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2013 Florida Statutes

SECTION 1055
Amendment of cooperative documents; alteration and acquisition of property.
F.S. 719.1055
719.1055 Amendment of cooperative documents; alteration and acquisition of property.
(1) Unless otherwise provided in the original cooperative documents, no amendment thereto may change the configuration or size of any cooperative unit in any material fashion, materially alter or modify the appurtenances of the unit, or change the proportion or percentage by which the owner of the parcel shares the common expenses and owns the common surplus, unless the record owner of the unit and all record owners of liens on it join in the execution of the amendment and unless the record owners of all other units approve the amendment. Cooperative documents in cooperatives created after July 1, 1994, may not require less than a majority of total voting interests for amendments under this section, unless required by any governmental entity.
(2) Unless a lower number is provided in the cooperative documents or unless such action is expressly prohibited by the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the cooperative, the acquisition of real property by the association, and material alterations or substantial additions to such property by the association shall not be deemed to constitute a material alteration or modification of the appurtenances to the unit if such action is approved by two-thirds of the total voting interests of the cooperative.
(3)(a) Unless other procedures are provided in the cooperative documents or such action is expressly prohibited by the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the cooperative, the association may materially alter, convert, lease, or modify the common areas of the mobile home cooperative if the action is approved by two-thirds of the total voting interests of the cooperative.
(b) The association may change the configuration or size of a unit only if the action is approved by the affected unit owners and by two-thirds of the total voting interests of the cooperative.
(4)(a) If the cooperative documents fail to provide a method of amendment, the documents may be amended as to all matters except those described in subsection (1) if the amendment is approved by the owners of not less than two-thirds of the units.
(b) No provision of the cooperative documents shall be revised or amended by reference to its title or number only. Proposals to amend existing provisions of the cooperative documents shall contain the full text of the provision to be amended, new words shall be inserted in the text and underlined, and words to be deleted shall be lined through with hyphens. However, if the proposed change is so extensive that this procedure would hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and hyphens as indicators of words added or deleted, but instead, a notation must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in substantially the following language: “Substantial rewording of document. See provision for present text.”
(c) Nonmaterial errors or omissions in the amendment process will not invalidate an otherwise properly promulgated amendment.
(5) The bylaws must include a provision whereby a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by the association’s board as evidence of compliance of the cooperative units with the applicable fire and life safety code.
(a)1. Notwithstanding chapter 633 or any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation of the foregoing, a cooperative or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements or units of a residential cooperative with a fire sprinkler system in a building that has been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental entity if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting by the affirmative vote of a majority of all voting interests in the affected cooperative. The local authority having jurisdiction may not require completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system before the end of 2019. By December 31, 2016, a cooperative that is not in compliance with the requirements for a fire sprinkler system and has not voted to forego retrofitting of such a system must initiate an application for a building permit for the required installation with the local government having jurisdiction demonstrating that the cooperative will become compliant by December 31, 2019.
2. A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by limited proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called membership meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and is effective upon recording a certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the cooperative is located. The cooperative shall mail or hand deliver to each unit owner written notice at least 14 days before the membership meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required fire sprinkler system is to take place. Within 30 days after the cooperative’s opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out vote must be mailed or hand delivered to all unit owners. Evidence of compliance with this notice requirement must be made by affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed among the official records of the cooperative. 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.
(b) If there has been a previous vote to forego retrofitting, a vote to require retrofitting may be obtained at a special meeting of the unit owners called by a petition of least 10 percent of the voting interests. Such vote may only be called once every 3 years. Notice must be provided as required for any regularly called meeting of the unit owners, and the notice must state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be used to provide notice of a meeting called in whole or in part for this purpose.
(c) As part of the information collected annually from cooperatives, the division shall require associations to report the membership vote and recording of a certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services the number of cooperatives that have elected to forego retrofitting.
