Florida Senate - 2017                      CS for CS for SB 1682
       By the Committees on Rules; and Regulated Industries; and
       Senators Garcia, Rodriguez, and Artiles
       595-04445-17                                          20171682c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to condominiums; amending s. 718.111,
    3         F.S.; prohibiting an officer, director, or manager of
    4         a condominium association from soliciting, offering to
    5         accept, or accepting a kickback for which
    6         consideration has not been provided; providing
    7         criminal penalties; requiring that an officer or
    8         director charged with certain crimes be removed from
    9         office; providing requirements for filling the vacancy
   10         left by such removal; prohibiting such officer or
   11         director from being appointed or elected or having
   12         access to official condominium association records for
   13         a specified time; providing an exception; requiring an
   14         officer or director to be reinstated if the charges
   15         are resolved without a finding of guilt; prohibiting
   16         an association from hiring an attorney who represents
   17         the management company of the association; prohibiting
   18         a board member, manager, or management company from
   19         purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale under certain
   20         circumstances; revising recordkeeping requirements;
   21         providing that the official records of an association
   22         are open to inspection by unit renters; providing that
   23         a renter of a unit has a right to inspect and copy the
   24         association’s bylaws and rules; providing requirements
   25         relating to the posting of specified documents on an
   26         association’s website; providing a remedy for an
   27         association’s failure to provide a unit owner with a
   28         copy of the most recent financial report; requiring
   29         the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
   30         Mobile Homes to maintain and provide copies of
   31         financial reports; prohibiting a condominium
   32         association and its officers, directors, employees,
   33         and agents from using a debit card issued in the name
   34         of the association or billed to the association;
   35         providing that use of such a debit card for any
   36         expense that is not a lawful obligation of the
   37         association may be prosecuted as credit card fraud;
   38         providing direction to the Department of Business and
   39         Professional Regulation; amending s. 718.112, F.S.;
   40         providing board member term limits; providing an
   41         exception; deleting certification requirements
   42         relating to the recall of board members; revising the
   43         amount of time a recalled board member has to turn
   44         over records and property of the association to the
   45         board; prohibiting certain associations from employing
   46         or contracting with a service provider owned or
   47         operated by certain persons; amending s. 718.1255,
   48         F.S.; authorizing, rather than requiring, the division
   49         to employ full-time attorneys to conduct certain
   50         arbitration hearings; providing requirements for the
   51         certification of arbitrators; prohibiting the
   52         Department of Business and Professional Regulation
   53         from entering into a legal services contract for
   54         certain arbitration hearings; requiring the division
   55         to assign or enter into contracts with arbitrators;
   56         requiring arbitrators to conduct hearings within a
   57         specified period; providing an exception; providing
   58         arbitration proceeding requirements; amending s.
   59         718.3025, F.S.; prohibiting specified parties from
   60         purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from
   61         the association’s foreclosure of association lien for
   62         unpaid assessments or from taking a deed in lieu of
   63         foreclosure; authorizing a contract with a party
   64         providing maintenance or management services to be
   65         canceled by a majority vote of certain unit owners
   66         under specified conditions; creating s. 718.3027,
   67         F.S.; providing requirements relating to board
   68         director and officer conflicts of interest; providing
   69         that certain contracts are voidable if they do not
   70         meet specified notice requirements and terminate,
   71         subject to a certain condition; defining the term
   72         “relative”; amending s. 718.303, F.S.; providing
   73         requirements relating to the suspension of voting
   74         rights of unit owners and members; prohibiting a
   75         receiver from exercising the voting rights of a unit
   76         owner whose unit is placed in receivership; amending
   77         s. 718.5012, F.S.; providing the ombudsman with an
   78         additional power; creating s. 718.71, F.S.; providing
   79         financial reporting requirements of an association;
   80         providing an effective date.
   82  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   84         Section 1. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
   85  subsections (3) and (9), paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection
   86  (12), and subsection (13) of section 718.111, Florida Statutes,
   87  are amended, paragraph (g) is added to subsection (12) of that
   88  section, and subsection (15) is added to that section, to read:
   89         718.111 The association.—
   90         (1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
   91         (a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the
   92  association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a
   93  Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association
   94  which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be
   95  incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or
   96  members of the association. The officers and directors of the
   97  association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It
   98  is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph
   99  shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of
  100  a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the
  101  association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or
  102  manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or
  103  service of value or kickback for which consideration has not
  104  been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her
  105  immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to
  106  provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer,
  107  director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to
  108  accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback is
  109  subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d), and if
  110  applicable, a criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d).
  111  However, this paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director,
  112  or manager from accepting services or items received in
  113  connection with trade fairs or education programs. An
  114  association may operate more than one condominium.
  115         (d) As required by s. 617.0830, an officer, director, or
  116  agent shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the
  117  care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would
  118  exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she
  119  reasonably believes to be in the interests of the association.
  120  An officer, director, or agent shall be liable for monetary
  121  damages as provided in s. 617.0834 if such officer, director, or
  122  agent breached or failed to perform his or her duties and the
  123  breach of, or failure to perform, his or her duties constitutes
  124  a violation of criminal law as provided in s. 617.0834;
  125  constitutes a transaction from which the officer or director
  126  derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or
  127  indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission
  128  that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner
  129  exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety,
  130  or property. Forgery of a ballot envelope used in a condominium
  131  association election or voting certificate is punishable as
  132  provided in s. 831.01, the theft or embezzlement of funds of a
  133  condominium association is punishable as provided in s. 812.014,
  134  and destruction of any document that is an official record of a
  135  condominium association in furtherance of any crime is
  136  punishable as tampering with evidence as provided in s. 918.13
  137  or as obstruction of justice as provided in s. 843.02. An
  138  officer or director charged by information or indictment with a
  139  crime referenced in this paragraph must be removed from office,
  140  and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in s.
