Header graphic for print

Florida Condo & HOA Legal Blog

News & Updates on Condo & HOA Laws & Legislation in the State of Florida

Going Too Far Down the Rabbit Hole: How Our National Political Discourse Parallels Our Community Association Discourse

Posted in Association Relations

The article originally appeared on The Community Association Law Blog

Young couple after quarrel sitting back to backIt’s hard right now to turn away from the 24/7 news cycle and its discord, rancor and heated rhetoric. When we spend the majority of our time discussing just 20% of the topics which concern us, we cannot commit time or energy to the other 80% which also demands our attention. It’s not surprising that the same prioritization pressure occurs in private residential communities. How often has a board or membership meeting been monopolized by the concerns of one very vocal owner? That owner may very well have legitimate concerns but that still does not justify how some communities seem to be the equivalent of the tail wagging the dog.

We live in a world of increasing oppositions; it’s becoming harder to find a middle ground on most topics. For those of us who work with and live in community associations, the current state of political discourse in America sadly comes as no surprise. In fact, there are some eerie similarities that reveal a few uncomfortable truths about our society.

Name calling, speaking (and yelling) over others, character assassination, accusations, conspiracy theories, and filibustering are never productive and usually reflect a certain intellectual laziness. Fake news and alternative facts have been employed for decades in some communities where facts matter less than agendas and can be employed equally by both members looking to oust a board as well as boards looking to shut down opposition. the best way to do battle with this problem is to have a membership comprised of people willing to undertake an independent analysis of the situation rather than relying on someone else’s version of the truth.  When id doubt, just remember this quote by Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Calls to remove leaders are nothing new. Unfortunately, the recent changes to Florida law will make it less likely that recalled board members will challenge even a questionable recall petition if they must do so by paying for such a challenge out of their own pockets.

Conflicts of interest can erode the trust between an elected official and the people who elected him or her. Just as some members of Congress have filed litigation based on the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution, a perception that a board member has an undisclosed conflict of interest can lead to dissatisfaction at best and recall and litigation at worst. It’s impossible to serve two masters so if you have agreed to serve on your community’s board of directors, your decisions must be based on what is best for the community and no longer what is in your best interests.

Just as we have spent an inordinate amount to time on a national discussion concerning the improper use of emails and sloppy email protocol, some directors completely underestimate the trouble a lack of email protocol can cause. The failure to understand, let alone embrace, best practices when it comes to email protocol which includes safeguarding privileged information and employing language which is designed to achieve a goal not blow it up, can make a small flare-up quickly turn into a full-blown conflagration.

Recently, a new client asked me about what can be done to stop leaks and leakers on their board. Just how did one roofing vendor reduce his bid to make it lower than the bid that was going to contract?  Leaks on community association boards are often designed to do nothing more than embarrass a board member or officer (or help a vendor friend) but occasionally they cause a lot more damage including an anticipatory breach of contract claim. When it comes to litigation matters or pursuing insurance claims, closed-loop communications are crucial to the ability to minimize the association’s exposure in the former instance and maximize its recovery in the latter circumstance.

Building a proverbial wall can become the turning point in a community. Some directors have very firm ideas about the material improvements they would like to make in their community and how to pay for those improvements, either by special assessment or loan.  Often these ideas are not as wildly popular with the association members as Mr. or Ms. Director would like to believe. It is always best to gauge community sentiment before embarking on costly and potentially divisive projects.

Inevitably, the issue of personality conflicts arises in many communities.  Dealing with personality issues (as exhibited by board members, owners or both) can be one of the toughest problems to solve in a shared ownership community.  It is important to remember that your conflicts involve a “living together” relationship so patience, empathy and updated emergency contacts are some of your best tools when dealing with sensitive behavioral problems.

Finally, the potential for violence is the most disturbing comparison of all between the national stage and our local communities. There have been sporadic reports of violence in community associations over the years.  Two that come to mind include a manger who was shot in the head (but mercifully survived) by a disgruntled former association employee and a board member shot and killed by a fellow director as they argued over association matters.  Violence is never the answer but it does underscore how a ‘pressure cooker’ situation can blow the lid off any society, micro or macro.

The ability to find some middle ground is sadly disappearing from the national stage and it is, unfortunately, no different in some of our communities but our disgust with our national discourse might just lead us to insist that our association affairs be handled more productively.

