman's recommendations and petitions in an
2560 expedited manner and defer to his or her findings. For the
2561 purpose of fulfilling his or her duties under this chapter, the
2562 ombudsman may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena
2563 witnesses and compel their attendance, take evidence, and
2564 require the production of any matter that is relevant to the
2565 inquiry, including the existence, description, nature, custody,
2566 condition, and location of any books, documents, or other
2567 tangible things and the identity and location of persons having
2568 knowledge of relevant facts or any other matter reasonably
2569 calculated to lead to the discovery of material evidence. Upon
2570 the failure by a person to obey a subpoena or to answer
2571 questions asked by the ombudsman and upon reasonable notice to
2572 all persons affected thereby, the ombudsman may apply to the
2573 circuit court for an order compelling compliance.
2574      (f)(6)  To make recommendations to the division for changes
2575 in rules and procedures for the filing, investigation, and
2576 resolution of complaints filed by unit owners, associations, and
2577 managers.
2578      (g)(7)  To provide resources to assist members of boards of
2579 directors and officers of associations to carry out their powers
2580 and duties consistent with this chapter, division rules, and the
2581 condominium documents governing the association.
2582      (h)(8)  To order, encourage, and facilitate voluntary
2583 meetings with and between unit owners, boards of directors,
2584 board members, community association managers, and other
2585 affected parties when the meetings may assist in resolving a
2586 dispute within a community association before a person submits a
2587 dispute for a formal or administrative remedy. It is the intent
2588 of the Legislature that the ombudsman act as a neutral resource
2589 for both the rights and responsibilities of unit owners,
2590 associations, and board members.
2591      (i)  To make recommendations to the division to pursue
2592 enforcement action in circuit court on behalf of a class of unit
2593 owners, lessees, or purchasers for declaratory relief,
2594 injunctive relief, or restitution against any developer,
2595 association, officer, or member of the board of administration,
2596 or its assignees or agents, where there is reasonable cause to
2597 believe misconduct has occurred. The division shall process the
2598 ombudsman's recommendations and petitions in an expedited manner
2599 and defer to his or her findings.
2600      (j)  To certify recall of board member proceedings pursuant
2601 to s. 718.112(2)(j).
2602      (2)(9)  Fifteen percent of the total voting interests in a
2603 condominium association, or six unit owners, whichever is
2604 greater, may petition the ombudsman to appoint an election
2605 monitor to attend the annual meeting of the unit owners and
2606 conduct the election of directors. The ombudsman upon petition
2607 may order any aspect of the election process as set forth in s.
2608 718.112(2)(d)3. to be conducted by the election monitor. No
2609 association or person may reject an election monitor appointed
2610 by the ombudsman or interfere with an election monitor in the
2611 performance of his or her duties. The ombudsman may order an
2612 association to implement a known division remedy for a
2613 procedural violation of s. 718.112(2)(d)3. prior to and during a
2614 monitored election. The ombudsman shall appoint a division
2615 employee, a person or persons specializing in condominium
2616 election monitoring, or an attorney licensed to practice in this
2617 state as the election monitor. All costs associated with the
2618 election monitoring process shall be paid by the association.
2619 The division shall adopt a rule establishing procedures for the
2620 appointment of election monitors and the scope and extent of the
2621 monitor's role in the election process.
2622      (3)  Any unit owner or association acting in good faith on
2623 the advice or opinion of the office of the ombudsman shall be
2624 immune from any penalties or actions.
2625      (4)  If the ombudsman has reasonable cause to believe that
2626 a violation of any provision of this chapter or rule adopted
2627 under this chapter has occurred, the ombudsman may issue an
2628 order requiring any developer, association, officer, or member
2629 of the board of administration, or its assignees or agents, to
2630 cease and desist from the unlawful practice and to take such
2631 affirmative action that will carry out the purposes of this
2632 chapter.
2633      Section 38.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
2634 718.502, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
2635      718.502  Filing prior to sale or lease.--
2636      (2)(a)  Prior to filing as required by subsection (1), and
2637 prior to acquiring an ownership, leasehold, or contractual
2638 interest in the land upon which the condominium is to be
2639 developed, a developer shall not offer a contract for purchase
2640 of a unit or lease of a unit for more than 5 years. However, the
2641 developer may accept deposits for reservations upon the approval
2642 of a fully executed escrow agreement and reservation agreement
2643 form properly filed with the Division of Florida Land Sales,
2644 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes. Each
2645 filing of a proposed reservation program shall be accompanied by
2646 a filing fee of $250. Reservations shall not be taken on a
2647 proposed condominium unless the developer has an ownership,
2648 leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the
2649 condominium is to be developed. The division shall notify the
2650 developer within 20 days of receipt of the reservation filing of
2651 any deficiencies contained therein. Such notification shall not
2652 preclude the determination of reservation filing deficiencies at
2653 a later date, nor shall it relieve the developer of any
2654 responsibility under the law. The escrow agreement and the
2655 reservation agreement form shall include a statement of the
2656 right of the prospective purchaser to an immediate unqualified
2657 refund of the reservation deposit moneys upon written request to
2658 the escrow agent by the prospective purchaser or the developer.
2659      Section 39.  Section 718.504, Florida Statutes, is amended
2660 to read:
2661      718.504  Prospectus or offering circular.--Every developer
2662 of a residential condominium which contains more than 20
2663 residential units, or which is part of a group of residential
2664 condominiums which will be served by property to be used in
2665 common by unit owners of more than 20 residential units, shall
2666 prepare a prospectus or offering circular and file it with the
2667 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
2668 Associations, and Mobile Homes prior to entering into an
2669 enforceable contract of purchase and sale of any unit or lease
2670 of a unit for more than 5 years and shall furnish a copy of the
2671 prospectus or offering circular to each buyer. In addition to
2672 the prospectus or offering circular, each buyer shall be
2673 furnished a separate page entitled "Frequently Asked Questions
2674 and Answers," which shall be in accordance with a format
2675 approved by the division and a copy of the financial information
2676 required by s. 718.111. This page shall, in readable language,
2677 inform prospective purchasers regarding their voting rights and
2678 unit use restrictions, including restrictions on the leasing of
2679 a unit; shall indicate whether and in what amount the unit
2680 owners or the association is obligated to pay rent or land use
2681 fees for recreational or other commonly used facilities; shall
2682 contain a statement identifying that amount of assessment which,
2683 pursuant to the budget, would be levied upon each unit type,
2684 exclusive of any special assessments, and which shall further
2685 identify the basis upon which assessments are levied, whether
2686 monthly, quarterly, or otherwise; shall state and identify any
2687 court cases in which the association is currently a party of
2688 record in which the association may face liability in excess of
2689 $100,000; and which shall further state whether membership in a
2690 recreational facilities association is mandatory, and if so,
2691 shall identify the fees currently charged per unit type. The
2692 division shall by rule require such other disclosure as in its
2693 judgment will assist prospective purchasers. The prospectus or
2694 offering circular may include more than one condominium,
2695 although not all such units are being offered for sale as of the
2696 date of the prospectus or offering circular. The prospectus or
2697 offering circular must contain the following information:
2698      (1)  The front cover or the first page must contain only:
2699      (a)  The name of the condominium.
2700      (b)  The following statements in conspicuous type:
2701      1.  THIS PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) CONTAINS IMPORTANT
2702 MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN ACQUIRING A CONDOMINIUM UNIT.
2703      2.  THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE ONLY SUMMARY IN
2704 NATURE. A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER SHOULD REFER TO ALL REFERENCES,
2705 ALL EXHIBITS HERETO, THE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS, AND SALES
2706 MATERIALS.
2707      3.  ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY
2708 STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. REFER TO THIS
2709 PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) AND ITS EXHIBITS FOR CORRECT
2710 REPRESENTATIONS.
2711      (2)  Summary: The next page must contain all statements
2712 required to be in conspicuous type in the prospectus or offering
2713 circular.
2714      (3)  A separate index of the contents and exhibits of the
2715 prospectus.
2716      (4)  Beginning on the first page of the text (not including
2717 the summary and index), a description of the condominium,
2718 including, but not limited to, the following information:
2719      (a)  Its name and location.
2720      (b)  A description of the condominium property, including,
2721 without limitation:
2722      1.  The number of buildings, the number of units in each
2723 building, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in each unit, and
2724 the total number of units, if the condominium is not a phase
2725 condominium, or the maximum number of buildings that may be
2726 contained within the condominium, the minimum and maximum
2727 numbers of units in each building, the minimum and maximum
2728 numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms that may be contained in each
2729 unit, and the maximum number of units that may be contained
2730 within the condominium, if the condominium is a phase
2731 condominium.
2732      2.  The page in the condominium documents where a copy of
2733 the plot plan and survey of the condominium is located.
2734      3.  The estimated latest date of completion of
2735 constructing, finishing, and equipping. In lieu of a date, the
2736 description shall include a statement that the estimated date of
2737 completion of the condominium is in the purchase agreement and a
2738 reference to the article or paragraph containing that
2739 information.
2740      (c)  The maximum number of units that will use facilities
2741 in common with the condominium. If the maximum number of units
2742 will vary, a description of the basis for variation and the
2743 minimum amount of dollars per unit to be spent for additional
2744 recreational facilities or enlargement of such facilities. If
2745 the addition or enlargement of facilities will result in a
2746 material increase of a unit owner's maintenance expense or
2747 rental expense, if any, the maximum increase and limitations
2748 thereon shall be stated.
2749      (5)(a)  A statement in conspicuous type describing whether
2750 the condominium is created and being sold as fee simple
2751 interests or as leasehold interests. If the condominium is
2752 created or being sold on a leasehold, the location of the lease
2753 in the disclosure materials shall be stated.
2754      (b)  If timeshare estates are or may be created with
2755 respect to any unit in the condominium, a statement in
2756 conspicuous type stating that timeshare estates are created and
2757 being sold in units in the condominium.
2758      (6)  A description of the recreational and other commonly
2759 used facilities that will be used only by unit owners of the
2760 condominium, including, but not limited to, the following:
2761      (a)  Each room and its intended purposes, location,
2762 approximate floor area, and capacity in numbers of people.
2763      (b)  Each swimming pool, as to its general location,
2764 approximate size and depths, approximate deck size and capacity,
2765 and whether heated.
2766      (c)  Additional facilities, as to the number of each
2767 facility, its approximate location, approximate size, and
2768 approximate capacity.
2769      (d)  A general description of the items of personal
2770 property and the approximate number of each item of personal
2771 property that the developer is committing to furnish for each
2772 room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation
2773 as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to
2774 purchase the personal property for the facility.
2775      (e)  The estimated date when each room or other facility
2776 will be available for use by the unit owners.
2777      (f)1.  An identification of each room or other facility to
2778 be used by unit owners that will not be owned by the unit owners
2779 or the association;
2780      2.  A reference to the location in the disclosure materials
2781 of the lease or other agreements providing for the use of those
2782 facilities; and
2783      3.  A description of the terms of the lease or other
2784 agreements, including the length of the term; the rent payable,
2785 directly or indirectly, by each unit owner, and the total rent
2786 payable to the lessor, stated in monthly and annual amounts for
2787 the entire term of the lease; and a description of any option to
2788 purchase the property leased under any such lease, including the
2789 time the option may be exercised, the purchase price or how it
2790 is to be determined, the manner of payment, and whether the
2791 option may be exercised for a unit owner's share or only as to
2792 the entire leased property.