  141  718.112(2)(d)2. until the earlier of the end of the officer’s or
  142  director’s period of suspension or the end of his or her term of
  143  office. While a criminal charge is pending against the officer
  144  or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected to a
  145  position as an officer or director of any association and may
  146  not have access to the official records of any association,
  147  except pursuant to a court order. However, if the charges are
  148  resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director
  149  must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of
  150  office, if any.
  153         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
  154  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
  155  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
  156  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
  157  condominium property. After control of the association is
  158  obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the
  159  association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions
  160  or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
  161  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
  162  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
  163  structural components of a building or other improvements;
  164  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
  165  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
  166  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
  167  and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and
  168  on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring
  169  inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the
  170  authority to maintain a class action, the association may be
  171  joined in an action as representative of that class with
  172  reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for
  173  which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein
  174  limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit
  175  owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without
  176  participation by the association which may otherwise be
  177  available.
  178         (b)An association may not hire an attorney who represents
  179  the management company of the association.
  180         (9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.—The association has the power,
  181  unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation,
  182  or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the
  183  condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey
  184  them. There shall be no limitation on the association’s right to
  185  purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
  186  association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or
  187  to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure. However, except
  188  for a timeshare condominium, a board member, manager, or
  189  management company may not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale
  190  resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien for
  191  unpaid assessments or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
  192         (12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
  193         (a) From the inception of the association, the association
  194  shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which
  195  constitutes the official records of the association:
  196         1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other
  197  items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
  198         2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium
  199  of each condominium operated by the association and each
  200  amendment to each declaration.
  201         3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association
  202  and each amendment to the bylaws.
  203         4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the
  204  association, or other documents creating the association, and
  205  each amendment thereto.
  206         5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
  207         6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings
  208  of the association, the board of administration, and the unit
  209  owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.
  210         7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing
  211  addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if
  212  known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain
  213  the electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers of unit
  214  owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission.
  215  The electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers are not
  216  accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by
  217  electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with sub
  218  subparagraph (c)3.e. subparagraph (c)5. However, the association
  219  is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the electronic
  220  mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic
  221  transmission of notices.
  222         8. All current insurance policies of the association and
  223  condominiums operated by the association.
  224         9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or
  225  other contract to which the association is a party or under
  226  which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or
  227  responsibility.
  228         10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the
  229  association.
  230         11. Accounting records for the association and separate
  231  accounting records for each condominium that the association
  232  operates. All accounting records must be maintained for at least
  233  7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  234  destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails
  235  to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing
  236  harm to the association or one or more of its members, is
  237  personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s.
  238  718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not
  239  limited to:
  240         a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts
  241  and expenditures.
  242         b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly
  243  statement of the account for each unit designating the name of
  244  the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the
  245  amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
  246         c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and
  247  financial reports of the association or condominium.
  248         d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to
  249  be performed are also considered official records and must be
  250  maintained by the association.
  251         12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other
  252  papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be
  253  maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or
  254  meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph
  255  (b).
  256         13. All rental records if the association is acting as
  257  agent for the rental of condominium units.
  258         14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as
  259  described in s. 718.504.
  260         15. All other written records of the association not
  261  specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
  262  operation of the association.
  263         16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s.
  264  718.301(4)(p).
  265         17.Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
  266         (c)1. The official records of the association are open to
  267  inspection by any association member or the authorized
  268  representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right
  269  to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain
  270  copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member or
  271  authorized representative of such member. A renter of a unit has
  272  a right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules.
  273  The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the
  274  frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record
  275  inspections and copying. The failure of an association to
  276  provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a
  277  written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the
  278  association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A
  279  unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled
  280  to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s
  281  willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar
  282  day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after
  283  receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection
  284  entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to
  285  recover reasonable attorney fees from the person in control of
  286  the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access
  287  to the records.
  288         2. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  289  destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to
  290  be maintained during the period for which such records are
  291  required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally
  292  fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required
  293  to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to
  294  the association or one or more of its members, is personally
  295  subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
  296         3. The association shall maintain an adequate number of
  297  copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
  298  and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well
  299  as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and
  300  year-end financial information required under this section, on
  301  the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit
  302  owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual
  303  costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those
  304  requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or
  305  his or her authorized representative to use a portable device,
  306  including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other
  307  technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an
  308  electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the
  309  association’s providing the member or his or her authorized
  310  representative with a copy of such records. The association may
  311  not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for
  312  the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph,
  313  the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
  314         a.1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  315  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  316  product privilege, including a record prepared by an association
  317  attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which
  318  reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy,
  319  or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which
  320  was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for
  321  adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in
  322  anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the
  323  conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
  324         b.2. Information obtained by an association in connection
  325  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  326  unit.
  327         c.3. Personnel records of association or management company
  328  employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll,
  329  health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub
  330  subparagraph subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not
  331  include written employment agreements with an association
  332  employee or management company, or budgetary or financial
  333  records that indicate the compensation paid to an association
  334  employee.
  335         d.4. Medical records of unit owners.
  336         e.5. Social security numbers, driver license numbers,
  337  credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers,
  338  facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a
  339  unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s
  340  notice requirements, and other personal identifying information
  341  of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation,
  342  mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail
  343  address, or facsimile number provided to the association to
  344  fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding
  345  the restrictions in this sub-subparagraph subparagraph, an
  346  association may print and distribute to parcel owners a
  347  directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone
  348  numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his
  349  or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in
  350  writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to
  351  the disclosure of other contact information described in this
  352  sub-subparagraph subparagraph. The association is not liable for
  353  the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected
  354  under this sub-subparagraph subparagraph if the information is
  355  included in an official record of the association and is
  356  voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the
  357  association.
