Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 880
       By Senator Pizzo
       38-00165-22                                            2022880__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to condominium associations; amending
    3         s. 194.181, F.S.; revising the parties considered to
    4         be the defendants in a tax suit; requiring condominium
    5         and cooperative associations to provide unit owners
    6         with certain notice and information under certain
    7         circumstances; providing requirements for such notice;
    8         amending s. 718.111, F.S.; revising criminal penalties
    9         relating to the acceptance of things or services of
   10         value or kickbacks; revising the documents required to
   11         be included with accounting records; requiring an
   12         association to maintain official records in a
   13         specified manner; revising requirements for the
   14         creation of a rebuttable presumption relating to the
   15         provision of records; authorizing an association to
   16         direct certain persons to the association’s website to
   17         fulfill certain obligations relating to the inspection
   18         of records; requiring an association to provide an
   19         itemized list and a sworn affidavit to persons
   20         requesting to inspect records; requiring the
   21         association to maintain the itemized list for a
   22         specified period of time; creating a rebuttable
   23         presumption for an association that provides such
   24         itemized list and sworn affidavit; providing criminal
   25         penalties for certain violations relating to official
   26         association records; defining the term “repeatedly”;
   27         requiring certain associations to post copies of
   28         certain documents on their websites by a specified
   29         date; revising criminal penalties relating to the use
   30         of association debit cards; defining the term “lawful
   31         obligation of the association”; creating s. 718.1285,
   32         F.S.; specifying acts that comprise fraudulent voting
   33         activities relating to association elections;
   34         providing criminal penalties; amending s. 718.501,
   35         F.S.; revising the jurisdiction of the Division of
   36         Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of
   37         the Department of Business and Professional Regulation
   38         with regard to investigating complaints; defining the
   39         term “financial issue”; authorizing the division to
   40         adopt rules; providing an effective date.
   42  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   44         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section
   45  194.181, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   46         194.181 Parties to a tax suit.—
   47         (2)(c)1. In any case brought by the property appraiser
   48  under s. 194.036(1)(a) or (b) relating to a value adjustment
   49  board decision on a single joint petition filed by a condominium
   50  or cooperative association under s. 194.011(3), the association
   51  and all unit owners included in the single joint petition are
   52  the party defendants the association is the only required party
   53  defendant. The individual unit or parcel owners are not required
   54  to be named as parties.
   55         2. The condominium or cooperative association must provide
   56  unit or parcel owners with notice of the property appraiser’s
   57  complaint and advise the unit or parcel owners that they may
   58  elect to:
   59         a. Retain their own counsel to defend the appeal for their
   60  units or parcels;
   61         b. Choose not to defend the appeal; or
   62         c. Be represented together with other unit owners in the
   63  response or answer filed by the association.
   64         3. The notice required in subparagraph 2. must be
   65  electronically transmitted, hand delivered, or sent by certified
   66  mail, return receipt requested, to unit owners except that such
   67  notice may be electronically transmitted to a unit or parcel
   68  owner who has expressly consented in writing to receiving such
   69  notices through electronic transmission. Additionally, the
   70  notice must be posted conspicuously on the condominium or
   71  cooperative property, if applicable, in the same manner as
   72  notices of board meetings under ss. 718.112(2) and 719.106(1).
   73  The association must provide at least 14 days for a unit or
   74  parcel owner to respond to the notice. Any unit or parcel owner
   75  who does not respond to the association’s notice will be
   76  represented by the association.
   77         4. If requested by a unit or parcel owner, the tax
   78  collector shall accept payment of the estimated amount in
   79  controversy, as determined by the tax collector, as to that unit
   80  or parcel, whereupon the unit or parcel shall be released from
   81  any lis pendens and the unit or parcel owner may elect to remain
   82  in or be dismissed from the action.
