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


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.
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
4420 written agreement may not be allowed to maintain property that
4421 is not owned by and deeded to the association. Bids received by
4422 the association for work to be performed must also be considered
4423 official records and must be kept for a period of 1 year.
4424      (j)  The financial and accounting records of the
4425 association, kept according to good accounting practices. All
4426 financial and accounting records shall must be maintained for a
4427 period of at least 7 years. The financial and accounting records
4428 must include:
4429      1.  Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all
4430 receipts and expenditures.
4431      2.  A current account and a periodic statement of the
4432 account for each member, designating the name and current
4433 address of each member who is obligated to pay assessments, the
4434 due date and amount of each assessment or other charge against
4435 the member, the date and amount of each payment on the account,
4436 and the balance due.
4437      3.  All tax returns, financial statements, and financial
4438 reports of the association.
4439      4.  Any other records that identify, measure, record, or
4440 communicate financial information.
4441      (k)  A copy of the disclosure summary described in s.
4442 720.401(1).
4443      (l)  All other written records of the association not
4444 specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
4445 operation of the association.
4446      (m)  All interpretations of any governing documents, as
4447 provided by any legal source or attorney as long as they are not
4448 part of a pending lawsuit.
4449      (n)  All architectural requests and approvals or denials,
4450 which shall be maintained as long as the association exists or
4451 is active.
4452      (5)  INSPECTION AND COPYING OF RECORDS.--The official
4453 records shall be maintained within the county in which the
4454 governing documents are recorded state and must be open to
4455 inspection and available for photocopying by machine, video,
4456 digital cameras, or any other methods available to members or
4457 their authorized agents at reasonable times and places within 10
4458 business days after receipt of a written request for access.
4459 This subsection may be complied with by having a copy of the
4460 official records available for inspection or copying in the
4461 community. If the association has a photocopy machine available
4462 where the records are maintained, it must provide parcel owners
4463 with copies on request during the inspection if the entire
4464 request is limited to no more than 25 pages.
4465      (a)  The failure of an association to provide access to the
4466 records within 10 business days after receipt of a written
4467 request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association
4468 willfully failed to comply with this subsection.
4469      (b)  A member who is denied access to official records is
4470 entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the
4471 association's willful failure to comply with this subsection.
4472 The minimum damages are to be $100 $50 per calendar day up to 10
4473 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th business day after
4474 receipt of the written request.
4475      (c)  The association may adopt reasonable written rules
4476 governing the frequency, time, location, notice, records to be
4477 inspected, and manner of inspections, but may not impose a
4478 requirement that a parcel owner demonstrate any proper purpose
4479 for the inspection, state any reason for the inspection, or
4480 limit a parcel owner's right to inspect records to less than one
4481 8-hour business day per month. The association may only impose
4482 fees to cover the actual costs of providing copies of the
4483 official records, including, without limitation, the costs of
4484 copying. The association may charge up to 5 50 cents per page
4485 for copies made on the association's photocopier. If the
4486 association does not have a photocopy machine available where
4487 the records are kept, or if the records requested to be copied
4488 exceed 25 pages in length, the association may have copies made
4489 by an outside vendor and may charge the actual cost of copying
4490 only. The association may impose a one-time fee not to exceed 1
4491 cent per page and limited to a total of $5 if the parcel owner
4492 provides the necessary equipment and materials for copying and
4493 the labor to make the requested copies. The association shall
4494 maintain an adequate number of copies of the recorded governing
4495 documents, to ensure their availability to members and
4496 prospective members. Notwithstanding the provisions of this
4497 paragraph, the following records shall not be accessible to
4498 members or parcel owners:
4499      1.  Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
4500 described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work-
4501 product privilege, including, but not limited to, any record
4502 prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the
4503 attorney's express direction which reflects a mental impression,
4504 conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney
4505 or the association and was prepared exclusively for civil or
4506 criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative
4507 proceedings or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent
4508 civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial
4509 administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the
4510 litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.
4511      2.  Information obtained by an association in connection
4512 with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
4513 parcel.
4514      3.  Disciplinary, health, insurance, and personnel records
4515 of the association's employees.
4516      4.  Medical records of parcel owners or community
4517 residents.
4518      (6)  BUDGETS.--
4519      (a)  The association shall prepare an annual budget that
4520 sets out the annual operating expenses. The budget must reflect
4521 the estimated revenues and expenses for that year and the
4522 estimated surplus or deficit as of the end of the current year.
4523 The budget must set out separately all fees or charges paid for
4524 by the association for recreational amenities, whether owned by
4525 the association, the developer, or another person. The
4526 association shall provide each member with a copy of the annual
4527 budget or a written notice that a copy of the budget is
4528 available upon request at no charge to the member. The copy must
4529 be provided to the member within the time limits set forth in
4530 subsection (5).
4531      (b)  In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget
4532 may include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and
4533 deferred maintenance for which the association is responsible to
4534 the extent that the governing documents do not limit increases
4535 in assessments, including reserves. If the budget of the
4536 association includes reserve accounts, such reserves shall be
4537 determined, maintained, and waived in the manner provided in
4538 this subsection. Once an association provides for reserve
4539 accounts in the budget, the association shall thereafter
4540 determine, maintain, and waive reserves in compliance with the
4541 provisions of this subsection.
4542      (c)  If the budget of the association does not provide for
4543 reserve accounts governed by this subsection and the association
4544 is responsible for the repair and maintenance of capital
4545 improvements that may result in a special assessment if reserves
4546 are not provided, each financial report for the preceding fiscal
4547 year required by subsection (7) shall contain the following
4548 statement in conspicuous type: THE BUDGET OF THE ASSOCIATION
4555      (d)  An association shall be deemed to have provided for
4556 reserve accounts when reserve accounts have been initially
4557 established by the developer or when the membership of the
4558 association affirmatively elects to provide for reserves. If
4559 reserve accounts are not initially provided for by the
4560 developer, the membership of the association may elect to do so
4561 upon the affirmative approval of not less than a majority of the
4562 total voting interests of the association. Such approval may be
4563 attained by vote of the members at a duly called meeting of the
4564 membership or upon a written consent executed by not less than a
4565 majority of the total voting interests in the community. The
4566 approval action of the membership shall state that reserve
4567 accounts shall be provided for in the budget and designate the
4568 components for which the reserve accounts are to be established.
4569 Upon approval by the membership, the board of directors shall
4570 provide for the required reserve accounts for inclusion in the
4571 budget in the next fiscal year following the approval and in
4572 each year thereafter. Once established as provided in this
4573 subsection, the reserve accounts shall be funded or maintained
4574 or shall have their funding waived in the manner provided in
4575 paragraph (f).
4576      (e)  The amount to be reserved in any account established
4577 shall be computed by means of a formula that is based upon
4578 estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost
4579 or deferred maintenance expense of each reserve item. The
4580 association may adjust replacement reserve assessments annually
4581 to take into account any changes in estimates of cost or useful
4582 life of a reserve item.
4583      (f)  Once a reserve account or reserve accounts are
4584 established, the membership of the association, upon a majority
4585 vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present, may provide for
4586 no reserves or less reserves than required by this section. If a
4587 meeting of the unit owners is called to determine whether to
4588 waive or reduce the funding of reserves and no such result is
4589 achieved or a quorum is not present, the reserves as included in
4590 the budget shall go into effect. After the turnover, the
4591 developer may vote its voting interest to waive or reduce the
4592 funding of reserves. Any vote taken pursuant to this subsection
4593 to waive or reduce reserves shall be applicable only to one
4594 budget year.
4595      (g)  Funding formulas for reserves authorized by this
4596 section shall be based on either a separate analysis of each of
4597 the required assets or a pooled analysis of two or more of the
4598 required assets.
