Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1682
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/06/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Regulated Industries (Garcia) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Subsections (3) and (9), paragraphs (a) and (c)
    6  of subsection (12), and subsection (13) of section 718.111,
    7  Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph (g) is added to
    8  subsection (12) of that section, to read:
    9         718.111 The association.—
   12         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
   13  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
   14  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
   15  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
   16  condominium property. After control of the association is
   17  obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the
   18  association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions
   19  or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
   20  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
   21  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
   22  structural components of a building or other improvements;
   23  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
   24  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
   25  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
   26  and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and
   27  on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring
   28  inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the
   29  authority to maintain a class action, the association may be
   30  joined in an action as representative of that class with
   31  reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for
   32  which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein
   33  limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit
   34  owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without
   35  participation by the association which may otherwise be
   36  available.
   37         (b)An association may not hire an attorney that represents
   38  the management company of the association.
   39         (9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.—The association has the power,
   40  unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation,
   41  or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the
   42  condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey
   43  them. There shall be no limitation on the association’s right to
   44  purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
   45  association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or
   46  to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure. However, except
   47  for a timeshare condominium, a board member, manager, or
   48  management company may not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale
   49  resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien for
   50  unpaid assessments or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
   51         (12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
   52         (a) From the inception of the association, the association
   53  shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which
   54  constitutes the official records of the association:
   55         1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other
   56  items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
   57         2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium
   58  of each condominium operated by the association and each
   59  amendment to each declaration.
   60         3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association
   61  and each amendment to the bylaws.
   62         4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the
   63  association, or other documents creating the association, and
   64  each amendment thereto.
   65         5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
   66         6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings
   67  of the association, the board of administration, and the unit
   68  owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.
   69         7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing
   70  addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if
   71  known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain
   72  the electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers of unit
   73  owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission.
   74  The electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers are not
   75  accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by
   76  electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with sub
   77  subparagraph (c)5.e. subparagraph (c)5. However, the association
   78  is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the electronic
   79  mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic
   80  transmission of notices.
   81         8. All current insurance policies of the association and
   82  condominiums operated by the association.
   83         9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or
   84  other contract to which the association is a party or under
   85  which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or
   86  responsibility.
   87         10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the
   88  association.
   89         11. Accounting records for the association and separate
   90  accounting records for each condominium that the association
   91  operates. All accounting records must be maintained for at least
   92  7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
   93  destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails
   94  to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing
   95  harm to the association or one or more of its members, is
   96  personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s.
   97  718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not
   98  limited to:
   99         a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts
  100  and expenditures.
  101         b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly
  102  statement of the account for each unit designating the name of
  103  the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the
  104  amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
  105         c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and
  106  financial reports of the association or condominium.
  107         d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to
  108  be performed are also considered official records and must be
  109  maintained by the association.
  110         12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other
  111  papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be
  112  maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or
  113  meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph
  114  (b).
  115         13. All rental records if the association is acting as
  116  agent for the rental of condominium units.
  117         14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as
  118  described in s. 718.504.
  119         15. All other written records of the association not
  120  specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
  121  operation of the association.
  122         16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s.
  123  718.301(4)(p).
  124         17.Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
  125         (c)1. The official records of the association are open to
  126  inspection by any association member or the authorized
  127  representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right
  128  to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain
  129  copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member or
  130  authorized representative of such member. A renter of a unit has
  131  a right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules.
  132  The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the
  133  frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record
  134  inspections and copying. The failure of an association to
  135  provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a
  136  written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the
  137  association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A
  138  unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled
  139  to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s
  140  willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar
  141  day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after
  142  receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection
  143  entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to
  144  recover reasonable attorney fees from the person in control of
  145  the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access
  146  to the records.
  147         2.Any director or member of the board or association who
  148  knowingly, willfully, and repeatedly violates subparagraph 1.
  149  commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as
  150  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes of this
  151  subparagraph, the term “repeatedly violates” means more than two
  152  violations within a 12-month period.
  153         3. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  154  destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to
  155  be maintained during the period for which such records are
  156  required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally
  157  fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required
  158  to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to
  159  the association or one or more of its members, commits a
  160  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  161  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  162         4.Any person who willfully and knowingly refuses to
  163  release or otherwise produce association records with the intent
  164  of facilitating the commission of a crime or avoiding or
  165  escaping detection, arrest, trial, or punishment for a crime
  166  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
  167  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 is personally subject to a
  168  civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
  169         5. The association shall maintain an adequate number of
  170  copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
  171  and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well
  172  as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and
  173  year-end financial information required under this section, on
  174  the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit
  175  owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual
  176  costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those
  177  requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or
  178  his or her authorized representative to use a portable device,
  179  including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other
  180  technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an
  181  electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the
  182  association’s providing the member or his or her authorized
  183  representative with a copy of such records. The association may
  184  not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for
  185  the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph,
  186  the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
  187         a.1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  188  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  189  product privilege, including a record prepared by an association
  190  attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which
  191  reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy,
  192  or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which
  193  was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for
  194  adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in
  195  anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the
  196  conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
  197         b.2. Information obtained by an association in connection
  198  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  199  unit.
  200         c.3. Personnel records of association or management company
  201  employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll,
  202  health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub
  203  subparagraph subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not
  204  include written employment agreements with an association
  205  employee or management company, or budgetary or financial
  206  records that indicate the compensation paid to an association
  207  employee.