   83         Section 2. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
   84  paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (g) of subsection (12), and
   85  paragraph (b) of subsection (15) of section 718.111, Florida
   86  Statutes, are amended to read:
   87         718.111 The association.—
   88         (1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
   89         (a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the
   90  association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a
   91  Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association
   92  which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be
   93  incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or
   94  members of the association. The officers and directors of the
   95  association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It
   96  is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph
   97  shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of
   98  a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the
   99  association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or
  100  manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or
  101  service of value or kickback for which consideration has not
  102  been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her
  103  immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to
  104  provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer,
  105  director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to
  106  accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback
  107  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
  108  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and is subject to a civil
  109  penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) and, if applicable, a
  110  criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d). However, this
  111  paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director, or manager
  112  from accepting services or items received in connection with
  113  trade fairs or education programs. An association may operate
  114  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 or voting certificate
  131  used in a condominium association election 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 the destruction of or the refusal to allow inspection or
  135  copying of an official record of a condominium association that
  136  is accessible to unit owners within the time periods required by
  137  general law in furtherance of any crime is punishable as
  138  tampering with physical evidence as provided in s. 918.13 or as
  139  obstruction of justice as provided in chapter 843. An officer or
  140  director charged by information or indictment with a crime
  141  referenced in this paragraph must be removed from office, and
  142  the vacancy shall be filled as provided in s. 718.112(2)(d)2.
  143  until the end of the officer’s or director’s period of
  144  suspension or the end of his or her term of office, whichever
  145  occurs first. If a criminal charge is pending against the
  146  officer or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected
  147  to a position as an officer or a director of any association and
  148  may not have access to the official records of any association,
  149  except pursuant to a court order. However, if the charges are
  150  resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director
  151  must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of
  152  office, if any.
  153         (12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
  154         (a) From the inception of the association, the association
  155  shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which
  156  constitutes the official records of the association:
  157         1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other
  158  items provided by the developer under s. 718.301(4).
  159         2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium
  160  of each condominium operated by the association and each
  161  amendment to each declaration.
  162         3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association
  163  and each amendment to the bylaws.
  164         4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the
  165  association, or other documents creating the association, and
  166  each amendment thereto.
  167         5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
  168         6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings
  169  of the association, the board of administration, and the unit
  170  owners.
  171         7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing
  172  addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if
  173  known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain
  174  the e-mail addresses and facsimile numbers of unit owners
  175  consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The e
  176  mail addresses and facsimile numbers are not accessible to unit
  177  owners if consent to receive notice by electronic transmission
  178  is not provided in accordance with sub-subparagraph (c)5.e.
  179  (c)3.e. However, the association is not liable for an
  180  inadvertent disclosure of the e-mail address or facsimile number
  181  for receiving electronic transmission of notices.
  182         8. All current insurance policies of the association and
  183  condominiums operated by the association.
  184         9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or
  185  other contract to which the association is a party or under
  186  which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or
  187  responsibility.
  188         10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the
  189  association.
  190         11. Accounting records for the association and separate
  191  accounting records for each condominium that the association
  192  operates. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  193  destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails
  194  to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing
  195  harm to the association or one or more of its members, is
  196  personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s.
  197  718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not
  198  limited to:
  199         a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts
  200  and expenditures.
  201         b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly
  202  statement of the account for each unit designating the name of
  203  the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the
  204  amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
  205         c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and
  206  financial reports of the association or condominium.
  207         d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to
  208  be performed are also considered official records and must be
  209  maintained by the association for at least 1 year after receipt
  210  of the bid.
  211         e.All bank statements, canceled checks, and credit card
  212  statements.
  213         f.All invoices, transaction receipts, deposit slips, or
  214  other underlying documentation that substantiates any receipt or
  215  expenditure of funds by the association.
  216         12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other
  217  papers and electronic records relating to voting by unit owners,
  218  which must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the
  219  election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates,
  220  notwithstanding paragraph (b).
  221         13. All rental records if the association is acting as
  222  agent for the rental of condominium units.
  223         14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as
  224  described in s. 718.504.
  225         15. A copy of the inspection report as described in s.
  226  718.301(4)(p).
  227         16. Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
  228         17. All affirmative acknowledgments made pursuant to s.
  229  718.121(4)(c).
  230         18. All other written records of the association not
  231  specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
  232  operation of the association.
  233         (b) The official records specified in subparagraphs (a)1.
  234  6. must be permanently maintained from the inception of the
  235  association. Bids for work to be performed or for materials,
  236  equipment, or services must be maintained for at least 1 year
  237  after receipt of the bid. All other official records must be
  238  maintained within the state for at least 7 years, unless
  239  otherwise provided by general law. All official records must be
  240  maintained in a manner and format prescribed by division rule so
  241  that they are easily accessible for inspection. The records of
  242  the association shall be made available to a unit owner within
  243  45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in
  244  which the condominium property is located within 10 working days
  245  after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee.
