Florida Senate - 2017                                    SB 1682
       By Senator Garcia
       36-00715B-17                                          20171682__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to condominiums; amending s. 718.111,
    3         F.S.; prohibiting an attorney from representing a
    4         board under certain conditions; prohibiting certain
    5         actions by a board member or management company;
    6         providing recordkeeping requirements; providing that
    7         the official records of an association are open to
    8         inspection by unit renters; providing criminal
    9         penalties; providing a definition; providing
   10         requirements relating to the posting of specified
   11         documents on an association’s website; providing a
   12         remedy for an association’s failure to provide a unit
   13         owner with a copy of the most recent financial report;
   14         requiring the Division of Florida Condominiums,
   15         Timeshares, and Mobile Homes to maintain and provide
   16         copies of financial reports; amending s. 718.112,
   17         F.S.; providing board member term limits; providing an
   18         exception; deleting certification requirements
   19         relating to the recall of board members; revising the
   20         amount of time in which a recalled board member must
   21         turn over records and property of the association to
   22         the board; prohibiting an association from employing
   23         or contracting with a service provider that is owned
   24         or operated by certain persons; amending s. 718.1255,
   25         F.S.; authorizing, rather than requiring, the division
   26         to employ full-time attorneys to conduct certain
   27         arbitration hearings; providing requirements for the
   28         certification of arbitrators; prohibiting the
   29         Department of Business and Professional Regulation
   30         from entering into a legal services contract for
   31         certain arbitration hearings; requiring the division
   32         to assign or enter into contracts with arbitrators;
   33         requiring arbitrators to conduct hearings within a
   34         specified period; providing an exception; providing
   35         arbitration proceeding requirements; creating s.
   36         718.129, F.S.; providing that certain activities
   37         constitute fraudulent voting activities related to
   38         association elections; providing criminal penalties;
   39         amending s. 718.3025, F.S.; prohibiting specified
   40         parties from certain activities; creating s. 718.3027,
   41         F.S.; providing requirements relating to board
   42         director and officer conflicts of interest; providing
   43         that certain contracts are null and void if they do
   44         not meet specified notice requirements; amending s.
   45         718.303, F.S.; providing requirements relating to the
   46         suspension of voting rights of unit owners and
   47         members; prohibiting a receiver from exercising the
   48         voting rights of a unit owner whose unit is placed in
   49         receivership; amending s. 718.5012, F.S.; providing
   50         the ombudsman with an additional power; creating s.
   51         718.71, F.S.; providing financial reporting
   52         requirements of an association; providing an effective
   53         date.
   55  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   57         Section 1. Subsections (3) and (9), paragraphs (a) and (c)
   58  of subsection (12), and subsection (13) of section 718.111,
   59  Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph (g) is added to
   60  subsection (12) of that section, to read:
   61         718.111 The association.—
   64         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
   65  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
   66  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
   67  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
   68  condominium property. After control of the association is
   69  obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the
   70  association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions
   71  or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
   72  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
   73  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
   74  structural components of a building or other improvements;
   75  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
   76  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
   77  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
   78  and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and
   79  on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring
   80  inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the
   81  authority to maintain a class action, the association may be
   82  joined in an action as representative of that class with
   83  reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for
   84  which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein
   85  limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit
   86  owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without
   87  participation by the association which may otherwise be
   88  available.
   89         (b)An attorney may not represent a board if the attorney
   90  represents the management company of the association.
   91         (9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.—The association has the power,
   92  unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation,
   93  or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the
   94  condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey
   95  them. There shall be no limitation on the association’s right to
   96  purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
   97  association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or
   98  to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure. However, a board
   99  member or management company may not purchase a unit at a
  100  foreclosure sale resulting from the association’s foreclosure of
  101  its lien for unpaid assessments or take title by deed in lieu of
  102  foreclosure.
  103         (12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
  104         (a) From the inception of the association, the association
  105  shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which
  106  constitutes the official records of the association:
  107         1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other
  108  items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
  109         2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium
  110  of each condominium operated by the association and each
  111  amendment to each declaration.
  112         3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association
  113  and each amendment to the bylaws.
  114         4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the
  115  association, or other documents creating the association, and
  116  each amendment thereto.
  117         5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
  118         6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings
  119  of the association, the board of administration, and the unit
  120  owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.
  121         7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing
  122  addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if
  123  known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain
  124  the electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers of unit
  125  owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission.
  126  The electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers are not
  127  accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by
  128  electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with sub
  129  subparagraph (c)5.e. subparagraph (c)5. However, the association
  130  is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the electronic
  131  mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic
  132  transmission of notices.
  133         8. All current insurance policies of the association and
  134  condominiums operated by the association.
  135         9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or
  136  other contract to which the association is a party or under
  137  which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or
  138  responsibility.
  139         10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the
  140  association.
  141         11. Accounting records for the association and separate
  142  accounting records for each condominium that the association
  143  operates. All accounting records must be maintained for at least
  144  7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  145  destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails
  146  to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing
  147  harm to the association or one or more of its members, is
  148  personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s.
  149  718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not
  150  limited to:
  151         a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts
  152  and expenditures.
  153         b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly
  154  statement of the account for each unit designating the name of
  155  the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the
  156  amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
  157         c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and
  158  financial reports of the association or condominium.
  159         d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to
  160  be performed are also considered official records and must be
  161  maintained by the association.