  208         d.4. Medical records of unit owners.
  209         e.5. Social security numbers, driver license numbers,
  210  credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers,
  211  facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a
  212  unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s
  213  notice requirements, and other personal identifying information
  214  of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation,
  215  mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail
  216  address, or facsimile number provided to the association to
  217  fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding
  218  the restrictions in this sub-subparagraph subparagraph, an
  219  association may print and distribute to parcel owners a
  220  directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone
  221  numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his
  222  or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in
  223  writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to
  224  the disclosure of other contact information described in this
  225  sub-subparagraph subparagraph. The association is not liable for
  226  the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected
  227  under this sub-subparagraph subparagraph if the information is
  228  included in an official record of the association and is
  229  voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the
  230  association.
  231         f.6. Electronic security measures that are used by the
  232  association to safeguard data, including passwords.
  233         g.7. The software and operating system used by the
  234  association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the
  235  owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association.
  236  The data is part of the official records of the association.
  237         (g)1.By October 1, 2017, an association with 500 or more
  238  units which does not manage timeshare units shall post digital
  239  copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its
  240  website.
  241         a.The association’s website must be:
  242         (I)An independent website or web portal wholly owned and
  243  operated by the association; or
  244         (II)A website or web portal operated by a third-party
  245  provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or
  246  otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web
  247  portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to
  248  the association’s activities and on which required notices,
  249  records, and documents may be posted by the association.
  250         b.The association’s website must be accessible through the
  251  Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other
  252  protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the
  253  general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees
  254  of the association.
  255         c.Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association
  256  must provide the unit owner with a username and password and
  257  access to the protected sections of the association’s website
  258  that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be
  259  electronically provided.
  260         2.A current copy of the following documents must be posted
  261  in digital format on the association’s website:
  262         a.The recorded declaration of condominium of each
  263  condominium operated by the association and each amendment to
  264  each declaration.
  265         b.The recorded bylaws of the association and each
  266  amendment to the bylaws.
  267         c.The articles of incorporation of the association, or
  268  other documents creating the association, and each amendment
  269  thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must
  270  be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the
  271  Department of State.
  272         d.The rules of the association.
  273         e.Any management agreement, lease, or other contract to
  274  which the association is a party or under which the association
  275  or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
  276  Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services must be
  277  maintained on the website for 1 year.
  278         f.The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any
  279  proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
  280         g.The financial report required by subsection (13) and any
  281  proposed financial report to be considered at a meeting.
  282         h.The certification of each director required by s.
  283  718.112(2)(d)4.b.
  284         i.All contracts or transactions between the association
  285  and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association
  286  that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other
  287  entity in which an association director is also a director or
  288  officer and financially interested.
  289         j.Any contract or document regarding a conflict of
  290  interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
  291  468.436(2) and 718.3026(3).
  292         k.The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for
  293  the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14
  294  days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view
  295  on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of
  296  the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and
  297  linked from the front page. The association must also post on
  298  its website any document to be considered and voted on by the
  299  owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda
  300  at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the
  301  information within the document will be considered.
  302         l. Notice of any board meeting, and the agenda and any
  303  other document required for the meeting as required by s.
  304  718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date
  305  required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
  306         3.The association shall ensure that the information and
  307  records described in paragraph (c), which are not permitted to
  308  be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the
  309  association’s website. If protected information or information
  310  restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in
  311  documents that are required to be posted on the association’s
  312  website, the association shall ensure the information is
  313  redacted before posting the documents online.
  314         (13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of
  315  the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
  316  the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the
  317  preparation and completion of, a financial report for the
  318  preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial
  319  report is completed by the association or received from the
  320  third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the
  321  fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the
  322  association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last
  323  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver
  324  to each unit owner, a copy of the most recent financial report
  325  or a notice that a copy of the most recent financial report will
  326  be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge,
  327  within 5 business days after upon receipt of a written request
  328  from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting
  329  forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by
  330  all associations and addressing the financial reporting
  331  requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must
  332  include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a
  333  summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate
  334  disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be
  335  necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each
  336  reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This
  337  disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling
  338  method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the
  339  number of members and annual revenues of an association.
  340  Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
  341         (a) An association that meets the criteria of this
  342  paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements
  343  in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The
  344  financial statements must be based upon the association’s total
  345  annual revenues, as follows:
  346         1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or
  347  more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial
  348  statements.
  349         2. An association with total annual revenues of at least
  350  $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed
  351  financial statements.
  352         3. An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or
  353  more shall prepare audited financial statements.
  354         (b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less
  355  than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
  356  expenditures.
  357         2. An association that operates fewer than 50 units,
  358  regardless of the association’s annual revenues, shall prepare a
  359  report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
  360  statements required by paragraph (a).
  361         3. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must
  362  disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
  363  classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
  364  expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
  365  following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and
  366  management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation
  367  facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services,
  368  expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and
  369  repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and
  370  reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures,
  371  deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the
  372  association maintains reserves.
  373         (c) An association may prepare, without a meeting of or
  374  approval by the unit owners:
  375         1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
  376  the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts
  377  and expenditures;
  378         2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
  379  association is required to prepare compiled financial
  380  statements; or
  381         3. Audited financial statements if the association is
  382  required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
  383         (d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests
  384  present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
  385  association may prepare:
  386         1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
  387  compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
  388         2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled
  389  financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial
  390  statement; or
  391         3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
  392  financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
  393  of an audited financial statement.