4599      1.  If the association maintains separate reserve accounts
4600 for each of the required assets, the amount of the contribution
4601 to each reserve account shall be the sum of the following two
4602 calculations:
4603      a.  The total amount necessary, if any, to bring a negative
4604 component balance to zero.
4605      b.  The total estimated deferred maintenance expense or
4606 estimated replacement cost of the reserve component less the
4607 estimated balance of the reserve component as of the beginning
4608 of the period for which the budget will be in effect. The
4609 remainder, if greater than zero, shall be divided by the
4610 estimated remaining useful life of the component.
4612 The formula may be adjusted each year for changes in estimates
4613 and deferred maintenance performed during the year and may
4614 include factors such as inflation and earnings on invested
4615 funds.
4616      2.  If the association maintains a pooled account of two or
4617 more of the required reserve assets, the amount of the
4618 contribution to the pooled reserve account as disclosed on the
4619 proposed budget shall not be less than that required to ensure
4620 that the balance at the beginning of the period for which the
4621 budget will go into effect plus the projected annual cash
4622 inflows over the remaining estimated useful life of all of the
4623 assets that make up the reserve pool are equal to or greater
4624 than the projected annual cash outflows over the remaining
4625 estimated useful lives of all of the assets that make up the
4626 reserve pool, based on the current reserve analysis. The
4627 projected annual cash inflows may include estimated earnings
4628 from investment of principal. The reserve funding formula shall
4629 not include any type of balloon payments.
4630      (h)  Reserve funds and any interest accruing thereon shall
4631 remain in the reserve account or accounts and shall be used only
4632 for authorized reserve expenditures unless their use for other
4633 purposes is approved in advance by a majority vote at a meeting
4634 at which a quorum is present. Prior to turnover of control of an
4635 association by a developer to parcel owners, the developer-
4636 controlled association shall not vote to use reserves for
4637 purposes other than those for which they were intended without
4638 the approval of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests
4639 voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of
4640 the association.
4641      (7)  FINANCIAL REPORTING.--Within 90 days after the end of
4642 the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
4643 the association shall prepare and complete, or contract with a
4644 third party for the preparation and completion of, a financial
4645 report for the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the
4646 final financial report is completed by the association or
4647 received from the third party, but not later than 120 days after
4648 the end of the fiscal year or other date as provided in the
4649 bylaws, the association shall prepare an annual financial report
4650 within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year. The
4651 association shall, within the time limits set forth in
4652 subsection (5), provide each member with a copy of the annual
4653 financial report or a written notice that a copy of the
4654 financial report is available upon request at no charge to the
4655 member. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
4656      (a)  An association that meets the criteria of this
4657 paragraph shall prepare or cause to be prepared a complete set
4658 of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted
4659 accounting principles as adopted by the Board of Accountancy.
4660 The financial statements shall be based upon the association's
4661 total annual revenues, as follows:
4662      1.  An association with total annual revenues of $100,000
4663 or more, but less than $200,000, shall prepare compiled
4664 financial statements.
4665      2.  An association with total annual revenues of at least
4666 $200,000, but less than $400,000, shall prepare reviewed
4667 financial statements.
4668      3.  An association with total annual revenues of $400,000
4669 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.
4670      (b)1.  An association with total annual revenues of less
4671 than $100,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
4672 expenditures.
4673      2.  An association in a community of fewer than 50 parcels,
4674 regardless of the association's annual revenues, may prepare a
4675 report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
4676 statements required by paragraph (a) unless the governing
4677 documents provide otherwise.
4678      3.  A report of cash receipts and disbursement must
4679 disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
4680 classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
4681 expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
4682 following, as applicable: costs for security, professional, and
4683 management fees and expenses; taxes; costs for recreation
4684 facilities; expenses for refuse collection and utility services;
4685 expenses for lawn care; costs for building maintenance and
4686 repair; insurance costs; administration and salary expenses; and
4687 reserves if maintained by the association.
4688      (c)  If 20 percent of the parcel owners petition the board
4689 for a level of financial reporting higher than that required by
4690 this section, the association shall duly notice and hold a
4691 meeting of members within 30 days of receipt of the petition for
4692 the purpose of voting on raising the level of reporting for that
4693 fiscal year. Upon approval of a majority of the total voting
4694 interests of the parcel owners, the association shall prepare or
4695 cause to be prepared, shall amend the budget or adopt a special
4696 assessment to pay for the financial report regardless of any
4697 provision to the contrary in the governing documents, and shall
4698 provide within 90 days of the meeting or the end of the fiscal
4699 year, whichever occurs later:
4700      1.  Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
4701 the association is otherwise required to prepare a report of
4702 cash receipts and expenditures;
4703      2.  Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
4704 association is otherwise required to prepare compiled financial
4705 statements; or
4706      3.  Audited financial statements if the association is
4707 otherwise required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
4708      (d)  If approved by a majority of the voting interests
4709 present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
4710 association may prepare or cause to be prepared:
4711      1.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
4712 compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
4713      2.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a
4714 compiled financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited
4715 financial statement; or
4716      3.  A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
4717 financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
4718 of an audited financial statement.
4720      (a)  All association funds held by a developer shall be
4721 maintained separately in the association's name. Reserve and
4722 operating funds of the association shall not be commingled prior
4723 to turnover except the association may jointly invest reserve
4724 funds; however, such jointly invested funds must be accounted
4725 for separately.
4726      (b)  No developer in control of a homeowners' association
4727 shall commingle any association funds with his or her funds or
4728 with the funds of any other homeowners' association, or
4729 community association, or corporation for profit created by the
4730 developer.
4731      (c)  Association funds may not be used by a developer to
4732 defend a civil or criminal action, administrative proceeding, or
4733 arbitration proceeding that has been filed against the developer
4734 or directors appointed to the association board by the
4735 developer, even when the subject of the action or proceeding
4736 concerns the operation of the developer-controlled association.
4737      (9)  APPLICABILITY.--Sections 617.1601-617.1604 do not
4738 apply to a homeowners' association in which the members have the
4739 inspection and copying rights set forth in this section.
4740      (10)  RECALL OF DIRECTORS.--
4741      (a)1.  Regardless of any provision to the contrary
4742 contained in the governing documents, subject to the provisions
4743 of s. 720.307 regarding transition of association control, any
4744 member of the board of directors shall may be recalled and
4745 removed from office with or without cause by a majority of the
4746 total voting interests who must be the registered and recorded
4747 owners.
4748      2.  When the governing documents, including the
4749 declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws, provide that
4750 only a specific class of members is entitled to elect a board
4751 director or directors, only that class of members may vote to
4752 recall those board directors so elected.
4753      (b)1.  Board directors may be recalled by an agreement in
4754 writing or by written ballot without a membership meeting. The
4755 agreement in writing or the written ballots, or a copy thereof,
4756 shall be served on the association by certified mail or by
4757 personal service in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the
4758 Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
4759      2.  The board shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the
4760 board within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement
4761 in writing or written ballots. At the meeting, the board shall
4762 either certify the written ballots or written agreement to
4763 recall a director or directors of the board, in which case such
4764 director or directors shall be recalled effective immediately
4765 and shall turn over to the board within 5 full business days any
4766 and all records and property of the association in their
4767 possession, or proceed as described in paragraph (d).
4768      3.  When it is determined by the department pursuant to
4769 binding arbitration proceedings that an initial recall effort
4770 was defective, written recall agreements or written ballots used
4771 in the first recall effort and not found to be defective may be
4772 reused in one subsequent recall effort. However, in no event is
4773 a written agreement or written ballot valid for more than 120
4774 days after it has been signed by the member.
4775      4.  Any rescission or revocation of a member's written
4776 recall ballot or agreement must be in writing and, in order to
4777 be effective, must be delivered to the association before the
4778 association is served with the written recall agreements or
4779 ballots.