  246  However, such distance requirement does not apply to an
  247  association governing a timeshare condominium. This paragraph
  248  may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of
  249  the association available for inspection or copying on the
  250  condominium property or association property, or the association
  251  may offer the option of making the records available to a unit
  252  owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records
  253  to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and
  254  printed upon request. The association is not responsible for the
  255  use or misuse of the information provided to an association
  256  member or his or her authorized representative in compliance
  257  with this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty
  258  not to disclose such information under this chapter.
  259         (c)1.a. The official records of the association are open to
  260  inspection by any association member or the authorized
  261  representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right
  262  to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain
  263  copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member or
  264  authorized representative of such member. A renter of a unit has
  265  a right to inspect and copy only the declaration of condominium
  266  and the association’s bylaws and rules. The association may
  267  adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location,
  268  notice, and manner of record inspections and copying but may not
  269  require a member to demonstrate any purpose or state any reason
  270  for the inspection. The failure of an association to provide the
  271  records within 10 working days after receipt of a written
  272  request that complies with the association’s document inspection
  273  rule creates a rebuttable presumption that the association
  274  willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who
  275  is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual
  276  damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure
  277  to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar day for up to 10
  278  days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the
  279  written request that complies with the association’s document
  280  inspection rule. The failure to permit inspection entitles any
  281  person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable
  282  attorney fees from the person in control of the records who,
  283  directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records.
  284  If the requested records are posted on an association’s website,
  285  the association may fulfill its obligations as provided under
  286  this paragraph by directing to the website all persons
  287  authorized to request access to official records pursuant to
  288  this paragraph.
  289         b.In response to a statutorily compliant written request
  290  to inspect records, the association must simultaneously provide
  291  an itemized list to the requestor of all records made available
  292  for inspection and copying and a sworn affidavit in which the
  293  person facilitating or handling the association’s compliance
  294  with the request attests to the veracity of the itemized list
  295  provided to the requestor. The itemized list must also identify
  296  any of the association’s official records that were not made
  297  available to the requestor. An association must maintain an
  298  itemized list provided under this sub-subparagraph for 7 years.
  299  The delivery by an association of an itemized list and affidavit
  300  pursuant to this sub-subparagraph creates a rebuttable
  301  presumption that the association has complied with this
  302  paragraph.
  303         2. Any director or member of the board or association or a
  304  community association manager who knowingly, willfully, and
  305  repeatedly violates subparagraph 1. commits a misdemeanor of the
  306  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  307  775.083. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term
  308  “repeatedly” means two or more violations within a 12-month
  309  period.
  310         3.2. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  311  destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to
  312  be maintained during the period for which such records are
  313  required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally
  314  fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required
  315  to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to
  316  the association or one or more of its members, commits a
  317  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  318  775.082 or s. 775.083 is personally subject to a civil penalty
  319  pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
  320         4.Any person who willfully and knowingly refuses to
  321  release or otherwise produce association records with the intent
  322  to avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial, or punishment for
  323  the commission of a crime, or to assist another person with such
  324  avoidance or escape, commits a felony of the third degree,
  325  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  326         5.3. The association shall maintain an adequate number of
  327  copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
  328  and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well
  329  as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and
  330  year-end financial information required under this section, on
  331  the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit
  332  owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual
  333  costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those
  334  requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or
  335  his or her authorized representative to use a portable device,
  336  including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other
  337  technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an
  338  electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the
  339  association’s providing the member or his or her authorized
  340  representative with a copy of such records. The association may
  341  not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for
  342  the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph,
  343  the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
  344         a. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  345  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  346  product privilege, including a record prepared by an association
  347  attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which
  348  reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy,
  349  or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which
  350  was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for
  351  adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in
  352  anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the
  353  conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
  354         b. Information obtained by an association in connection
  355  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  356  unit.
  357         c. Personnel records of association or management company
  358  employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll,
  359  health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub
  360  subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not include
  361  written employment agreements with an association employee or
  362  management company, or budgetary or financial records that
  363  indicate the compensation paid to an association employee.
  364         d. Medical records of unit owners.
  365         e. Social security numbers, driver license numbers, credit
  366  card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile
  367  numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a unit
  368  owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice
  369  requirements, and other personal identifying information of any
  370  person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing
  371  address, property address, and any address, e-mail address, or
  372  facsimile number provided to the association to fulfill the
  373  association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding the
  374  restrictions in this sub-subparagraph, an association may print
  375  and distribute to unit owners a directory containing the name,
  376  unit address, and all telephone numbers of each unit owner.