  162         12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other
  163  papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be
  164  maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or
  165  meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph
  166  (b).
  167         13. All rental records if the association is acting as
  168  agent for the rental of condominium units.
  169         14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as
  170  described in s. 718.504.
  171         15. All other written records of the association not
  172  specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
  173  operation of the association.
  174         16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s.
  175  718.301(4)(p).
  176         17.Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
  177         (c)1. The official records of the association are open to
  178  inspection by any association member, or the authorized
  179  representative of such member, or the renter of such member’s
  180  unit at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records
  181  includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable
  182  expense, if any, of the member, authorized representative of
  183  such member, or the renter of such member’s unit. The
  184  association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency,
  185  time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and
  186  copying. The failure of an association to provide the records
  187  within 10 working days after receipt of a written request
  188  creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully
  189  failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied
  190  access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or
  191  minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply.
  192  Minimum damages are $50 per calendar day for up to 10 days,
  193  beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written
  194  request. The failure to permit inspection entitles any person
  195  prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable
  196  attorney fees from the person in control of the records who,
  197  directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records.
  198         2.Any director or member of the board or association who
  199  knowingly, willfully, and repeatedly violates subparagraph 1.
  200  commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as
  201  provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes of this
  202  subparagraph, the term “repeatedly violates” means more than two
  203  violations within a 12-month period.
  204         3. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  205  destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to
  206  be maintained during the period for which such records are
  207  required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally
  208  fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required
  209  to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to
  210  the association or one or more of its members, commits a
  211  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  212  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  213         4.Any person who willfully and knowingly refuses to
  214  release or otherwise produce association records with the intent
  215  of facilitating the commission of a crime or avoiding or
  216  escaping detection, arrest, trial, or punishment for a crime
  217  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
  218  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 is personally subject to a
  219  civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
  220         5. The association shall maintain an adequate number of
  221  copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
  222  and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well
  223  as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and
  224  year-end financial information required under this section, on
  225  the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit
  226  owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual
  227  costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those
  228  requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or
  229  his or her authorized representative to use a portable device,
  230  including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other
  231  technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an
  232  electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the
  233  association’s providing the member or his or her authorized
  234  representative with a copy of such records. The association may
  235  not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for
  236  the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph,
  237  the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
  238         a.1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  239  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  240  product privilege, including a record prepared by an association
  241  attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which
  242  reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy,
  243  or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which
  244  was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for
  245  adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in
  246  anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the
  247  conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
  248         b.2. Information obtained by an association in connection
  249  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  250  unit.
  251         c.3. Personnel records of association or management company
  252  employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll,
  253  health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub
  254  subparagraph subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not
  255  include written employment agreements with an association
  256  employee or management company, or budgetary or financial
  257  records that indicate the compensation paid to an association
  258  employee.
  259         d.4. Medical records of unit owners.
  260         e.5. Social security numbers, driver license numbers,
  261  credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers,
  262  facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a
  263  unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s
  264  notice requirements, and other personal identifying information
  265  of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation,
  266  mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail
  267  address, or facsimile number provided to the association to
  268  fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding
  269  the restrictions in this sub-subparagraph subparagraph, an
  270  association may print and distribute to parcel owners a
  271  directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone
  272  numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his
  273  or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in
  274  writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to
  275  the disclosure of other contact information described in this
  276  sub-subparagraph subparagraph. The association is not liable for
  277  the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected
  278  under this sub-subparagraph subparagraph if the information is
  279  included in an official record of the association and is
  280  voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the
  281  association.
  282         f.6. Electronic security measures that are used by the
  283  association to safeguard data, including passwords.
  284         g.7. The software and operating system used by the
  285  association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the
  286  owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association.
  287  The data is part of the official records of the association.
  288         (g)1.An association with 500 or more units that does not
  289  manage timeshare units shall post digital copies of the
  290  documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its website.
  291         a.The association’s website must be:
  292         (I)An independent website or web portal wholly owned and
  293  operated by the association; or
  294         (II)A website or web portal operated by a third-party
  295  provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or
  296  otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web
  297  portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to
  298  the association’s activities and on which required notices,
  299  records, and documents may be posted by the association.
  300         b.The association’s website must be accessible through the
  301  Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other
  302  protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the
  303  general public and accessible only to unit owners, employees of
  304  the association, and the department.
  305         c.Upon a unit owner’s request, the association must
  306  provide the unit owner with a username and password and access
  307  to the protected sections of the association’s website that
  308  contain any notices, records, or documents that must be
  309  electronically provided.
  310         2.A current copy of the following documents must be posted
  311  in digital format on the association’s website:
  312         a.The recorded declaration of condominium of each
  313  condominium operated by the association and each amendment to
  314  each declaration.
  315         b.The recorded bylaws of the association and each
  316  amendment to the bylaws.
  317         c.The articles of incorporation of the association, or
  318  other documents creating the association, and each amendment
  319  thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must
  320  be a certified copy.
  321         d.The rules of the association.
  322         e.Any management agreement, lease, or other contract to
  323  which the association is a party or under which the association
  324  or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
  325  Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services must be
  326  maintained on the website for 1 year.
  327         f.The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any
  328  proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
  329         g.The financial report required by subsection (13) and any
  330  proposed financial report to be considered at a meeting.