  358         f.6. Electronic security measures that are used by the
  359  association to safeguard data, including passwords.
  360         g.7. The software and operating system used by the
  361  association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the
  362  owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association.
  363  The data is part of the official records of the association.
  364         (g)1.By July 1, 2018, an association with 150 or more
  365  units which does not manage timeshare units shall post digital
  366  copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its
  367  website.
  368         a.The association’s website must be:
  369         (I)An independent website or web portal wholly owned and
  370  operated by the association; or
  371         (II)A website or web portal operated by a third-party
  372  provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or
  373  otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web
  374  portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to
  375  the association’s activities and on which required notices,
  376  records, and documents may be posted by the association.
  377         b.The association’s website must be accessible through the
  378  Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other
  379  protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the
  380  general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees
  381  of the association.
  382         c.Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association
  383  must provide the unit owner with a username and password and
  384  access to the protected sections of the association’s website
  385  that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be
  386  electronically provided.
  387         2.A current copy of the following documents must be posted
  388  in digital format on the association’s website:
  389         a.The recorded declaration of condominium of each
  390  condominium operated by the association and each amendment to
  391  each declaration.
  392         b.The recorded bylaws of the association and each
  393  amendment to the bylaws.
  394         c.The articles of incorporation of the association, or
  395  other documents creating the association, and each amendment
  396  thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must
  397  be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the
  398  Department of State.
  399         d.The rules of the association.
  400         e.Any management agreement, lease, or other contract to
  401  which the association is a party or under which the association
  402  or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
  403  Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services must be
  404  maintained on the website for 1 year.
  405         f.The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any
  406  proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
  407         g.The financial report required by subsection (13) and any
  408  proposed financial report to be considered at a meeting.
  409         h.The certification of each director required by s.
  410  718.112(2)(d)4.b.
  411         i.All contracts or transactions between the association
  412  and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association
  413  that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other
  414  entity in which an association director is also a director or
  415  officer and financially interested.
  416         j.Any contract or document regarding a conflict of
  417  interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
  418  468.436(2) and 718.3026(3).
  419         k.The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for
  420  the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14
  421  days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view
  422  on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of
  423  the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and
  424  linked from the front page. The association must also post on
  425  its website any document to be considered and voted on by the
  426  owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda
  427  at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the
  428  information within the document will be considered.
  429         l.Notice of any board meeting, and the agenda and any
  430  other document required for the meeting as required by s.
  431  718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date
  432  required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
  433         3.The association shall ensure that the information and
  434  records described in paragraph (c), which are not permitted to
  435  be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the
  436  association’s website. If protected information or information
  437  restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in
  438  documents that are required to be posted on the association’s
  439  website, the association shall ensure the information is
  440  redacted before posting the documents online.
  441         (13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of
  442  the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
  443  the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the
  444  preparation and completion of, a financial report for the
  445  preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial
  446  report is completed by the association or received from the
  447  third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the
  448  fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the
  449  association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last
  450  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver
  451  to each unit owner, a copy of the most recent financial report
  452  or a notice that a copy of the most recent financial report will
  453  be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge,
  454  within 5 business days after upon receipt of a written request
  455  from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting
  456  forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by
  457  all associations and addressing the financial reporting
  458  requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must
  459  include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a
  460  summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate
  461  disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be
  462  necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each
  463  reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This
  464  disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling
  465  method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the
  466  number of members and annual revenues of an association.
  467  Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
  468         (a) An association that meets the criteria of this
  469  paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements
  470  in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The
  471  financial statements must be based upon the association’s total
  472  annual revenues, as follows:
  473         1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or
  474  more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial
  475  statements.
  476         2. An association with total annual revenues of at least
  477  $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed
  478  financial statements.
  479         3. An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or
  480  more shall prepare audited financial statements.
  481         (b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less
  482  than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
  483  expenditures.
  484         2. An association that operates fewer than 50 units,
  485  regardless of the association’s annual revenues, shall prepare a
  486  report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
  487  statements required by paragraph (a).
  488         3. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must
  489  disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
  490  classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
  491  expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
  492  following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and
  493  management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation
  494  facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services,
  495  expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and
  496  repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and
  497  reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures,
  498  deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the
  499  association maintains reserves.
  500         (c) An association may prepare, without a meeting of or
  501  approval by the unit owners:
  502         1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
  503  the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts
  504  and expenditures;
  505         2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
  506  association is required to prepare compiled financial
  507  statements; or
  508         3. Audited financial statements if the association is
  509  required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
  510         (d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests
  511  present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
  512  association may prepare:
  513         1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
  514  compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
  515         2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled
  516  financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial
  517  statement; or
  518         3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
  519  financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
  520  of an audited financial statement.
  522  Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the
  523  fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which
  524  the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be
  525  effective for the following fiscal year. If the developer has
  526  not turned over control of the association, all unit owners,
  527  including the developer, may vote on issues related to the
  528  preparation of the association’s financial reports, from the
  529  date of incorporation of the association through the end of the
  530  second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the
  531  certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s.
  532  718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in
  533  the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded
  534  assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such
  535  unit is recorded, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, all unit
  536  owners except the developer may vote on such issues until
  537  control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any
  538  audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by
  539  the developer if done before turnover of control of the
  540  association. An association may not waive the financial
  541  reporting requirements of this section for more than 3
  542  consecutive years.