  377  However, an owner may exclude his or her telephone numbers from
  378  the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. An
  379  owner may consent in writing to the disclosure of other contact
  380  information described in this sub-subparagraph. The association
  381  is not liable for the inadvertent disclosure of information that
  382  is protected under this sub-subparagraph if the information is
  383  included in an official record of the association and is
  384  voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the
  385  association.
  386         f. Electronic security measures that are used by the
  387  association to safeguard data, including passwords.
  388         g. The software and operating system used by the
  389  association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the
  390  owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association.
  391  The data is part of the official records of the association.
  392         h. All affirmative acknowledgments made pursuant to s.
  393  718.121(4)(c).
  394         (g)1. By January 1, 2024 2019, an association managing a
  395  condominium with 25 150 or more units which does not contain
  396  timeshare units shall post digital copies of the documents
  397  specified in subparagraph 2. on its website or make such
  398  documents available through an application that can be
  399  downloaded on a mobile device.
  400         a. The association’s website or application must be:
  401         (I) An independent website, application, or web portal
  402  wholly owned and operated by the association; or
  403         (II) A website, application, or web portal operated by a
  404  third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases,
  405  rents, or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page,
  406  subpage, web portal, collection of subpages or web portals, or
  407  an application which is dedicated to the association’s
  408  activities and on which required notices, records, and documents
  409  may be posted or made available by the association.
  410         b. The association’s website or application must be
  411  accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web
  412  portal, or other protected electronic location that is
  413  inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit
  414  owners and employees of the association.
  415         c. Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association
  416  must provide the unit owner with a username and password and
  417  access to the protected sections of the association’s website or
  418  application which contain any notices, records, or documents
  419  that must be electronically provided.
  420         2. A current copy of the following documents must be posted
  421  in digital format on the association’s website or application:
  422         a. The recorded declaration of condominium of each
  423  condominium operated by the association and each amendment to
  424  each declaration.
  425         b. The recorded bylaws of the association and each
  426  amendment to the bylaws.
  427         c. The articles of incorporation of the association, or
  428  other documents creating the association, and each amendment to
  429  the articles of incorporation or other documents. The copy
  430  posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must be a copy of the
  431  articles of incorporation filed with the Department of State.
  432         d. The rules of the association.
  433         e. A list of all executory contracts or documents to which
  434  the association is a party or under which the association or the
  435  unit owners have an obligation or responsibility and, after
  436  bidding for the related materials, equipment, or services has
  437  closed, a list of bids received by the association within the
  438  past year. Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or
  439  services which exceed $500 must be maintained on the website or
  440  application for 1 year. In lieu of summaries, complete copies of
  441  the bids may be posted.
  442         f. The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any
  443  proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
  444         g. The financial report required by subsection (13) and any
  445  monthly income or expense statement to be considered at a
  446  meeting.
  447         h. The certification of each director required by s.
  448  718.112(2)(d)4.b.
  449         i. All contracts or transactions between the association
  450  and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association
  451  that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other
  452  entity in which an association director is also a director or
  453  officer and financially interested.
  454         j. Any contract or document regarding a conflict of
  455  interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
  456  468.436(2)(b)6. and 718.3027(3).
  457         k. The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for
  458  the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14
  459  days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view
  460  on the front page of the website or application, or on a
  461  separate subpage of the website or application labeled “Notices”
  462  which is conspicuously visible and linked from the front page.
  463  The association must also post on its website or application any
  464  document to be considered and voted on by the owners during the
  465  meeting or any document listed on the agenda at least 7 days
  466  before the meeting at which the document or the information
  467  within the document will be considered.
  468         l. Notice of any board meeting, the agenda, and any other
  469  document required for the meeting as required by s.
  470  718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date
  471  required for notice under s. 718.112(2)(c).
  472         3. The association shall ensure that the information and
  473  records described in paragraph (c), which are not allowed to be
  474  accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the association’s
  475  website or application. If protected information or information
  476  restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in
  477  documents that are required to be posted on the association’s
  478  website or application, the association shall ensure the
  479  information is redacted before posting the documents.
  480  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the association or its agent is
  481  not liable for disclosing information that is protected or
  482  restricted under this paragraph unless such disclosure was made
  483  with a knowing or intentional disregard of the protected or
  484  restricted nature of such information.