  331         h.The certification of each director required by s.
  332  718.112(2)(d)4.b.
  333         i.All contracts or transactions between the association
  334  and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association
  335  that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other
  336  entity in which an association director is also a director or
  337  officer and financially interested.
  338         j.Any contract or document regarding a conflict of
  339  interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
  340  468.436(2) and 718.3026(3).
  341         k.The notice of any board meeting and the agenda for the
  342  meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14
  343  days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view
  344  on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of
  345  the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and
  346  linked from the front page. The association must also post on
  347  its website any documents to be considered during the meeting or
  348  listed on the agenda at least 7 days before the meeting at which
  349  the document or the information within the document will be
  350  considered, including the following documents:
  351         (I)The proposed annual budget required by s.
  352  718.112(2)(f), which must be provided at least 14 days before
  353  the meeting.
  354         (II)The proposed financial report required by subsection
  355  (13).
  356         3.The association shall ensure that the information and
  357  records described in paragraph (c), which are not permitted to
  358  be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the
  359  association’s website. If protected information or information
  360  restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in
  361  documents that are required to be posted on the association’s
  362  website, the association shall ensure the information is
  363  redacted before posting the documents online.
  364         (13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of
  365  the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
  366  the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the
  367  preparation and completion of, a financial report for the
  368  preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial
  369  report is completed by the association or received from the
  370  third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the
  371  fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the
  372  association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last
  373  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver
  374  to each unit owner, a copy of the most recent financial report
  375  or a notice that a copy of the most recent financial report will
  376  be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge,
  377  within 5 business days after upon receipt of a written request
  378  from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting
  379  forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by
  380  all associations and addressing the financial reporting
  381  requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must
  382  include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a
  383  summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate
  384  disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be
  385  necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each
  386  reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This
  387  disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling
  388  method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the
  389  number of members and annual revenues of an association.
  390  Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
  391         (a) An association that meets the criteria of this
  392  paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements
  393  in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The
  394  financial statements must be based upon the association’s total
  395  annual revenues, as follows:
  396         1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or
  397  more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial
  398  statements.
  399         2. An association with total annual revenues of at least
  400  $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed
  401  financial statements.
  402         3. An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or
  403  more shall prepare audited financial statements.
  404         (b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less
  405  than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
  406  expenditures.
  407         2. An association that operates fewer than 50 units,
  408  regardless of the association’s annual revenues, shall prepare a
  409  report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
  410  statements required by paragraph (a).
  411         3. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must
  412  disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
  413  classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
  414  expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
  415  following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and
  416  management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation
  417  facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services,
  418  expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and
  419  repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and
  420  reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures,
  421  deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the
  422  association maintains reserves.
  423         (c) An association may prepare, without a meeting of or
  424  approval by the unit owners:
  425         1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
  426  the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts
  427  and expenditures;
  428         2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
  429  association is required to prepare compiled financial
  430  statements; or
  431         3. Audited financial statements if the association is
  432  required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
  433         (d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests
  434  present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
  435  association may prepare:
  436         1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
  437  compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
  438         2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled
  439  financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial
  440  statement; or
  441         3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
  442  financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
  443  of an audited financial statement.
  445  Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the
  446  fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which
  447  the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be
  448  effective for the following fiscal year. If the developer has
  449  not turned over control of the association, all unit owners,
  450  including the developer, may vote on issues related to the
  451  preparation of the association’s financial reports, from the
  452  date of incorporation of the association through the end of the
  453  second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the
  454  certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s.
  455  718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in
  456  the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded
  457  assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such
  458  unit is recorded, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, all unit
  459  owners except the developer may vote on such issues until
  460  control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any
  461  audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by
  462  the developer if done before turnover of control of the
  463  association. An association may not waive the financial
  464  reporting requirements of this section for more than 3
  465  consecutive years.
  466         (e)If an association has not mailed or hand delivered to
  467  the unit owner a copy of the most recent financial report within
  468  5 business days after receipt of a written request from the unit
  469  owner, the unit owner may give notice to the division of the
  470  association’s failure to comply. Upon notification, the division
  471  shall give notice to the association that the association must
  472  mail or hand deliver the copy of the most recent financial
  473  report to the unit owner and the division within 5 business days
  474  after such notice. Any association that fails to comply with the
  475  division’s request may not waive the financial reporting
  476  requirement provided in paragraph (d). A financial report
  477  received by the division pursuant to this paragraph shall be
  478  maintained, and the division shall provide a copy of such report
  479  to an association member upon his or her request.
  480         Section 2. Paragraphs (d) and (j) of subsection (2) of
  481  section 718.112, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  482  (p) is added to that subsection, to read:
  483         718.112 Bylaws.—
  484         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  485  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  486  the following:
  487         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  488         1. An annual meeting of the unit owners shall be held at
  489  the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  490  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  491  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  492  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  493  a timeshare condominium.