Florida HOA’s Can Change Rental Rules

Posted in Association Documents, Rental

Left Facing Red For Rent Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful House.

Question: Our homeowners’ association would like to change our current minimum rental period, which is only three days, to a thirty day minimum. If we receive a majority vote for making this amendment, do we have to “grandfather” current owners, some of which own for investing and not for personal use? (B.R. via e-mail)

Answer:  I believe such an amendment would be valid, and that no “grandfathering” would be necessary, but it is an open question under Florida law.

First, you would need to amend you declaration of covenants or similar deed restriction. The required vote to do that will be set forth in that document, most require some level of super majority approval.

In a 2000 landmark case called Woodside Village Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Jahren, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that properly enacted amendments to a declaration of condominium could change rental rights retroactively, and that owners had no “vested rights” in the rental provisions of the condominium documents in effect when they purchased their unit. In response to that decision, the Florida condominium statute was amended in 2004 to institute a “grandfathering” rule, stating that condominium owners who do not consent to amendments changing the frequency or duration of rentals are not bound by those amendments, although their successors in title are.

This grandfathering provision does not exist in the statute applicable to homeowners’ associations. I believe most attorneys are of the opinion that a court would apply the reasoning from the Woodside Village case in addressing the validity of rental amendments in the homeowners’ association context. However, there are some legal differences between the two forms of property ownership, so until the courts address the issue, or the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act is changed, it remains an open question.

Can I Run for the Condo Board If I Haven’t Paid A Fine?

Posted in Board Eligibility, Elections

Question:  My condominium association imposed a $500 fine against me in 2016 for an alleged violation of the parking restrictions. I never paid the fine because I disputed their allegation and because the board selectively enforces the parking restrictions.  When I received the notice for the 2017 annual meeting and election I submitted my intent to run for the Board. The association told me I was not eligible to serve on the board because of my unpaid fine even though I have paid all my assessments. Is what they did legal?  J.A. via e-mail

Answer:  If the fine was properly imposed, and you failed to pay the fine, the action your condominium association took is supported by the law.  Section 718.112(2)(d) of the Florida Condominium Act specifically states that a person “who is delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the association, is not eligible to be a candidate for board membership and may not be listed on the ballot.” This statute uses the term “monetary obligation” instead of “assessment.” A fine is considered a monetary obligation which means that an unpaid fine can prevent a person from being eligible to run in the board election.

The statute further states that you must be eligible to run for the board by the deadline to submit your notice of intent (40 days prior to the annual meeting/election). If your fine wasn’t paid by this deadline, you were not eligible to run for the board.

Medicaid Benefits and Home Ownership

Posted in Medicaid

Portrait of a senior woman smilingDoes my home need to be sold to receive Medicaid benefits? Will Medicaid put a lien on my home and take it after I die? Can my house be protected so that my children can inherit it? My husband needs assistance, but I am fine, what happens to my home if I am still living there?

Many people believe that if they qualify for, or try to receive benefits from Medicaid to assist with paying for long term care needs, the government will take their homes. The answer to these questions depends on two criteria: 1) if the Medicaid recipient “intends” to return home, and 2) if the equity in the home is below $560,000 or one of the following resides in the home: the spouse, a child under the age of 21 or a blind or disabled child of any age. Although the rules governing real property within the Medicaid context can be complex, and each family situation is different, there are a few factors that remain constant in all cases. First, whether an individual has an intent to return home is normally presumed by Medicaid, except in situations where actions are taken to establish otherwise. This is the case even if it is realistically impossible due to the medical condition of the individual. Second, applicants with homes that have greater than the Medicaid equity allowance, can take steps to reduce equity and qualify for the program. Third, even upon death, if the home is considered the homestead of the Medicaid recipient, and proper steps are taken so the home falls directly to either the spouse or other family members (called beneficiaries) at death, Medicaid will not seek repayment or force a sale of the home.

If you or a loved one is in need of government benefits, such as Medicaid, do not let fears regarding your home prevent you from seeking guidance and counsel on qualifying for these financial benefits.  Seek the advice of a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney.

Estoppel Bill Approved by Governor and Remaining Community Association Bills Presented to the Governor

Posted in CALL Alert, Estoppel, Legislation

Yesterday, the Governor approved SB 398, Relating to Estoppel Certificates.  The effective date of the new law is July 1, 2017.  If you would like to hear more about the estoppel bill, please watch the video or read the summary below.