4780      5.  The agreement in writing or ballot shall list at least
4781 as many possible replacement directors as there are directors
4782 subject to the recall, when at least a majority of the board is
4783 sought to be recalled; the person executing the recall
4784 instrument may vote for as many replacement candidates as there
4785 are directors subject to the recall.
4786      (c)1.  If the declaration, articles of incorporation, or
4787 bylaws specifically provide, the Members may also recall and
4788 remove a board director or directors by a vote taken at a
4789 special meeting of the members. If so provided in the governing
4790 documents, A special meeting of the members to recall a director
4791 or directors of the board of administration may be called by 10
4792 percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as
4793 required for a meeting of members, and the notice shall state
4794 the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be
4795 used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in whole
4796 or in part for this purpose.
4797      2.  The board shall duly notice and hold a board meeting
4798 within 5 full business days after the adjournment of the member
4799 meeting to recall one or more directors. At the meeting, the
4800 board shall certify the recall, in which case such member or
4801 members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn
4802 over to the board within 5 full business days any and all
4803 records and property of the association in their possession, or
4804 shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph (d).
4805      (d)  If the board determines not to certify the written
4806 agreement or written ballots to recall a director or directors
4807 of the board or does not certify the recall by a vote at a
4808 meeting, the board shall, within 5 full business days after the
4809 meeting, file with the department a petition for binding
4810 arbitration pursuant to the applicable procedures in ss.
4811 718.112(2)(j) and 718.1255 and the rules adopted thereunder. For
4812 the purposes of this section, the members who voted at the
4813 meeting or who executed the agreement in writing shall
4814 constitute one party under the petition for arbitration. If the
4815 arbitrator certifies the recall as to any director or directors
4816 of the board, the recall will be effective upon mailing of the
4817 final order of arbitration to the association. The director or
4818 directors so recalled shall deliver to the board any and all
4819 records of the association in their possession within 5 full
4820 business days after the effective date of the recall.
4821      (e)  If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
4822 recall and less than a majority of the board directors are
4823 removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote of a
4824 majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
4825 provision to the contrary contained in this subsection or in the
4826 association documents. If vacancies occur on the board as a
4827 result of a recall and a majority or more of the board directors
4828 are removed, the vacancies shall be filled by members voting in
4829 favor of the recall; if removal is at a meeting, any vacancies
4830 shall be filled by the members at the meeting. If the recall
4831 occurred by agreement in writing or by written ballot, members
4832 may vote for replacement directors in the same instrument in
4833 accordance with procedural rules adopted by the division, which
4834 rules need not be consistent with this subsection.
4835      (f)  If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
4836 meeting within 5 full business days after service of an
4837 agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the
4838 adjournment of the member recall meeting, the recall shall be
4839 deemed effective and the board directors so recalled shall
4840 immediately turn over to the board all records and property of
4841 the association.
4842      (g)  If a director who is removed fails to relinquish his
4843 or her office or turn over records as required under this
4844 section, the circuit court in the county where the association
4845 maintains its principal office may, upon the petition of the
4846 association, summarily order the director to relinquish his or
4847 her office and turn over all association records upon
4848 application of the association.
4849      (h)  The minutes of the board meeting at which the board
4850 decides whether to certify the recall are an official
4851 association record. The minutes must record the date and time of
4852 the meeting, the decision of the board, and the vote count taken
4853 on each board member subject to the recall. In addition, when
4854 the board decides not to certify the recall, as to each vote
4855 rejected, the minutes must identify the parcel number and the
4856 specific reason for each such rejection.
4857      (i)  When the recall of more than one board director is
4858 sought, the written agreement, ballot, or vote at a meeting
4859 shall provide for a separate vote for each board director sought
4860 to be recalled.
4861      Section 54.  Subsections (2) and (6) of section 720.304,
4862 Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (7) is added to
4863 that section, to read:
4864      720.304  Right of owners to peaceably assemble; display of
4865 flag; SLAPP suits prohibited.--
4866      (2)  Any homeowner may display one stationary or portable,
4867 removable United States flag or official flag of the State of
4868 Florida in a respectful manner, and on Armed Forces Day,
4869 Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day may
4870 display in a respectful manner portable, removable official
4871 flags, not larger than 41/2 feet by 6 feet, which represent the
4872 United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast
4873 Guard, from a freestanding, portable, removable, or telescoping
4874 flagpole not to exceed 20 feet in the front, rear, or side yard
4875 regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with
4876 flags or decorations.
4877      (6)  Any parcel owner may display a sign of reasonable size
4878 provided by a contractor for security services within 10 feet of
4879 any entrance to the home. The sign shall not exceed 18 inches
4880 high by 18 inches wide, and the bottom of the sign shall be no
4881 higher than 24 inches from the ground elevation within the
4882 permitted area of installation. Other specifications may be
4883 approved by the association, but in no case shall the
4884 specifications be less than authorized by this section.
4885      (7)(a)  Rules and regulations pertaining to common elements
4886 shall be protected by the First Amendment to the United States
4887 Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution, and
4888 associations shall not in any way abridge or deny constitutional
4889 rights and freedoms of homeowners with respect to use of such
4890 common elements.
4891      (b)  All common elements, common areas, and recreational
4892 facilities serving any association shall be available to unit
4893 owners in the association served thereby and their invited
4894 guests for the use intended for such common elements, common
4895 areas, and recreational facilities. The entity or entities
4896 responsible for the operation of the common elements, common
4897 areas, and recreational facilities may adopt reasonable rules
4898 and regulations pertaining to the use of such common elements,
4899 common areas, and recreational facilities as to the manner and
4900 times they are used, but not the purpose for which they are
4901 used. No entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit
4902 owner's right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public
4903 officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in
4904 common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities.
4905      (c)  Any owner prevented from exercising rights guaranteed
4906 by this section may bring an action in the appropriate court of
4907 the county in which the alleged infringement occurred, and, upon
4908 favorable adjudication, the court shall enjoin the enforcement
4909 of any provision contained in any association.
4910      Section 55.  Section 720.305, Florida Statutes, is amended
4911 to read:
4912      720.305  Obligations of members; remedies at law or in
4913 equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights; failure to
4914 fill sufficient number of vacancies on board of directors to
4915 constitute a quorum; appointment of receiver upon petition of
4916 any member.--
4917      (1)  Each member and the member's tenants, guests, and
4918 invitees, and each association, are governed by, and must comply
4919 with, this chapter, the governing documents of the community,
4920 and the rules of the association. Actions at law or in equity,
4921 or both, to redress alleged failure or refusal to comply with
4922 these provisions may be brought by the association or by any
4923 member against:
4924      (a)  The association;
4925      (b)  A member;
4926      (c)  Any director or officer of an association who
4927 willfully and knowingly or otherwise fails to comply with these
4928 provisions; and
4929      (d)  Any tenants, guests, or invitees occupying a parcel or
4930 using the common areas.
4932 The prevailing party in any such litigation is entitled to
4933 recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs. This section does
4934 not deprive any person of any other available right or remedy.
4935      (2)  If the governing documents so provide, An association
4936 may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the rights of a
4937 member or a member's tenants, guests, or invitees, or both, to
4938 use common areas and facilities if so and may levy reasonable
4939 fines, not to exceed $100 per violation, against any member or
4940 any tenant, guest, or invitee. A fine may be levied on the basis
4941 of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and
4942 opportunity for hearing, except that no such fine shall exceed
4943 $1,000 in the aggregate unless otherwise provided in the
4944 governing documents. A fine shall not become a lien against a
4945 parcel. In any action to recover a fine, the prevailing party is
4946 entitled to collect its reasonable attorney's fees and costs
4947 from the nonprevailing party as determined by the court.