  543         (e)If the division determines that an association has not
  544  mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner a copy of the most
  545  recent financial report within 5 business days after receipt of
  546  a written request from the unit owner, the unit owner may give
  547  notice to the division of the association’s failure to comply.
  548  Upon notification, the division shall give notice to the
  549  association that the association must mail or hand deliver the
  550  copy of the most recent financial report to the unit owner and
  551  the division within 5 business days after such notice. Any
  552  association that fails to comply with the division’s request may
  553  not waive the financial reporting requirement provided in
  554  paragraph (d). A financial report received by the division
  555  pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained, and the division
  556  shall provide a copy of such report to an association member
  557  upon his or her request.
  558         (15) DEBIT CARDS.—An association or any officer, director,
  559  employee, or agent of an association may not use a debit card
  560  issued in the name of the association, or which is billed
  561  directly to the association, for the payment of any association
  562  expense. Use of a debit card issued in the name of the
  563  association or billed directly to the association for any
  564  expense that is not a lawful obligation of the association may
  565  be prosecuted as credit card fraud pursuant to s. 817.61.
  566         Section 2. In order to implement the website requirement in
  567  section 1 of this act, the Department of Business and
  568  Professional Regulation is directed to include in the next
  569  condominium association annual fee statement required by s.
  570  718.501(2)(a), Florida Statutes, a notice informing condominium
  571  associations of 150 or more units of the requirement to create a
  572  website for association documents which is operational no later
  573  than July 1, 2018.
  574         Section 3. Paragraphs (d) and (j) of subsection (2) of
  575  section 718.112, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  576  (p) is added to that subsection, to read:
  577         718.112 Bylaws.—
  578         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  579  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  580  the following:
  581         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  582         1. An annual meeting of the unit owners shall be held at
  583  the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  584  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  585  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  586  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  587  a timeshare condominium.
  588         2. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the
  589  board caused by the expiration of a director’s term shall be
  590  filled by electing a new board member, and the election must be
  591  by secret ballot. An election is not required if the number of
  592  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates. For
  593  purposes of this paragraph, the term “candidate” means an
  594  eligible person who has timely submitted the written notice, as
  595  described in sub-subparagraph 4.a., of his or her intention to
  596  become a candidate. Except in a timeshare or nonresidential
  597  condominium, or if the staggered term of a board member does not
  598  expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms
  599  would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of
  600  all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members
  601  may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws. If the
  602  bylaws or articles of incorporation permit terms of no more than
  603  2 years, the association Board members may serve 2-year terms if
  604  permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation. A board
  605  member may not serve more than 4 consecutive 2-year terms,
  606  unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the
  607  total voting interests of the association or unless there are
  608  not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the
  609  board at the time of the vacancy. If the number of board members
  610  whose terms expire at the annual meeting equals or exceeds the
  611  number of candidates, the candidates become members of the board
  612  effective upon the adjournment of the annual meeting. Unless the
  613  bylaws provide otherwise, any remaining vacancies shall be
  614  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the directors
  615  making up the newly constituted board even if the directors
  616  constitute less than a quorum or there is only one director. In
  617  a residential condominium association of more than 10 units or
  618  in a residential condominium association that does not include
  619  timeshare units or timeshare interests, coowners of a unit may
  620  not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time
  621  unless they own more than one unit or unless there are not
  622  enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at
  623  the time of the vacancy. A unit owner in a residential
  624  condominium desiring to be a candidate for board membership must
  625  comply with sub-subparagraph 4.a. and must be eligible to be a
  626  candidate to serve on the board of directors at the time of the
  627  deadline for submitting a notice of intent to run in order to
  628  have his or her name listed as a proper candidate on the ballot
  629  or to serve on the board. A person who has been suspended or
  630  removed by the division under this chapter, or who is delinquent
  631  in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the
  632  association, is not eligible to be a candidate for board
  633  membership and may not be listed on the ballot. A person who has
  634  been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States
  635  District or Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any
  636  offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a
  637  felony if committed in this state, is not eligible for board
  638  membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored
  639  for at least 5 years as of the date such person seeks election
  640  to the board. The validity of an action by the board is not
  641  affected if it is later determined that a board member is
  642  ineligible for board membership due to having been convicted of
  643  a felony. This subparagraph does not limit the term of a member
  644  of the board of a nonresidential or timeshare condominium.
  645         3. The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings
  646  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice must
  647  include an agenda, must be mailed, hand delivered, or
  648  electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days
  649  before the annual meeting, and must be posted in a conspicuous
  650  place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days
  651  before the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the
  652  board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location
  653  on the condominium property or association property where all
  654  notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted. This requirement
  655  does not apply if there is no condominium property or
  656  association property for posting notices. In lieu of, or in
  657  addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the
  658  association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for
  659  conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and
  660  the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving
  661  the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is
  662  used in lieu of a notice posted physically on the condominium
  663  property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four
  664  times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is
  665  otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is
  666  provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner
  667  and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an
  668  average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the
  669  entire content of the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner
  670  waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual
  671  meeting, such notice must be hand delivered, mailed, or
  672  electronically transmitted to each unit owner. Notice for
  673  meetings and notice for all other purposes must be mailed to
  674  each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association
  675  by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner.
  676  However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the
  677  association must provide notice to the address that the
  678  developer identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or
  679  more of the owners of the unit advise the association in
  680  writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do
  681  not agree, to the address provided on the deed of record. An
  682  officer of the association, or the manager or other person
  683  providing notice of the association meeting, must provide an
  684  affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of
  685  mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  686  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  687  delivered in accordance with this provision.
  688         4. The members of the board of a residential condominium
  689  shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies
  690  may not be used in electing the board in general elections or
  691  elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or
  692  otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. This
  693  subparagraph does not apply to an association governing a
  694  timeshare condominium.