  485         4. The failure of the association to post information
  486  required under subparagraph 2. is not in and of itself
  487  sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the
  488  association’s board or its committees.
  489         5.By January 1, 2024, an association managing 25 or more
  490  units, not including timeshare units, shall post on its website
  491  digital copies of all official records subject to inspection by
  492  tenants or unit owners or their authorized representatives.
  493         (15) DEBIT CARDS.—
  494         (b) A person who uses Use of a debit card issued in the
  495  name of the association, or billed directly to the association,
  496  for any expense that is not a lawful obligation of the
  497  association commits theft under s. 812.014. For the purposes of
  498  this paragraph, a “lawful obligation of the association” means
  499  an obligation that has been properly preapproved by the board
  500  and is reflected in the meeting minutes or the written budget
  501  may be prosecuted as credit card fraud pursuant to s. 817.61.
  502         Section 3. Section 718.1285, Florida Statutes, is created
  503  to read:
  504         718.1285Fraudulent voting activities related to
  505  association elections; penalties.—
  506         (1) Each of the following acts is a fraudulent voting
  507  activity related to association elections and constitutes a
  508  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
  509  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:
  510         (a) Willfully and falsely swearing or affirming any oath or
  511  affirmation, or willfully procuring another person to swear or
  512  affirm falsely to an oath or affirmation, in connection with or
  513  arising out of voting or elections.
  514         (b) Perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate, or aiding in
  515  the perpetration of, any fraud in connection with any vote cast,
  516  to be cast, or attempted to be cast.
  517         (c) Preventing an elector from voting, or preventing an
  518  elector from voting as the elector intended, by fraudulently
  519  changing or attempting to change a ballot, ballot envelope,
  520  vote, or voting certificate of the elector.
  521         (d) Using bribery, menace, threat, or any other corruption
  522  to attempt, directly or indirectly, to influence, deceive, or
  523  deter any elector in voting.
  524         (e) Directly or indirectly giving or promising anything of
  525  value to another person with the intent to buy the vote of that
  526  person or another person or to corruptly influence that person
  527  or another person in casting his or her vote. However, this
  528  paragraph does not apply to the serving of food to be consumed
  529  at an election rally or meeting or to any item of nominal value
  530  which is used as an election advertisement, including a campaign
  531  message designed to be worn by a person.
  532         (f) Directly or indirectly using or threatening to use
  533  force, violence, or intimidation or any tactic of coercion or
  534  intimidation to induce or compel an individual to vote or
  535  refrain from voting in an election or on any particular ballot
  536  measure.
  537         (2) Each of the following acts constitutes a felony of the
  538  third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083,
  539  or s. 775.084:
  540         (a) Knowingly aiding, abetting, or advising a person in the
  541  commission of a fraudulent voting activity related to
  542  association elections.
  543         (b) Agreeing, conspiring, combining, or confederating with
  544  at least one other person to commit a fraudulent voting activity
  545  related to association elections.
  546         (c) Having knowledge of a fraudulent voting activity
  547  related to association elections and giving any aid to the
  548  offender with intent that the offender avoid or escape
  549  detection, arrest, trial, or punishment. This paragraph does not
  550  apply to a licensed attorney giving legal advice to a client.
  551         Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 718.501, Florida
  552  Statutes, is amended to read:
  553         718.501 Authority, responsibility, and duties of Division
  554  of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.—
  555         (1) The division may enforce and ensure compliance with
  556  this chapter and rules relating to the development,
  557  construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management
  558  of residential condominium units. In performing its duties, the
  559  division has complete jurisdiction to investigate complaints and
  560  enforce compliance with respect to associations that are still
  561  under developer control or the control of a bulk assignee or
  562  bulk buyer pursuant to part VII of this chapter and complaints
  563  against developers, bulk assignees, or bulk buyers involving
  564  improper turnover or failure to turnover, pursuant to s.
  565  718.301. However, after turnover has occurred, the division has
  566  jurisdiction to investigate complaints related only to financial
  567  issues, elections, and the maintenance of and unit owner access
  568  to association records under s. 718.111(12). As used in this
  569  subsection, the term “financial issue” means an issue related to
  570  operating budgets; reserve schedules; accounting records under
  571  s. 718.111(12)(a)11.; notices of meetings and meeting minutes
  572  for budget or financial statement-related meetings; any
  573  assessment for common expenses, fees, or fines; commingling of
  574  funds; and any other records necessary to determine the revenues
  575  and expenses of the association. The division may adopt rules to
  576  further specify what is included within the meaning of the term.