4948      (a)  A fine or suspension may not be imposed without notice
4949 of at least 14 days to the person sought to be fined or
4950 suspended and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of
4951 at least three members appointed by the board who are not
4952 officers, directors, or employees of the association, or the
4953 spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer,
4954 director, or employee. If the committee, by majority vote, does
4955 not approve a proposed fine or suspension, it may not be
4956 imposed.
4957      (b)  The requirements of this subsection do not apply to
4958 the imposition of suspensions or fines upon any member because
4959 of the failure of the member to pay assessments or other charges
4960 when due if such action is authorized by the governing
4961 documents.
4962      (c)  Suspension of common-area-use rights shall not impair
4963 the right of an owner or tenant of a parcel to have vehicular
4964 and pedestrian ingress to and egress from the parcel, including,
4965 but not limited to, the right to park.
4966      (3)  If the governing documents so provide, an association
4967 may suspend the voting rights of a member for the nonpayment of
4968 regular annual assessments that are delinquent in excess of 90
4969 days.
4970      (4)  If an association fails to fill vacancies on the board
4971 of directors sufficient to constitute a quorum in accordance
4972 with the bylaws, any member may apply to the circuit court that
4973 has jurisdiction over the community served by the association
4974 for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the
4975 association. At least 30 days before applying to the circuit
4976 court, the member shall mail to the association, by certified or
4977 registered mail, and post, in a conspicuous place on the
4978 property of the community served by the association, a notice
4979 describing the intended action, giving the association 30 days
4980 to fill the vacancies. If during such time the association fails
4981 to fill a sufficient number of vacancies so that a quorum can be
4982 assembled, the member may proceed with the petition. If a
4983 receiver is appointed, the homeowners' association shall be
4984 responsible for the salary of the receiver, court costs,
4985 attorney's fees, and all other expenses of the receivership. The
4986 receiver has all the powers and duties of a duly constituted
4987 board of directors and shall serve until the association fills a
4988 sufficient number of vacancies on the board so that a quorum can
4989 be assembled.
4990      Section 56.  Section 720.3055, Florida Statutes, is amended
4991 to read:
4992      720.3055  Contracts for products and services; in writing;
4993 bids; exceptions.--
4994      (1)  All contracts as further described in this section or
4995 any contract that is not to be fully performed within 1 year
4996 after the making thereof for the purchase, lease, or renting of
4997 materials or equipment to be used by the association in
4998 accomplishing its purposes under this chapter or the governing
4999 documents, and all contracts for the provision of services,
5000 shall be in writing. If a contract for the purchase, lease, or
5001 renting of materials or equipment, or for the provision of
5002 services, requires payment by the association that exceeds 10
5003 percent of the total annual budget of the association, including
5004 reserves, the association must obtain competitive bids for the
5005 materials, equipment, or services. Nothing contained in this
5006 section shall be construed to require the association to accept
5007 the lowest bid.
5008      (2)(a)1.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, Contracts with
5009 employees of the association, and contracts for attorney,
5010 accountant, architect, community association manager,
5011 engineering, and landscape architect services are not subject to
5012 the provisions of this section.
5013      2.  A contract executed before October 1, 2004, and any
5014 renewal thereof, is not subject to the competitive bid
5015 requirements of this section. If a contract was awarded under
5016 the competitive bid procedures of this section, any renewal of
5017 that contract is not subject to such competitive bid
5018 requirements if the contract contains a provision that allows
5019 the board to cancel the contract on 30 days' notice. Materials,
5020 equipment, or services provided to an association under a local
5021 government franchise agreement by a franchise holder or a
5022 manager are not subject to the competitive bid requirements of
5023 this section. A contract with a manager, if made by a
5024 competitive bid, may be made for up to 3 years and must contain
5025 a 30-day termination clause. An association whose declaration or
5026 bylaws provide for competitive bidding for services may operate
5027 under the provisions of that declaration or bylaws in lieu of
5028 this section if those provisions are not less stringent than the
5029 requirements of this section.
5030      (b)  Nothing contained in this section is intended to limit
5031 the ability of an association to obtain needed products and
5032 services in an emergency.
5033      (c)  This section does not apply if the business entity
5034 with which the association desires to enter into a contract is
5035 the only source of supply within the county serving the
5036 association.
5037      (d)  Nothing contained in this section shall excuse a party
5038 contracting to provide maintenance or management services from
5039 compliance with s. 720.309.
5040      Section 57.  Section 720.306, Florida Statutes, is amended
5041 to read:
5042      720.306  Meetings of members; voting and election
5043 procedures; amendments.--
5044      (1)  QUORUM; AMENDMENTS.--
5045      (a)  Unless otherwise required by law, and other than those
5046 matters set forth in paragraph (b), any governing document of an
5047 association shall only be amended by the affirmative vote of
5048 two-thirds of the voting interests of the association subject to
5049 the following:
5050      1.  All amendments offered for official recording must be
5051 submitted as contained within the covenants and restrictions in
5052 their entirety.
5053      2.  Within 12 months of enactment of this subsection all
5054 duly registered covenants and restrictions must be complete and
5055 set forth in plain, easily understandable English. Unless a
5056 lower number is provided in the bylaws, the percentage of voting
5057 interests required to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the
5058 members shall be 30 percent of the total voting interests.
5059 Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the articles of
5060 incorporation or bylaws, decisions that require a vote of the
5061 members must be made by the concurrence of at least a majority
5062 of the voting interests present, in person or by proxy, at a
5063 meeting at which a quorum has been attained.
5064      (b)  Unless otherwise provided in the governing documents
5065 or required by law, and other than those matters set forth in
5066 paragraph (c), any governing document of an association may be
5067 amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting
5068 interests of the association.
5069      (b)(c)  Unless otherwise provided in the governing
5070 documents as originally recorded or permitted by this chapter or
5071 chapter 617, An amendment may not materially and adversely alter
5072 the proportionate voting interest appurtenant to a parcel or
5073 increase the proportion or percentage by which a parcel shares
5074 in the common expenses of the association unless the record
5075 parcel owner and all record owners of liens on the parcels join
5076 in the execution of the amendment. For purposes of this section,
5077 a change in quorum requirements is not an alteration of voting
5078 interests.
5079      (c)  An amendment restricting owners' rights relating to
5080 the rental of homes applies only to parcel owners who consent to
5081 the amendment and to parcel owners who purchase their parcels
5082 after the effective date of that amendment.
5083      (2)  ANNUAL MEETING.--The association shall hold a meeting
5084 of its members annually for the transaction of any and all
5085 proper business at a time, date, and place stated in, or fixed
5086 in accordance with, the bylaws. The election of directors, if
5087 one is required to be held, must be held at, or in conjunction
5088 with, the annual meeting or as provided in the governing
5089 documents.
5090      (3)  SPECIAL MEETINGS.--Special meetings must be held when
5091 called by the board of directors or, unless a different
5092 percentage is stated in the governing documents, by at least 10
5093 percent of the total voting interests of the association.
5094 Business conducted at a special meeting is limited to the
5095 purposes described in the notice and the agenda of the meeting.
5096      (4)  CONTENT OF NOTICE.--Unless law or the governing
5097 documents require otherwise, Notice of an annual meeting need
5098 not include a description of the purpose or purposes for which
5099 the meeting is called. Notice of a special meeting must include
5100 an agenda and a description of the purpose or purposes for which
5101 the meeting is called.
5102      (5)  NOTICE OF MEETINGS.--The bylaws shall provide for
5103 giving notice to members of all member meetings, and if they do
5104 not do so shall be deemed to provide the following: The
5105 association shall give all parcel owners and members actual
5106 notice of all membership meetings, which shall be mailed,
5107 delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members not less
5108 than 14 days prior to the meeting. Evidence of compliance with
5109 this 14-day notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the
5110 person providing the notice and filed upon execution among the
5111 official records of the association. In addition to mailing,
5112 delivering, or electronically transmitting the notice of any
5113 meeting, the association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a
5114 procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting
5115 the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television
5116 system serving the association. When broadcast notice is
5117 provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner
5118 and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an
5119 average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the
5120 entire content of the notice and the agenda.
