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2015 Florida Statutes

SECTION 079
Powers and duties of homeowners’ association.
F.S. 723.079
723.079 Powers and duties of homeowners’ association.
(1) An association may contract, sue, or be sued with respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the park property.
(2) The powers and duties of an association include those set forth in this section and ss. 723.075 and 723.077 and those set forth in the articles of incorporation and bylaws and any recorded declarations or restrictions encumbering the park property, if not inconsistent with this chapter.
(3) An association has the power to make, levy, and collect assessments and to lease, maintain, repair, and replace the common areas upon purchase of the mobile home park.
(4) The association shall maintain the following items, when applicable, which constitute the official records of the association:
(a) A copy of the association’s articles of incorporation and each amendment to the articles of incorporation.
(b) A copy of the bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.
(c) A copy of the written rules or policies of the association and each amendment to the written rules or policies.
(d) The approved minutes of all meetings of the members, the board of directors, and committees of the board, which minutes must be retained within the state for at least 7 years.
(e) A current roster of all members and their mailing addresses and lot identifications. The association shall also maintain the e-mail addresses and the numbers designated by members for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those members consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The e-mail addresses and numbers provided by members to receive notice by electronic transmission shall be removed from association records when consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked. However, the association is not liable for an erroneous disclosure of the e-mail address or the number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.
(f) All of the association’s insurance policies or copies thereof, which must be retained for at least 7 years.
(g) A copy of all contracts or agreements to which the association is a party, including, without limitation, any written agreements with the park owner, lease, or other agreements or contracts under which the association or its members has any obligation or responsibility, which must be retained for at least 7 years.
(h) The financial and accounting records of the association, kept according to good accounting practices. All financial and accounting records must be maintained for a period of at least 7 years. The financial and accounting records must include:
1. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.
2. A current account and a periodic statement of the account for each member, designating the name and current address of each member who is obligated to pay dues or assessments, the due date and amount of each assessment or other charge against the member, the date and amount of each payment on the account, and the balance due.
3. All tax returns, financial statements, and financial reports of the association.
4. Any other records that identify, measure, record, or communicate financial information.
(i) All other written records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.
(5) The official records shall be maintained within the state for at least 7 years and shall be made available to a member for inspection or photocopying within 10 business days after receipt by the board or its designee of a written request submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested. The requirements of this subsection are satisfied by having a copy of the official records available for inspection or copying in the park or, at the option of the association, by making the records available to a member electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. If the association has a photocopy machine available where the records are maintained, it must provide a member with copies on request during the inspection if the entire request is no more than 25 pages. An association shall allow a member or his or her authorized representative to use a portable device, including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the association’s providing the member or his or her authorized representative with a copy of such records. The association may not charge a fee to a member or his or her authorized representative for the use of a portable device.
(a) The failure of an association to provide access to the records within 10 business days after receipt of a written request submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested, creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this subsection.
(b) A member who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply with this subsection. The minimum damages are to be $10 per calendar day up to 10 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th business day after receipt of the written request, submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(c) The association may adopt reasonable written rules governing the frequency, time, location, notice, records to be inspected, and manner of inspections, but may not require a member to demonstrate a proper purpose for the inspection, state a reason for the inspection, or limit a member’s right to inspect records to less than 1 business day per month. The association may impose fees to cover the costs of providing copies of the official records, including the costs of copying and for personnel to retrieve and copy the records if the time spent retrieving and copying the records exceeds 30 minutes and if the personnel costs do not exceed $20 per hour. Personnel costs may not be charged for records requests that result in the copying of 25 or fewer pages. The association may charge up to 25 cents per page for copies made on the association’s photocopier. If the association does not have a photocopy machine available where the records are kept, or if the records requested to be copied exceed 25 pages in length, the association may have copies made by an outside duplicating service and may charge the actual cost of copying, as supported by the vendor invoice. The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the recorded governing documents, to ensure their availability to members and prospective members. Notwithstanding this paragraph, the following records are not accessible to members or home owners:
1. A record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502 and a record protected by the work-product privilege, including, but not limited to, a record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation, for adversarial administrative proceedings, or in anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
2. E-mail addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, any addresses for a home owner other than as provided for association notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, lot designation, mailing address, and property address. Notwithstanding the restrictions in this subparagraph, an association may print and distribute to home owners a directory containing the name, park address, and telephone number of each home owner. However, a home owner may exclude his or her telephone number from the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. The association is not liable for the disclosure of information that is protected under this subparagraph if the information is included in an official record of the association and is voluntarily provided by a home owner and not requested by the association.
3. An electronic security measure that is used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords.
4. The software and operating system used by the association which allows the manipulation of data, even if the home owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association.
(6) An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession or under his or her control to the incoming board within 5 days after the election or removal.
(7) An association has the power to purchase lots in the park and to acquire, hold, lease, mortgage, and convey them.
(8) An association shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate insurance to protect the association and the park property upon purchase of the mobile home park. A copy of each policy of insurance in effect shall be made available for inspection by owners at reasonable times.
(9) An association has the authority, without the joinder of any home owner, to modify, move, or create any easement for ingress and egress or for the purpose of utilities if the easement constitutes part of or crosses the park property upon purchase of the mobile home park. This subsection does not authorize the association to modify or move any easement created in whole or in part for the use or benefit of anyone other than the members, or crossing the property of anyone other than the members, without his or her consent or approval as required by law or the instrument creating the easement. Nothing in this subsection affects the rights of ingress or egress of any member of the association.
(10) Any mobile home owners’ association or group of residents of a mobile home park as defined in this chapter may conduct bingo games as provided in s. 849.0931.
(11) An association organized under this chapter may offer subscriptions, for the purpose of raising the necessary funds to purchase, acquire, and operate the mobile home park, to its members or other owners of mobile homes within the park. Subscription funds collected for the purpose of purchasing the park shall be placed in an association or other escrow account prior to purchase, which funds shall be held according to the terms of the subscription agreement. The directors shall maintain accounting records according to generally accepted accounting practices and shall, upon written request by a subscriber, furnish an accounting of the subscription fund escrow account within 60 days of the purchase of the park or the ending date as provided in the subscription agreement, whichever occurs first.
(12) For a period of 180 days after the date of a purchase of a mobile home park by the association, the association shall not be required to comply with the provisions of part V of chapter 718, part V of chapter 719, or part II of chapter 720, as to mobile home owners or persons who have executed contracts to purchase mobile homes in the park.
(13) The provisions of subsections (4) and (7) shall not apply to records relating to subscription funds collected pursuant to subsection (11).
History.s. 1, ch. 84-80; s. 3, ch. 91-206; s. 1, ch. 91-223; s. 2, ch. 91-421; s. 15, ch. 92-148; ss. 3, 6, ch. 92-280; s. 1, ch. 93-160; s. 932, ch. 97-102; s. 4, ch. 2007-228; s. 12, ch. 2015-90.