Also yesterday, HB 653, Relating to Community Associations, by Rep. Moraitis, and HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums, by Rep. Diaz, and HB 6027, Relating to Financial Reporting, by Rep. Williamson, were presented to Governor Rick Scott for consideration.  The Governor has until June 29, 2017 to act.  The Governor can either sign a bill into law, veto a bill, or allow a bill to become law without his signature.  If approved by the Governor, the bills have an effective date of July 1, 2017, except the provisions which require associations with more than 150 units to have a website for posting official records is not effective until July 1, 2018.

For a summary of HB 653, please see my previous post here.

For a summary of HB 1237, please see my previous post here.  

§718.116, 719.108, and 720.30851, Florida Statutes

  • Revises the period in which an association must respond to a request for an estoppel certificate from 15 days to 10 business days.
  • Requires an association to designate on its website a person or entity with a street or e-mail address for receipt of a request for an estoppel certificate.
  • The estoppel certificate must be provided by hand delivery, regular mail, or email to the requestor on the date of issuance of the estoppel certificate.
  • An estoppel certificate may be completed by any board member, authorized agent, or authorized representative of the association, including any authorized agent, authorized representative, or employee of a management company authorized to complete this form on behalf of the board or association.
  • The estoppel certificate must contain all of the following information:
    • Date of issuance
    • Name(s) of the unit owner(s) as reflected in the books and records of the association
    • Unit designation and address
    • Parking or garage space number, as reflected in the books and records of the association
    • Attorney’s name and contact information if the account is delinquent and has been turned over to an attorney for collection. No fee may be charged for this information.
    • Fee for the preparation and delivery of the estoppel certificate
    • Name of the requestor
  • The estoppel certificate must also contain the following “Assessment Information”:
    • The regular periodic assessment levied against the unit is $____ per ____ (insert frequency of payment)
    • The regular periodic assessment is paid through ______ (insert date paid through)
    • The next installment of the regular periodic assessment is due ____ (insert due date) in the amount of $____
    • An itemized list of all assessments, special assessments, and other moneys owed on the date of issuance to the association by the unit owner for a specific unit is provided
    • An itemized list of any additional assessments, special assessments, and other moneys that are scheduled to become due for each day after the date of issuance for the effective period of the estoppel certificate is provided. In calculating the amounts that are scheduled to become due, the association may assume that any delinquent amounts will remain delinquent during the effective period of the estoppel certificate.
  • The estoppel certificate must also contain the following “Other Information”:
    • Is there a capital contribution fee, resale fee, transfer fee, or other fee due? __ (Yes) ___ (No)…. If yes, specify the type and the amount of the fee.
    • Is there any open violation of rule or regulation noticed to the unit owner in the association official records? ___ (Yes) ___ (No)
    • Do the rules and regulations of the association applicable to the unit require approval by the board of directors of the association for the transfer of the unit? ___ (Yes) ___ (No)…. If yes, has the board approved the transfer of the unit? ____ (Yes) ____(No)
    • Is there a right of first refusal provided to the members or the association? ____ (Yes) ____(No)…. If yes, have the members or the association exercised that right of first refusal? ____(Yes) ____(No)
    • Provide a list of, and contact information for, all other associations of which the unit is a member.
    • Provide contact information for all insurance maintained by the association.
    • Provide the signature of an officer or authorized agent of the association.
  • The association, at its option, may include additional information in the estoppel certificate.
  • An estoppel certificate that is hand delivered or sent by electronic means has a 30-day effective period. An estoppel certificate that is sent by regular mail has a 35-day effective period.
  • If additional information or a mistake related to the estoppel certificate becomes known to the association within the effective period, an amended estoppel certificate may be delivered and becomes effective if a sale or refinancing of the unit has not been completed during the effective period. A fee may not be charged for an amended estoppel certificate. An amended estoppel certificate must be delivered on the date of issuance, and a new 30-day or 35-day effective period begins on such date.
  • An association waives the right to collect any moneys owed in excess of the amounts set forth in the estoppel certificate from any person, and his or her successors and assigns, who in good faith relies upon the certificate.
  • Prohibits an association from charging a fee for preparing and delivering an estoppel certificate that is requested, if it is not delivered within 10 business days.
  • Authorizes the use of a summary proceeding pursuant to s. 51.011, F.S., to compel compliance with the estoppel certificate requirements. (Added to Cooperative Act—already the law for Condominiums and HOAs)
  • Authorizes an association to charge a fee for preparing and delivering an estoppel certificate but the authorization must be established be a written resolution adopted by either the board or a written management, bookkeeping, or maintenance contract. (Added to Cooperative Act—already the law for Condominiums and HOAs)
  • The maximum amount of the estoppel certificate fee is as follows:
    • $250 if there are no delinquent amounts owed to the association.
    • An additional $100 fee for an expedited estoppel certificate delivered within 3 business days after a request for an expedited certificate.
    • An additional maximum fee of $150, if there is a delinquent amount owed to the association.
  • The maximum fee an association may charge when it receives simultaneous requests for estoppel certificates for multiple units or parcels owned by the same person and there are no past due monetary obligations owed to the association is as follows:
    • For 25 or fewer units, $750.
    • For 26 to 50 units, $1,000.
    • For 51 to 100 units, $1,500.
    • For more than 100 units, $2,500.
  • A person who pays for the preparation of an estoppel certificate may request a refund if the certificate is requested in conjunction with the sale or mortgage of a unit but the closing does not occur. The request for the refund must be in writing and must occur no later than 30 days after the closing date.  The refund must be provided within 30 days after receipt of a written request.
  • The right to a refund if the closing does not occur may not be waived or modified by any contract or agreement.
  • The prevailing party in a suit to enforce a right of reimbursement shall be awarded damages, attorney fees, and costs.
  • The fees specified shall be adjusted every 5 years based on increases in the Consumer Price Index. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall periodically calculate the fees, rounded to the nearest dollar, and publish the adjusted amounts on its website.