  695         a. At least 60 days before a scheduled election, the
  696  association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, by
  697  separate association mailing or included in another association
  698  mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly
  699  published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a
  700  first notice of the date of the election. A unit owner or other
  701  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  702  give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to
  703  the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election.
  704  Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in
  705  subparagraph 3., the association shall mail, deliver, or
  706  electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all
  707  unit owners entitled to vote, together with a ballot that lists
  708  all candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information
  709  sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be
  710  furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election,
  711  must be included with the mailing, delivery, or transmission of
  712  the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic
  713  transmission and copying to be borne by the association. The
  714  association is not liable for the contents of the information
  715  sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the
  716  association may print or duplicate the information sheets on
  717  both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish
  718  voting procedures consistent with this sub-subparagraph,
  719  including rules establishing procedures for giving notice by
  720  electronic transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of
  721  ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of ballots
  722  cast. There is no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
  723  percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
  724  have a valid election. A unit owner may not permit any other
  725  person to vote his or her ballot, and any ballots improperly
  726  cast are invalid. A unit owner who violates this provision may
  727  be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A
  728  unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the
  729  reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain such assistance. The
  730  regular election must occur on the date of the annual meeting.
  731  Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, an election is not
  732  required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or
  733  are nominated than board vacancies exist.
  734         b. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the
  735  board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly
  736  elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the
  737  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  738  association’s declaration of condominium, articles of
  739  incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
  740  she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
  741  of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
  742  discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  743  association’s members. In lieu of this written certification,
  744  within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board,
  745  the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate
  746  of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum
  747  administered by a division-approved condominium education
  748  provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of
  749  election or appointment. The written certification or
  750  educational certificate is valid and does not have to be
  751  resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without
  752  interruption. A director of an association of a residential
  753  condominium who fails to timely file the written certification
  754  or educational certificate is suspended from service on the
  755  board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The
  756  board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of
  757  suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain
  758  a director’s written certification or educational certificate
  759  for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s
  760  election or the duration of the director’s uninterrupted tenure,
  761  whichever is longer. Failure to have such written certification
  762  or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity
  763  of any board action.
  764         c. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced
  765  within 60 days after the election results are announced.
  766         5. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  767  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  768  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), must be
  769  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and is subject to
  770  all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium
  771  documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that
  772  unit owners may take action by written agreement, without
  773  meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement
  774  without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws
  775  or declaration or any law that provides for such action.
  776         6. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  777  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law.
  778  Notice of meetings of the board of administration, unit owner
  779  meetings, except unit owner meetings called to recall board
  780  members under paragraph (j), and committee meetings may be given
  781  by electronic transmission to unit owners who consent to receive
  782  notice by electronic transmission.
  783         7. Unit owners have the right to participate in meetings of
  784  unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items.
  785  However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing
  786  the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
  787         8. A unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  788  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  789  division.
  790         9. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  791  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  792  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  793  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  794  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  795  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  796  the election procedures must conform to sub-subparagraph 4.a.
  797  unless the association governs 10 units or fewer and has opted
  798  out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws
  799  of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the
  800  bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section
  801  shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being
  802  filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by
  803  paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
  804         10. This chapter does not limit the use of general or
  805  limited proxies, require the use of general or limited proxies,
  806  or require the use of a written ballot or voting machine for any
  807  agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
  808  condominium association or nonresidential condominium
  809  association.
  811  Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)2. and sub-subparagraph 4.a., an
  812  association of 10 or fewer units may, by affirmative vote of a
  813  majority of the total voting interests, provide for different
  814  voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a
  815  proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election
  816  procedures. The different voting and election procedures may
  817  provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general
  818  proxy.
  819         (j) Recall of board members.—Subject to s. 718.301, any
  820  member of the board of administration may be recalled and
  821  removed from office with or without cause by the vote or
  822  agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests.
  823  A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or
  824  members of the board of administration may be called by 10
  825  percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as
  826  required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall
  827  state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may
  828  not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in
  829  whole or in part for this purpose.
  830         1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting
  831  interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective
  832  as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and
  833  hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the
  834  adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more
  835  board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify
  836  the recall, in which case Such member or members shall be
  837  recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board
  838  within 10 5 full business days after the vote any and all
  839  records and property of the association in their possession, or
  840  shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
  841         2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by
  842  a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or
  843  a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified
  844  mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter
  845  48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of
  846  administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board
  847  within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in
  848  writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the
  849  written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in
  850  which case Such member or members shall be recalled effective
  851  immediately and shall turn over to the board within 10 5 full
  852  business days any and all records and property of the
  853  association in their possession, or proceed as described in
  854  subparagraph 3.
  855         3.If the board determines not to certify the written
  856  agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or does
  857  not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, the board shall,
  858  within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the
  859  division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures
  860  in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit
  861  owners who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in
  862  writing shall constitute one party under the petition for
  863  arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any
  864  member or members of the board, the recall will be effective
  865  upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the
  866  association. If the association fails to comply with the order
  867  of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s.
  868  718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the
  869  board any and all records of the association in their possession
  870  within 5 full business days after the effective date of the
  871  recall.
  872         3.4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
  873  meeting within 5 full business days after service of an
  874  agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the
  875  adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall
  876  be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall
  877  immediately turn over to the board within 10 full business days
  878  after the vote any and all records and property of the
  879  association.
  880         4.5. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the
  881  required meeting or fails to file the required petition, the
  882  unit owner representative may file a petition pursuant to s.
  883  718.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act. The petition
  884  must be filed within 60 days after the expiration of the
  885  applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition
  886  under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service
  887  on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or
  888  ballots filed.