  577         (a)1. The division may make necessary public or private
  578  investigations within or outside this state to determine whether
  579  any person has violated this chapter or any rule or order
  580  hereunder, to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, or to aid
  581  in the adoption of rules or forms.
  582         2. The division may submit any official written report,
  583  worksheet, or other related paper, or a duly certified copy
  584  thereof, compiled, prepared, drafted, or otherwise made by and
  585  duly authenticated by a financial examiner or analyst to be
  586  admitted as competent evidence in any hearing in which the
  587  financial examiner or analyst is available for cross-examination
  588  and attests under oath that such documents were prepared as a
  589  result of an examination or inspection conducted pursuant to
  590  this chapter.
  591         (b) The division may require or permit any person to file a
  592  statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as the division
  593  determines, as to the facts and circumstances concerning a
  594  matter to be investigated.
  595         (c) For the purpose of any investigation under this
  596  chapter, the division director or any officer or employee
  597  designated by the division director may administer oaths or
  598  affirmations, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance,
  599  take evidence, and require the production of any matter which is
  600  relevant to the investigation, including the existence,
  601  description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any
  602  books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and
  603  location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts or any
  604  other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
  605  material evidence. Upon the failure by a person to obey a
  606  subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the investigating
  607  officer and upon reasonable notice to all affected persons, the
  608  division may apply to the circuit court for an order compelling
  609  compliance.
  610         (d) Notwithstanding any remedies available to unit owners
  611  and associations, if the division has reasonable cause to
  612  believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or
  613  related rule has occurred, the division may institute
  614  enforcement proceedings in its own name against any developer,
  615  bulk assignee, bulk buyer, association, officer, or member of
  616  the board of administration, or its assignees or agents, as
  617  follows:
  618         1. The division may permit a person whose conduct or
  619  actions may be under investigation to waive formal proceedings
  620  and enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or
  621  letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may
  622  be entered against the person.
  623         2. The division may issue an order requiring the developer,
  624  bulk assignee, bulk buyer, association, developer-designated
  625  officer, or developer-designated member of the board of
  626  administration, developer-designated assignees or agents, bulk
  627  assignee-designated assignees or agents, bulk buyer-designated
  628  assignees or agents, community association manager, or community
  629  association management firm to cease and desist from the
  630  unlawful practice and take such affirmative action as in the
  631  judgment of the division carry out the purposes of this chapter.
  632  If the division finds that a developer, bulk assignee, bulk
  633  buyer, association, officer, or member of the board of
  634  administration, or its assignees or agents, is violating or is
  635  about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule adopted
  636  or order issued by the division, or any written agreement
  637  entered into with the division, and presents an immediate danger
  638  to the public requiring an immediate final order, it may issue
  639  an emergency cease and desist order reciting with particularity
  640  the facts underlying such findings. The emergency cease and
  641  desist order is effective for 90 days. If the division begins
  642  nonemergency cease and desist proceedings, the emergency cease
  643  and desist order remains effective until the conclusion of the
  644  proceedings under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
  645         3. If a developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer fails to
  646  pay any restitution determined by the division to be owed, plus
  647  any accrued interest at the highest rate permitted by law,
  648  within 30 days after expiration of any appellate time period of
  649  a final order requiring payment of restitution or the conclusion
  650  of any appeal thereof, whichever is later, the division must
  651  bring an action in circuit or county court on behalf of any
  652  association, class of unit owners, lessees, or purchasers for
  653  restitution, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or any other
  654  available remedy. The division may also temporarily revoke its
  655  acceptance of the filing for the developer to which the
  656  restitution relates until payment of restitution is made.
  657         4. The division may petition the court for appointment of a
  658  receiver or conservator. If appointed, the receiver or
  659  conservator may take action to implement the court order to
  660  ensure the performance of the order and to remedy any breach
  661  thereof. In addition to all other means provided by law for the
  662  enforcement of an injunction or temporary restraining order, the
  663  circuit court may impound or sequester the property of a party
  664  defendant, including books, papers, documents, and related
  665  records, and allow the examination and use of the property by
  666  the division and a court-appointed receiver or conservator.
  667         5. The division may apply to the circuit court for an order
  668  of restitution whereby the defendant in an action brought under
  669  subparagraph 4. is ordered to make restitution of those sums
  670  shown by the division to have been obtained by the defendant in
  671  violation of this chapter. At the option of the court, such
  672  restitution is payable to the conservator or receiver appointed
  673  under subparagraph 4. or directly to the persons whose funds or
  674  assets were obtained in violation of this chapter.