  395  Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the
  396  fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which
  397  the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be
  398  effective for the following fiscal year. If the developer has
  399  not turned over control of the association, all unit owners,
  400  including the developer, may vote on issues related to the
  401  preparation of the association’s financial reports, from the
  402  date of incorporation of the association through the end of the
  403  second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the
  404  certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s.
  405  718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in
  406  the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded
  407  assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such
  408  unit is recorded, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, all unit
  409  owners except the developer may vote on such issues until
  410  control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any
  411  audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by
  412  the developer if done before turnover of control of the
  413  association. An association may not waive the financial
  414  reporting requirements of this section for more than 3
  415  consecutive years.
  416         (e)If the division determines that an association has not
  417  mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner a copy of the most
  418  recent financial report within 5 business days after receipt of
  419  a written request from the unit owner, the unit owner may give
  420  notice to the division of the association’s failure to comply.
  421  Upon notification, the division shall give notice to the
  422  association that the association must mail or hand deliver the
  423  copy of the most recent financial report to the unit owner and
  424  the division within 5 business days after such notice. Any
  425  association that fails to comply with the division’s request may
  426  not waive the financial reporting requirement provided in
  427  paragraph (d). A financial report received by the division
  428  pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained, and the division
  429  shall provide a copy of such report to an association member
  430  upon his or her request.
  431         Section 2. Paragraphs (d) and (j) of subsection (2) of
  432  section 718.112, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  433  (p) is added to that subsection, to read:
  434         718.112 Bylaws.—
  435         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  436  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  437  the following:
  438         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  439         1. An annual meeting of the unit owners shall be held at
  440  the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  441  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  442  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  443  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  444  a timeshare condominium.
  445         2. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the
  446  board caused by the expiration of a director’s term shall be
  447  filled by electing a new board member, and the election must be
  448  by secret ballot. An election is not required if the number of
  449  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates. For
  450  purposes of this paragraph, the term “candidate” means an
  451  eligible person who has timely submitted the written notice, as
  452  described in sub-subparagraph 4.a., of his or her intention to
  453  become a candidate. Except in a timeshare or nonresidential
  454  condominium, or if the staggered term of a board member does not
  455  expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms
  456  would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of
  457  all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members
  458  may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws. If the
  459  bylaws or articles of incorporation permit terms of no more than
  460  2 years, the association Board members may serve 2-year terms if
  461  permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation. A board
  462  member may not serve more than four consecutive 2-year terms,
  463  unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the
  464  total voting interests of the association. If the number of
  465  board members whose terms expire at the annual meeting equals or
  466  exceeds the number of candidates, the candidates become members
  467  of the board effective upon the adjournment of the annual
  468  meeting. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, any remaining
  469  vacancies shall be filled by the affirmative vote of the
  470  majority of the directors making up the newly constituted board
  471  even if the directors constitute less than a quorum or there is
  472  only one director. In a residential condominium association of
  473  more than 10 units or in a residential condominium association
  474  that does not include timeshare units or timeshare interests,
  475  coowners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of
  476  directors at the same time unless they own more than one unit or
  477  unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the
  478  vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy. A unit owner
  479  in a residential condominium desiring to be a candidate for
  480  board membership must comply with sub-subparagraph 4.a. and must
  481  be eligible to be a candidate to serve on the board of directors
  482  at the time of the deadline for submitting a notice of intent to
  483  run in order to have his or her name listed as a proper
  484  candidate on the ballot or to serve on the board. A person who
  485  has been suspended or removed by the division under this
  486  chapter, or who is delinquent in the payment of any monetary
  487  obligation due to the association, is not eligible to be a
  488  candidate for board membership and may not be listed on the
  489  ballot. A person who has been convicted of any felony in this
  490  state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or
  491  who has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction
  492  which would be considered a felony if committed in this state,
  493  is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil
  494  rights have been restored for at least 5 years as of the date
  495  such person seeks election to the board. The validity of an
  496  action by the board is not affected if it is later determined
  497  that a board member is ineligible for board membership due to
  498  having been convicted of a felony. This subparagraph does not
  499  limit the term of a member of the board of a nonresidential
  500  condominium.
  501         3. The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings
  502  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice must
  503  include an agenda, must be mailed, hand delivered, or
  504  electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days
  505  before the annual meeting, and must be posted in a conspicuous
  506  place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days
  507  before the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the
  508  board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location
  509  on the condominium property or association property where all
  510  notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted. This requirement
  511  does not apply if there is no condominium property or
  512  association property for posting notices. In lieu of, or in
  513  addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the
  514  association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for
  515  conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and
  516  the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving
  517  the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is
  518  used in lieu of a notice posted physically on the condominium
  519  property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four
  520  times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is
  521  otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is
  522  provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner
  523  and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an
  524  average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the
  525  entire content of the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner
  526  waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual
  527  meeting, such notice must be hand delivered, mailed, or
  528  electronically transmitted to each unit owner. Notice for
  529  meetings and notice for all other purposes must be mailed to
  530  each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association
  531  by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner.
  532  However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the
  533  association must provide notice to the address that the
  534  developer identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or
  535  more of the owners of the unit advise the association in
  536  writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do
  537  not agree, to the address provided on the deed of record. An
  538  officer of the association, or the manager or other person
  539  providing notice of the association meeting, must provide an
  540  affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of
  541  mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  542  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  543  delivered in accordance with this provision.
  544         4. The members of the board of a residential condominium
  545  shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies
  546  may not be used in electing the board in general elections or
  547  elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or
  548  otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. This
  549  subparagraph does not apply to an association governing a
  550  timeshare condominium.