2793      (g)  A statement as to whether the developer may provide
2794 additional facilities not described above; their general
2795 locations and types; improvements or changes that may be made;
2796 the approximate dollar amount to be expended; and the maximum
2797 additional common expense or cost to the individual unit owners
2798 that may be charged during the first annual period of operation
2799 of the modified or added facilities.
2800
2801 Descriptions as to locations, areas, capacities, numbers,
2802 volumes, or sizes may be stated as approximations or minimums.
2803      (7)  A description of the recreational and other facilities
2804 that will be used in common with other condominiums, community
2805 associations, or planned developments which require the payment
2806 of the maintenance and expenses of such facilities, either
2807 directly or indirectly, by the unit owners. The description
2808 shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
2809      (a)  Each building and facility committed to be built.
2810      (b)  Facilities not committed to be built except under
2811 certain conditions, and a statement of those conditions or
2812 contingencies.
2813      (c)  As to each facility committed to be built, or which
2814 will be committed to be built upon the happening of one of the
2815 conditions in paragraph (b), a statement of whether it will be
2816 owned by the unit owners having the use thereof or by an
2817 association or other entity which will be controlled by them, or
2818 others, and the location in the exhibits of the lease or other
2819 document providing for use of those facilities.
2820      (d)  The year in which each facility will be available for
2821 use by the unit owners or, in the alternative, the maximum
2822 number of unit owners in the project at the time each of all of
2823 the facilities is committed to be completed.
2824      (e)  A general description of the items of personal
2825 property, and the approximate number of each item of personal
2826 property, that the developer is committing to furnish for each
2827 room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation
2828 as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to
2829 purchase the personal property for the facility.
2830      (f)  If there are leases, a description thereof, including
2831 the length of the term, the rent payable, and a description of
2832 any option to purchase.
2833
2834 Descriptions shall include location, areas, capacities, numbers,
2835 volumes, or sizes and may be stated as approximations or
2836 minimums.
2837      (8)  Recreation lease or associated club membership:
2838      (a)  If any recreational facilities or other facilities
2839 offered by the developer and available to, or to be used by,
2840 unit owners are to be leased or have club membership associated,
2841 the following statement in conspicuous type shall be included:
2842 THERE IS A RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
2843 CONDOMINIUM; or, THERE IS A CLUB MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
2844 CONDOMINIUM. There shall be a reference to the location in the
2845 disclosure materials where the recreation lease or club
2846 membership is described in detail.
2847      (b)  If it is mandatory that unit owners pay a fee, rent,
2848 dues, or other charges under a recreational facilities lease or
2849 club membership for the use of facilities, there shall be in
2850 conspicuous type the applicable statement:
2851      1.  MEMBERSHIP IN THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CLUB IS
2852 MANDATORY FOR UNIT OWNERS; or
2853      2.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED, AS A CONDITION OF OWNERSHIP,
2854 TO BE LESSEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE; or
2855      3.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THEIR SHARE OF THE
2856 COSTS AND EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT, UPKEEP,
2857 REPLACEMENT, RENT, AND FEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
2858 LEASE (OR THE OTHER INSTRUMENTS PROVIDING THE FACILITIES); or
2859      4.  A similar statement of the nature of the organization
2860 or the manner in which the use rights are created, and that unit
2861 owners are required to pay.
2862
2863 Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in
2864 the disclosure materials where the development is described in
2865 detail shall be stated.
2866      (c)  If the developer, or any other person other than the
2867 unit owners and other persons having use rights in the
2868 facilities, reserves, or is entitled to receive, any rent, fee,
2869 or other payment for the use of the facilities, then there shall
2870 be the following statement in conspicuous type: THE UNIT OWNERS
2871 OR THE ASSOCIATION(S) MUST PAY RENT OR LAND USE FEES FOR
2872 RECREATIONAL OR OTHER COMMONLY USED FACILITIES. Immediately
2873 following this statement, the location in the disclosure
2874 materials where the rent or land use fees are described in
2875 detail shall be stated.
2876      (d)  If, in any recreation format, whether leasehold, club,
2877 or other, any person other than the association has the right to
2878 a lien on the units to secure the payment of assessments, rent,
2879 or other exactions, there shall appear a statement in
2880 conspicuous type in substantially the following form:
2881      1.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO
2882 SECURE THE PAYMENT OF RENT AND OTHER EXACTIONS UNDER THE
2883 RECREATION LEASE. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE
2884 PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN; or
2885      2.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO
2886 SECURE THE PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS OR OTHER EXACTIONS COMING DUE
2887 FOR THE USE, MAINTENANCE, UPKEEP, OR REPAIR OF THE RECREATIONAL
2888 OR COMMONLY USED FACILITIES. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE
2889 THESE PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.
2890
2891 Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in
2892 the disclosure materials where the lien or lien right is
2893 described in detail shall be stated.
2894      (9)  If the developer or any other person has the right to
2895 increase or add to the recreational facilities at any time after
2896 the establishment of the condominium whose unit owners have use
2897 rights therein, without the consent of the unit owners or
2898 associations being required, there shall appear a statement in
2899 conspicuous type in substantially the following form:
2900 RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MAY BE EXPANDED OR ADDED WITHOUT CONSENT
2901 OF UNIT OWNERS OR THE ASSOCIATION(S). Immediately following this
2902 statement, the location in the disclosure materials where such
2903 reserved rights are described shall be stated.
2904      (10)  A statement of whether the developer's plan includes
2905 a program of leasing units rather than selling them, or leasing
2906 units and selling them subject to such leases. If so, there
2907 shall be a description of the plan, including the number and
2908 identification of the units and the provisions and term of the
2909 proposed leases, and a statement in boldfaced type that: THE
2910 UNITS MAY BE TRANSFERRED SUBJECT TO A LEASE.
2911      (11)  The arrangements for management of the association
2912 and maintenance and operation of the condominium property and of
2913 other property that will serve the unit owners of the
2914 condominium property, and a description of the management
2915 contract and all other contracts for these purposes having a
2916 term in excess of 1 year, including the following:
2917      (a)  The names of contracting parties.
2918      (b)  The term of the contract.
2919      (c)  The nature of the services included.
2920      (d)  The compensation, stated on a monthly and annual
2921 basis, and provisions for increases in the compensation.
2922      (e)  A reference to the volumes and pages of the
2923 condominium documents and of the exhibits containing copies of
2924 such contracts.
2925
2926 Copies of all described contracts shall be attached as exhibits.
2927 If there is a contract for the management of the condominium
2928 property, then a statement in conspicuous type in substantially
2929 the following form shall appear, identifying the proposed or
2930 existing contract manager: THERE IS (IS TO BE) A CONTRACT FOR
2931 THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY WITH (NAME OF THE
2932 CONTRACT MANAGER). Immediately following this statement, the
2933 location in the disclosure materials of the contract for
2934 management of the condominium property shall be stated.
2935      (12)  If the developer or any other person or persons other
2936 than the unit owners has the right to retain control of the
2937 board of administration of the association for a period of time
2938 which can exceed 1 year after the closing of the sale of a
2939 majority of the units in that condominium to persons other than
2940 successors or alternate developers, then a statement in
2941 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
2942 included: THE DEVELOPER (OR OTHER PERSON) HAS THE RIGHT TO
2943 RETAIN CONTROL OF THE ASSOCIATION AFTER A MAJORITY OF THE UNITS
2944 HAVE BEEN SOLD. Immediately following this statement, the
2945 location in the disclosure materials where this right to control
2946 is described in detail shall be stated.
2947      (13)  If there are any restrictions upon the sale,
2948 transfer, conveyance, or leasing of a unit, then a statement in
2949 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
2950 included: THE SALE, LEASE, OR TRANSFER OF UNITS IS RESTRICTED OR
2951 CONTROLLED. Immediately following this statement, the location
2952 in the disclosure materials where the restriction, limitation,
2953 or control on the sale, lease, or transfer of units is described
2954 in detail shall be stated.
2955      (14)  If the condominium is part of a phase project, the
2956 following information shall be stated:
2957      (a)  A statement in conspicuous type in substantially the
2958 following form: THIS IS A PHASE CONDOMINIUM. ADDITIONAL LAND AND
2959 UNITS MAY BE ADDED TO THIS CONDOMINIUM. Immediately following
2960 this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where
2961 the phasing is described shall be stated.
2962      (b)  A summary of the provisions of the declaration which
2963 provide for the phasing.
2964      (c)  A statement as to whether or not residential buildings
2965 and units which are added to the condominium may be
2966 substantially different from the residential buildings and units
2967 originally in the condominium. If the added residential
2968 buildings and units may be substantially different, there shall
2969 be a general description of the extent to which such added
2970 residential buildings and units may differ, and a statement in
2971 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
2972 included: BUILDINGS AND UNITS WHICH ARE ADDED TO THE CONDOMINIUM
2973 MAY BE SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER BUILDINGS AND
2974 UNITS IN THE CONDOMINIUM. Immediately following this statement,
2975 the location in the disclosure materials where the extent to
2976 which added residential buildings and units may substantially
2977 differ is described shall be stated.
2978      (d)  A statement of the maximum number of buildings
2979 containing units, the maximum and minimum numbers of units in
2980 each building, the maximum number of units, and the minimum and
2981 maximum square footage of the units that may be contained within
2982 each parcel of land which may be added to the condominium.
2983      (15)  If a condominium created on or after July 1, 2000, is
2984 or may become part of a multicondominium, the following
2985 information must be provided:
2986      (a)  A statement in conspicuous type in substantially the
2987 following form: THIS CONDOMINIUM IS (MAY BE) PART OF A
2988 MULTICONDOMINIUM DEVELOPMENT IN WHICH OTHER CONDOMINIUMS WILL
2989 (MAY) BE OPERATED BY THE SAME ASSOCIATION. Immediately following
2990 this statement, the location in the prospectus or offering
2991 circular and its exhibits where the multicondominium aspects of
2992 the offering are described must be stated.
2993      (b)  A summary of the provisions in the declaration,
2994 articles of incorporation, and bylaws which establish and
2995 provide for the operation of the multicondominium, including a
2996 statement as to whether unit owners in the condominium will have
2997 the right to use recreational or other facilities located or
2998 planned to be located in other condominiums operated by the same
2999 association, and the manner of sharing the common expenses
3000 related to such facilities.
3001      (c)  A statement of the minimum and maximum number of
3002 condominiums, and the minimum and maximum number of units in
3003 each of those condominiums, which will or may be operated by the
3004 association, and the latest date by which the exact number will
3005 be finally determined.
3006      (d)  A statement as to whether any of the condominiums in
3007 the multicondominium may include units intended to be used for
3008 nonresidential purposes and the purpose or purposes permitted
3009 for such use.