Florida HOA Residents Have the Right to Inspect Official Records of the Association

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Official Records, Reader Q&A

Businessman looking through a magnifying glass to contractQuestion: I live in a homeowners’ association. I recently received a letter stating that a decorative holiday flag in my front yard is in violation of the association’s rules and regulations. I am confused because several of my neighbors have similar decorations in their gardens. I sent the community association manager an e-mail asking to see all of the other violation letters that have been sent to owners over the last year. I was told by the manager that I am not entitled to this information. Is the manager correct? (G.G. via e-mail)

Answer: No. You have the right to inspect the “official records” of the Association. The definition of “official records” in the Homeowners’ Association Act is very broad, and generally covers written records of the association which are related to the operation of the association. The association can comply with your request by making a copy of the letters available for inspection or copying in or, at the option of the association, can make them available electronically. If the association willfully withholds providing you access to certain official records you may be entitled to damages.

There are certain exceptions to the scope of the official records that have to be provided to a requesting owner. The HOA Act includes exclusions for attorney-client privileged communications and records protected by the work-product privilege, information obtained in connection with the approval of a lease, sale or other transfer of a parcel, personnel records, medical records, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and certain information regarding data security measures used by the Association.

Owner complaint letters do not fall within any of these exceptions, and must be made available, although certain personal identifying information, such as e-mail addresses can be redacted (blacked out) in some circumstances.

Delinquent Owners not Eligible for the Board of Directors in Florida Condominiums & HOAs

Posted in Board Eligibility, Elections, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies

Question: I live in a homeowners’ association and recently submitted my intent to run for the board. However, my name was not included on the ballot that was mailed out to all of the owners. When I asked the association about it, the association said I was not eligible because I had an unpaid $100.00 fine from a year ago. I do not dispute that the fine is outstanding, because I disagree with the board’s action regarding the fine, I have not paid it. Can they use this to keep me from running for the board? (R.L. via e-mail)

Answer: Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, the Homeowners’ Association Act, states that a person who is delinquent in the payment of any “fee, fine, or other monetary obligation to the association on the day that he or she could last nominate himself or herself or be nominated for the board may not seek election to the board, and his or her name shall not be listed on the ballot.” Therefore, even if you are current in the payment of assessments to the association, if there is a properly imposed fine that is unpaid, pursuant to the statute, you would not be eligible to run for the board.

The statute goes on to provide that any board member who becomes more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine, or other monetary obligation is “deemed to have abandoned his or her seat on the board, creating a vacancy on the board to be filled according to law.”