5121      (6)  RIGHT TO SPEAK.--Members and parcel owners have the
5122 right to attend all membership meetings and to speak at any
5123 meeting with reference to any all items opened for discussion or
5124 included on the agenda. Notwithstanding any provision to the
5125 contrary in the governing documents or any rules adopted by the
5126 board or by the membership, A member and a parcel owner have the
5127 right to speak at least once for at least 3 minutes on each
5128 agenda any item, provided that the member or parcel owner
5129 submits a written request to speak prior to the meeting. The
5130 association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the
5131 frequency and, duration, and other manner of member and parcel
5132 owner statements, which rules must be consistent with this
5133 subsection.
5134      (7)  ADJOURNMENT.--Unless the bylaws require otherwise,
5135 Adjournment of an annual or special meeting to a different date,
5136 time, or place must be announced at that meeting before an
5137 adjournment is taken, or notice must be given of the new date,
5138 time, or place pursuant to s. 720.303(2). Any business that
5139 might have been transacted on the original date of the meeting
5140 may be transacted at the adjourned meeting. If a new record date
5141 for the adjourned meeting is or must be fixed under s. 617.0707,
5142 notice of the adjourned meeting must be given to persons who are
5143 entitled to vote and are members as of the new record date but
5144 were not members as of the previous record date.
5145      (8)  PROXY VOTING.--The members have the right, unless
5146 otherwise provided in this subsection or in the governing
5147 documents, to vote in person or by limited proxy. To be valid, a
5148 limited proxy must be dated, must state the date, time, and
5149 place of the meeting for which it was given, and must be signed
5150 by the authorized person who executed the proxy. A limited proxy
5151 is effective only for the specific meeting for which it was
5152 originally given, as the meeting may lawfully be adjourned and
5153 reconvened from time to time, and automatically expires 60 90
5154 days after the date of the meeting for which it was originally
5155 given. A proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the
5156 person who executes it. If the proxy form expressly so provides,
5157 any proxy holder may appoint, in writing, a substitute to act in
5158 his or her place.
5159      (9)  ELECTIONS.--
5160      (a)  Election procedures.--
5161      1.  The members of the board shall be elected by written
5162 ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall in no event be used in
5163 electing the board, either in general elections or elections to
5164 fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise,
5165 unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Not less than 60 days
5166 before a scheduled election, the association shall mail,
5167 deliver, or electronically transmit, whether by separate
5168 association mailing or included in another association mailing,
5169 delivery, or transmission, including regularly published
5170 newsletters, to each parcel owner entitled to a vote, a first
5171 notice of the date of the election. Any homeowner or other
5172 eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
5173 give written notice to the association not less than 40 days
5174 before a scheduled election. Together with the written notice
5175 and agenda as set forth in this section, the association shall
5176 mail, deliver, or electronically transmit a second notice of the
5177 election to all parcel owners entitled to vote therein, with a
5178 ballot that shall list all candidates. Upon request of a
5179 candidate, the association shall include an information sheet,
5180 no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be
5181 furnished by the candidate not less than 35 days before the
5182 election, to be included with the mailing, delivery, or
5183 transmission of the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery,
5184 or electronic transmission and copying to be borne by the
5185 association. The association is not liable for the contents of
5186 the information sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to
5187 reduce costs, the association may print or duplicate the
5188 information sheets on both sides of the paper. The division
5189 shall by rule establish voting procedures consistent with the
5190 provisions contained in this chapter, including rules
5191 establishing procedures for giving notice by electronic
5192 transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of ballots.
5193 Elections shall be decided by a plurality of those ballots cast.
5194 There shall be no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
5195 percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
5196 have a valid election of members of the board. No parcel owner
5197 shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any
5198 such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided
5199 any parcel owner who violates this provision may be fined by the
5200 association in accordance with s. 720.305(2). A parcel owner
5201 needing assistance in casting the ballot for the reasons stated
5202 in s. 101.051 may obtain assistance in casting the ballot. The
5203 regular election shall occur on the date of the annual meeting.
5204 Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph, an election
5205 is not required unless more candidates file notices of intent to
5206 run or more are nominated than board vacancies exist.
5207      2.  Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
5208 occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
5209 filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
5210 directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
5211 a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
5212 a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
5213 the election procedures must conform to the requirements of this
5214 section unless the association has opted out of the statutory
5215 election process, in which case the bylaws of the association
5216 control. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a board member
5217 appointed or elected under this section shall fill the vacancy
5218 for the unexpired term of the seat being filled. Filling
5219 vacancies created by recall is governed by s. 720.303(10) and
5220 rules adopted by the division.
5221      3.  Fifteen percent of the total voting interests in a
5222 homeowners' association, or six parcel owners, whichever is
5223 greater, may petition the division to appoint an election
5224 monitor to attend the annual meeting of the homeowners and
5225 conduct the election of directors. The division shall appoint a
5226 division employee, a person or persons specializing in
5227 homeowners' association election monitoring, or an attorney
5228 licensed to practice in this state as the election monitor. All
5229 costs associated with the election monitoring process shall be
5230 paid by the association. The division shall adopt a rule
5231 establishing procedures for the appointment of election monitors
5232 and the scope and extent of the monitor's role in the election
5233 process.
5234      (b)  Terms; eligibility of candidates.--
5235      1.  The terms of all members of the board shall expire at
5236 the annual meeting. Members may stand for reelection.
5237      2.  Coowners of a parcel may not serve as members of the
5238 board of administration at the same time.
5239      3.  After transition of control in a community, only
5240 members as defined in s. 720.301(1) shall be eligible as
5241 candidates for the board.
5242      4.  A person who has been convicted of any felony by any
5243 court of record in the United States and who has not had his or
5244 her right to vote restored pursuant to law in the jurisdiction
5245 of his or her residence is not eligible for board membership.
5246 The validity of an action by the board is not affected if it is
5247 later determined that a member of the board is ineligible for
5248 board membership due to having been convicted of a felony.
5249 Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance with the
5250 procedures set forth in the governing documents of the
5251 association. All members of the association shall be eligible to
5252 serve on the board of directors, and a member may nominate
5253 himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting
5254 where the election is to be held. Except as otherwise provided
5255 in the governing documents, boards of directors must be elected
5256 by a plurality of the votes cast by eligible voters. Any
5257 election dispute between a member and an association must be
5258 submitted to mandatory binding arbitration with the division.
5259 Such proceedings shall be conducted in the manner provided by s.
5260 718.1255 and the procedural rules adopted by the division.
5261      (10)  RECORDING.--Any parcel owner may electronically tape
5262 record any or videotape meetings of the board of directors and
5263 meetings of the members. The board of directors of the
5264 association may adopt reasonable rules governing the taping of
5265 meetings of the board and the membership. However, those rules
5266 may not restrict the parcel owners' rights to electronically
5267 record the meeting using, but not limited to, battery-operated
5268 or electrical equipment.
5269      Section 58.  Section 720.307, Florida Statutes, is amended
5270 to read:
5271      720.307  Transition of association control in a
5272 community.--With respect to homeowners' associations:
5273      (1)  Members other than the developer are entitled to elect
5274 at least a majority of the members of the board of directors of
5275 the homeowners' association when the earlier of the following
5276 events occurs:
5277      (a)  Three months after 75 90 percent of the parcels in all
5278 phases of the community that will ultimately be operated by the
5279 homeowners' association have been conveyed to members; or
5280      (b)  Such other percentage of the parcels has been conveyed
5281 to members, or such other date or event has occurred, as is set
5282 forth in the governing documents in order to comply with the
5283 requirements of any governmentally chartered entity with regard
5284 to the mortgage financing of parcels.