  494         2. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the
  495  board caused by the expiration of a director’s term shall be
  496  filled by electing a new board member, and the election must be
  497  by secret ballot. An election is not required if the number of
  498  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates. For
  499  purposes of this paragraph, the term “candidate” means an
  500  eligible person who has timely submitted the written notice, as
  501  described in sub-subparagraph 4.a., of his or her intention to
  502  become a candidate. Except in a timeshare or nonresidential
  503  condominium, or if the staggered term of a board member does not
  504  expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms
  505  would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of
  506  all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members
  507  may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws. If the
  508  bylaws or articles of incorporation permit terms of no more than
  509  2 years, the association Board members may serve 2-year terms if
  510  permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation. A board
  511  member may not serve more than four consecutive 2-year terms,
  512  unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the
  513  total voting interests of the association. If the number of
  514  board members whose terms expire at the annual meeting equals or
  515  exceeds the number of candidates, the candidates become members
  516  of the board effective upon the adjournment of the annual
  517  meeting. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, any remaining
  518  vacancies shall be filled by the affirmative vote of the
  519  majority of the directors making up the newly constituted board
  520  even if the directors constitute less than a quorum or there is
  521  only one director. In a residential condominium association of
  522  more than 10 units or in a residential condominium association
  523  that does not include timeshare units or timeshare interests,
  524  coowners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of
  525  directors at the same time unless they own more than one unit or
  526  unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the
  527  vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy. A unit owner
  528  in a residential condominium desiring to be a candidate for
  529  board membership must comply with sub-subparagraph 4.a. and must
  530  be eligible to be a candidate to serve on the board of directors
  531  at the time of the deadline for submitting a notice of intent to
  532  run in order to have his or her name listed as a proper
  533  candidate on the ballot or to serve on the board. A person who
  534  has been suspended or removed by the division under this
  535  chapter, or who is delinquent in the payment of any monetary
  536  obligation due to the association, is not eligible to be a
  537  candidate for board membership and may not be listed on the
  538  ballot. A person who has been convicted of any felony in this
  539  state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or
  540  who has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction
  541  which would be considered a felony if committed in this state,
  542  is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil
  543  rights have been restored for at least 5 years as of the date
  544  such person seeks election to the board. The validity of an
  545  action by the board is not affected if it is later determined
  546  that a board member is ineligible for board membership due to
  547  having been convicted of a felony. This subparagraph does not
  548  limit the term of a member of the board of a nonresidential
  549  condominium.
  550         3. The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings
  551  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice must
  552  include an agenda, must be mailed, hand delivered, or
  553  electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days
  554  before the annual meeting, and must be posted in a conspicuous
  555  place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days
  556  before the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the
  557  board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location
  558  on the condominium property or association property where all
  559  notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted. This requirement
  560  does not apply if there is no condominium property or
  561  association property for posting notices. In lieu of, or in
  562  addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the
  563  association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for
  564  conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and
  565  the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving
  566  the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is
  567  used in lieu of a notice posted physically on the condominium
  568  property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four
  569  times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is
  570  otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is
  571  provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner
  572  and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an
  573  average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the
  574  entire content of the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner
  575  waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual
  576  meeting, such notice must be hand delivered, mailed, or
  577  electronically transmitted to each unit owner. Notice for
  578  meetings and notice for all other purposes must be mailed to
  579  each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association
  580  by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner.
  581  However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the
  582  association must provide notice to the address that the
  583  developer identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or
  584  more of the owners of the unit advise the association in
  585  writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do
  586  not agree, to the address provided on the deed of record. An
  587  officer of the association, or the manager or other person
  588  providing notice of the association meeting, must provide an
  589  affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of
  590  mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  591  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  592  delivered in accordance with this provision.
  593         4. The members of the board of a residential condominium
  594  shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies
  595  may not be used in electing the board in general elections or
  596  elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or
  597  otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. This
  598  subparagraph does not apply to an association governing a
  599  timeshare condominium.
  600         a. At least 60 days before a scheduled election, the
  601  association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, by
  602  separate association mailing or included in another association
  603  mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly
  604  published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a
  605  first notice of the date of the election. A unit owner or other
  606  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  607  give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to
  608  the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election.
  609  Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in
  610  subparagraph 3., the association shall mail, deliver, or
  611  electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all
  612  unit owners entitled to vote, together with a ballot that lists
  613  all candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information
  614  sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be
  615  furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election,
  616  must be included with the mailing, delivery, or transmission of
  617  the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic
  618  transmission and copying to be borne by the association. The
  619  association is not liable for the contents of the information
  620  sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the
  621  association may print or duplicate the information sheets on
  622  both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish
  623  voting procedures consistent with this sub-subparagraph,
  624  including rules establishing procedures for giving notice by
  625  electronic transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of
  626  ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of ballots
  627  cast. There is no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
  628  percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
  629  have a valid election. A unit owner may not permit any other
  630  person to vote his or her ballot, and any ballots improperly
  631  cast are invalid. A unit owner who violates this provision may
  632  be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A
  633  unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the
  634  reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain such assistance. The
  635  regular election must occur on the date of the annual meeting.
  636  Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, an election is not
  637  required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or
  638  are nominated than board vacancies exist.
  639         b. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the
  640  board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly
  641  elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the
  642  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  643  association’s declaration of condominium, articles of
  644  incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
  645  she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
  646  of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
  647  discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  648  association’s members. In lieu of this written certification,
  649  within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board,
  650  the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate
  651  of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum
  652  administered by a division-approved condominium education
  653  provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of
  654  election or appointment. The written certification or
  655  educational certificate is valid and does not have to be
  656  resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without
  657  interruption. A director of an association of a residential
  658  condominium who fails to timely file the written certification
  659  or educational certificate is suspended from service on the
  660  board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The
  661  board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of
  662  suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain
  663  a director’s written certification or educational certificate
  664  for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s
  665  election or the duration of the director’s uninterrupted tenure,
  666  whichever is longer. Failure to have such written certification
  667  or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity
  668  of any board action.