Therefore, as you did in fact owe the association an unpaid fine, the association correctly excluded your name from the ballot.

Both the Florida Condominium Act, Chapter 718, and the Florida Cooperative Act, Chapter 719, contain similar language concerning eligibility to run for the board.

Status of Community Association Bills and CALL to Action on HB 653, Relating to Community Associations (Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners’ Associations) – CALL Alert for June 8, 2017

Posted in advocacy, CALL Alert, Fire Sprinklers, Legislation, Video

As of this writing, we are still waiting for the two main community association bills, HB 653 and HB 1237, to be sent to Governor Rick Scott. Once a bill is sent to him, he will have fifteen (15) days to act. He can either sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

The “Estoppel Certificate” bill, SB 398, was sent to Governor Scott on May 31, 2017, and he has until June 15, 2017 to act.

The “Condominium Termination” bill, SB 1520, was sent to Governor Scott on June 5, 2017, and he has until June 20, 2017 to act.

The “Marketable Record Title Bill”, HB 735/SB 1046, did not end up passing.

As soon as HB 653 or HB 1237 is sent to the Governor, I will let you know via Twitter. Please follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on the status of the bills.

For a full summary of HB 653, please see my recent Blog post. I also previously posted a summary of HB 1237 on the Blog. If approved by Governor Scott, the bills will be effective on July 1, 2017, except the website provisions will be effective on July 1, 2018.

CALL supports HB 653 and we have written a letter in support of the bill. There is now a small central Florida group that has called for the Governor to veto HB 653. However, we feel that the marginal impact of the provisions they find objectionable, like the website requirement, is far outweighed by the benefit of the amendment that allows an opt out vote for an engineered life safety system. Therefore, we are asking our CALL members to contact the Governor’s office and ask him to approve HB 653. You can contact the Governor at http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/ or you can email his Office of Policy and Budget at: lee.moore@laspbs.state.fl.us. If you wish to call Ms. Moore, her phone number is: 850-717-9510.

Here is a form letter/email that you can use in your communications with the Governor:

Dear Governor Scott:

House Bill 653 by Representative Moraitis and Senator Passidomo is critically important to the residents of condominium and cooperative associations. If this legislation is vetoed, as some special interest groups have advised, it will cost associations and unit owners millions of dollars in costs that no one has been able to prove will make our residents safer. Are we thrilled with every provision of this legislation? No. But the marginal impact of the provisions they find objectionable, like the website requirement, is far outweighed by the benefit of the amendment that allows an opt out vote for engineered life safety systems. We strongly encourage you to support HB 653. The hundreds of thousands of residents who would be negatively impacted by a veto will be forever grateful.

We will update you again after we know the final status of HB 653 and HB 1237.

Very truly yours,

Yeline Goin, Executive Director
Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL)

Donna DiMaggio Berger on WLRN’s Topical Currents

Posted in Legislation, Operations, Voting, Water Sprinklers

Donna Berger, Florida Condo LawyerCondo and association law shareholder Donna DiMaggio Berger was the featured guest on WLRN 91.3FM’s Topical Currents “At Your Service” edition on Wednesday, June 7. Donna discussed what board members, managers and residents need to know about landmark association laws just passed by the Florida Legislature, including how to avoid the new criminal penalties for condo fraud and term limits for board members.
http://wlrn.org/post/your-service-condo-hoa-edition-spring-2017

Summary of HB 653, Impacting Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners’ Associations

Posted in CALL Alert, Elections, Fire Sprinklers, Governing Documents, Liability, Managers (CAMS), Water Sprinklers

HB 653 (SB 744), sponsored by Representative Moraitis, passed the Florida Legislature but as of today, it has not yet been sent to the Governor for consideration.  When a bill is sent to the Governor, he has fifteen (15) days to act.  He can either sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.  If approved by the Governor, HB 653 will be effective on July 1, 2017 (except the provision regarding websites will be effective on July 1, 2018).  The following is a summary of the bill:

FIRE SPRINKLERS AND ENGINEERED LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS (ELSS) (Condominiums and Cooperatives)

633.2225, Florida Statutes (NEW)

  • Requires condominium associations that operate a building of three stories or more and that have not installed a sprinkler system in the common areas to mark the building with a sign or symbol approved by the State Fire Marshal to warn persons of the lack of a sprinkler system.