5286 For purposes of this section, the term "members other than the
5287 developer" shall not include builders, contractors, or others
5288 who purchase a parcel for the purpose of constructing
5289 improvements thereon for resale.
5290      (2)  The developer is entitled to elect at least one member
5291 of the board of directors of the homeowners' association as long
5292 as the developer holds for sale in the ordinary course of
5293 business at least 5 percent of the parcels in all phases of the
5294 community. After the developer relinquishes control of the
5295 homeowners' association, the developer may exercise the right to
5296 vote any developer-owned voting interests in the same manner as
5297 any other member, except for purposes of reacquiring control of
5298 the homeowners' association or selecting the majority of the
5299 members of the board of directors.
5300      (3)  Prior to turnover, the developer or owner of all
5301 common areas shall convey the title to all common areas to the
5302 association immediately upon incorporation of the association.
5303 If additional common areas are acquired prior to transition of
5304 control and subject to the governing documents, title to those
5305 common areas shall also be immediately transferred to the
5306 association.
5307      (4)  At the time the members are entitled to elect at least
5308 a majority of the board of directors of the homeowners'
5309 association, the developer shall, at the developer's expense,
5310 within no more than 30 90 days deliver the following documents
5311 to the board:
5312      (a)  All deeds to common property owned by the association
5313 or the developer.
5314      (b)  The original of the association's declarations of
5315 covenants and restrictions.
5316      (c)  A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of
5317 the association.
5318      (d)  A copy of the bylaws.
5319      (e)  The minute books, including all minutes.
5320      (f)  The books and records of the association.
5321      (g)  Policies, rules, and regulations, if any, which have
5322 been adopted.
5323      (h)  Resignations of directors who are required to resign
5324 because the developer is required to relinquish control of the
5325 association.
5326      (i)  The financial records of the association from the date
5327 of incorporation through the date of turnover.
5328      (j)  All association funds and control thereof.
5329      (k)  All tangible property of the association.
5330      (l)  A copy of all contracts which may be in force with the
5331 association as one of the parties.
5332      (m)  A list of the names and addresses and telephone
5333 numbers of all contractors, subcontractors, or others in the
5334 current employ of the association.
5335      (n)  Any and all insurance policies in effect.
5336      (o)  Any permits issued to the association by governmental
5337 entities.
5338      (p)  Any and all warranties in effect.
5339      (q)  A roster of current homeowners and their addresses and
5340 telephone numbers and section and lot numbers.
5341      (r)  Employment and service contracts in effect.
5342      (s)  All other contracts and agreements in effect to which
5343 the association is a party.
5344      (t)  The financial records, including financial statements
5345 of the association, and source documents from the incorporation
5346 of the association through the date of turnover. The records
5347 shall be audited by an independent certified public accountant
5348 for the period of the incorporation of the association or for
5349 the period covered by the last audit, if an audit has been
5350 performed for each fiscal year since incorporation. All
5351 financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with
5352 generally accepted accounting standards and shall be audited in
5353 accordance with generally accepted auditing standards as
5354 prescribed by the Board of Accountancy. The accountant
5355 performing the review shall examine to the extent necessary
5356 supporting documents and records, including the cash
5357 disbursements and related paid invoices to determine whether
5358 expenditures were for association purposes and the billings,
5359 cash receipts, and related records to determine whether the
5360 developer was charged and paid the proper amounts of
5361 assessments. This paragraph applies to associations with a date
5362 of incorporation after December 31, 2007.
5363      (5)(4)  This section applies to any mandatory homeowners'
5364 association existing under this chapter does not apply to a
5365 homeowners' association in existence on the effective date of
5366 this act, or to a homeowners' association, no matter when
5367 created, if such association is created in a community that is
5368 included in an effective development-of-regional-impact
5369 development order as of the effective date of this act, together
5370 with any approved modifications thereof.
5371      Section 59.  Section 720.3071, Florida Statutes, is created
5372 to read:
5373      720.3071  Board member training.--The division shall
5374 provide training programs for homeowners' association board
5375 members, at the associations' expense. Training shall be
5376 mandatory for newly elected board members and members currently
5377 serving on a board who have not previously voluntarily attended
5378 training.
5379      Section 60.  Subsection (1) of section 720.3075, Florida
5380 Statutes, is amended, and subsection (5) is added to that
5381 section, to read:
5382      720.3075  Prohibited clauses in association documents.--
5383      (1)  It is declared that the public policy of this state
5384 prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of certain types of
5385 clauses in homeowners' association documents, including
5386 declaration of covenants, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or
5387 any other document of the association which binds members of the
5388 association, which either have the effect of or provide that:
5389      (a)  A developer has the unilateral ability and right to
5390 make changes to the homeowners' association documents after the
5391 transition of homeowners' association control in a community
5392 from the developer to the nondeveloper members, as set forth in
5393 s. 720.307, has occurred.
5394      (b)  A homeowners' association is prohibited or restricted
5395 from filing a lawsuit against the developer, or the homeowners'
5396 association is otherwise effectively prohibited or restricted
5397 from bringing a lawsuit against the developer.
5398      (c)  After the transition of homeowners' association
5399 control in a community from the developer to the nondeveloper
5400 members, as set forth in s. 720.307, has occurred, a developer
5401 is entitled to cast votes in an amount that exceeds one vote per
5402 residential lot.
5403      (d)  The homeowners' association is restricted or prevented
5404 from functioning, as provided by federal, state, and local laws
5405 and specifically by this chapter.
5406      (e)  The homeowners' association is prevented from amending
5407 any document as allowed according to Florida statutes.
5409 Such clauses are declared null and void as against the public
5410 policy of this state.
5411      (5)(a)  An association may not restrict a homeowner from
5412 mounting or employing shutters or other hurricane protection.
5413      (b)  Except as provided in paragraph (c), an association
5414 may not restrict a homeowner from mounting or employing
5415 temporary or permanent shutters or other hurricane protection
5416 during any time that a hurricane warning has been declared,
5417 during any time when an evacuation order has been given, or for
5418 the following period after conclusion of such hurricane watch or
5419 evacuation order:
5420      1.  Seven days; or
5421      2.  Fourteen days if the hurricane watch concerns a
5422 category 4 storm or greater or if the evacuation order lasts
5423 more than 3 days.
5424      (c)  If a local government restricts homeowners' mounting
5425 or employing temporary or permanent shutters or other hurricane
5426 protection, the local government may also authorize associations
5427 to adopt and enforce equal or lesser restrictions.
5428      (d)  Except as provided in paragraph (c) or paragraph (e),
5429 an association may not restrict a homeowner from mounting or
5430 employing permanent shutters or other hurricane protection
5431      (e)  If the association otherwise properly adopts
5432 restrictions governing color or form of shutters or other
5433 permanent exterior window coverings, the association may adopt
5434 and enforce equal or lesser restrictions that apply to permanent
5435 exterior hurricane protections.
5436      (f)  An association may not restrict the time or duration
5437 for shutters or other hurricane protection to be open or closed
5438 during any period and may not restrict homeowners from mounting
5439 or employing temporary shutters or other hurricane protection,
5440 as provided in paragraph (b).
5441      Section 61.  Section 720.3086, Florida Statutes, is amended
5442 to read:
5443      720.3086  Financial report; audit; penalty; exclusivity of
5444 properties.--
5445      (1)  In a residential subdivision in which the owners of
5446 lots or parcels must pay mandatory maintenance or amenity fees
5447 to the subdivision developer or to the owners of the common
5448 areas, recreational facilities, and other properties serving the
5449 lots or parcels, the developer or owner of such areas,
5450 facilities, or properties shall make public, within 60 days
5451 following the end of each fiscal year, a complete financial
5452 report of the actual, total receipts of mandatory maintenance or
5453 amenity fees received by it, and an itemized listing of the
5454 expenditures made by it from such fees, for that year. Such
5455 report shall be made public by mailing it to each lot or parcel
5456 owner in the subdivision, by publishing it in a publication
5457 regularly distributed within the subdivision, or by posting it
5458 in prominent locations in the subdivision. Thereafter, the
5459 developer or the owner of the common areas, recreational
5460 facilities, and other properties serving the lots or parcels
5461 shall mail the annual financial report, upon written request
5462 from a lot or parcel owner.