3010      (e)  A general description of the location and approximate
3011 acreage of any land on which any additional condominiums to be
3012 operated by the association may be located.
3013      (16)  If the condominium is created by conversion of
3014 existing improvements, the following information shall be
3015 stated:
3016      (a)  The information required by s. 718.616.
3017      (b)  A caveat that there are no express warranties unless
3018 they are stated in writing by the developer.
3019      (17)  A summary of the restrictions, if any, to be imposed
3020 on units concerning the use of any of the condominium property,
3021 including statements as to whether there are restrictions upon
3022 children and pets, and reference to the volumes and pages of the
3023 condominium documents where such restrictions are found, or if
3024 such restrictions are contained elsewhere, then a copy of the
3025 documents containing the restrictions shall be attached as an
3026 exhibit.
3027      (18)  If there is any land that is offered by the developer
3028 for use by the unit owners and that is neither owned by them nor
3029 leased to them, the association, or any entity controlled by
3030 unit owners and other persons having the use rights to such
3031 land, a statement shall be made as to how such land will serve
3032 the condominium. If any part of such land will serve the
3033 condominium, the statement shall describe the land and the
3034 nature and term of service, and the declaration or other
3035 instrument creating such servitude shall be included as an
3036 exhibit.
3037      (19)  The manner in which utility and other services,
3038 including, but not limited to, sewage and waste disposal, water
3039 supply, and storm drainage, will be provided and the person or
3040 entity furnishing them.
3041      (20)  An explanation of the manner in which the
3042 apportionment of common expenses and ownership of the common
3043 elements has been determined.
3044      (21)  An estimated operating budget for the condominium and
3045 the association, prepared in good faith, and a schedule of the
3046 unit owner's expenses shall be attached as an exhibit and shall
3047 contain the following information:
3048      (a)  The estimated monthly and annual revenues and expenses
3049 of the condominium and the association that are earned by the
3050 association or collected from unit owners by assessments.
3051      (b)  The estimated monthly and annual expenses of each unit
3052 owner for a unit, other than common expenses paid by all unit
3053 owners, payable by the unit owner to persons or entities other
3054 than the association, as well as to the association, including
3055 fees assessed pursuant to s. 718.113(1) for maintenance of
3056 limited common elements where such costs are shared only by
3057 those entitled to use the limited common element, and the total
3058 estimated monthly and annual expense. There may be excluded from
3059 this estimate expenses which are not provided for or
3060 contemplated by the condominium documents, including, but not
3061 limited to, the costs of private telephone; maintenance of the
3062 interior of condominium units, which is not the obligation of
3063 the association; maid or janitorial services privately
3064 contracted for by the unit owners; utility bills billed directly
3065 to each unit owner for utility services to his or her unit;
3066 insurance premiums other than those incurred for policies
3067 obtained by the condominium; and similar personal expenses of
3068 the unit owner. A unit owner's estimated payments for
3069 assessments shall also be stated in the estimated amounts for
3070 the times when they will be due.
3071      (c)  The estimated items of expenses of the condominium and
3072 the association, except as excluded under paragraph (b),
3073 including, but not limited to, the following items, which shall
3074 be stated either as an association expense collectible by
3075 assessments or as unit owners' expenses payable to persons other
3076 than the association:
3077      1.  Expenses for the association and condominium:
3078      a.  Administration of the association.
3079      b.  Management fees.
3080      c.  Maintenance.
3081      d.  Rent for recreational and other commonly used
3082 facilities.
3083      e.  Taxes upon association property.
3084      f.  Taxes upon leased areas.
3085      g.  Insurance.
3086      h.  Security provisions.
3087      i.  Other expenses.
3088      j.  Operating capital.
3089      k.  Reserves.
3090      l.  Fees payable to the division.
3091      2.  Expenses for a unit owner:
3092      a.  Rent for the unit, if subject to a lease.
3093      b.  Rent payable by the unit owner directly to the lessor
3094 or agent under any recreational lease or lease for the use of
3095 commonly used facilities, which use and payment is a mandatory
3096 condition of ownership and is not included in the common expense
3097 or assessments for common maintenance paid by the unit owners to
3098 the association.
3099      (d)  The estimated amounts shall be stated for a period of
3100 at least 12 months and may distinguish between the period prior
3101 to the time unit owners other than the developer elect a
3102 majority of the board of administration and the period after
3103 that date.
3104      (22)  A schedule of estimated closing expenses to be paid
3105 by a buyer or lessee of a unit and a statement of whether title
3106 opinion or title insurance policy is available to the buyer and,
3107 if so, at whose expense.
3108      (23)  The identity of the developer and the chief operating
3109 officer or principal directing the creation and sale of the
3110 condominium and a statement of its and his or her experience in
3111 this field.
3112      (24)  Copies of the following, to the extent they are
3113 applicable, shall be included as exhibits:
3114      (a)  The declaration of condominium, or the proposed
3115 declaration if the declaration has not been recorded.
3116      (b)  The articles of incorporation creating the
3117 association.
3118      (c)  The bylaws of the association.
3119      (d)  The ground lease or other underlying lease of the
3120 condominium.
3121      (e)  The management agreement and all maintenance and other
3122 contracts for management of the association and operation of the
3123 condominium and facilities used by the unit owners having a
3124 service term in excess of 1 year.
3125      (f)  The estimated operating budget for the condominium and
3126 the required schedule of unit owners' expenses.
3127      (g)  A copy of the floor plan of the unit and the plot plan
3128 showing the location of the residential buildings and the
3129 recreation and other common areas.
3130      (h)  The lease of recreational and other facilities that
3131 will be used only by unit owners of the subject condominium.
3132      (i)  The lease of facilities used by owners and others.
3133      (j)  The form of unit lease, if the offer is of a
3134 leasehold.
3135      (k)  A declaration of servitude of properties serving the
3136 condominium but not owned by unit owners or leased to them or
3137 the association.
3138      (l)  The statement of condition of the existing building or
3139 buildings, if the offering is of units in an operation being
3140 converted to condominium ownership.
3141      (m)  The statement of inspection for termite damage and
3142 treatment of the existing improvements, if the condominium is a
3143 conversion.
3144      (n)  The form of agreement for sale or lease of units.
3145      (o)  A copy of the agreement for escrow of payments made to
3146 the developer prior to closing.
3147      (p)  A copy of the documents containing any restrictions on
3148 use of the property required by subsection (17).
3149      (25)  Any prospectus or offering circular complying, prior
3150 to the effective date of this act, with the provisions of former
3151 ss. 711.69 and 711.802 may continue to be used without amendment
3152 or may be amended to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
3153      (26)  A brief narrative description of the location and
3154 effect of all existing and intended easements located or to be
3155 located on the condominium property other than those described
3156 in the declaration.
3157      (27)  If the developer is required by state or local
3158 authorities to obtain acceptance or approval of any dock or
3159 marina facilities intended to serve the condominium, a copy of
3160 any such acceptance or approval acquired by the time of filing
3161 with the division under s. 718.502(1) or a statement that such
3162 acceptance or approval has not been acquired or received.
3163      (28)  Evidence demonstrating that the developer has an
3164 ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon
3165 which the condominium is to be developed.
3166      Section 40.  Section 718.508, Florida Statutes, is amended
3167 to read:
3168      718.508  Regulation by Division of Hotels and
3169 Restaurants.--In addition to the authority, regulation, or
3170 control exercised by the Division of Florida Land Sales,
3171 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
3172 pursuant to this act with respect to condominiums, buildings
3173 included in a condominium property shall be subject to the
3174 authority, regulation, or control of the Division of Hotels and
3175 Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional
3176 Regulation, to the extent provided for in chapter 399.
3177      Section 41.  Section 718.509, Florida Statutes, is amended
3178 to read:
3179      718.509  Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
3180 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund.--All
3181 funds collected by the division and any amount paid for a fee or
3182 penalty under this chapter shall be deposited in the State
3183 Treasury to the credit of the Division of Florida Land Sales,
3184 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes Trust
3185 Fund created by s. 498.019.
3186      Section 42.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
3187 718.608, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
3188      718.608  Notice of intended conversion; time of delivery;
3189 content.--
3190      (2)(a)  Each notice of intended conversion shall be dated
3191 and in writing. The notice shall contain the following
3192 statement, with the phrases of the following statement which
3193 appear in upper case printed in conspicuous type:
3194
3195      These apartments are being converted to condominium by  
3196 (name of developer)  , the developer.
3197      1.  YOU MAY REMAIN AS A RESIDENT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF
3198 YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT. FURTHER, YOU MAY EXTEND YOUR RENTAL
3199 AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:
3200      a.  If you have continuously been a resident of these
3201 apartments during the last 180 days and your rental agreement
3202 expires during the next 270 days, you may extend your rental
3203 agreement for up to 270 days after the date of this notice.
3204      b.  If you have not been a continuous resident of these
3205 apartments for the last 180 days and your rental agreement
3206 expires during the next 180 days, you may extend your rental
3207 agreement for up to 180 days after the date of this notice.
3208      c.  IN ORDER FOR YOU TO EXTEND YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT, YOU
3209 MUST GIVE THE DEVELOPER WRITTEN NOTICE WITHIN 45 DAYS AFTER THE
3210 DATE OF THIS NOTICE.
3211      2.  IF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT EXPIRES IN THE NEXT 45 DAYS,
3212 you may extend your rental agreement for up to 45 days after the
3213 date of this notice while you decide whether to extend your
3214 rental agreement as explained above. To do so, you must notify
3215 the developer in writing. You will then have the full 45 days to
3216 decide whether to extend your rental agreement as explained
3217 above.
3218      3.  During the extension of your rental agreement you will
3219 be charged the same rent that you are now paying.
3220      4.  YOU MAY CANCEL YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT AND ANY EXTENSION
3221 OF THE RENTAL AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:
3222      a.  If your rental agreement began or was extended or
3223 renewed after May 1, 1980, and your rental agreement, including
3224 extensions and renewals, has an unexpired term of 180 days or
3225 less, you may cancel your rental agreement upon 30 days' written
3226 notice and move. Also, upon 30 days' written notice, you may
3227 cancel any extension of the rental agreement.
3228      b.  If your rental agreement was not begun or was not
3229 extended or renewed after May 1, 1980, you may not cancel the
3230 rental agreement without the consent of the developer. If your
3231 rental agreement, including extensions and renewals, has an
3232 unexpired term of 180 days or less, you may, however, upon 30
3233 days' written notice cancel any extension of the rental
3234 agreement.
3235      5.  All notices must be given in writing and sent by mail,
3236 return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the
3237 developer at this address:   (name and address of developer)  .
3238      6.  If you have continuously been a resident of these
3239 apartments during the last 180 days:
3240      a.  You have the right to purchase your apartment and will
3241 have 45 days to decide whether to purchase. If you do not buy
3242 the unit at that price and the unit is later offered at a lower
3243 price, you will have the opportunity to buy the unit at the
3244 lower price. However, in all events your right to purchase the
3245 unit ends when the rental agreement or any extension of the
3246 rental agreement ends or when you waive this right in writing.