  551         a. At least 60 days before a scheduled election, the
  552  association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, by
  553  separate association mailing or included in another association
  554  mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly
  555  published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a
  556  first notice of the date of the election. A unit owner or other
  557  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  558  give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to
  559  the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election.
  560  Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in
  561  subparagraph 3., the association shall mail, deliver, or
  562  electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all
  563  unit owners entitled to vote, together with a ballot that lists
  564  all candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information
  565  sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be
  566  furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election,
  567  must be included with the mailing, delivery, or transmission of
  568  the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic
  569  transmission and copying to be borne by the association. The
  570  association is not liable for the contents of the information
  571  sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the
  572  association may print or duplicate the information sheets on
  573  both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish
  574  voting procedures consistent with this sub-subparagraph,
  575  including rules establishing procedures for giving notice by
  576  electronic transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of
  577  ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of ballots
  578  cast. There is no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
  579  percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
  580  have a valid election. A unit owner may not permit any other
  581  person to vote his or her ballot, and any ballots improperly
  582  cast are invalid. A unit owner who violates this provision may
  583  be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A
  584  unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the
  585  reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain such assistance. The
  586  regular election must occur on the date of the annual meeting.
  587  Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, an election is not
  588  required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or
  589  are nominated than board vacancies exist.
  590         b. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the
  591  board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly
  592  elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the
  593  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  594  association’s declaration of condominium, articles of
  595  incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
  596  she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
  597  of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
  598  discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  599  association’s members. In lieu of this written certification,
  600  within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board,
  601  the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate
  602  of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum
  603  administered by a division-approved condominium education
  604  provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of
  605  election or appointment. The written certification or
  606  educational certificate is valid and does not have to be
  607  resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without
  608  interruption. A director of an association of a residential
  609  condominium who fails to timely file the written certification
  610  or educational certificate is suspended from service on the
  611  board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The
  612  board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of
  613  suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain
  614  a director’s written certification or educational certificate
  615  for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s
  616  election or the duration of the director’s uninterrupted tenure,
  617  whichever is longer. Failure to have such written certification
  618  or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity
  619  of any board action.
  620         c. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced
  621  within 60 days after the election results are announced.
  622         5. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  623  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  624  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), must be
  625  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and is subject to
  626  all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium
  627  documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that
  628  unit owners may take action by written agreement, without
  629  meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement
  630  without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws
  631  or declaration or any law that provides for such action.
  632         6. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  633  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law.
  634  Notice of meetings of the board of administration, unit owner
  635  meetings, except unit owner meetings called to recall board
  636  members under paragraph (j), and committee meetings may be given
  637  by electronic transmission to unit owners who consent to receive
  638  notice by electronic transmission.
  639         7. Unit owners have the right to participate in meetings of
  640  unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items.
  641  However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing
  642  the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
  643         8. A unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  644  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  645  division.
  646         9. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  647  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  648  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  649  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  650  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  651  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  652  the election procedures must conform to sub-subparagraph 4.a.
  653  unless the association governs 10 units or fewer and has opted
  654  out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws
  655  of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the
  656  bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section
  657  shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being
  658  filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by
  659  paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
  660         10. This chapter does not limit the use of general or
  661  limited proxies, require the use of general or limited proxies,
  662  or require the use of a written ballot or voting machine for any
  663  agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
  664  condominium association or nonresidential condominium
  665  association.
  667  Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)2. and sub-subparagraph 4.a., an
  668  association of 10 or fewer units may, by affirmative vote of a
  669  majority of the total voting interests, provide for different
  670  voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a
  671  proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election
  672  procedures. The different voting and election procedures may
  673  provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general
  674  proxy.
  675         (j) Recall of board members.—Subject to s. 718.301, any
  676  member of the board of administration may be recalled and
  677  removed from office with or without cause by the vote or
  678  agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests.
  679  A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or
  680  members of the board of administration may be called by 10
  681  percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as
  682  required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall
  683  state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may
  684  not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in
  685  whole or in part for this purpose.
  686         1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting
  687  interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective
  688  as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and
  689  hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the
  690  adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more
  691  board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify
  692  the recall, in which case Such member or members shall be
  693  recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board
  694  within 10 5 full business days after the vote any and all
  695  records and property of the association in their possession, or
  696  shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
  697         2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by
  698  a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or
  699  a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified
  700  mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter
  701  48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of
  702  administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board
  703  within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in
  704  writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the
  705  written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in
  706  which case such member or members shall be recalled effective
  707  immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full
  708  business days any and all records and property of the
  709  association in their possession, or proceed as described in
  710  subparagraph 3.
  711         3.If the board determines not to certify the written
  712  agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or does
  713  not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, The board shall,
  714  within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the
  715  division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures
  716  in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit
  717  owners who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in
  718  writing shall constitute one party under the petition for
  719  arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any
  720  member or members of the board, the recall will be effective
  721  upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the
  722  association. If the association fails to comply with the order
  723  of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s.
  724  718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the
  725  board any and all records of the association in their possession
  726  within 5 full business days after the effective date of the
  727  recall.
  728         3.4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
  729  meeting within 5 full business days after service of an
  730  agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the
  731  adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall
  732  be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall
  733  immediately turn over to the board within 10 full business days
  734  after the vote any and all records and property of the
  735  association.