5463      (2)  Pursuant to this section, if the developer or the
5464 owner fails to provide the lot or parcel owner with the
5465 requested annual financial report within 30 days of delivery of
5466 such request to the developer or owner, the circuit court
5467 located in the same county as the principal office of the
5468 corporation, or its registered office, if no office exists in
5469 this state, summarily may order the corporation to furnish such
5470 financial report, upon application of the lot or parcel owner.
5471 If the court orders the corporation to furnish the financial
5472 report, it shall also order the corporation to pay the lot or
5473 parcel owner's costs, including reasonable attorney's fees that
5474 have been incurred to obtain the order, and otherwise shall
5475 enforce the lot or parcel owner's rights under this section.
5476      (3)  Lot or parcel owners shall have exclusive and vested
5477 rights for the use of common areas, recreational facilities, and
5478 other properties serving the lots or parcels unless they have
5479 been dedicated for nonexclusive use by the lot or parcel owners.
5480 Portions of governing documents that allow guests of the
5481 developer or facility owner the right to use the facility are
5482 hereby declared void, as those portions of governing documents
5483 violate the rights to exclusive use of the facilities by the lot
5484 or parcel owners and their guests.
5485      (4)  This section does not apply to amounts paid to
5486 homeowner associations pursuant to chapter 617, chapter 718,
5487 chapter 719, chapter 721, or chapter 723, or to amounts paid to
5488 local governmental entities, including special districts.
5489      Section 62.  Section 720.401, Florida Statutes, is amended
5490 to read:
5491      720.401  Prospective purchasers subject to association
5492 membership requirement; disclosure required; covenants;
5493 assessments; contract cancellation.--
5494      (1)(a)  A prospective parcel owner in a community must be
5495 presented a disclosure summary before executing the contract for
5496 sale. The disclosure summary must be in a form substantially
5497 similar to the following form:
5500 FOR
5510 YES /box/ or NO /box/
5517 CURRENT AMOUNT IS $_____ PER _____.
5548 YES /box/ or NO /box/.
5553 Full The disclosure must be supplied by the developer, or by the
5554 parcel owner if the sale is by an owner that is not the
5555 developer or the agent for the owner. Any contract or agreement
5556 for sale shall refer to and incorporate the disclosure summary
5557 and shall include, in prominent language, a statement that the
5558 potential buyer should not execute the contract or agreement
5559 until they have received and read the disclosure summary,
5560 recorded restrictive covenants and governing documents of the
5561 association, required by this section.
5562      (b)  Each contract entered into for the sale of property
5563 with recorded restrictive covenants governed by mandatory
5564 homeowners' associations covenants subject to disclosure
5565 required by this section must contain in conspicuous type a
5566 clause that states:
5579      (c)  A certified copy of the publicly recorded governing
5580 documents must be provided to any prospective purchaser, any
5581 real estate agent, financial institution, title or closing
5582 company upon request.
5583      (d)  If the developer or the association willfully and
5584 knowingly fails to disclose material facts that negatively
5585 affect the value of the parcel purchased by an association
5586 member, the individual board members or developer shall be held
5587 liable under applicable federal and state civil and criminal
5588 statutes.     (e)(c)  If the disclosure summary is not provided to a
5589 prospective purchaser before the purchaser executes a contract
5590 for the sale of property governed by covenants that are subject
5591 to disclosure pursuant to this section, the purchaser may void
5592 the contract by delivering to the seller or the seller's agent
5593 or representative written notice canceling the contract within 3
5594 days after receipt of the disclosure summary or prior to
5595 closing, whichever occurs first. This right may not be waived by
5596 the purchaser but terminates at closing.
5597      (2)  This section does not apply to any association
5598 regulated under chapter 718, chapter 719, chapter 721, or
5599 chapter 723 or to a subdivider registered under chapter 498; and
5600 also does not apply if disclosure regarding the association is
5601 otherwise made in connection with the requirements of chapter
5602 718, chapter 719, chapter 721, or chapter 723.
5603      Section 63.  Section 720.501, Florida Statutes, is created
5604 to read:
5605      720.501  Powers and Duties of Division of Florida Land
5606 Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile
5607 Homes.--
5608      (1)  The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums,
5609 Homeowners' Associations, and Mobile Homes of the Department of
5610 Business and Professional Regulation, referred to as the
5611 "division" in this part, in addition to other powers and duties
5612 prescribed by chapter 498, has the power to enforce and ensure
5613 compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules
5614 promulgated pursuant hereto relating to the development,
5615 construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management
5616 of residential property. In performing its duties, the division
5617 has the following powers and duties:
5618      (a)  The division may make necessary public or private
5619 investigations within or outside this state to determine whether
5620 any person has violated this chapter or any rule or order
5621 hereunder, to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, or to aid
5622 in the adoption of rules or forms hereunder.
5623      (b)  The division may require or permit any person to file
5624 a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as the division
5625 determines, as to the facts and circumstances concerning a
5626 matter to be investigated.
5627      (c)  For the purpose of any investigation under this
5628 chapter, the division director, or any officer or employee
5629 designated by the division director may administer oaths or
5630 affirmations, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance,
5631 take evidence, and require the production of any matter which is
5632 relevant to the investigation, including the existence,
5633 description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any
5634 books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and
5635 location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts or any
5636 other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
5637 material evidence. Upon the failure by a person to obey a
5638 subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the investigating
5639 officer and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected
5640 thereby, the division may apply to the circuit court for an
5641 order compelling compliance.
5642      (d)  Notwithstanding any remedies available to lot owners
5643 and associations, if the division has reasonable cause to
5644 believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or
5645 rule promulgated pursuant hereto has occurred, the division may
5646 institute enforcement proceedings in its own name against any
5647 developer, association, officer, or member of the board of
5648 administration, or its assignees or agents, as follows:
5649      1.  The division may permit a person whose conduct or
5650 actions may be under investigation to waive formal proceedings
5651 and enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or
5652 letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may
5653 be entered against the person.
5654      2.  The division may issue an order requiring the
5655 developer, association, officer, or member of the board of
5656 administration, or its assignees or agents, to cease and desist
5657 from the unlawful practice and take such affirmative action as
5658 in the judgment of the division will carry out the purposes of
5659 this chapter. Such affirmative action may include, but is not
5660 limited to, an order requiring a developer to pay moneys
5661 determined to be owed to a homeowners' association.
5662      3.  The division may bring an action in circuit court on
5663 behalf of a class of lot owners, lessees, or purchasers for
5664 declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or restitution.
5665      4.  The division may impose a civil penalty against a
5666 developer or association, or its assignee or agent for any
5667 violation of this chapter or a rule promulgated pursuant hereto.