3247      b.  Within 90 days you will be provided purchase
3248 information relating to your apartment, including the price of
3249 your unit and the condition of the building. If you do not
3250 receive this information within 90 days, your rental agreement
3251 and any extension will be extended 1 day for each day over 90
3252 days until you are given the purchase information. If you do not
3253 want this rental agreement extension, you must notify the
3254 developer in writing.
3255      7.  If you have any questions regarding this conversion or
3256 the Condominium Act, you may contact the developer or the state
3257 agency which regulates condominiums: The Division of Florida
3258 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
3259 Homes,   (Tallahassee address and telephone number of division)
3260 .
3261      Section 43.  Subsection (17) of section 719.103, Florida
3262 Statutes, is amended to read:
3263      719.103  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:
3264      (17)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales,
3265 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the
3266 Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
3267      Section 44.  Subsection (7) is added to section 719.1055,
3268 Florida Statutes, to read:
3269      719.1055  Amendment of cooperative documents; alteration
3270 and acquisition of property.--
3271      (7)  Any amendment restricting cooperative owners' rights
3272 relating to the rental of units applies only to unit owners who
3273 consent to the amendment and unit owners who purchase their
3274 units after the effective date of that amendment.
3275      Section 45.  Section 719.1255, Florida Statutes, is amended
3276 to read:
3277      719.1255  Alternative resolution of disputes.--The Division
3278 of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations,
3279 and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional
3280 Regulation shall provide for alternative dispute resolution in
3281 accordance with s. 718.1255.
3282      Section 46.  Section 719.501, Florida Statutes, is amended
3283 to read:
3284      719.501  Powers and duties of Division of Florida Land
3285 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
3286 Homes.--
3287      (1)  The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
3288 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
3289 Business and Professional Regulation, referred to as the
3290 "division" in this part, in addition to other powers and duties
3291 prescribed by chapter 498, has the power to enforce and ensure
3292 compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules
3293 promulgated pursuant hereto relating to the development,
3294 construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management
3295 of residential cooperative units. In performing its duties, the
3296 division shall have the following powers and duties:
3297      (a)  The division may make necessary public or private
3298 investigations within or outside this state to determine whether
3299 any person has violated this chapter or any rule or order
3300 hereunder, to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, or to aid
3301 in the adoption of rules or forms hereunder.
3302      (b)  The division may require or permit any person to file
3303 a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as the division
3304 determines, as to the facts and circumstances concerning a
3305 matter to be investigated.
3306      (c)  For the purpose of any investigation under this
3307 chapter, the division director or any officer or employee
3308 designated by the division director may administer oaths or
3309 affirmations, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance,
3310 take evidence, and require the production of any matter which is
3311 relevant to the investigation, including the existence,
3312 description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any
3313 books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and
3314 location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts or any
3315 other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
3316 material evidence. Upon failure by a person to obey a subpoena
3317 or to answer questions propounded by the investigating officer
3318 and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected thereby, the
3319 division may apply to the circuit court for an order compelling
3320 compliance.
3321      (d)  Notwithstanding any remedies available to unit owners
3322 and associations, if the division has reasonable cause to
3323 believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or
3324 rule promulgated pursuant hereto has occurred, the division may
3325 institute enforcement proceedings in its own name against a
3326 developer, association, officer, or member of the board, or its
3327 assignees or agents, as follows:
3328      1.  The division may permit a person whose conduct or
3329 actions may be under investigation to waive formal proceedings
3330 and enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or
3331 letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may
3332 be entered against the person.
3333      2.  The division may issue an order requiring the
3334 developer, association, officer, or member of the board, or its
3335 assignees or agents, to cease and desist from the unlawful
3336 practice and take such affirmative action as in the judgment of
3337 the division will carry out the purposes of this chapter. Such
3338 affirmative action may include, but is not limited to, an order
3339 requiring a developer to pay moneys determined to be owed to a
3340 condominium association.
3341      3.  The division may bring an action in circuit court on
3342 behalf of a class of unit owners, lessees, or purchasers for
3343 declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or restitution.
3344      4.  The division may impose a civil penalty against a
3345 developer or association, or its assignees or agents, for any
3346 violation of this chapter or a rule promulgated pursuant hereto.
3347 The division may impose a civil penalty individually against any
3348 officer or board member who willfully and knowingly violates a
3349 provision of this chapter, a rule adopted pursuant to this
3350 chapter, or a final order of the division. The term "willfully
3351 and knowingly" means that the division informed the officer or
3352 board member that his or her action or intended action violates
3353 this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final
3354 order of the division, and that the officer or board member
3355 refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule
3356 adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.
3357 The division, prior to initiating formal agency action under
3358 chapter 120, shall afford the officer or board member an
3359 opportunity to voluntarily comply with this chapter, a rule
3360 adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division. An
3361 officer or board member who complies within 10 days is not
3362 subject to a civil penalty. A penalty may be imposed on the
3363 basis of each day of continuing violation, but in no event shall
3364 the penalty for any offense exceed $5,000. By January 1, 1998,
3365 the division shall adopt, by rule, penalty guidelines applicable
3366 to possible violations or to categories of violations of this
3367 chapter or rules adopted by the division. The guidelines must
3368 specify a meaningful range of civil penalties for each such
3369 violation of the statute and rules and must be based upon the
3370 harm caused by the violation, the repetition of the violation,
3371 and upon such other factors deemed relevant by the division. For
3372 example, the division may consider whether the violations were
3373 committed by a developer or owner-controlled association, the
3374 size of the association, and other factors. The guidelines must
3375 designate the possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances
3376 that justify a departure from the range of penalties provided by
3377 the rules. It is the legislative intent that minor violations be
3378 distinguished from those which endanger the health, safety, or
3379 welfare of the cooperative residents or other persons and that
3380 such guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice to the
3381 public of likely penalties that may be imposed for proscribed
3382 conduct. This subsection does not limit the ability of the
3383 division to informally dispose of administrative actions or
3384 complaints by stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order.
3385 All amounts collected shall be deposited with the Chief
3386 Financial Officer to the credit of the Division of Florida Land
3387 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
3388 Trust Fund. If a developer fails to pay the civil penalty, the
3389 division shall thereupon issue an order directing that such
3390 developer cease and desist from further operation until such
3391 time as the civil penalty is paid or may pursue enforcement of
3392 the penalty in a court of competent jurisdiction. If an
3393 association fails to pay the civil penalty, the division shall
3394 thereupon pursue enforcement in a court of competent
3395 jurisdiction, and the order imposing the civil penalty or the
3396 cease and desist order shall not become effective until 20 days
3397 after the date of such order. Any action commenced by the
3398 division shall be brought in the county in which the division
3399 has its executive offices or in the county where the violation
3400 occurred.
3401      (e)  The division is authorized to prepare and disseminate
3402 a prospectus and other information to assist prospective owners,
3403 purchasers, lessees, and developers of residential cooperatives
3404 in assessing the rights, privileges, and duties pertaining
3405 thereto.
3406      (f)  The division has authority to adopt rules pursuant to
3407 ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement and enforce the
3408 provisions of this chapter.
3409      (g)  The division shall establish procedures for providing
3410 notice to an association when the division is considering the
3411 issuance of a declaratory statement with respect to the
3412 cooperative documents governing such cooperative community.
3413      (h)  The division shall furnish each association which pays
3414 the fees required by paragraph (2)(a) a copy of this act,
3415 subsequent changes to this act on an annual basis, an amended
3416 version of this act as it becomes available from the Secretary
3417 of State's office on a biennial basis, and the rules promulgated
3418 pursuant thereto on an annual basis.
3419      (i)  The division shall annually provide each association
3420 with a summary of declaratory statements and formal legal
3421 opinions relating to the operations of cooperatives which were
3422 rendered by the division during the previous year.
3423      (j)  The division shall adopt uniform accounting
3424 principles, policies, and standards to be used by all
3425 associations in the preparation and presentation of all
3426 financial statements required by this chapter. The principles,
3427 policies, and standards shall take into consideration the size
3428 of the association and the total revenue collected by the
3429 association.
3430      (k)  The division shall provide training programs for
3431 cooperative association board members and unit owners.
3432      (l)  The division shall maintain a toll-free telephone
3433 number accessible to cooperative unit owners.
3434      (m)  When a complaint is made to the division, the division
3435 shall conduct its inquiry with reasonable dispatch and with due
3436 regard to the interests of the affected parties. Within 30 days
3437 after receipt of a complaint, the division shall acknowledge the
3438 complaint in writing and notify the complainant whether the
3439 complaint is within the jurisdiction of the division and whether
3440 additional information is needed by the division from the
3441 complainant. The division shall conduct its investigation and
3442 shall, within 90 days after receipt of the original complaint or
3443 timely requested additional information, take action upon the
3444 complaint. However, the failure to complete the investigation
3445 within 90 days does not prevent the division from continuing the
3446 investigation, accepting or considering evidence obtained or
3447 received after 90 days, or taking administrative action if
3448 reasonable cause exists to believe that a violation of this
3449 chapter or a rule of the division has occurred. If an
3450 investigation is not completed within the time limits
3451 established in this paragraph, the division shall, on a monthly
3452 basis, notify the complainant in writing of the status of the
3453 investigation. When reporting its action to the complainant, the
3454 division shall inform the complainant of any right to a hearing
3455 pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
3456      (n)  The division shall develop a program to certify both
3457 volunteer and paid mediators to provide mediation of cooperative
3458 disputes. The division shall provide, upon request, a list of
3459 such mediators to any association, unit owner, or other
3460 participant in arbitration proceedings under s. 718.1255
3461 requesting a copy of the list. The division shall include on the
3462 list of voluntary mediators only persons who have received at
3463 least 20 hours of training in mediation techniques or have
3464 mediated at least 20 disputes. In order to become initially
3465 certified by the division, paid mediators must be certified by
3466 the Supreme Court to mediate court cases in either county or
3467 circuit courts. However, the division may adopt, by rule,
3468 additional factors for the certification of paid mediators,
3469 which factors must be related to experience, education, or
3470 background. Any person initially certified as a paid mediator by
3471 the division must, in order to continue to be certified, comply
3472 with the factors or requirements imposed by rules adopted by the
3473 division.
3474      (2)(a)  Each cooperative association shall pay to the
3475 division, on or before January 1 of each year, an annual fee in
3476 the amount of $4 for each residential unit in cooperatives
3477 operated by the association. If the fee is not paid by March 1,
3478 then the association shall be assessed a penalty of 10 percent
3479 of the amount due, and the association shall not have the
3480 standing to maintain or defend any action in the courts of this
3481 state until the amount due is paid.