  669         c. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced
  670  within 60 days after the election results are announced.
  671         5. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  672  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  673  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), must be
  674  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and is subject to
  675  all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium
  676  documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that
  677  unit owners may take action by written agreement, without
  678  meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement
  679  without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws
  680  or declaration or any law that provides for such action.
  681         6. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  682  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law.
  683  Notice of meetings of the board of administration, unit owner
  684  meetings, except unit owner meetings called to recall board
  685  members under paragraph (j), and committee meetings may be given
  686  by electronic transmission to unit owners who consent to receive
  687  notice by electronic transmission.
  688         7. Unit owners have the right to participate in meetings of
  689  unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items.
  690  However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing
  691  the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
  692         8. A unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  693  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  694  division.
  695         9. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  696  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  697  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  698  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  699  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  700  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  701  the election procedures must conform to sub-subparagraph 4.a.
  702  unless the association governs 10 units or fewer and has opted
  703  out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws
  704  of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the
  705  bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section
  706  shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being
  707  filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by
  708  paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
  709         10. This chapter does not limit the use of general or
  710  limited proxies, require the use of general or limited proxies,
  711  or require the use of a written ballot or voting machine for any
  712  agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
  713  condominium association or nonresidential condominium
  714  association.
  716  Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)2. and sub-subparagraph 4.a., an
  717  association of 10 or fewer units may, by affirmative vote of a
  718  majority of the total voting interests, provide for different
  719  voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a
  720  proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election
  721  procedures. The different voting and election procedures may
  722  provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general
  723  proxy.
  724         (j) Recall of board members.—Subject to s. 718.301, any
  725  member of the board of administration may be recalled and
  726  removed from office with or without cause by the vote or
  727  agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests.
  728  A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or
  729  members of the board of administration may be called by 10
  730  percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as
  731  required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall
  732  state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may
  733  not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in
  734  whole or in part for this purpose.
  735         1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting
  736  interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective
  737  as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and
  738  hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the
  739  adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more
  740  board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify
  741  the recall, in which case Such member or members shall be
  742  recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board
  743  within 10 5 full business days after the vote any and all
  744  records and property of the association in their possession, or
  745  shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
  746         2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by
  747  a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or
  748  a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified
  749  mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter
  750  48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of
  751  administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board
  752  within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in
  753  writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the
  754  written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in
  755  which case such member or members shall be recalled effective
  756  immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full
  757  business days any and all records and property of the
  758  association in their possession, or proceed as described in
  759  subparagraph 3.
  760         3.If the board determines not to certify the written
  761  agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or does
  762  not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, The board shall,
  763  within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the
  764  division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures
  765  in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit
  766  owners who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in
  767  writing shall constitute one party under the petition for
  768  arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any
  769  member or members of the board, the recall will be effective
  770  upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the
  771  association. If the association fails to comply with the order
  772  of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s.
  773  718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the
  774  board any and all records of the association in their possession
  775  within 5 full business days after the effective date of the
  776  recall.
  777         3.4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
  778  meeting within 5 full business days after service of an
  779  agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the
  780  adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall
  781  be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall
  782  immediately turn over to the board within 10 full business days
  783  after the vote any and all records and property of the
  784  association.
  785         4.5. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the
  786  required meeting or fails to file the required petition, the
  787  unit owner representative may file a petition pursuant to s.
  788  718.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act. The petition
  789  must be filed within 60 days after the expiration of the
  790  applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition
  791  under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service
  792  on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or
  793  ballots filed.
  794         5.6. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
  795  recall or removal and less than a majority of the board members
  796  are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote
  797  of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
  798  provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If
  799  vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a
  800  majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies
  801  shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be
  802  adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with
  803  this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the
  804  conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the
  805  association during the period after a recall but before the
  806  recall election.
  807         6.7. A board member who has been recalled may file a
  808  petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the validity of the
  809  recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the
  810  recall is deemed certified. The association and the unit owner
  811  representative shall be named as the respondents.
  812         7.8. The division may not accept for filing a recall
  813  petition, whether filed pursuant to subparagraph 1.,
  814  subparagraph 2., subparagraph 4. 5., or subparagraph 6. 7. and
  815  regardless of whether the recall was certified, when there are
  816  60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board
  817  member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have
  818  elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be
  819  recalled.
  820         (p)Service providers; conflicts of interest.—An
  821  association may not employ or contract with any service provider
  822  that is owned or operated by a board member or any person who
  823  has a financial relationship with a board member.