  889         5.6. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
  890  recall or removal and less than a majority of the board members
  891  are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote
  892  of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
  893  provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If
  894  vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a
  895  majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies
  896  shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be
  897  adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with
  898  this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the
  899  conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the
  900  association during the period after a recall but before the
  901  recall election.
  902         6.7. A board member who has been recalled may file a
  903  petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the validity of the
  904  recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the
  905  recall is deemed certified. The association and the unit owner
  906  representative shall be named as the respondents.
  907         7.8. The division may not accept for filing a recall
  908  petition, whether filed pursuant to subparagraph 1.,
  909  subparagraph 2., subparagraph 4. 5., or subparagraph 6. 7. and
  910  regardless of whether the recall was certified, when there are
  911  60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board
  912  member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have
  913  elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be
  914  recalled.
  915         (p)Service providers; conflicts of interest.—An
  916  association that is not a timeshare condominium association may
  917  not employ or contract with any service provider owned or
  918  operated by a board member or with any person who has a
  919  financial relationship with a board member or officer, or a
  920  relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood or
  921  marriage of a board member or officer. This paragraph does not
  922  apply to a service provider in which a board member or officer,
  923  or a relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood
  924  or marriage of a board member or officer, owns less than 1
  925  percent of the equity shares of the service provider.
  926         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 718.1255, Florida
  927  Statutes, is amended to read:
  928         718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary
  929  mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative
  930  findings.—
  932  DISPUTES.—The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
  933  Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional
  934  Regulation may shall employ full-time attorneys to act as
  935  arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearings provided by this
  936  chapter. The division may also certify attorneys who are not
  937  employed by the division to act as arbitrators to conduct the
  938  arbitration hearings provided by this chapter section. No person
  939  may be employed by the department as a full-time arbitrator
  940  unless he or she is a member in good standing of The Florida
  941  Bar. A person may only be certified by the division to act as an
  942  arbitrator if he or she has been a member in good standing of
  943  The Florida Bar for at least 5 years and has mediated or
  944  arbitrated at least 10 disputes involving condominiums in this
  945  state during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of
  946  application, mediated or arbitrated at least 30 disputes in any
  947  subject area in this state during the 3 years immediately
  948  preceding the date of application, or attained board
  949  certification in real estate law or condominium and planned
  950  development law from The Florida Bar. Arbitrator certification
  951  is valid for 1 year. An arbitrator who does not maintain the
  952  minimum qualifications for initial certification may not have
  953  his or her certification renewed. The department may not enter
  954  into a legal services contract for an arbitration hearing under
  955  this chapter with an attorney who is not a certified arbitrator
  956  unless a certified arbitrator is not available within 50 miles
  957  of the dispute. The department shall adopt rules of procedure to
  958  govern such arbitration hearings including mediation incident
  959  thereto. The decision of an arbitrator shall be final; however,
  960  a decision shall not be deemed final agency action. Nothing in
  961  this provision shall be construed to foreclose parties from
  962  proceeding in a trial de novo unless the parties have agreed
  963  that the arbitration is binding. If judicial proceedings are
  964  initiated, the final decision of the arbitrator shall be
  965  admissible in evidence in the trial de novo.
  966         (a) Prior to the institution of court litigation, a party
  967  to a dispute shall petition the division for nonbinding
  968  arbitration. The petition must be accompanied by a filing fee in
  969  the amount of $50. Filing fees collected under this section must
  970  be used to defray the expenses of the alternative dispute
  971  resolution program.
  972         (b) The petition must recite, and have attached thereto,
  973  supporting proof that the petitioner gave the respondents:
  974         1. Advance written notice of the specific nature of the
  975  dispute;
  976         2. A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to
  977  comply or to provide the relief; and
  978         3. Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition
  979  or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the
  980  dispute.
  982  Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with
  983  these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without
  984  prejudice.
  985         (c) Upon receipt, the petition shall be promptly reviewed
  986  by the division to determine the existence of a dispute and
  987  compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b). If
  988  emergency relief is required and is not available through
  989  arbitration, a motion to stay the arbitration may be filed. The
  990  motion must be accompanied by a verified petition alleging facts
  991  that, if proven, would support entry of a temporary injunction,
  992  and if an appropriate motion and supporting papers are filed,
  993  the division may abate the arbitration pending a court hearing
  994  and disposition of a motion for temporary injunction.
  995         (d) Upon determination by the division that a dispute
  996  exists and that the petition substantially meets the
  997  requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) and any other applicable
  998  rules, the division shall assign or enter into a contract with
  999  an arbitrator and serve a copy of the petition shall be served
 1000  by the division upon all respondents. The arbitrator shall
 1001  conduct a hearing within 30 days after being assigned or
 1002  entering into a contract unless the petition is withdrawn or a
 1003  continuance is granted for good cause shown.
 1004         (e) Before or after the filing of the respondents’ answer
 1005  to the petition, any party may request that the arbitrator refer
 1006  the case to mediation under this section and any rules adopted
 1007  by the division. Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the
 1008  division shall promptly contact the parties to determine if
 1009  there is agreement that mediation would be appropriate. If all
 1010  parties agree, the dispute must be referred to mediation.
 1011  Notwithstanding a lack of an agreement by all parties, the
 1012  arbitrator may refer a dispute to mediation at any time.