3482      (b)  All fees shall be deposited in the Division of Florida
3483 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
3484 Homes Trust Fund as provided by law.
3485      Section 47.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
3486 719.502, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
3487      719.502  Filing prior to sale or lease.--
3488      (2)(a)  Prior to filing as required by subsection (1), and
3489 prior to acquiring an ownership, leasehold, or contractual
3490 interest in the land upon which the cooperative is to be
3491 developed, a developer shall not offer a contract for purchase
3492 or lease of a unit for more than 5 years. However, the developer
3493 may accept deposits for reservations upon the approval of a
3494 fully executed escrow agreement and reservation agreement form
3495 properly filed with the Division of Florida Land Sales,
3496 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes. Each
3497 filing of a proposed reservation program shall be accompanied by
3498 a filing fee of $250. Reservations shall not be taken on a
3499 proposed cooperative unless the developer has an ownership,
3500 leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the
3501 cooperative is to be developed. The division shall notify the
3502 developer within 20 days of receipt of the reservation filing of
3503 any deficiencies contained therein. Such notification shall not
3504 preclude the determination of reservation filing deficiencies at
3505 a later date, nor shall it relieve the developer of any
3506 responsibility under the law. The escrow agreement and the
3507 reservation agreement form shall include a statement of the
3508 right of the prospective purchaser to an immediate unqualified
3509 refund of the reservation deposit moneys upon written request to
3510 the escrow agent by the prospective purchaser or the developer.
3511      Section 48.  Section 719.504, Florida Statutes, is amended
3512 to read:
3513      719.504  Prospectus or offering circular.--Every developer
3514 of a residential cooperative which contains more than 20
3515 residential units, or which is part of a group of residential
3516 cooperatives which will be served by property to be used in
3517 common by unit owners of more than 20 residential units, shall
3518 prepare a prospectus or offering circular and file it with the
3519 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
3520 Associations, and Mobile Homes prior to entering into an
3521 enforceable contract of purchase and sale of any unit or lease
3522 of a unit for more than 5 years and shall furnish a copy of the
3523 prospectus or offering circular to each buyer. In addition to
3524 the prospectus or offering circular, each buyer shall be
3525 furnished a separate page entitled "Frequently Asked Questions
3526 and Answers," which must be in accordance with a format approved
3527 by the division. This page must, in readable language: inform
3528 prospective purchasers regarding their voting rights and unit
3529 use restrictions, including restrictions on the leasing of a
3530 unit; indicate whether and in what amount the unit owners or the
3531 association is obligated to pay rent or land use fees for
3532 recreational or other commonly used facilities; contain a
3533 statement identifying that amount of assessment which, pursuant
3534 to the budget, would be levied upon each unit type, exclusive of
3535 any special assessments, and which identifies the basis upon
3536 which assessments are levied, whether monthly, quarterly, or
3537 otherwise; state and identify any court cases in which the
3538 association is currently a party of record in which the
3539 association may face liability in excess of $100,000; and state
3540 whether membership in a recreational facilities association is
3541 mandatory and, if so, identify the fees currently charged per
3542 unit type. The division shall by rule require such other
3543 disclosure as in its judgment will assist prospective
3544 purchasers. The prospectus or offering circular may include more
3545 than one cooperative, although not all such units are being
3546 offered for sale as of the date of the prospectus or offering
3547 circular. The prospectus or offering circular must contain the
3548 following information:
3549      (1)  The front cover or the first page must contain only:
3550      (a)  The name of the cooperative.
3551      (b)  The following statements in conspicuous type:
3552      1.  THIS PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) CONTAINS IMPORTANT
3553 MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN ACQUIRING A COOPERATIVE UNIT.
3554      2.  THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE ONLY SUMMARY IN
3555 NATURE. A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER SHOULD REFER TO ALL REFERENCES,
3556 ALL EXHIBITS HERETO, THE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS, AND SALES
3557 MATERIALS.
3558      3.  ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY
3559 STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. REFER TO THIS
3560 PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) AND ITS EXHIBITS FOR CORRECT
3561 REPRESENTATIONS.
3562      (2)  Summary: The next page must contain all statements
3563 required to be in conspicuous type in the prospectus or offering
3564 circular.
3565      (3)  A separate index of the contents and exhibits of the
3566 prospectus.
3567      (4)  Beginning on the first page of the text (not including
3568 the summary and index), a description of the cooperative,
3569 including, but not limited to, the following information:
3570      (a)  Its name and location.
3571      (b)  A description of the cooperative property, including,
3572 without limitation:
3573      1.  The number of buildings, the number of units in each
3574 building, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in each unit, and
3575 the total number of units, if the cooperative is not a phase
3576 cooperative; or, if the cooperative is a phase cooperative, the
3577 maximum number of buildings that may be contained within the
3578 cooperative, the minimum and maximum number of units in each
3579 building, the minimum and maximum number of bathrooms and
3580 bedrooms that may be contained in each unit, and the maximum
3581 number of units that may be contained within the cooperative.
3582      2.  The page in the cooperative documents where a copy of
3583 the survey and plot plan of the cooperative is located.
3584      3.  The estimated latest date of completion of
3585 constructing, finishing, and equipping. In lieu of a date, a
3586 statement that the estimated date of completion of the
3587 cooperative is in the purchase agreement and a reference to the
3588 article or paragraph containing that information.
3589      (c)  The maximum number of units that will use facilities
3590 in common with the cooperative. If the maximum number of units
3591 will vary, a description of the basis for variation and the
3592 minimum amount of dollars per unit to be spent for additional
3593 recreational facilities or enlargement of such facilities. If
3594 the addition or enlargement of facilities will result in a
3595 material increase of a unit owner's maintenance expense or
3596 rental expense, if any, the maximum increase and limitations
3597 thereon shall be stated.
3598      (5)(a)  A statement in conspicuous type describing whether
3599 the cooperative is created and being sold as fee simple
3600 interests or as leasehold interests. If the cooperative is
3601 created or being sold on a leasehold, the location of the lease
3602 in the disclosure materials shall be stated.
3603      (b)  If timeshare estates are or may be created with
3604 respect to any unit in the cooperative, a statement in
3605 conspicuous type stating that timeshare estates are created and
3606 being sold in such specified units in the cooperative.
3607      (6)  A description of the recreational and other common
3608 areas that will be used only by unit owners of the cooperative,
3609 including, but not limited to, the following:
3610      (a)  Each room and its intended purposes, location,
3611 approximate floor area, and capacity in numbers of people.
3612      (b)  Each swimming pool, as to its general location,
3613 approximate size and depths, approximate deck size and capacity,
3614 and whether heated.
3615      (c)  Additional facilities, as to the number of each
3616 facility, its approximate location, approximate size, and
3617 approximate capacity.
3618      (d)  A general description of the items of personal
3619 property and the approximate number of each item of personal
3620 property that the developer is committing to furnish for each
3621 room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation
3622 as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to
3623 purchase the personal property for the facility.
3624      (e)  The estimated date when each room or other facility
3625 will be available for use by the unit owners.
3626      (f)1.  An identification of each room or other facility to
3627 be used by unit owners that will not be owned by the unit owners
3628 or the association;
3629      2.  A reference to the location in the disclosure materials
3630 of the lease or other agreements providing for the use of those
3631 facilities; and
3632      3.  A description of the terms of the lease or other
3633 agreements, including the length of the term; the rent payable,
3634 directly or indirectly, by each unit owner, and the total rent
3635 payable to the lessor, stated in monthly and annual amounts for
3636 the entire term of the lease; and a description of any option to
3637 purchase the property leased under any such lease, including the
3638 time the option may be exercised, the purchase price or how it
3639 is to be determined, the manner of payment, and whether the
3640 option may be exercised for a unit owner's share or only as to
3641 the entire leased property.
3642      (g)  A statement as to whether the developer may provide
3643 additional facilities not described above, their general
3644 locations and types, improvements or changes that may be made,
3645 the approximate dollar amount to be expended, and the maximum
3646 additional common expense or cost to the individual unit owners
3647 that may be charged during the first annual period of operation
3648 of the modified or added facilities.
3649
3650 Descriptions as to locations, areas, capacities, numbers,
3651 volumes, or sizes may be stated as approximations or minimums.
3652      (7)  A description of the recreational and other facilities
3653 that will be used in common with other cooperatives, community
3654 associations, or planned developments which require the payment
3655 of the maintenance and expenses of such facilities, either
3656 directly or indirectly, by the unit owners. The description
3657 shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
3658      (a)  Each building and facility committed to be built.
3659      (b)  Facilities not committed to be built except under
3660 certain conditions, and a statement of those conditions or
3661 contingencies.
3662      (c)  As to each facility committed to be built, or which
3663 will be committed to be built upon the happening of one of the
3664 conditions in paragraph (b), a statement of whether it will be
3665 owned by the unit owners having the use thereof or by an
3666 association or other entity which will be controlled by them, or
3667 others, and the location in the exhibits of the lease or other
3668 document providing for use of those facilities.
3669      (d)  The year in which each facility will be available for
3670 use by the unit owners or, in the alternative, the maximum
3671 number of unit owners in the project at the time each of all of
3672 the facilities is committed to be completed.
3673      (e)  A general description of the items of personal
3674 property, and the approximate number of each item of personal
3675 property, that the developer is committing to furnish for each
3676 room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation
3677 as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to
3678 purchase the personal property for the facility.
3679      (f)  If there are leases, a description thereof, including
3680 the length of the term, the rent payable, and a description of
3681 any option to purchase.
3682
3683 Descriptions shall include location, areas, capacities, numbers,
3684 volumes, or sizes and may be stated as approximations or
3685 minimums.
3686      (8)  Recreation lease or associated club membership:
3687      (a)  If any recreational facilities or other common areas
3688 offered by the developer and available to, or to be used by,
3689 unit owners are to be leased or have club membership associated,
3690 the following statement in conspicuous type shall be included:
3691 THERE IS A RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
3692 COOPERATIVE; or, THERE IS A CLUB MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
3693 COOPERATIVE. There shall be a reference to the location in the
3694 disclosure materials where the recreation lease or club
3695 membership is described in detail.
3696      (b)  If it is mandatory that unit owners pay a fee, rent,
3697 dues, or other charges under a recreational facilities lease or
3698 club membership for the use of facilities, there shall be in
3699 conspicuous type the applicable statement:
3700      1.  MEMBERSHIP IN THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CLUB IS
3701 MANDATORY FOR UNIT OWNERS; or
3702      2.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED, AS A CONDITION OF OWNERSHIP,
3703 TO BE LESSEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE; or
3704      3.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THEIR SHARE OF THE
3705 COSTS AND EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT, UPKEEP,
3706 REPLACEMENT, RENT, AND FEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
3707 LEASE (OR THE OTHER INSTRUMENTS PROVIDING THE FACILITIES); or
3708      4.  A similar statement of the nature of the organization
3709 or manner in which the use rights are created, and that unit
3710 owners are required to pay.
3711
3712 Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in
3713 the disclosure materials where the development is described in
3714 detail shall be stated.
3715      (c)  If the developer, or any other person other than the
3716 unit owners and other persons having use rights in the
3717 facilities, reserves, or is entitled to receive, any rent, fee,
3718 or other payment for the use of the facilities, then there shall
3719 be the following statement in conspicuous type: THE UNIT OWNERS
3720 OR THE ASSOCIATION(S) MUST PAY RENT OR LAND USE FEES FOR
3721 RECREATIONAL OR OTHER COMMON AREAS. Immediately following this
3722 statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the
3723 rent or land use fees are described in detail shall be stated.