  824         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 718.1255, Florida
  825  Statutes, is amended to read:
  826         718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary
  827  mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative
  828  findings.—
  830  DISPUTES.—The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
  831  Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional
  832  Regulation may shall employ full-time attorneys to act as
  833  arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearings provided by this
  834  chapter. The division may also certify attorneys who are not
  835  employed by the division to act as arbitrators to conduct the
  836  arbitration hearings provided by this chapter section. No person
  837  may be employed by the department as a full-time arbitrator
  838  unless he or she is a member in good standing of The Florida
  839  Bar. A person may only be certified by the division to act as an
  840  arbitrator if he or she has been a member in good standing of
  841  The Florida Bar for at least 5 years and has mediated or
  842  arbitrated at least 10 disputes involving condominiums in this
  843  state during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of
  844  application, mediated or arbitrated at least 30 disputes in any
  845  subject area in this state during the 3 years immediately
  846  preceding the date of application, or attained board
  847  certification in real estate law or condominium and planned
  848  development law from The Florida Bar. Arbitrator certification
  849  is valid for 1 year. An arbitrator who does not maintain the
  850  minimum qualifications for initial certification may not have
  851  his or her certification renewed. The department may not enter
  852  into a legal services contract for an arbitration hearing under
  853  this chapter with an attorney who is not a certified arbitrator
  854  unless a certified arbitrator is not available within 50 miles
  855  of the dispute. The department shall adopt rules of procedure to
  856  govern such arbitration hearings including mediation incident
  857  thereto. The decision of an arbitrator shall be final; however,
  858  a decision shall not be deemed final agency action. Nothing in
  859  this provision shall be construed to foreclose parties from
  860  proceeding in a trial de novo unless the parties have agreed
  861  that the arbitration is binding. If judicial proceedings are
  862  initiated, the final decision of the arbitrator shall be
  863  admissible in evidence in the trial de novo.
  864         (a) Prior to the institution of court litigation, a party
  865  to a dispute shall petition the division for nonbinding
  866  arbitration. The petition must be accompanied by a filing fee in
  867  the amount of $50. Filing fees collected under this section must
  868  be used to defray the expenses of the alternative dispute
  869  resolution program.
  870         (b) The petition must recite, and have attached thereto,
  871  supporting proof that the petitioner gave the respondents:
  872         1. Advance written notice of the specific nature of the
  873  dispute;
  874         2. A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to
  875  comply or to provide the relief; and
  876         3. Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition
  877  or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the
  878  dispute.
  880  Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with
  881  these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without
  882  prejudice.
  883         (c) Upon receipt, the petition shall be promptly reviewed
  884  by the division to determine the existence of a dispute and
  885  compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b). If
  886  emergency relief is required and is not available through
  887  arbitration, a motion to stay the arbitration may be filed. The
  888  motion must be accompanied by a verified petition alleging facts
  889  that, if proven, would support entry of a temporary injunction,
  890  and if an appropriate motion and supporting papers are filed,
  891  the division may abate the arbitration pending a court hearing
  892  and disposition of a motion for temporary injunction.
  893         (d) Upon determination by the division that a dispute
  894  exists and that the petition substantially meets the
  895  requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) and any other applicable
  896  rules, the division shall assign or enter into a contract with
  897  an arbitrator and serve a copy of the petition shall be served
  898  by the division upon all respondents. The arbitrator shall
  899  conduct a hearing within 30 days after being assigned or
  900  entering into a contract unless the petition is withdrawn or a
  901  continuance is granted for good cause shown.
  902         (e) Before or after the filing of the respondents’ answer
  903  to the petition, any party may request that the arbitrator refer
  904  the case to mediation under this section and any rules adopted
  905  by the division. Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the
  906  division shall promptly contact the parties to determine if
  907  there is agreement that mediation would be appropriate. If all
  908  parties agree, the dispute must be referred to mediation.
  909  Notwithstanding a lack of an agreement by all parties, the
  910  arbitrator may refer a dispute to mediation at any time.
  911         (f) Upon referral of a case to mediation, the parties must
  912  select a mutually acceptable mediator. To assist in the
  913  selection, the arbitrator shall provide the parties with a list
  914  of both volunteer and paid mediators that have been certified by
  915  the division under s. 718.501. If the parties are unable to
  916  agree on a mediator within the time allowed by the arbitrator,
  917  the arbitrator shall appoint a mediator from the list of
  918  certified mediators. If a case is referred to mediation, the
  919  parties shall attend a mediation conference, as scheduled by the
  920  parties and the mediator. If any party fails to attend a duly
  921  noticed mediation conference, without the permission or approval
  922  of the arbitrator or mediator, the arbitrator must impose
  923  sanctions against the party, including the striking of any
  924  pleadings filed, the entry of an order of dismissal or default
  925  if appropriate, and the award of costs and attorneys’ fees
  926  incurred by the other parties. Unless otherwise agreed to by the
  927  parties or as provided by order of the arbitrator, a party is
  928  deemed to have appeared at a mediation conference by the
  929  physical presence of the party or its representative having full
  930  authority to settle without further consultation, provided that
  931  an association may comply by having one or more representatives
  932  present with full authority to negotiate a settlement and
  933  recommend that the board of administration ratify and approve
  934  such a settlement within 5 days from the date of the mediation
  935  conference. The parties shall share equally the expense of
  936  mediation, unless they agree otherwise.
  937         (g) The purpose of mediation as provided for by this
  938  section is to present the parties with an opportunity to resolve
  939  the underlying dispute in good faith, and with a minimum
  940  expenditure of time and resources.