 1013         (f) Upon referral of a case to mediation, the parties must
 1014  select a mutually acceptable mediator. To assist in the
 1015  selection, the arbitrator shall provide the parties with a list
 1016  of both volunteer and paid mediators that have been certified by
 1017  the division under s. 718.501. If the parties are unable to
 1018  agree on a mediator within the time allowed by the arbitrator,
 1019  the arbitrator shall appoint a mediator from the list of
 1020  certified mediators. If a case is referred to mediation, the
 1021  parties shall attend a mediation conference, as scheduled by the
 1022  parties and the mediator. If any party fails to attend a duly
 1023  noticed mediation conference, without the permission or approval
 1024  of the arbitrator or mediator, the arbitrator must impose
 1025  sanctions against the party, including the striking of any
 1026  pleadings filed, the entry of an order of dismissal or default
 1027  if appropriate, and the award of costs and attorney attorneys’
 1028  fees incurred by the other parties. Unless otherwise agreed to
 1029  by the parties or as provided by order of the arbitrator, a
 1030  party is deemed to have appeared at a mediation conference by
 1031  the physical presence of the party or its representative having
 1032  full authority to settle without further consultation, provided
 1033  that an association may comply by having one or more
 1034  representatives present with full authority to negotiate a
 1035  settlement and recommend that the board of administration ratify
 1036  and approve such a settlement within 5 days from the date of the
 1037  mediation conference. The parties shall share equally the
 1038  expense of mediation, unless they agree otherwise.
 1039         (g) The purpose of mediation as provided for by this
 1040  section is to present the parties with an opportunity to resolve
 1041  the underlying dispute in good faith, and with a minimum
 1042  expenditure of time and resources.
 1043         (h) Mediation proceedings must generally be conducted in
 1044  accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and these
 1045  proceedings are privileged and confidential to the same extent
 1046  as court-ordered mediation. Persons who are not parties to the
 1047  dispute are not allowed to attend the mediation conference
 1048  without the consent of all parties, with the exception of
 1049  counsel for the parties and corporate representatives designated
 1050  to appear for a party. If the mediator declares an impasse after
 1051  a mediation conference has been held, the arbitration proceeding
 1052  terminates, unless all parties agree in writing to continue the
 1053  arbitration proceeding, in which case the arbitrator’s decision
 1054  shall be binding or nonbinding, as agreed upon by the parties;
 1055  in the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not consider
 1056  any evidence relating to the unsuccessful mediation except in a
 1057  proceeding to impose sanctions for failure to appear at the
 1058  mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to continue
 1059  arbitration, the arbitrator shall enter an order of dismissal,
 1060  and either party may institute a suit in a court of competent
 1061  jurisdiction. The parties may seek to recover any costs and
 1062  attorney attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with arbitration
 1063  and mediation proceedings under this section as part of the
 1064  costs and fees that may be recovered by the prevailing party in
 1065  any subsequent litigation.
 1066         (i) Arbitration shall be conducted according to rules
 1067  adopted by the division. The filing of a petition for
 1068  arbitration shall toll the applicable statute of limitations.
 1069         (j) At the request of any party to the arbitration, the
 1070  arbitrator shall issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
 1071  and the production of books, records, documents, and other
 1072  evidence and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
 1073  apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
 1074  production. Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable
 1075  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
 1076  Discovery may, in the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
 1077  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
 1078  Rules adopted by the division may authorize any reasonable
 1079  sanctions except contempt for a violation of the arbitration
 1080  procedural rules of the division or for the failure of a party
 1081  to comply with a reasonable nonfinal order issued by an
 1082  arbitrator which is not under judicial review.
 1083         (k) The arbitration decision shall be rendered within 30
 1084  days after the hearing and presented to the parties in writing.
 1085  An arbitration decision is final in those disputes in which the
 1086  parties have agreed to be bound. An arbitration decision is also
 1087  final if a complaint for a trial de novo is not filed in a court
 1088  of competent jurisdiction in which the condominium is located
 1089  within 30 days. The right to file for a trial de novo entitles
 1090  the parties to file a complaint in the appropriate trial court
 1091  for a judicial resolution of the dispute. The prevailing party
 1092  in an arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the
 1093  arbitration and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees in an amount
 1094  determined by the arbitrator. Such an award shall include the
 1095  costs and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees incurred in the
 1096  arbitration proceeding as well as the costs and reasonable
 1097  attorney attorney’s fees incurred in preparing for and attending
 1098  any scheduled mediation. An arbitrator’s failure to render a
 1099  written decision within 30 days after the hearing may result in
 1100  the cancellation of his or her arbitration certification.
 1101         (l) The party who files a complaint for a trial de novo
 1102  shall be assessed the other party’s arbitration costs, court
 1103  costs, and other reasonable costs, including attorney attorney’s
 1104  fees, investigation expenses, and expenses for expert or other
 1105  testimony or evidence incurred after the arbitration hearing if
 1106  the judgment upon the trial de novo is not more favorable than
 1107  the arbitration decision. If the judgment is more favorable, the
 1108  party who filed a complaint for trial de novo shall be awarded
 1109  reasonable court costs and attorney attorney’s fees.
 1110         (m) Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
 1111  arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
 1112  jurisdiction in which the condominium is located. A petition may
 1113  not be granted unless the time for appeal by the filing of a
 1114  complaint for trial de novo has expired. If a complaint for a
 1115  trial de novo has been filed, a petition may not be granted with
 1116  respect to an arbitration award that has been stayed. If the
 1117  petition for enforcement is granted, the petitioner shall
 1118  recover reasonable attorney attorney’s fees and costs incurred
 1119  in enforcing the arbitration award. A mediation settlement may
 1120  also be enforced through the county or circuit court, as
 1121  applicable, and any costs and fees incurred in the enforcement
 1122  of a settlement agreement reached at mediation must be awarded
 1123  to the prevailing party in any enforcement action.