5668 The division may impose a civil penalty individually against any
5669 officer or board member who willfully and knowingly violates a
5670 provision of this chapter, a rule adopted pursuant hereto, or a
5671 final order of the division. The term "willfully and knowingly"
5672 means that the division informed the officer or board member
5673 that his or her action or intended action violates this chapter,
5674 a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the
5675 division and that the officer or board member refused to comply
5676 with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this
5677 chapter, or a final order of the division. The division, prior
5678 to initiating formal agency action under chapter 120, shall
5679 afford the officer or board member an opportunity to voluntarily
5680 comply with this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or
5681 a final order of the division. An officer or board member who
5682 complies within 10 days is not subject to a civil penalty. A
5683 penalty may be imposed on the basis of each day of continuing
5684 violation, but in no event shall the penalty for any offense
5685 exceed $5,000. By January 1, 2007, the division shall adopt, by
5686 rule, penalty guidelines applicable to possible violations or to
5687 categories of violations of this chapter or rules adopted by the
5688 division. The guidelines must specify a meaningful range of
5689 civil penalties for each such violation of the statute and rules
5690 and must be based upon the harm caused by the violation, the
5691 repetition of the violation, and upon such other factors deemed
5692 relevant by the division. For example, the division may consider
5693 whether the violations were committed by a developer-controlled
5694 or owner-controlled association, the size of the association,
5695 and other factors. The guidelines must designate the possible
5696 mitigating or aggravating circumstances that justify a departure
5697 from the range of penalties provided by the rules. It is the
5698 legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished from
5699 those which endanger the health, safety, or welfare of residents
5700 or other persons and that such guidelines provide reasonable and
5701 meaningful notice to the public of likely penalties that may be
5702 imposed for prescribed conduct. This subsection does not limit
5703 the ability of the division to informally dispose of
5704 administrative actions or complaints by stipulation, agreed
5705 settlement, or consent order. All amounts collected shall be
5706 deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the
5707 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
5708 Association, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund. If a developer fails
5709 to pay the civil penalty, the division shall thereupon issue an
5710 order directing that such developer cease and desist from
5711 further operation until such time as the civil penalty is paid,
5712 or may pursue enforcement of the penalty in a court of competent
5713 jurisdiction. If an association fails to pay the civil penalty,
5714 the division shall thereupon pursue enforcement in a court of
5715 competent jurisdiction, and the order imposing the civil penalty
5716 or the cease and desist order will not become effective until 20
5717 days after the date of such order. Any action commenced by the
5718 division shall be brought in the county in which the division
5719 has its executive offices or in the county where the violation
5720 occurred.
5721      (e)  The division may prepare and disseminate a prospectus
5722 and other information to assist prospective owners, purchasers,
5723 lessees, and developers of residential communities in assessing
5724 the rights, privileges, and duties pertaining thereto.
5725      (f)  The division may adopt rules pursuant to ss.120.536(1)
5726 and 120.54 to implement and enforce the provisions of this
5727 chapter.
5728      (g)  The division shall establish procedures for providing
5729 notice to an association when the division considers the
5730 issuance of a declaratory statement with respect to the
5731 declaration of restrictions or any related document governing in
5732 such residential community.
5733      (h)  The division shall furnish each association which pays
5734 the fees required by paragraph (2)(a) a copy of this act,
5735 subsequent changes to this act on an annual basis, an amended
5736 version of this act as it becomes available from the Secretary
5737 of State's office and the rules promulgated pursuant thereto on
5738 an annual basis.
5739      (i)  The division shall annually provide each association
5740 with a summary of declaratory statements and formal legal
5741 opinions relating to the operations of residential communities
5742 which were rendered by the division during the previous year.
5743      (j)  The division shall provide training programs for
5744 residential association board members and lot owners.
5745      (k)  The division shall maintain a toll-free telephone
5746 number accessible to lot owners.
5747      (l)  The division shall develop a program to certify both
5748 volunteer and paid mediators to provide mediation of disputes.
5749 The division shall provide, upon request, a list of such
5750 mediators to any association, lot owner, or other participant in
5751 arbitration proceedings under s. 720.311 requesting a copy of
5752 the list. The division shall include on the list of volunteer
5753 mediators only the names of persons who have received at least
5754 20 hours of training in mediation techniques or who have
5755 mediated at least 20 disputes. In order to become initially
5756 certified by the division, paid mediators must be certified by
5757 the Supreme Court to mediate court cases in either county or
5758 circuit courts. However, the division may adopt, by rule,
5759 additional factors for the certification of paid mediators,
5760 which factors must be related to experience, education, or
5761 background. Any person initially certified as a paid mediator by
5762 the division must, in order to continue to be certified, comply
5763 with the factors or requirements imposed by rules adopted by the
5764 division.
5765      (m)  When a complaint is made, the division shall conduct
5766 its inquiry with due regard to the interests of the affected
5767 parties. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint, the
5768 division shall acknowledge the complaint in writing and notify
5769 the complainant whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction
5770 of the division and whether the division needs additional
5771 information from the complainant. The division shall conduct its
5772 investigation and shall take action upon the complaint within 90
5773 days after receipt of the original complaint or of timely
5774 requested additional information.  However, failure to complete
5775 the investigation within 90 days does not prevent the division
5776 from continuing the investigation, accepting or considering
5777 evidence obtained or received after 90 days, or taking
5778 administrative action if reasonable cause exists to believe that
5779 a violation of this chapter or a rule of the division has
5780 occurred. If an investigation is not completed within the time
5781 limits established in this paragraph, the division shall, on a
5782 monthly basis, notify the complainant in writing of the status
5783 of the investigation When reporting its action to the
5784 complainant, the division shall inform the complainant of any
5785 right to a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
5786      (2)  Effective January 1, 2008, each homeowners'
5787 association that administers more than 10 residential homes
5788 shall pay to the division an annual fee in the amount of $4 for
5789 each residence in communities administered by the association.
5790 If the fee is not paid by March 1, then the association shall be
5791 assessed a penalty of 10 percent of the amount due, and the
5792 association will not have standing to maintain or defend any
5793 action in the courts of this state until the amount due, plus
5794 any penalty that is paid. All fees shall be deposited in the
5795 Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, Homeowners'
5796 Association, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund as provided by law.
5797      Section 64.  Section 720.505, Florida Statutes, is created
5798 to read:
5799      720.505  Advisory council; membership functions.--
5800      (1)  There is created the Advisory Council On Mandated
5801 Properties. The council shall consist of seven appointed
5802 members. Two members shall be appointed by the President of the
5803 Senate, two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the
5804 House of Representatives, and three members shall be appointed
5805 by the Governor. At least one member that is appointed by the
5806 Governor, by the Senate President and by the Speaker of the
5807 House shall be a homeowners' rights advocate and parcel owner.
5808 Members shall be appointed to 2-year terms; however, one of the
5809 persons initially appointed by the Governor, by the President of
5810 the Senate, and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
5811 shall be appointed to a 1-year term. A member of the division,
5812 appointed by the Secretary, shall serve as an ex-officio
5813 nonvoting member. The selection of council members shall be made
5814 in a manner that ensures a fair and balanced representation from
5815 the service-provider sector and consumer advocates with a
5816 substantial public record of endeavors on behalf of homeowners'
5817 rights and consumer interests. The council shall be located
5818 within the division for administrative purposes. Members of the
5819 council shall serve without compensation but are entitled to
5820 receive per diem and travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061
5821 while on official business. A vacancy on the Advisory Council
5822 shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
5823      (2)  The functions of the advisory council shall be to:
5824      (a)  Receive, from the public, input regarding issues of
5825 concern with respect to mandated communities and recommendations
5826 for changes in homeowners' association laws. The issues that the
5827 council shall consider include, but are not limited to, the
5828 rights and responsibilities of the parcel owners in relation to
5829 the rights and responsibilities of the association.
5830      (b)  Review, evaluate, and advise the division concerning
5831 revisions and adoption of rules affecting homeowners'
5832 associations.
5833      (c)  Recommend improvements, if needed, in the education
5834 programs offered by the division.
5835      (3)  The council may elect a chair and vice chair and such
5836 other officers as it may deem advisable. The council shall meet
5837 at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its
5838 membership, at the request of the division, or at such times as
5839 it may prescribe. A majority of the members of the council shall
5840 constitute a quorum. Council action may be taken by vote of a
5841 majority of the voting members who are present at a meeting
5842 where there is a quorum.

CODING: Words stricken are deleted; words underlined are additions