2010 Florida Statutes
Unconscionability of certain leases; rebuttable presumption.
Unconscionability of certain leases; rebuttable presumption.—
The Legislature expressly finds that many leases involving use of recreational or other common facilities by residents of cooperatives were entered into by parties wholly representative of the interests of a cooperative developer at a time when the cooperative unit owners not only did not control the administration of their cooperative but also had little or no voice in such administration. Such leases often contain numerous obligations on the part of either or both a cooperative association and cooperative unit owners with relatively few obligations on the part of the lessor. Such leases may or may not be unconscionable in any given case. Nevertheless, the Legislature finds that a combination of certain onerous obligations and circumstances warrants the establishment of a rebuttable presumption of unconscionability of certain leases, as specified in subsection (2). The presumption may be rebutted by a lessor upon the showing of additional facts and circumstances to justify and validate what otherwise appears to be an unconscionable lease under this section. Failure of a lease to contain all the enumerated elements shall neither preclude a determination of unconscionability of the lease nor raise a presumption as to its conscionability. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section is remedial and does not create any new cause of action to invalidate any cooperative lease, but shall operate as a statutory prescription on procedural matters in actions brought on one or more causes of action existing at the time of the execution of such lease.
A lease pertaining to use by cooperative unit owners of recreational or other common facilities, irrespective of the date on which such lease was entered into, is presumptively unconscionable if all of the following elements exist:
The lease was executed by persons none of whom at the time of the execution of the lease were elected by cooperative unit owners, other than the developer, to represent their interests.
The lease requires either the cooperative association or the cooperative unit owners to pay real estate taxes on the subject real property.
The lease requires either the cooperative association or the cooperative unit owners to insure buildings or other facilities on the subject real property against fire or any other hazard.
The lease requires either the cooperative association or the cooperative unit owners to perform some or all maintenance obligations pertaining to the subject real property or facilities located upon the subject real property.
The lease requires either the cooperative association or the cooperative unit owners to pay rent to the lessor for a period of 21 years or more.
The lease provides that failure of the lessee to make payment of rent due under the lease either creates, establishes, or permits establishment of a lien upon individual cooperative units of the cooperative or upon stock or other ownership interest to secure claims for rent.
The lease requires an annual rental which exceeds 25 percent of the appraised value of the leased property as improved. For purposes of this paragraph, “annual rental” means the amount due during the first 12 months of the lease for all units, regardless of whether such units were in fact occupied or sold during that period, and “appraised value” means the appraised value placed upon the leased property the first tax year after the sale of a unit in the cooperative.
The lease provides for a periodic rental increase.
The lease or other cooperative documents require that every transferee of a cooperative unit must assume obligations under the lease.
Any provision of the Florida Statutes to the contrary notwithstanding, neither the statute of limitations nor laches shall prohibit unit owners from maintaining a cause of action under the provisions of this section.
s. 3, ch. 79-284; s. 21, ch. 86-175; s. 26, ch. 91-110; s. 18, ch. 94-350.