  675         6. The division may impose a civil penalty against a
  676  developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer, or association, or its
  677  assignee or agent, for any violation of this chapter or related
  678  rule. The division may impose a civil penalty individually
  679  against an officer or board member who willfully and knowingly
  680  violates this chapter, an adopted rule, or a final order of the
  681  division; may order the removal of such individual as an officer
  682  or from the board of administration or as an officer of the
  683  association; and may prohibit such individual from serving as an
  684  officer or on the board of a community association for a period
  685  of time. The term “willfully and knowingly” means that the
  686  division informed the officer or board member that his or her
  687  action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted
  688  under this chapter, or a final order of the division and that
  689  the officer or board member refused to comply with the
  690  requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter,
  691  or a final order of the division. The division, before
  692  initiating formal agency action under chapter 120, must afford
  693  the officer or board member an opportunity to voluntarily
  694  comply, and an officer or board member who complies within 10
  695  days is not subject to a civil penalty. A penalty may be imposed
  696  on the basis of each day of continuing violation, but the
  697  penalty for any offense may not exceed $5,000. The division
  698  shall adopt, by rule, penalty guidelines applicable to possible
  699  violations or to categories of violations of this chapter or
  700  rules adopted by the division. The guidelines must specify a
  701  meaningful range of civil penalties for each such violation of
  702  the statute and rules and must be based upon the harm caused by
  703  the violation, the repetition of the violation, and upon such
  704  other factors deemed relevant by the division. For example, the
  705  division may consider whether the violations were committed by a
  706  developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer, or owner-controlled
  707  association, the size of the association, and other factors. The
  708  guidelines must designate the possible mitigating or aggravating
  709  circumstances that justify a departure from the range of
  710  penalties provided by the rules. It is the legislative intent
  711  that minor violations be distinguished from those which endanger
  712  the health, safety, or welfare of the condominium residents or
  713  other persons and that such guidelines provide reasonable and
  714  meaningful notice to the public of likely penalties that may be
  715  imposed for proscribed conduct. This subsection does not limit
  716  the ability of the division to informally dispose of
  717  administrative actions or complaints by stipulation, agreed
  718  settlement, or consent order. All amounts collected shall be
  719  deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the
  720  Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
  721  Trust Fund. If a developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer fails
  722  to pay the civil penalty and the amount deemed to be owed to the
  723  association, the division shall issue an order directing that
  724  such developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer cease and desist
  725  from further operation until such time as the civil penalty is
  726  paid or may pursue enforcement of the penalty in a court of
  727  competent jurisdiction. If an association fails to pay the civil
  728  penalty, the division shall pursue enforcement in a court of
  729  competent jurisdiction, and the order imposing the civil penalty
  730  or the cease and desist order is not effective until 20 days
  731  after the date of such order. Any action commenced by the
  732  division shall be brought in the county in which the division
  733  has its executive offices or in the county where the violation
  734  occurred.
  735         7. If a unit owner presents the division with proof that
  736  the unit owner has requested access to official records in
  737  writing by certified mail, and that after 10 days the unit owner
  738  again made the same request for access to official records in
  739  writing by certified mail, and that more than 10 days has
  740  elapsed since the second request and the association has still
  741  failed or refused to provide access to official records as
  742  required by this chapter, the division shall issue a subpoena
  743  requiring production of the requested records where the records
  744  are kept pursuant to s. 718.112.
  745         8. In addition to subparagraph 6., the division may seek
  746  the imposition of a civil penalty through the circuit court for
  747  any violation for which the division may issue a notice to show
  748  cause under paragraph (r). The civil penalty shall be at least
  749  $500 but no more than $5,000 for each violation. The court may
  750  also award to the prevailing party court costs and reasonable
  751  attorney fees and, if the division prevails, may also award
  752  reasonable costs of investigation.
  753         (e) The division may prepare and disseminate a prospectus
  754  and other information to assist prospective owners, purchasers,
  755  lessees, and developers of residential condominiums in assessing
  756  the rights, privileges, and duties pertaining thereto.
  757         (f) The division may adopt rules to administer and enforce
  758  this chapter.