3724      (d)  If, in any recreation format, whether leasehold, club,
3725 or other, any person other than the association has the right to
3726 a lien on the units to secure the payment of assessments, rent,
3727 or other exactions, there shall appear a statement in
3728 conspicuous type in substantially the following form:
3729      1.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO
3730 SECURE THE PAYMENT OF RENT AND OTHER EXACTIONS UNDER THE
3731 RECREATION LEASE. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE
3732 PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN; or
3733      2.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO
3734 SECURE THE PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS OR OTHER EXACTIONS COMING DUE
3735 FOR THE USE, MAINTENANCE, UPKEEP, OR REPAIR OF THE RECREATIONAL
3736 OR COMMONLY USED AREAS. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE
3737 PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.
3738
3739 Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in
3740 the disclosure materials where the lien or lien right is
3741 described in detail shall be stated.
3742      (9)  If the developer or any other person has the right to
3743 increase or add to the recreational facilities at any time after
3744 the establishment of the cooperative whose unit owners have use
3745 rights therein, without the consent of the unit owners or
3746 associations being required, there shall appear a statement in
3747 conspicuous type in substantially the following form:
3748 RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MAY BE EXPANDED OR ADDED WITHOUT CONSENT
3749 OF UNIT OWNERS OR THE ASSOCIATION(S). Immediately following this
3750 statement, the location in the disclosure materials where such
3751 reserved rights are described shall be stated.
3752      (10)  A statement of whether the developer's plan includes
3753 a program of leasing units rather than selling them, or leasing
3754 units and selling them subject to such leases. If so, there
3755 shall be a description of the plan, including the number and
3756 identification of the units and the provisions and term of the
3757 proposed leases, and a statement in boldfaced type that: THE
3758 UNITS MAY BE TRANSFERRED SUBJECT TO A LEASE.
3759      (11)  The arrangements for management of the association
3760 and maintenance and operation of the cooperative property and of
3761 other property that will serve the unit owners of the
3762 cooperative property, and a description of the management
3763 contract and all other contracts for these purposes having a
3764 term in excess of 1 year, including the following:
3765      (a)  The names of contracting parties.
3766      (b)  The term of the contract.
3767      (c)  The nature of the services included.
3768      (d)  The compensation, stated on a monthly and annual
3769 basis, and provisions for increases in the compensation.
3770      (e)  A reference to the volumes and pages of the
3771 cooperative documents and of the exhibits containing copies of
3772 such contracts.
3773
3774 Copies of all described contracts shall be attached as exhibits.
3775 If there is a contract for the management of the cooperative
3776 property, then a statement in conspicuous type in substantially
3777 the following form shall appear, identifying the proposed or
3778 existing contract manager: THERE IS (IS TO BE) A CONTRACT FOR
3779 THE MANAGEMENT OF THE COOPERATIVE PROPERTY WITH (NAME OF THE
3780 CONTRACT MANAGER). Immediately following this statement, the
3781 location in the disclosure materials of the contract for
3782 management of the cooperative property shall be stated.
3783      (12)  If the developer or any other person or persons other
3784 than the unit owners has the right to retain control of the
3785 board of administration of the association for a period of time
3786 which can exceed 1 year after the closing of the sale of a
3787 majority of the units in that cooperative to persons other than
3788 successors or alternate developers, then a statement in
3789 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
3790 included: THE DEVELOPER (OR OTHER PERSON) HAS THE RIGHT TO
3791 RETAIN CONTROL OF THE ASSOCIATION AFTER A MAJORITY OF THE UNITS
3792 HAVE BEEN SOLD. Immediately following this statement, the
3793 location in the disclosure materials where this right to control
3794 is described in detail shall be stated.
3795      (13)  If there are any restrictions upon the sale,
3796 transfer, conveyance, or leasing of a unit, then a statement in
3797 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
3798 included: THE SALE, LEASE, OR TRANSFER OF UNITS IS RESTRICTED OR
3799 CONTROLLED. Immediately following this statement, the location
3800 in the disclosure materials where the restriction, limitation,
3801 or control on the sale, lease, or transfer of units is described
3802 in detail shall be stated.
3803      (14)  If the cooperative is part of a phase project, the
3804 following shall be stated:
3805      (a)  A statement in conspicuous type in substantially the
3806 following form shall be included: THIS IS A PHASE COOPERATIVE.
3807 ADDITIONAL LAND AND UNITS MAY BE ADDED TO THIS COOPERATIVE.
3808 Immediately following this statement, the location in the
3809 disclosure materials where the phasing is described shall be
3810 stated.
3811      (b)  A summary of the provisions of the declaration
3812 providing for the phasing.
3813      (c)  A statement as to whether or not residential buildings
3814 and units which are added to the cooperative may be
3815 substantially different from the residential buildings and units
3816 originally in the cooperative, and, if the added residential
3817 buildings and units may be substantially different, there shall
3818 be a general description of the extent to which such added
3819 residential buildings and units may differ, and a statement in
3820 conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be
3821 included: BUILDINGS AND UNITS WHICH ARE ADDED TO THE COOPERATIVE
3822 MAY BE SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER BUILDINGS AND
3823 UNITS IN THE COOPERATIVE. Immediately following this statement,
3824 the location in the disclosure materials where the extent to
3825 which added residential buildings and units may substantially
3826 differ is described shall be stated.
3827      (d)  A statement of the maximum number of buildings
3828 containing units, the maximum and minimum number of units in
3829 each building, the maximum number of units, and the minimum and
3830 maximum square footage of the units that may be contained within
3831 each parcel of land which may be added to the cooperative.
3832      (15)  If the cooperative is created by conversion of
3833 existing improvements, the following information shall be
3834 stated:
3835      (a)  The information required by s. 719.616.
3836      (b)  A caveat that there are no express warranties unless
3837 they are stated in writing by the developer.
3838      (16)  A summary of the restrictions, if any, to be imposed
3839 on units concerning the use of any of the cooperative property,
3840 including statements as to whether there are restrictions upon
3841 children and pets, and reference to the volumes and pages of the
3842 cooperative documents where such restrictions are found, or if
3843 such restrictions are contained elsewhere, then a copy of the
3844 documents containing the restrictions shall be attached as an
3845 exhibit.
3846      (17)  If there is any land that is offered by the developer
3847 for use by the unit owners and that is neither owned by them nor
3848 leased to them, the association, or any entity controlled by
3849 unit owners and other persons having the use rights to such
3850 land, a statement shall be made as to how such land will serve
3851 the cooperative. If any part of such land will serve the
3852 cooperative, the statement shall describe the land and the
3853 nature and term of service, and the cooperative documents or
3854 other instrument creating such servitude shall be included as an
3855 exhibit.
3856      (18)  The manner in which utility and other services,
3857 including, but not limited to, sewage and waste disposal, water
3858 supply, and storm drainage, will be provided and the person or
3859 entity furnishing them.
3860      (19)  An explanation of the manner in which the
3861 apportionment of common expenses and ownership of the common
3862 areas have been determined.
3863      (20)  An estimated operating budget for the cooperative and
3864 the association, and a schedule of the unit owner's expenses
3865 shall be attached as an exhibit and shall contain the following
3866 information:
3867      (a)  The estimated monthly and annual expenses of the
3868 cooperative and the association that are collected from unit
3869 owners by assessments.
3870      (b)  The estimated monthly and annual expenses of each unit
3871 owner for a unit, other than assessments payable to the
3872 association, payable by the unit owner to persons or entities
3873 other than the association, and the total estimated monthly and
3874 annual expense. There may be excluded from this estimate
3875 expenses that are personal to unit owners, which are not
3876 uniformly incurred by all unit owners, or which are not provided
3877 for or contemplated by the cooperative documents, including, but
3878 not limited to, the costs of private telephone; maintenance of
3879 the interior of cooperative units, which is not the obligation
3880 of the association; maid or janitorial services privately
3881 contracted for by the unit owners; utility bills billed directly
3882 to each unit owner for utility services to his or her unit;
3883 insurance premiums other than those incurred for policies
3884 obtained by the cooperative; and similar personal expenses of
3885 the unit owner. A unit owner's estimated payments for
3886 assessments shall also be stated in the estimated amounts for
3887 the times when they will be due.
3888      (c)  The estimated items of expenses of the cooperative and
3889 the association, except as excluded under paragraph (b),
3890 including, but not limited to, the following items, which shall
3891 be stated either as an association expense collectible by
3892 assessments or as unit owners' expenses payable to persons other
3893 than the association:
3894      1.  Expenses for the association and cooperative:
3895      a.  Administration of the association.
3896      b.  Management fees.
3897      c.  Maintenance.
3898      d.  Rent for recreational and other commonly used areas.
3899      e.  Taxes upon association property.
3900      f.  Taxes upon leased areas.
3901      g.  Insurance.
3902      h.  Security provisions.
3903      i.  Other expenses.
3904      j.  Operating capital.
3905      k.  Reserves.
3906      l.  Fee payable to the division.
3907      2.  Expenses for a unit owner:
3908      a.  Rent for the unit, if subject to a lease.
3909      b.  Rent payable by the unit owner directly to the lessor
3910 or agent under any recreational lease or lease for the use of
3911 commonly used areas, which use and payment are a mandatory
3912 condition of ownership and are not included in the common
3913 expense or assessments for common maintenance paid by the unit
3914 owners to the association.
3915      (d)  The estimated amounts shall be stated for a period of
3916 at least 12 months and may distinguish between the period prior
3917 to the time unit owners other than the developer elect a
3918 majority of the board of administration and the period after
3919 that date.
3920      (21)  A schedule of estimated closing expenses to be paid
3921 by a buyer or lessee of a unit and a statement of whether title
3922 opinion or title insurance policy is available to the buyer and,
3923 if so, at whose expense.
3924      (22)  The identity of the developer and the chief operating
3925 officer or principal directing the creation and sale of the
3926 cooperative and a statement of its and his or her experience in
3927 this field.
3928      (23)  Copies of the following, to the extent they are
3929 applicable, shall be included as exhibits:
3930      (a)  The cooperative documents, or the proposed cooperative
3931 documents if the documents have not been recorded.
3932      (b)  The articles of incorporation creating the
3933 association.
3934      (c)  The bylaws of the association.
3935      (d)  The ground lease or other underlying lease of the
3936 cooperative.
3937      (e)  The management agreement and all maintenance and other
3938 contracts for management of the association and operation of the
3939 cooperative and facilities used by the unit owners having a
3940 service term in excess of 1 year.
3941      (f)  The estimated operating budget for the cooperative and
3942 the required schedule of unit owners' expenses.
3943      (g)  A copy of the floor plan of the unit and the plot plan
3944 showing the location of the residential buildings and the
3945 recreation and other common areas.
3946      (h)  The lease of recreational and other facilities that
3947 will be used only by unit owners of the subject cooperative.
3948      (i)  The lease of facilities used by owners and others.