(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 633 or of any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation thereof, a cooperative or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements or units of a residential cooperative that meets the definition of “housing for older persons” in s. 760.29(4)(b)3. to comply with requirements relating to handrails and guardrails in a building that has been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental entity, if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all voting interests in the affected cooperative. However, a cooperative may not forego the retrofitting in common areas in a high-rise building. For purposes of this subsection, the term “high-rise building” means a building that is greater than 75 feet in height where the building height is measured from the lowest level of fire department access to the floor of the highest occupiable story. For purposes of this subsection, the term “common areas” means stairwells and exposed, outdoor walkways and corridors. In no event shall the local authority having jurisdiction require completion of retrofitting of common areas with handrails and guardrails before the end of 2014.
(a) A vote to forego retrofitting may not be obtained by general proxy or limited proxy, but shall be obtained by a vote personally cast at a duly called membership meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and shall be effective upon the recording of a certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the cooperative is located. The association shall provide each unit owner written notice of the vote to forego retrofitting of the required handrails or guardrails, or both, in at least 16-point bold type, by certified mail, within 20 days after the association’s vote. After such notice is provided to each owner, a copy of such notice shall be provided by the current owner to a new owner prior to closing and shall be provided by a unit owner to a renter prior to signing a lease.
(b) As part of the information collected annually from cooperatives, the division shall require associations to report the membership vote and recording of a certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services the number of cooperatives that have elected to forego retrofitting.
(7) The Legislature finds that the procurement of mortgagee consent to amendments that do not affect the rights or interests of mortgagees is an unreasonable and substantial logistical and financial burden on the unit owners and that there is a compelling state interest in enabling the members of an association to approve amendments to the association’s cooperative documents through legal means. Accordingly, and notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary:
(a) As to any mortgage recorded on or after July 1, 2013, any provision in the association’s cooperative documents that requires the consent or joinder of some or all mortgagees of units or any other portion of the association’s common areas to amend the association’s cooperative documents or for any other matter is enforceable only as to amendments to the association’s cooperative documents that adversely affect the priority of the mortgagee’s lien or the mortgagee’s rights to foreclose its lien or that otherwise materially affect the rights and interests of the mortgagees.
(b) As to mortgages recorded before July 1, 2013, any existing provisions in the association’s cooperative documents requiring mortgagee consent are enforceable.
(c) In securing consent or joinder, the association is entitled to rely upon the public records to identify the holders of outstanding mortgages. The association may use the address provided in the original recorded mortgage document, unless there is a different address for the holder of the mortgage in a recorded assignment or modification of the mortgage, which recorded assignment or modification must reference the official records book and page on which the original mortgage was recorded. Once the association has identified the recorded mortgages of record, the association shall, in writing, request of each unit owner whose unit is encumbered by a mortgage of record any information that the owner has in his or her possession regarding the name and address of the person to whom mortgage payments are currently being made. Notice shall be sent to such person if the address provided in the original recorded mortgage document is different from the name and address of the mortgagee or assignee of the mortgage as shown by the public record. The association is deemed to have complied with this requirement by making the written request of the unit owners required under this paragraph. Any notices required to be sent to the mortgagees under this paragraph shall be sent to all available addresses provided to the association.
(d) Any notice to the mortgagees required under paragraph (c) may be sent by a method that establishes proof of delivery, and any mortgagee who fails to respond within 60 days after the date of mailing is deemed to have consented to the amendment.
(e) For those amendments requiring mortgagee consent on or after July 1, 2013, in the event mortgagee consent is provided other than by properly recorded joinder, such consent shall be evidenced by affidavit of the association recorded in the public records of the county in which the declaration is recorded.
(f) Any amendment adopted without the required consent of a mortgagee is voidable only by a mortgagee who was entitled to notice and an opportunity to consent. An action to void an amendment is subject to the statute of limitations beginning 5 years after the date of discovery as to the amendments described in paragraph (a) and 5 years after the date of recordation of the certificate of amendment for all other amendments. This paragraph applies to all mortgages, regardless of the date of recordation of the mortgage.
History.s. 5, ch. 88-148; s. 16, ch. 94-350; s. 6, ch. 96-396; s. 8, ch. 99-382; s. 6, ch. 2003-14; s. 2, ch. 2004-80; s. 9, ch. 2004-345; s. 5, ch. 2004-353; s. 20, ch. 2010-174; s. 11, ch. 2013-188.