The State Fire Marshal shall:

  • Ensure that the dimensions and placement of the sign or symbol do not diminish the aesthetic value of the building;
  • Adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section including, but not limited to:
    • The dimensions and color of such sign or symbol;
    • The time within which the buildings without sprinklers must be marked;
    • The location on each building where such sign or symbol must be posted.
  • The State Fire Marshal and local fire officials shall enforce this section.
  • An association that fails to comply with the requirements of this section is subject to penalties as provided in s. 633.228.

718.112(2)(l), §719.1055, Florida Statutes

  • The bylaws shall include a provision that a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor, electrician, or professional engineer, may be accepted by the board as evidence of compliance with the applicable fire and life safety code.
  • Notwithstanding chapter 633 or any other code, statute, or ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation of the foregoing, an association is not obligated to retrofit the common elements, association property, or units of a residential condominium/cooperative with a fire sprinkler system or other engineered life safety system in a building that is 75 feet or less in height.
  • There is no obligation to retrofit with a fire sprinkler or other engineered life safety system for a building greater than 75 feet in height, calculated from the lowest level of fire department vehicle access to the floor of the highest occupiable story if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all voting interests in the affected condominium/cooperative.
  • There is no requirement that owners in condominium/cooperatives of 75 feet or less conduct an opt out vote and such condominium/cooperatives are exempt from fire sprinkler or other engineered lifesafety retrofitting. The preceding sentence is intended to clarify existing law.
  • The local authority having jurisdiction may not require completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system or other engineered lifesafety system before January 1, 2022.
  • By December 31, 2018, an association that operates a residential condominium/cooperative that is not in compliance with the requirements for a fire sprinkler system or other engineered life safety system and has not voted to forego retrofitting of such system must initiate an application for a building permit for the required installation with the local government having jurisdiction demonstrating that the association will become compliance by December 31, 2021.
  • A vote to forego the required retrofitting may be obtained at a meeting, by written consent, or by electronic voting and is effective upon recording a certificate executed by an officer or agent of the association attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the condominium/cooperative is located.
  • When an opt out vote is to be conducted at a meeting, the notice must be mailed or delivered to each owner at least 14 days before the membership meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required fire sprinkler system or other engineered lifesafety system is to take place.
  • Within 30 days after the association’s opt out vote, notice of the results must be mailed or delivered to all unit owners. Evidence of compliance with this notice requirement shall be made by affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed among the official records of the association.
  • Failure to provide timely notice to unit owners does not invalidate an otherwise valid opt-out vote if notice of the results is provided to the owners.
  • After notice is provided to each owner, a copy must be provided by the current owner to a new owner before closing and by a unit owner to a renter before signing a lease.
  • If there has been a previous vote to forego retrofitting, a vote to require retrofitting may be obtained at a special meeting of the owners called by a petition of at least 10% of the voting interests, or by a majority of the board of directors. The approval of two-thirds of all voting interests in the affected condominium/cooperative is required to require retrofitting.  Removes the language which prohibited an association from using electronic transmission for the notice of a meeting called to opt back into the required retrofitting.
  • Clarifies that compliance with the administrative reporting requirement to the Division of Condominium, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes does not affect the validity of an opt out vote.
  • The provisions of Section 718.112(2)(l) does not apply to timeshare condominium associations, which shall be governed by s. 721.24.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES (Condominiums)

718.111(1), Florida Statutes

  • An officer, director, or manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or service of value or kickback for which consideration has not been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her immediate family. If applicable, a violation of this provision may result in criminal penalties as provided in Section 718.111(1)(d).
  • Forgery of a ballot envelope or voting certificate used in an election is punishable as provided in s. 831.01;
  • The theft or embezzlement of funds of a condominium association is punishable as a crime as provided in s. 812.014;
  • The destruction of or the refusal to allow inspection or copying of an official record in furtherance of any crime is punishable as tampering with physical evidence as provided in s. 918.13 or as obstruction of justice as provided in chapter 843;
  • An officer or director charged by information or indictment with a crime referenced above must be removed from office and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in Section 718.112(2)(d)2. until the end of the officer’s or director’s period of suspension or the end of his or her term of office, whichever occurs first.
  • If a criminal charge is pending against the officer or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected to a position as an officer or a director of any association and may not have access to the official records of ay association, except pursuant to court order.
  • If the charges are resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of office, if any.

Continue Reading