3949      (j)  The form of unit lease, if the offer is of a
3950 leasehold.
3951      (k)  A declaration of servitude of properties serving the
3952 cooperative but not owned by unit owners or leased to them or
3953 the association.
3954      (l)  The statement of condition of the existing building or
3955 buildings, if the offering is of units in an operation being
3956 converted to cooperative ownership.
3957      (m)  The statement of inspection for termite damage and
3958 treatment of the existing improvements, if the cooperative is a
3959 conversion.
3960      (n)  The form of agreement for sale or lease of units.
3961      (o)  A copy of the agreement for escrow of payments made to
3962 the developer prior to closing.
3963      (p)  A copy of the documents containing any restrictions on
3964 use of the property required by subsection (16).
3965      (24)  Any prospectus or offering circular complying with
3966 the provisions of former ss. 711.69 and 711.802 may continue to
3967 be used without amendment, or may be amended to comply with the
3968 provisions of this chapter.
3969      (25)  A brief narrative description of the location and
3970 effect of all existing and intended easements located or to be
3971 located on the cooperative property other than those in the
3972 declaration.
3973      (26)  If the developer is required by state or local
3974 authorities to obtain acceptance or approval of any dock or
3975 marina facility intended to serve the cooperative, a copy of
3976 such acceptance or approval acquired by the time of filing with
3977 the division pursuant to s. 719.502 or a statement that such
3978 acceptance has not been acquired or received.
3979      (27)  Evidence demonstrating that the developer has an
3980 ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon
3981 which the cooperative is to be developed.
3982      Section 49.  Section 719.508, Florida Statutes, is amended
3983 to read:
3984      719.508  Regulation by Division of Hotels and
3985 Restaurants.--In addition to the authority, regulation, or
3986 control exercised by the Division of Florida Land Sales,
3987 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes
3988 pursuant to this act with respect to cooperatives, buildings
3989 included in a cooperative property shall be subject to the
3990 authority, regulation, or control of the Division of Hotels and
3991 Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional
3992 Regulation, to the extent provided for in chapters 399 and 509.
3993      Section 50.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
3994 719.608, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
3995      719.608  Notice of intended conversion; time of delivery;
3996 content.--
3997      (2)(a)  Each notice of intended conversion shall be dated
3998 and in writing. The notice shall contain the following
3999 statement, with the phrases of the following statement which
4000 appear in upper case printed in conspicuous type:
4001
4002      These apartments are being converted to cooperative by  
4003 (name of developer)  , the developer.
4004      1.  YOU MAY REMAIN AS A RESIDENT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF
4005 YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT. FURTHER, YOU MAY EXTEND YOUR RENTAL
4006 AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:
4007      a.  If you have continuously been a resident of these
4008 apartments during the last 180 days and your rental agreement
4009 expires during the next 270 days, you may extend your rental
4010 agreement for up to 270 days after the date of this notice.
4011      b.  If you have not been a continuous resident of these
4012 apartments for the last 180 days and your rental agreement
4013 expires during the next 180 days, you may extend your rental
4014 agreement for up to 180 days after the date of this notice.
4015      c.  IN ORDER FOR YOU TO EXTEND YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT, YOU
4016 MUST GIVE THE DEVELOPER WRITTEN NOTICE WITHIN 45 DAYS AFTER THE
4017 DATE OF THIS NOTICE.
4018      2.  IF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT EXPIRES IN THE NEXT 45 DAYS,
4019 you may extend your rental agreement for up to 45 days after the
4020 date of this notice while you decide whether to extend your
4021 rental agreement as explained above. To do so, you must notify
4022 the developer in writing. You will then have the full 45 days to
4023 decide whether to extend your rental agreement as explained
4024 above.
4025      3.  During the extension of your rental agreement you will
4026 be charged the same rent that you are now paying.
4027      4.  YOU MAY CANCEL YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT AND ANY EXTENSION
4028 OF THE RENTAL AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:
4029      a.  If your rental agreement began or was extended or
4030 renewed after May 1, 1980, and your rental agreement, including
4031 extensions and renewals, has an unexpired term of 180 days or
4032 less, you may cancel your rental agreement upon 30 days' written
4033 notice and move. Also, upon 30 days' written notice, you may
4034 cancel any extension of the rental agreement.
4035      b.  If your rental agreement was not begun or was not
4036 extended or renewed after May 1, 1980, you may not cancel the
4037 rental agreement without the consent of the developer. If your
4038 rental agreement, including extensions and renewals, has an
4039 unexpired term of 180 days or less, you may, however, upon 30
4040 days' written notice cancel any extension of the rental
4041 agreement.
4042      5.  All notices must be given in writing and sent by mail,
4043 return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the
4044 developer at this address:   (name and address of developer)  .
4045      6.  If you have continuously been a resident of these
4046 apartments during the last 180 days:
4047      a.  You have the right to purchase your apartment and will
4048 have 45 days to decide whether to purchase. If you do not buy
4049 the unit at that price and the unit is later offered at a lower
4050 price, you will have the opportunity to buy the unit at the
4051 lower price. However, in all events your right to purchase the
4052 unit ends when the rental agreement or any extension of the
4053 rental agreement ends or when you waive this right in writing.
4054      b.  Within 90 days you will be provided purchase
4055 information relating to your apartment, including the price of
4056 your unit and the condition of the building. If you do not
4057 receive this information within 90 days, your rental agreement
4058 and any extension will be extended 1 day for each day over 90
4059 days until you are given the purchase information. If you do not
4060 want this rental agreement extension, you must notify the
4061 developer in writing.
4062      7.  If you have any questions regarding this conversion or
4063 the Cooperative Act, you may contact the developer or the state
4064 agency which regulates cooperatives: The Division of Florida
4065 Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
4066 Homes,   (Tallahassee address and telephone number of division)
4067 .
4068      Section 51.  Subsections (2), (4), (7), (8), (9), and (10)
4069 of section 720.301, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
4070 subsection (14) is added to that section, to read:
4071      720.301  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the term:
4072      (2)  "Common area" means all real property within a
4073 community which is owned or leased by an association or
4074 dedicated for use or maintenance by the association or its
4075 members, including, regardless of whether title has been
4076 conveyed to the association:
4077      (a)  Real property the use of which is dedicated to the
4078 association or its members by a recorded plat; or
4079      (b)  Real property committed by a declaration of covenants
4080 to be leased or conveyed to the association.
4081      (4)  "Declaration of covenants," or "declaration," means a
4082 recorded written instrument in the nature of covenants running
4083 with the land, according to the recorded plat, which subjects
4084 the land comprising the community to the jurisdiction and
4085 control of an association or associations in which the owners of
4086 the parcels, or their association representatives, must be
4087 members. Upon the execution of the sale of the first lot, a
4088 declaration may not be amended without the vote of approval of
4089 two-thirds majority of the owners of residential parcels that
4090 have been purchased, with a tie vote resulting in a negative
4091 vote. Exceptions shall be amendments identifying additional
4092 phases of the community as they are constructed. These
4093 amendments may not contain any other changes to the existing
4094 declaration.
4095      (7)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales,
4096 Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes in the
4097 Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
4098      (8)  "Governing documents" means:
4099      (a)  Each set of The recorded declaration of covenants for
4100 a community, and all duly adopted and recorded amendments,
4101 supplements, and recorded exhibits thereto; and
4102      (b)  The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the
4103 homeowners' association, and any duly adopted amendments
4104 thereto.
4105
4106 When different sets of covenants exist for each recorded plat,
4107 those covenants shall only apply to the plat for which they are
4108 recorded and specified. The different sets of covenants may not
4109 be commingled.
4110      (9)  "Homeowners' association" or "association" means a
4111 Florida corporation, as authorized by chapter 720 or an
4112 authorized not-for-profit corporation pursuant to chapter 617,
4113 responsible for the administration operation of a community or a
4114 mobile home subdivision in compliance with applicable federal,
4115 state, and local laws and the governing documents of the
4116 association. In addition, a homeowners' association means a
4117 Florida corporation in which the voting membership is made up of
4118 parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in
4119 which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership,
4120 and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid,
4121 may become a lien on the parcel. Any homeowners' association or
4122 other named association that administers a residential community
4123 where membership is mandatory shall be required to comply with
4124 this chapter, except if exempted. The term "homeowners'
4125 association" does not include a community development district
4126 or other similar special taxing district created pursuant to
4127 statute.
4128      (10)  "Member" means a member of an association, and may
4129 include, but is not limited to, a parcel owner or an association
4130 representing parcel owners or a combination thereof, and
4131 includes any person or entity obligated by the governing
4132 documents to pay an assessment or amenity fee.
4133      (14)  "Homeowners' Association Advisory Council" means a
4134 group of persons appointed to recommend changes in laws that
4135 affect the administration of mandatory homeowners' associations.
4136      Section 52.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section 720.302,
4137 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
4138      720.302  Purposes, scope, and application.--
4139      (1)  The purposes of this chapter are to give statutory
4140 recognition to corporations not for profit that administer or
4141 operate residential communities in this state, to provide
4142 regulations procedures for operating homeowners' associations,
4143 and to protect the rights of association members without unduly
4144 impairing the ability of such associations to perform their
4145 functions as authorized by federal, state, and local laws and
4146 the governing documents of the association.
4147      (2)  Having provided certain powers and authority to
4148 homeowners' associations and deed restrictions created by
4149 developers of mandated properties in residential communities,
4150 the Legislature recognizes that it is necessary to provide
4151 regulatory oversight to ensure compliance with federal, state,
4152 and local laws. It is the intent of the Legislature to protect
4153 the rights of parcel owners by ensuring that the powers and
4154 authority granted to homeowners' associations and deed
4155 restrictions created by developers of mandated properties in
4156 residential communities conform to a system of checks and
4157 balances to prevent abuses of governmental authority. The
4158 Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall create
4159 a Division of Mandated Properties. No later than July 1, 2008,
4160 the division shall establish a process for collecting an annual
4161 fee which shall not exceed $4 for each association member in
4162 communities administered by the association during each of the
4163 following 2 years and, thereafter, shall not exceed the Cost of
4164 Living Index. Funds collected shall be deposited in the Division
4165 of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations,
4166 and Mobile Homes Trust Fund Trust Fund. Funds shall be utilized
4167 by the division for, but not limited to, the review and approval
4168 of deed restrictions before releasing for recording at the
4169 county level by the developer or owner of the initial lots to be
4170 developed; education; enforcement; investigation; and
4171 prosecution of policies and procedures related to mandated
4172 properties. Upon transition of authorities, duties,
4173 responsibilities, and rights from the developer to the parcel
4174 owners, all amendments, alterations, or modifications to the
4175 governing documents must be approved by at least two-thirds of
4176 the parcel owners or homeowners' association members. The
4177 governing documents may not contain provisions that reduce this
4178 percentage of majority approval for changes to the governing
4179 documents. The ombudsman may not engage the services of industry
4180 partisans with a vested interest in the administration of deed-
4181 restricted communities or in the mandatory homeowners'
4182 association to implement its powers, who have practiced in this
4183 field within the last 3 years. Furthermore not in the best
4184 interest of homeowners' associations or the individual
4185 association members thereof to create or impose a bureau or
4186 other agency of state government to regulate the affairs of
4187 homeowners' associations. However, in accordance with s.