  736         4.5. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the
  737  required meeting or fails to file the required petition, the
  738  unit owner representative may file a petition pursuant to s.
  739  718.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act. The petition
  740  must be filed within 60 days after the expiration of the
  741  applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition
  742  under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service
  743  on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or
  744  ballots filed.
  745         5.6. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
  746  recall or removal and less than a majority of the board members
  747  are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote
  748  of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
  749  provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If
  750  vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a
  751  majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies
  752  shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be
  753  adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with
  754  this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the
  755  conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the
  756  association during the period after a recall but before the
  757  recall election.
  758         6.7. A board member who has been recalled may file a
  759  petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the validity of the
  760  recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the
  761  recall is deemed certified. The association and the unit owner
  762  representative shall be named as the respondents.
  763         7.8. The division may not accept for filing a recall
  764  petition, whether filed pursuant to subparagraph 1.,
  765  subparagraph 2., subparagraph 4. 5., or subparagraph 6. 7. and
  766  regardless of whether the recall was certified, when there are
  767  60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board
  768  member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have
  769  elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be
  770  recalled.
  771         (p)Service providers; conflicts of interest.—An
  772  association that is not a timeshare condominium association may
  773  not employ or contract with any service provider that is owned
  774  or operated by a board member or with any person who has a
  775  financial relationship with a board member or officer.
  776         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 718.1255, Florida
  777  Statutes, is amended to read:
  778         718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary
  779  mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative
  780  findings.—
  782  DISPUTES.—The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
  783  Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional
  784  Regulation may shall employ full-time attorneys to act as
  785  arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearings provided by this
  786  chapter. The division may also certify attorneys who are not
  787  employed by the division to act as arbitrators to conduct the
  788  arbitration hearings provided by this chapter section. No person
  789  may be employed by the department as a full-time arbitrator
  790  unless he or she is a member in good standing of The Florida
  791  Bar. A person may only be certified by the division to act as an
  792  arbitrator if he or she has been a member in good standing of
  793  The Florida Bar for at least 5 years and has mediated or
  794  arbitrated at least 10 disputes involving condominiums in this
  795  state during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of
  796  application, mediated or arbitrated at least 30 disputes in any
  797  subject area in this state during the 3 years immediately
  798  preceding the date of application, or attained board
  799  certification in real estate law or condominium and planned
  800  development law from The Florida Bar. Arbitrator certification
  801  is valid for 1 year. An arbitrator who does not maintain the
  802  minimum qualifications for initial certification may not have
  803  his or her certification renewed. The department may not enter
  804  into a legal services contract for an arbitration hearing under
  805  this chapter with an attorney who is not a certified arbitrator
  806  unless a certified arbitrator is not available within 50 miles
  807  of the dispute. The department shall adopt rules of procedure to
  808  govern such arbitration hearings including mediation incident
  809  thereto. The decision of an arbitrator shall be final; however,
  810  a decision shall not be deemed final agency action. Nothing in
  811  this provision shall be construed to foreclose parties from
  812  proceeding in a trial de novo unless the parties have agreed
  813  that the arbitration is binding. If judicial proceedings are
  814  initiated, the final decision of the arbitrator shall be
  815  admissible in evidence in the trial de novo.
  816         (a) Prior to the institution of court litigation, a party
  817  to a dispute shall petition the division for nonbinding
  818  arbitration. The petition must be accompanied by a filing fee in
  819  the amount of $50. Filing fees collected under this section must
  820  be used to defray the expenses of the alternative dispute
  821  resolution program.
  822         (b) The petition must recite, and have attached thereto,
  823  supporting proof that the petitioner gave the respondents:
  824         1. Advance written notice of the specific nature of the
  825  dispute;
  826         2. A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to
  827  comply or to provide the relief; and
  828         3. Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition
  829  or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the
  830  dispute.
  832  Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with
  833  these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without
  834  prejudice.
  835         (c) Upon receipt, the petition shall be promptly reviewed
  836  by the division to determine the existence of a dispute and
  837  compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b). If
  838  emergency relief is required and is not available through
  839  arbitration, a motion to stay the arbitration may be filed. The
  840  motion must be accompanied by a verified petition alleging facts
  841  that, if proven, would support entry of a temporary injunction,
  842  and if an appropriate motion and supporting papers are filed,
  843  the division may abate the arbitration pending a court hearing
  844  and disposition of a motion for temporary injunction.
  845         (d) Upon determination by the division that a dispute
  846  exists and that the petition substantially meets the
  847  requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) and any other applicable
  848  rules, the division shall assign or enter into a contract with
  849  an arbitrator and serve a copy of the petition shall be served
  850  by the division upon all respondents. The arbitrator shall
  851  conduct a hearing within 30 days after being assigned or
  852  entering into a contract unless the petition is withdrawn or a
  853  continuance is granted for good cause shown.
  854         (e) Before or after the filing of the respondents’ answer
  855  to the petition, any party may request that the arbitrator refer
  856  the case to mediation under this section and any rules adopted
  857  by the division. Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the
  858  division shall promptly contact the parties to determine if
  859  there is agreement that mediation would be appropriate. If all
  860  parties agree, the dispute must be referred to mediation.
  861  Notwithstanding a lack of an agreement by all parties, the
  862  arbitrator may refer a dispute to mediation at any time.
