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The Florida Senate

2009 Florida Statutes

Obligations of owners; waiver; levy of fine against unit by association.
Section 718.303, Florida Statutes 2009

718.303  Obligations of owners; waiver; levy of fine against unit by association.--

(1)  Each unit owner, each tenant and other invitee, and each association shall be governed by, and shall comply with the provisions of, this chapter, the declaration, the documents creating the association, and the association bylaws and the provisions thereof shall be deemed expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit. Actions for damages or for injunctive relief, or both, for failure to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by a unit owner against:

(a)  The association.

(b)  A unit owner.

(c)  Directors designated by the developer, for actions taken by them prior to the time control of the association is assumed by unit owners other than the developer.

(d)  Any director who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions.

(e)  Any tenant leasing a unit, and any other invitee occupying a unit.

The prevailing party in any such action or in any action in which the purchaser claims a right of voidability based upon contractual provisions as required in s. 718.503(1)(a) is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees. A unit owner prevailing in an action between the association and the unit owner under this section, in addition to recovering his or her reasonable attorney's fees, may recover additional amounts as determined by the court to be necessary to reimburse the unit owner for his or her share of assessments levied by the association to fund its expenses of the litigation. This relief does not exclude other remedies provided by law. Actions arising under this subsection shall not be deemed to be actions for specific performance.

(2)  A provision of this chapter may not be waived if the waiver would adversely affect the rights of a unit owner or the purpose of the provision, except that unit owners or members of a board of administration may waive notice of specific meetings in writing if provided by the bylaws. Any instruction given in writing by a unit owner or purchaser to an escrow agent may be relied upon by an escrow agent, whether or not such instruction and the payment of funds thereunder might constitute a waiver of any provision of this chapter.

(3)  If the declaration or bylaws so provide, the association may levy reasonable fines against a unit for the failure of the owner of the unit, or its occupant, licensee, or invitee, to comply with any provision of the declaration, the association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association. No fine will become a lien against a unit. No fine may exceed $100 per violation. However, a fine may be levied on the basis of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and opportunity for hearing, provided that no such fine shall in the aggregate exceed $1,000. No fine may be levied except after giving reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing to the unit owner and, if applicable, its licensee or invitee. The hearing must be held before a committee of other unit owners who are neither board members nor persons residing in a board member's household. If the committee does not agree with the fine, the fine may not be levied. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to unoccupied units.

History.--s. 1, ch. 76-222; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 12, ch. 84-368; s. 16, ch. 90-151; s. 14, ch. 91-103; s. 5, ch. 91-426; s. 11, ch. 92-49; s. 864, ch. 97-102; s. 14, ch. 2003-14; s. 20, ch. 2008-28.