 1124         Section 5. Subsection (5) is added to section 718.3025,
 1125  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1126         718.3025 Agreements for operation, maintenance, or
 1127  management of condominiums; specific requirements.—
 1128         (5)A party contracting to provide maintenance or
 1129  management services to an association managing a residential
 1130  condominium after transfer of control of the association, as
 1131  provided in s. 718.301, which is not a timeshare condominium
 1132  association, or an officer or board member of such party, may
 1133  not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
 1134  association’s foreclosure of association lien for unpaid
 1135  assessments or take a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If 50 percent
 1136  or more of the units in the condominium are owned by a party
 1137  contracting to provide maintenance or management services to an
 1138  association managing a residential condominium after transfer of
 1139  control of the association, as provided in s. 718.301, which is
 1140  not a timeshare condominium association, or by an officer or
 1141  board member of such party, the contract with the party
 1142  providing maintenance or management services may be canceled by
 1143  a majority vote of the unit owners other than the contracting
 1144  party or an officer or board member of such party.
 1145         Section 6. Section 718.3027, Florida Statutes, is created
 1146  to read:
 1147         718.3027Conflicts of interest.—
 1148         (1)Directors and officers of a board of an association
 1149  that is not a timeshare condominium association, and the
 1150  relatives of such directors and officers, must disclose to the
 1151  board any activity that may reasonably be construed to be a
 1152  conflict of interest. A rebuttable presumption of a conflict of
 1153  interest exists if any of the following occurs without prior
 1154  notice, as required in subsection (4):
 1155         (a)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1156  officer enters into a contract for goods or services with the
 1157  association.
 1158         (b)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1159  officer holds an interest in a corporation, limited liability
 1160  corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or
 1161  other business entity that conducts business with the
 1162  association or proposes to enter into a contract or other
 1163  transaction with the association.
 1164         (2)If any director, officer, or relative of any director
 1165  or officer proposes to engage in an activity that is a conflict
 1166  of interest, as described in subsection (1), the proposed
 1167  activity must be listed on, and all contracts and transactional
 1168  documents related to the proposed activity must be attached to,
 1169  the meeting agenda. If the board votes against the proposed
 1170  activity, the director, officer, or relative must notify the
 1171  board in writing of his or her intention not to pursue the
 1172  proposed activity, or the director or officer shall withdraw
 1173  from office. If the board finds that any officer or director has
 1174  violated this subsection, the officer or director shall be
 1175  deemed removed from office. The vacancy shall be filled
 1176  according to general law.
 1177         (3)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1178  officer who is a party to, or has an interest in, an activity
 1179  that is a possible conflict of interest, as described in
 1180  subsection (1), may attend the meeting at which the activity is
 1181  considered by the board, and is authorized to make a
 1182  presentation to the board regarding the activity. After the
 1183  presentation, the director, officer, or relative must leave the
 1184  meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the activity.
 1185  Any director or officer who is a party to, or has an interest
 1186  in, the activity must recuse himself or herself from the vote.
 1187         (4)Any contract entered into between any director,
 1188  officer, or relative of any director or officer and the
 1189  association, which is not a timeshare condominium association,
 1190  which has not been properly disclosed as a conflict of interest
 1191  or potential conflict of interest as required by s.
 1192  718.111(12)(g) is voidable and terminates upon the filing of a
 1193  written notice terminating the contract with the board of
 1194  directors which contains the consent of at least 20 percent of
 1195  the voting interests of the association.
 1196         (5) As used in this section, the term “relative” means a
 1197  relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood or
 1198  marriage.
 1199         Section 7. Subsection (5) of section 718.303, Florida
 1200  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (8) is added to that
 1201  section, to read:
 1202         718.303 Obligations of owners and occupants; remedies.—
 1203         (5) An association may suspend the voting rights of a unit
 1204  owner or member due to nonpayment of any fee, fine, or other
 1205  monetary obligation due to the association which is more than
 1206  $1,000 and more than 90 days delinquent. Proof of such
 1207  obligation must be provided to the unit owner or member 30 days
 1208  before such suspension takes effect. A voting interest or
 1209  consent right allocated to a unit owner or member which has been
 1210  suspended by the association shall be subtracted from the total
 1211  number of voting interests in the association, which shall be
 1212  reduced by the number of suspended voting interests when
 1213  calculating the total percentage or number of all voting
 1214  interests available to take or approve any action, and the
 1215  suspended voting interests shall not be considered for any
 1216  purpose, including, but not limited to, the percentage or number
 1217  of voting interests necessary to constitute a quorum, the
 1218  percentage or number of voting interests required to conduct an
 1219  election, or the percentage or number of voting interests
 1220  required to approve an action under this chapter or pursuant to
 1221  the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws. The
 1222  suspension ends upon full payment of all obligations currently
 1223  due or overdue the association. The notice and hearing
 1224  requirements under subsection (3) do not apply to a suspension
 1225  imposed under this subsection.
 1226         (8)A receiver may not exercise voting rights of any unit
 1227  owner whose unit is placed in receivership for the benefit of
 1228  the association pursuant to this chapter.
 1229         Section 8. Subsection (5) of section 718.5012, Florida
 1230  Statutes, is amended to read:
 1231         718.5012 Ombudsman; powers and duties.—The ombudsman shall
 1232  have the powers that are necessary to carry out the duties of
 1233  his or her office, including the following specific powers:
 1234         (5) To monitor and review procedures and disputes
 1235  concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not
 1236  limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement
 1237  action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe
 1238  that election misconduct has occurred and reviewing secret
 1239  ballots cast at a vote of the association.
 1240         Section 9. Section 718.71, Florida Statutes, is created to
 1241  read:
 1242         718.71Financial reporting.—An association shall provide an
 1243  annual report to the department containing the names of all of
 1244  the financial institutions with which it maintains accounts, and
 1245  a copy of such report may be obtained from the department upon
 1246  written request of any association member.
 1247         Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.