  863         (f) Upon referral of a case to mediation, the parties must
  864  select a mutually acceptable mediator. To assist in the
  865  selection, the arbitrator shall provide the parties with a list
  866  of both volunteer and paid mediators that have been certified by
  867  the division under s. 718.501. If the parties are unable to
  868  agree on a mediator within the time allowed by the arbitrator,
  869  the arbitrator shall appoint a mediator from the list of
  870  certified mediators. If a case is referred to mediation, the
  871  parties shall attend a mediation conference, as scheduled by the
  872  parties and the mediator. If any party fails to attend a duly
  873  noticed mediation conference, without the permission or approval
  874  of the arbitrator or mediator, the arbitrator must impose
  875  sanctions against the party, including the striking of any
  876  pleadings filed, the entry of an order of dismissal or default
  877  if appropriate, and the award of costs and attorney attorneys’
  878  fees incurred by the other parties. Unless otherwise agreed to
  879  by the parties or as provided by order of the arbitrator, a
  880  party is deemed to have appeared at a mediation conference by
  881  the physical presence of the party or its representative having
  882  full authority to settle without further consultation, provided
  883  that an association may comply by having one or more
  884  representatives present with full authority to negotiate a
  885  settlement and recommend that the board of administration ratify
  886  and approve such a settlement within 5 days from the date of the
  887  mediation conference. The parties shall share equally the
  888  expense of mediation, unless they agree otherwise.
  889         (g) The purpose of mediation as provided for by this
  890  section is to present the parties with an opportunity to resolve
  891  the underlying dispute in good faith, and with a minimum
  892  expenditure of time and resources.
  893         (h) Mediation proceedings must generally be conducted in
  894  accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and these
  895  proceedings are privileged and confidential to the same extent
  896  as court-ordered mediation. Persons who are not parties to the
  897  dispute are not allowed to attend the mediation conference
  898  without the consent of all parties, with the exception of
  899  counsel for the parties and corporate representatives designated
  900  to appear for a party. If the mediator declares an impasse after
  901  a mediation conference has been held, the arbitration proceeding
  902  terminates, unless all parties agree in writing to continue the
  903  arbitration proceeding, in which case the arbitrator’s decision
  904  shall be binding or nonbinding, as agreed upon by the parties;
  905  in the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not consider
  906  any evidence relating to the unsuccessful mediation except in a
  907  proceeding to impose sanctions for failure to appear at the
  908  mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to continue
  909  arbitration, the arbitrator shall enter an order of dismissal,
  910  and either party may institute a suit in a court of competent
  911  jurisdiction. The parties may seek to recover any costs and
  912  attorney attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with arbitration
  913  and mediation proceedings under this section as part of the
  914  costs and fees that may be recovered by the prevailing party in
  915  any subsequent litigation.
  916         (i) Arbitration shall be conducted according to rules
  917  adopted by the division. The filing of a petition for
  918  arbitration shall toll the applicable statute of limitations.
  919         (j) At the request of any party to the arbitration, the
  920  arbitrator shall issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
  921  and the production of books, records, documents, and other
  922  evidence and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
  923  apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
  924  production. Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable
  925  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  926  Discovery may, in the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
  927  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  928  Rules adopted by the division may authorize any reasonable
  929  sanctions except contempt for a violation of the arbitration
  930  procedural rules of the division or for the failure of a party
  931  to comply with a reasonable nonfinal order issued by an
  932  arbitrator which is not under judicial review.
  933         (k) The arbitration decision shall be rendered within 30
  934  days after the hearing and presented to the parties in writing.
  935  An arbitration decision is final in those disputes in which the
  936  parties have agreed to be bound. An arbitration decision is also
  937  final if a complaint for a trial de novo is not filed in a court
  938  of competent jurisdiction in which the condominium is located
  939  within 30 days. The right to file for a trial de novo entitles
  940  the parties to file a complaint in the appropriate trial court
  941  for a judicial resolution of the dispute. The prevailing party
  942  in an arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the
  943  arbitration and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees in an amount
  944  determined by the arbitrator. Such an award shall include the
  945  costs and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees incurred in the
  946  arbitration proceeding as well as the costs and reasonable
  947  attorney attorney’s fees incurred in preparing for and attending
  948  any scheduled mediation. An arbitrator’s failure to render a
  949  written decision within 30 days after the hearing may result in
  950  the cancellation of his or her arbitration certification.
  951         (l) The party who files a complaint for a trial de novo
  952  shall be assessed the other party’s arbitration costs, court
  953  costs, and other reasonable costs, including attorney attorney’s
  954  fees, investigation expenses, and expenses for expert or other
  955  testimony or evidence incurred after the arbitration hearing if
  956  the judgment upon the trial de novo is not more favorable than
  957  the arbitration decision. If the judgment is more favorable, the
  958  party who filed a complaint for trial de novo shall be awarded
  959  reasonable court costs and attorney attorney’s fees.
  960         (m) Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
  961  arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
  962  jurisdiction in which the condominium is located. A petition may
  963  not be granted unless the time for appeal by the filing of a
  964  complaint for trial de novo has expired. If a complaint for a
  965  trial de novo has been filed, a petition may not be granted with
  966  respect to an arbitration award that has been stayed. If the
  967  petition for enforcement is granted, the petitioner shall
  968  recover reasonable attorney attorney’s fees and costs incurred
  969  in enforcing the arbitration award. A mediation settlement may
  970  also be enforced through the county or circuit court, as
  971  applicable, and any costs and fees incurred in the enforcement
  972  of a settlement agreement reached at mediation must be awarded
  973  to the prevailing party in any enforcement action.