  941         (h) Mediation proceedings must generally be conducted in
  942  accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and these
  943  proceedings are privileged and confidential to the same extent
  944  as court-ordered mediation. Persons who are not parties to the
  945  dispute are not allowed to attend the mediation conference
  946  without the consent of all parties, with the exception of
  947  counsel for the parties and corporate representatives designated
  948  to appear for a party. If the mediator declares an impasse after
  949  a mediation conference has been held, the arbitration proceeding
  950  terminates, unless all parties agree in writing to continue the
  951  arbitration proceeding, in which case the arbitrator’s decision
  952  shall be binding or nonbinding, as agreed upon by the parties;
  953  in the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not consider
  954  any evidence relating to the unsuccessful mediation except in a
  955  proceeding to impose sanctions for failure to appear at the
  956  mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to continue
  957  arbitration, the arbitrator shall enter an order of dismissal,
  958  and either party may institute a suit in a court of competent
  959  jurisdiction. The parties may seek to recover any costs and
  960  attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with arbitration and
  961  mediation proceedings under this section as part of the costs
  962  and fees that may be recovered by the prevailing party in any
  963  subsequent litigation.
  964         (i) Arbitration shall be conducted according to rules
  965  adopted by the division. The filing of a petition for
  966  arbitration shall toll the applicable statute of limitations.
  967         (j) At the request of any party to the arbitration, the
  968  arbitrator shall issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
  969  and the production of books, records, documents, and other
  970  evidence and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
  971  apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
  972  production. Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable
  973  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  974  Discovery may, in the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
  975  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  976  Rules adopted by the division may authorize any reasonable
  977  sanctions except contempt for a violation of the arbitration
  978  procedural rules of the division or for the failure of a party
  979  to comply with a reasonable nonfinal order issued by an
  980  arbitrator which is not under judicial review.
  981         (k) The arbitration decision shall be rendered within 30
  982  days after the hearing and presented to the parties in writing.
  983  An arbitration decision is final in those disputes in which the
  984  parties have agreed to be bound. An arbitration decision is also
  985  final if a complaint for a trial de novo is not filed in a court
  986  of competent jurisdiction in which the condominium is located
  987  within 30 days. The right to file for a trial de novo entitles
  988  the parties to file a complaint in the appropriate trial court
  989  for a judicial resolution of the dispute. The prevailing party
  990  in an arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the
  991  arbitration and reasonable attorney’s fees in an amount
  992  determined by the arbitrator. Such an award shall include the
  993  costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the arbitration
  994  proceeding as well as the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees
  995  incurred in preparing for and attending any scheduled mediation.
  996  An arbitrator’s failure to render a written decision within 30
  997  days after the hearing may result in the cancellation of his or
  998  her arbitration certification.
  999         (l) The party who files a complaint for a trial de novo
 1000  shall be assessed the other party’s arbitration costs, court
 1001  costs, and other reasonable costs, including attorney’s fees,
 1002  investigation expenses, and expenses for expert or other
 1003  testimony or evidence incurred after the arbitration hearing if
 1004  the judgment upon the trial de novo is not more favorable than
 1005  the arbitration decision. If the judgment is more favorable, the
 1006  party who filed a complaint for trial de novo shall be awarded
 1007  reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees.
 1008         (m) Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
 1009  arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
 1010  jurisdiction in which the condominium is located. A petition may
 1011  not be granted unless the time for appeal by the filing of a
 1012  complaint for trial de novo has expired. If a complaint for a
 1013  trial de novo has been filed, a petition may not be granted with
 1014  respect to an arbitration award that has been stayed. If the
 1015  petition for enforcement is granted, the petitioner shall
 1016  recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in
 1017  enforcing the arbitration award. A mediation settlement may also
 1018  be enforced through the county or circuit court, as applicable,
 1019  and any costs and fees incurred in the enforcement of a
 1020  settlement agreement reached at mediation must be awarded to the
 1021  prevailing party in any enforcement action.
 1022         Section 4. Section 718.129, Florida Statutes, is created to
 1023  read:
 1024         718.129Fraudulent voting activities related to association
 1025  elections; penalties.—The following acts constitute fraudulent
 1026  voting activities related to association elections:
 1027         (1)A person who willfully, knowingly, and falsely swears
 1028  or affirms to an oath or affirmation, or procures another person
 1029  to willfully, knowingly, and falsely swear or affirm to an oath
 1030  or affirmation, in connection with or arising out of voting or
 1031  casting a ballot in an association election commits a felony of
 1032  the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
 1033  775.083, or s. 775.084.
 1034         (2)A person who willfully and knowingly perpetrates or
 1035  attempts to perpetrate, or willfully and knowingly aids another
 1036  person in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate, fraud in
 1037  connection with or arising out of a vote or ballot cast, to be
 1038  cast, or attempted to be cast by an elector in an association
 1039  election commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as
 1040  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
 1041         (3)A person who willfully, knowingly, and fraudulently
 1042  changes or attempts to change a vote or ballot cast, to be cast,
 1043  or attempted to be cast by an elector in an association election
 1044  to prevent such elector from voting or casting a ballot as he or
 1045  she intended in such election commits a felony of the third
 1046  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
 1047  775.084.
 1048         (4)(a)A person who willfully and knowingly aids or advises
 1049  another person in committing a violation of this section shall
 1050  be punished as if he or she had committed the violation.
 1051         (b)A person who willfully and knowingly agrees, conspires,
 1052  combines, or confederates with another person in committing a
 1053  violation of this section shall be punished as if he or she had
 1054  committed the violation.
 1055         (c)A person who willfully and knowingly aids or advises a
 1056  person who has committed a violation of this section in avoiding
 1057  or escaping detection, arrest, trial, or punishment shall be
 1058  punished as if he or she had committed the violation. This
 1059  paragraph does not prohibit a member of The Florida Bar from
 1060  giving legal advice to a client.