4188 720.311, the Legislature finds that homeowners' associations and
4189 their individual members will benefit from an expedited
4190 alternative process for resolution of election and recall
4191 disputes and presuit mediation of other disputes involving
4192 covenant enforcement, disputes relating to the transition of
4193 control of the association from the developer or owner to
4194 members of the association, and authorizes the department to
4195 hear, administer, and determine these disputes as more fully set
4196 forth in this chapter. Further, the Legislature recognizes that
4197 certain contract rights have been created for the benefit of
4198 homeowners' associations and members thereof before the
4199 effective date of this act and that ss. 720.301-720.407 are not
4200 intended to impair such contract rights, as long as they are
4201 accepted by a two-thirds majority of the homeowners' association
4202 members, including, but not limited to, the rights of the
4203 developer to complete the community as initially contemplated.
4204      Section 53.  Section 720.303, Florida Statutes, is amended
4205 to read:
4206      720.303  Association powers and duties; meetings of board;
4207 official records; budgets; financial reporting; association
4208 funds; recalls.--
4209      (1)  POWERS AND DUTIES.--
4210      (a)  An association which operates a community as defined
4211 in s. 720.301, must be incorporated in this state, operated by
4212 an association that is a Florida corporation. After October 1,
4213 1995, the association must be incorporated and the initial
4214 governing documents must be recorded in the official records of
4215 the county in which the community is located. An association may
4216 operate more than one community.
4217      (b)  The officers and directors of an association have a
4218 fiduciary relationship of to the members who are served by the
4219 association.
4220      (c)  The powers and duties of an association include those
4221 set forth in this chapter and, except as expressly limited or
4222 restricted in this chapter, those specifically set forth in the
4223 governing documents. The officers and directors of the
4224 association may not take any action that is inconsistent with
4225 the declaration of covenants.
4226      (d)  After control of the association is obtained by
4227 members from other than the developer, the association may
4228 institute, maintain, or settle on , or appeal actions or
4229 hearings in its name on behalf of the all members concerning
4230 matters of common interest to the members, including, but not
4231 limited to, the common areas; roof or structural components of a
4232 building, or other improvements for which the association is
4233 responsible; mechanical, electrical, or plumbing elements
4234 serving an improvement or building for which the association is
4235 responsible; representations of the developer pertaining to any
4236 existing or proposed commonly used facility; and protesting ad
4237 valorem taxes on commonly used facilities. The association may
4238 defend actions in eminent domain or bring inverse condemnation
4239 actions. Before commencing any legal action litigation against
4240 any party in the name of the association involving amounts in
4241 controversy in excess of $50,000 $100,000, the association must
4242 obtain the affirmative approval of a majority of the members of
4243 the association voting interests at a meeting of the association
4244 membership at which a quorum is present has been attained.
4245      (e)  The association may enter into contracts for the
4246 benefit of the members of the association, including, but not
4247 limited to, contracts for maintaining, repairing, or improving
4248 the common areas of the association. This subsection does not
4249 limit any statutory or common-law right of any individual member
4250 or class of members to bring any action without participation by
4251 the association.
4252      (f)  A member does not have the authority to act for the
4253 association by virtue of being a member of the association. An
4254 association may have more than one class of members and may
4255 issue membership certificates.
4256      (g)  In any civil or criminal action between a member and
4257 the association, it shall not be a defense by the association
4258 that the association's actions, although incompatible with the
4259 declaration of covenants, have been uniformly applied.
4260      (h)  An association may not restrict a member's freedom of
4261 association and may not limit the number of guests a member may
4262 have within a 24-hour period.
4263      (i)  An association of 15 or fewer parcels parcel owners
4264 may enforce only the requirements of those deed restrictions
4265 established prior to the purchase of each parcel upon an
4266 affected parcel owner or owners.
4267      (j)  The officers and directors of an association may be
4268 personally liable for damages to a member if the actions of the
4269 officers and directors demonstrate a pattern of behavior
4270 intended to harass a member of the association.
4271      (k)  Any action of the association by and through the
4272 officers and directors that limits the legal use of any portion
4273 of a member's property that is incompatible with the declaration
4274 of covenants shall entitle the member to compensation for the
4275 fair market value of that portion of the member's property, the
4276 use of which is being restricted.
4277      (l)  In any association with more than 50 but fewer than 75
4278 parcels, for purposes of establishing setback limits, any parcel
4279 of 1 acre or less shall be deemed to have one front for purposes
4280 of determining the required front setback, if any. Only those
4281 setbacks specifically set forth in the declaration of covenants
4282 may be enforced by the association. Where the covenants are
4283 silent, the applicable county or municipal setbacks shall apply.
4284      (2)  BOARD MEETINGS.--
4285      (a)  A meeting of the board of directors of an association
4286 occurs whenever a quorum of the board gathers to conduct
4287 association business. All meetings of the board must be open to
4288 all members except for meetings between the board and its
4289 attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation where
4290 the contents of the discussion would otherwise be governed by
4291 the attorney-client privilege.
4292      (b)  Members have the right to attend all meetings of the
4293 board and to speak on any matter placed on the agenda by
4294 petition of the voting interests for at least 3 minutes. The
4295 association may adopt written reasonable rules expanding the
4296 right of members to speak and governing the frequency, duration,
4297 and other manner of member statements, which rules must be
4298 consistent with this paragraph and may include a sign-up sheet
4299 for members wishing to speak. Notwithstanding any other law, the
4300 requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open
4301 to the members is inapplicable to meetings between the board or
4302 a committee and the association's attorney, with respect to
4303 meetings of the board held for the purpose of discussing
4304 personnel matters.
4305      (c)  The bylaws shall provide for giving notice to parcel
4306 owners and members of all board meetings and, if they do not do
4307 so, shall be deemed to provide the following:
4308      1.  Notices of all board meetings and the agendas must be
4309 posted in a conspicuous place in the community at least 48 hours
4310 in advance of a meeting, except in an emergency. In the
4311 alternative, if notice is not posted in a conspicuous place in
4312 the community, notice of each board meeting and agenda must be
4313 mailed or delivered to each member at least 7 days before the
4314 meeting, except in an emergency. Notwithstanding this general
4315 notice requirement, for communities with more than 100 members,
4316 the bylaws may provide for a reasonable alternative to posting
4317 or mailing of notice for each board meeting, including
4318 publication of notice, provision of a schedule of board
4319 meetings, or the conspicuous posting and repeated broadcasting
4320 of the notice on a closed-circuit cable television system
4321 serving the homeowners' association. However, if broadcast
4322 notice is used in lieu of a notice posted physically in the
4323 community, the notice must be broadcast at least four times
4324 every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is
4325 otherwise required. When broadcast notice is provided, the
4326 notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a
4327 sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average
4328 reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire
4329 content of the notice and the agenda. The bylaws or amended
4330 bylaws may provide for giving notice by electronic transmission
4331 in a manner authorized by law for meetings of the board of
4332 directors, committee meetings requiring notice under this
4333 section, and annual and special meetings of the members;
4334 however, a member must consent in writing to receiving notice by
4335 electronic transmission.
4336      2.  An assessment may not be levied at a board meeting
4337 unless the notice of the meeting includes a statement that
4338 assessments will be considered and the nature of the
4339 assessments. Written notice of any meeting at which special
4340 assessments will be considered or at which amendments to rules
4341 regarding parcel use will be considered must be mailed,
4342 delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and
4343 parcel owners and posted conspicuously on the property or
4344 broadcast on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14
4345 days before the meeting.
4346      3.  Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at
4347 board meetings, except that secret ballots may be used in the
4348 election of officers. This subsection also applies to the
4349 meetings of any committee or other similar body, when a final
4350 decision will be made regarding the expenditure of association
4351 funds, and to any body vested with the power to approve or
4352 disapprove architectural decisions with respect to a specific
4353 parcel of residential property owned by a member of the
4354 community.
4355      (d)  If 10 20 percent of the total voting interests
4356 petition the board to address an item of business, the board
4357 shall at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting
4358 of the board, but not later than 60 days after the receipt of
4359 the petition, take the petitioned item up on an agenda. The
4360 board shall give all members notice of the meeting at which the
4361 petitioned item shall be addressed in accordance with the 14-day
4362 notice requirement pursuant to subparagraph (c)2. Each member
4363 shall have the right to speak for at least 3 minutes on each
4364 matter placed on the agenda by petition. The board shall address
4365 all items on the agenda , provided that the member signs the
4366 sign-up sheet, if one is provided, or submits a written request
4367 to speak prior to the meeting. Other than addressing the
4368 petitioned item at the meeting, the board is not obligated to
4369 take any other action requested by the petition.
4370      (e)  Detailed agendas for board meetings with specific
4371 items that will be addressed shall be published and made
4372 available to all members no less than 7 days prior to the date
4373 of the board meeting.
4374      (3)  MINUTES.--Minutes of all meetings of the members of an
4375 association and of the board of directors of an association must
4376 be maintained in written form or in another form that can be
4377 converted into written form within a reasonable time. A vote or
4378 abstention from voting on each matter voted upon by for each
4379 director present at a board meeting shall must be recorded in
4380 the minutes.
4381      (4)  OFFICIAL RECORDS.--The association shall maintain each
4382 of the following items, when applicable, which constitute the
4383 official records of the association:
4384      (a)  Copies of any plans, specifications, permits, and
4385 warranties related to improvements constructed on the common
4386 areas or other property as platted and recorded that the
4387 association is obligated to maintain, repair, or replace. If
4388 such documents do not exist, the association shall obtain the
4389 documents or forfeit the right to assess any fees to maintain
4390 the common areas of property.
4391      (b)  A copy of the bylaws of the association and of each
4392 amendment to the bylaws.
4393      (c)  A copy of the articles of incorporation of the
4394 association and of each amendment thereto.
4395      (d)  A copy of each set of the declaration of covenants and
4396 a copy of each amendment thereto.
4397      (e)  A copy of the current rules of the homeowners'
4398 association.
4399      (f)  The minutes of all meetings of the board of directors
4400 and of the members, which minutes must be retained for at least
4401 7 years.
4402      (g)  A current roster of all members and their mailing
4403 addresses and parcel identifications. The association shall also
4404 maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers
4405 designated by members for receiving notice sent by electronic
4406 transmission of those members consenting to receive notice by
4407 electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and
4408 numbers provided by unit owners to receive notice by electronic
4409 transmission shall be removed from association records when
4410 consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked.
4411 However, the association is not liable for an erroneous
4412 disclosure of the electronic mail address or the number for
4413 receiving electronic transmission of notices.
4414      (h)  All of the association's insurance policies or a copy
4415 thereof, which policies must be retained for at least 7 years.
4416      (i)  A current copy of all contracts to which the
4417 association is a party, including, without limitation, any
4418 management agreement, lease, or other contract under which the
4419 association has any obligation or responsibility. A contract or