  974         Section 4. Section 718.129, Florida Statutes, is created to
  975  read:
  976         718.129Fraudulent voting activities related to association
  977  elections; penalties.—The following acts constitute fraudulent
  978  voting activities related to association elections:
  979         (1)A person who willfully, knowingly, and falsely swears
  980  or affirms to an oath or affirmation, or procures another person
  981  to willfully, knowingly, and falsely swear or affirm to an oath
  982  or affirmation, in connection with or arising out of voting or
  983  casting a ballot in an association election commits a felony of
  984  the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
  985  775.083, or s. 775.084.
  986         (2)A person who willfully and knowingly perpetrates or
  987  attempts to perpetrate, or willfully and knowingly aids another
  988  person in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate, fraud in
  989  connection with or arising out of a vote or ballot cast, to be
  990  cast, or attempted to be cast by an elector in an association
  991  election commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as
  992  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  993         (3)A person who willfully, knowingly, and fraudulently
  994  changes or attempts to change a vote or ballot cast, to be cast,
  995  or attempted to be cast by an elector in an association election
  996  to prevent such elector from voting or casting a ballot as he or
  997  she intended in such election commits a felony of the third
  998  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
  999  775.084.
 1000         (4)(a)A person who willfully and knowingly aids or advises
 1001  another person in committing a violation of this section shall
 1002  be punished as if he or she had committed the violation.
 1003         (b)A person who willfully and knowingly agrees, conspires,
 1004  combines, or confederates with another person in committing a
 1005  violation of this section shall be punished as if he or she had
 1006  committed the violation.
 1007         (c)A person who willfully and knowingly aids or advises a
 1008  person who has committed a violation of this section in avoiding
 1009  or escaping detection, arrest, trial, or punishment shall be
 1010  punished as if he or she had committed the violation. This
 1011  paragraph does not prohibit a member of The Florida Bar from
 1012  giving legal advice to a client.
 1013         Section 5. Subsection (5) is added to section 718.3025,
 1014  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1015         718.3025 Agreements for operation, maintenance, or
 1016  management of condominiums; specific requirements.—
 1017         (5)A party contracting to provide maintenance or
 1018  management services to an association managing a residential
 1019  condominium after transfer of control of the association, as
 1020  provided in s. 718.301, which is not a timeshare condominium
 1021  association, or an officer or board member of such party, may
 1022  not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
 1023  association’s foreclosure of association lien for unpaid
 1024  assessments or take a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If 50 percent
 1025  or more of the units in the condominium are owned by a party
 1026  contracting to provide maintenance or management services to an
 1027  association managing a residential condominium after transfer of
 1028  control of the association, as provided in s. 718.301, which is
 1029  not a timeshare condominium association, or by an officer or
 1030  board member of such party, the contract with the party
 1031  providing maintenance or management services may be cancelled by
 1032  a majority vote of the unit owners other than the contracting
 1033  party or an officer or board member of such party.
 1034         Section 6. Section 718.3027, Florida Statutes, is created
 1035  to read:
 1036         718.3027Conflicts of interest.—
 1037         (1)Directors and officers of a board of an association
 1038  that is not a timeshare condominium association, and the
 1039  relatives of such directors and officers, must disclose to the
 1040  board any activity that may reasonably be construed to be a
 1041  conflict of interest. A rebuttable presumption of a conflict of
 1042  interest exists if any of the following occurs without prior
 1043  notice, as required in subsection (4):
 1044         (a)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1045  officer enters into a contract for goods or services with the
 1046  association.
 1047         (b)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1048  officer holds an interest in a corporation, limited liability
 1049  corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or
 1050  other business entity that conducts business with the
 1051  association or proposes to enter into a contract or other
 1052  transaction with the association.
 1053         (2)If any director, officer, or relative of any director
 1054  or officer proposes to engage in an activity that is a conflict
 1055  of interest, as described in subsection (1), the proposed
 1056  activity must be listed on, and all contracts and transactional
 1057  documents related to the proposed activity must be attached to,
 1058  the meeting agenda. If the board votes against the proposed
 1059  activity, the director, officer, or relative must notify the
 1060  board in writing of his or her intention not to pursue the
 1061  proposed activity, or the director or officer shall withdraw
 1062  from office. If the board finds that any officer or director has
 1063  violated this subsection, the officer or director shall be
 1064  deemed removed from office. The vacancy shall be filled
 1065  according to general law.
 1066         (3)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1067  officer who is a party to, or has an interest in, an activity
 1068  that is a possible conflict of interest, as described in
 1069  subsection (1), may attend the meeting at which the activity is
 1070  considered by the board, and is authorized to make a
 1071  presentation to the board regarding the activity. After the
 1072  presentation, the director, officer, or relative must leave the
 1073  meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the activity.
 1074  Any director or officer who is a party to, or has an interest
 1075  in, the activity must recuse himself or herself from the vote.
 1076         (4)The board must provide notice to unit owners of a
 1077  possible conflict of interest, as described in subsection (1),
 1078  in accordance with the procedures in s. 718.112(2)(c). All
 1079  contracts and transactional documents related to the possible
 1080  conflict of interest must be attached to, and made available
 1081  with, the meeting agenda.
 1082         (5)Any contract entered into between any director,
 1083  officer, or relative of any director or officer and the
 1084  association which has not been properly disclosed as a conflict
 1085  of interest or potential conflict of interest as required by s.
 1086  718.111(12)(g) is voidable and terminates upon the filing of a
 1087  written notice terminating the contract with the board of
 1088  directors which contains the consent of at least 20 percent of
 1089  the voting interests of the association.