 1061         Section 5. Subsection (5) is added to section 718.3025,
 1062  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1063         718.3025 Agreements for operation, maintenance, or
 1064  management of condominiums; specific requirements.—
 1065         (5)A party contracting to provide maintenance or
 1066  management services, or a board member of such party, may not:
 1067         (a)Own 50 percent or more of the units in the condominium.
 1068         (b)Purchase a property subject to a lien by the
 1069  association.
 1070         Section 6. Section 718.3027, Florida Statutes, is created
 1071  to read:
 1072         718.3027Conflicts of interest.—
 1073         (1)Directors and officers of a board of an association
 1074  that is not a timeshare condominium association, and the
 1075  relatives of such directors and officers, must disclose to the
 1076  board any activity that may reasonably be construed to be a
 1077  conflict of interest. A rebuttable presumption of a conflict of
 1078  interest exists if any of the following occurs without prior
 1079  notice, as required in subsection (4):
 1080         (a)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1081  officer enters into a contract for goods or services with the
 1082  association.
 1083         (b)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1084  officer holds an interest in a corporation, limited liability
 1085  corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or
 1086  other business entity that conducts business with the
 1087  association or proposes to enter into a contract or other
 1088  transaction with the association.
 1089         (2)If any director, officer, or relative of any director
 1090  or officer proposes to engage in an activity that is a conflict
 1091  of interest, as described in subsection (1), the proposed
 1092  activity must be listed on, and all contracts and transactional
 1093  documents related to the proposed activity must be attached to,
 1094  the meeting agenda. If the board votes against the proposed
 1095  activity, the director, officer, or relative must notify the
 1096  board in writing of his or her intention not to pursue the
 1097  proposed activity, or the director or officer shall withdraw
 1098  from office. If the board finds that any officer or director has
 1099  violated this subsection, the board must immediately remove the
 1100  officer or director from office. The vacancy shall be filled
 1101  according to general law.
 1102         (3)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1103  officer who is a party to, or has an interest in, an activity
 1104  that is a possible conflict of interest, as described in
 1105  subsection (1), may attend the meeting at which the activity is
 1106  considered by the board, and is authorized to make a
 1107  presentation to the board regarding the activity. After the
 1108  presentation, the director, officer, or relative must leave the
 1109  meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the activity.
 1110  Any director or officer who is a party to, or has an interest
 1111  in, the activity must recuse himself or herself from the vote.
 1112         (4)The board must provide notice to unit owners of a
 1113  possible conflict of interest, as described in subsection (1),
 1114  in accordance with the procedures in s. 718.112(2)(c). All
 1115  contracts and transactional documents related to the possible
 1116  conflict of interest must be attached to, and made available
 1117  with, the meeting agenda.
 1118         (5)Any contract entered into between any director,
 1119  officer, or relative of any director or officer and the
 1120  association that is not properly noticed before consideration in
 1121  accordance with the procedures in s. 718.112(2)(c) is null and
 1122  void.
 1123         Section 7. Subsection (5) of section 718.303, Florida
 1124  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (8) is added to that
 1125  section, to read:
 1126         718.303 Obligations of owners and occupants; remedies.—
 1127         (5) An association may suspend the voting rights of a unit
 1128  owner or member due to nonpayment of any fee, fine, or other
 1129  monetary obligation due to the association which is more than
 1130  $1,000 and more than 90 days delinquent. Proof of such
 1131  obligation must be provided to the unit owner or member 30 days
 1132  before such suspension takes effect. A voting interest or
 1133  consent right allocated to a unit owner or member which has been
 1134  suspended by the association shall be subtracted from the total
 1135  number of voting interests in the association, which shall be
 1136  reduced by the number of suspended voting interests when
 1137  calculating the total percentage or number of all voting
 1138  interests available to take or approve any action, and the
 1139  suspended voting interests shall not be considered for any
 1140  purpose, including, but not limited to, the percentage or number
 1141  of voting interests necessary to constitute a quorum, the
 1142  percentage or number of voting interests required to conduct an
 1143  election, or the percentage or number of voting interests
 1144  required to approve an action under this chapter or pursuant to
 1145  the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws. The
 1146  suspension ends upon full payment of all obligations currently
 1147  due or overdue the association. The notice and hearing
 1148  requirements under subsection (3) do not apply to a suspension
 1149  imposed under this subsection.
 1150         (8)A receiver may not exercise voting rights of any unit
 1151  owner whose unit is placed in receivership for the benefit of
 1152  the association pursuant to this chapter.
 1153         Section 8. Subsection (5) of section 718.5012, Florida
 1154  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1155         718.5012 Ombudsman; powers and duties.—The ombudsman shall
 1156  have the powers that are necessary to carry out the duties of
 1157  his or her office, including the following specific powers:
 1158         (5) To monitor and review procedures and disputes
 1159  concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not
 1160  limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement
 1161  action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe
 1162  that election misconduct has occurred and reviewing secret
 1163  ballots cast at a vote of the association.
 1164         Section 9. Section 718.71, Florida Statutes, is created to
 1165  read:
 1166         718.71Financial reporting.—An association shall provide an
 1167  annual report to the department containing the names of all of
 1168  the financial institutions with which it maintains accounts, and
 1169  a copy of such report may be obtained from the department upon
 1170  written request of any association member.
 1171         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.