 1090         Section 7. Subsection (5) of section 718.303, Florida
 1091  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (8) is added to that
 1092  section, to read:
 1093         718.303 Obligations of owners and occupants; remedies.—
 1094         (5) An association may suspend the voting rights of a unit
 1095  owner or member due to nonpayment of any fee, fine, or other
 1096  monetary obligation due to the association which is more than
 1097  $1,000 and more than 90 days delinquent. Proof of such
 1098  obligation must be provided to the unit owner or member 30 days
 1099  before such suspension takes effect. A voting interest or
 1100  consent right allocated to a unit owner or member which has been
 1101  suspended by the association shall be subtracted from the total
 1102  number of voting interests in the association, which shall be
 1103  reduced by the number of suspended voting interests when
 1104  calculating the total percentage or number of all voting
 1105  interests available to take or approve any action, and the
 1106  suspended voting interests shall not be considered for any
 1107  purpose, including, but not limited to, the percentage or number
 1108  of voting interests necessary to constitute a quorum, the
 1109  percentage or number of voting interests required to conduct an
 1110  election, or the percentage or number of voting interests
 1111  required to approve an action under this chapter or pursuant to
 1112  the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws. The
 1113  suspension ends upon full payment of all obligations currently
 1114  due or overdue the association. The notice and hearing
 1115  requirements under subsection (3) do not apply to a suspension
 1116  imposed under this subsection.
 1117         (8)A receiver may not exercise voting rights of any unit
 1118  owner whose unit is placed in receivership for the benefit of
 1119  the association pursuant to this chapter.
 1120         Section 8. Subsection (5) of section 718.5012, Florida
 1121  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1122         718.5012 Ombudsman; powers and duties.—The ombudsman shall
 1123  have the powers that are necessary to carry out the duties of
 1124  his or her office, including the following specific powers:
 1125         (5) To monitor and review procedures and disputes
 1126  concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not
 1127  limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement
 1128  action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe
 1129  that election misconduct has occurred and reviewing secret
 1130  ballots cast at a vote of the association.
 1131         Section 9. Section 718.71, Florida Statutes, is created to
 1132  read:
 1133         718.71Financial reporting.—An association shall provide an
 1134  annual report to the department containing the names of all of
 1135  the financial institutions with which it maintains accounts, and
 1136  a copy of such report may be obtained from the department upon
 1137  written request of any association member.
 1138         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
 1140  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
 1141  And the title is amended as follows:
 1142         Delete everything before the enacting clause
 1143  and insert:
 1144                        A bill to be entitled                      
 1145         An act relating to condominiums; amending s. 718.111,
 1146         F.S.; prohibiting an association from hiring an
 1147         attorney that represents the management company of the
 1148         association; prohibiting a board member, manager, or
 1149         management company from purchasing a unit at a
 1150         foreclosure sale under certain circumstances;
 1151         providing recordkeeping requirements; providing that
 1152         the official records of an association are open to
 1153         inspection by unit renters; providing that a renter of
 1154         a unit has a right to inspect and copy the
 1155         association’s bylaws and rules; providing criminal
 1156         penalties; providing a definition; providing
 1157         requirements relating to the posting of specified
 1158         documents on an association’s website; providing a
 1159         remedy for an association’s failure to provide a unit
 1160         owner with a copy of the most recent financial report;
 1161         requiring the Division of Florida Condominiums,
 1162         Timeshares, and Mobile Homes to maintain and provide
 1163         copies of financial reports; amending s. 718.112,
 1164         F.S.; providing board member term limits; providing an
 1165         exception; deleting certification requirements
 1166         relating to the recall of board members; revising the
 1167         amount of time in which a recalled board member must
 1168         turn over records and property of the association to
 1169         the board; prohibiting certain associations from
 1170         employing or contracting with a service provider that
 1171         is owned or operated by certain persons; amending s.
 1172         718.1255, F.S.; authorizing, rather than requiring,
 1173         the division to employ full-time attorneys to conduct
 1174         certain arbitration hearings; providing requirements
 1175         for the certification of arbitrators; prohibiting the
 1176         Department of Business and Professional Regulation
 1177         from entering into a legal services contract for
 1178         certain arbitration hearings; requiring the division
 1179         to assign or enter into contracts with arbitrators;
 1180         requiring arbitrators to conduct hearings within a
 1181         specified period; providing an exception; providing
 1182         arbitration proceeding requirements; creating s.
 1183         718.129, F.S.; providing that certain activities
 1184         constitute fraudulent voting activities related to
 1185         association elections; providing criminal penalties;
 1186         amending s. 718.3025, F.S.; prohibiting specified
 1187         parties from purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale
 1188         resulting from the association’s foreclosure of
 1189         association lien for unpaid assessments or from taking
 1190         a deed in lieu of foreclosures; authorizing a contract
 1191         with a party providing maintenance or management
 1192         services to be cancelled by a majority vote of certain
 1193         unit owners under specified conditions; creating s.
 1194         718.3027, F.S.; providing requirements relating to
 1195         board director and officer conflicts of interest;
 1196         providing that certain contracts are voidable if they
 1197         do not meet specified notice requirements and
 1198         terminate, subject to a certain condition; amending s.
 1199         718.303, F.S.; providing requirements relating to the
 1200         suspension of voting rights of unit owners and
 1201         members; prohibiting a receiver from exercising the
 1202         voting rights of a unit owner whose unit is placed in
 1203         receivership; amending s. 718.5012, F.S.; providing
 1204         the ombudsman with an additional power; creating s.
 1205         718.71, F.S.; providing financial reporting
 1206         requirements of an association; providing an effective
 1207         date.