  759         (g) The division shall establish procedures for providing
  760  notice to an association and the developer, bulk assignee, or
  761  bulk buyer during the period in which the developer, bulk
  762  assignee, or bulk buyer controls the association if the division
  763  is considering the issuance of a declaratory statement with
  764  respect to the declaration of condominium or any related
  765  document governing such condominium community.
  766         (h) The division shall furnish each association that pays
  767  the fees required by paragraph (2)(a) a copy of this chapter, as
  768  amended, and the rules adopted thereto on an annual basis.
  769         (i) The division shall annually provide each association
  770  with a summary of declaratory statements and formal legal
  771  opinions relating to the operations of condominiums which were
  772  rendered by the division during the previous year.
  773         (j) The division shall provide training and educational
  774  programs for condominium association board members and unit
  775  owners. The training may, in the division’s discretion, include
  776  web-based electronic media, and live training and seminars in
  777  various locations throughout the state. The division may review
  778  and approve education and training programs for board members
  779  and unit owners offered by providers and shall maintain a
  780  current list of approved programs and providers and make such
  781  list available to board members and unit owners in a reasonable
  782  and cost-effective manner.
  783         (k) The division shall maintain a toll-free telephone
  784  number accessible to condominium unit owners.
  785         (l) The division shall develop a program to certify both
  786  volunteer and paid mediators to provide mediation of condominium
  787  disputes. The division shall provide, upon request, a list of
  788  such mediators to any association, unit owner, or other
  789  participant in alternative dispute resolution proceedings under
  790  s. 718.1255 requesting a copy of the list. The division shall
  791  include on the list of volunteer mediators only the names of
  792  persons who have received at least 20 hours of training in
  793  mediation techniques or who have mediated at least 20 disputes.
  794  In order to become initially certified by the division, paid
  795  mediators must be certified by the Supreme Court to mediate
  796  court cases in county or circuit courts. However, the division
  797  may adopt, by rule, additional factors for the certification of
  798  paid mediators, which must be related to experience, education,
  799  or background. Any person initially certified as a paid mediator
  800  by the division must, in order to continue to be certified,
  801  comply with the factors or requirements adopted by rule.
  802         (m) If a complaint is made, the division must conduct its
  803  inquiry with due regard for the interests of the affected
  804  parties. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint, the
  805  division shall acknowledge the complaint in writing and notify
  806  the complainant whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction
  807  of the division and whether additional information is needed by
  808  the division from the complainant. The division shall conduct
  809  its investigation and, within 90 days after receipt of the
  810  original complaint or of timely requested additional
  811  information, take action upon the complaint. However, the
  812  failure to complete the investigation within 90 days does not
  813  prevent the division from continuing the investigation,
  814  accepting or considering evidence obtained or received after 90
  815  days, or taking administrative action if reasonable cause exists
  816  to believe that a violation of this chapter or a rule has
  817  occurred. If an investigation is not completed within the time
  818  limits established in this paragraph, the division shall, on a
  819  monthly basis, notify the complainant in writing of the status
  820  of the investigation. When reporting its action to the
  821  complainant, the division shall inform the complainant of any
  822  right to a hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The division
  823  may adopt rules regarding the submission of a complaint against
  824  an association.
  825         (n) Condominium association directors, officers, and
  826  employees; condominium developers; bulk assignees, bulk buyers,
  827  and community association managers; and community association
  828  management firms have an ongoing duty to reasonably cooperate
  829  with the division in any investigation under this section. The
  830  division shall refer to local law enforcement authorities any
  831  person whom the division believes has altered, destroyed,
  832  concealed, or removed any record, document, or thing required to
  833  be kept or maintained by this chapter with the purpose to impair
  834  its verity or availability in the department’s investigation.
  835         (o) The division may:
  836         1. Contract with agencies in this state or other
  837  jurisdictions to perform investigative functions; or
  838         2. Accept grants-in-aid from any source.
  839         (p) The division shall cooperate with similar agencies in
  840  other jurisdictions to establish uniform filing procedures and
  841  forms, public offering statements, advertising standards, and
  842  rules and common administrative practices.
  843         (q) The division shall consider notice to a developer, bulk
  844  assignee, or bulk buyer to be complete when it is delivered to
  845  the address of the developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer
  846  currently on file with the division.
  847         (r) In addition to its enforcement authority, the division
  848  may issue a notice to show cause, which must provide for a
  849  hearing, upon written request, in accordance with chapter 120.
  850         (s) The division shall submit to the Governor, the
  851  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  852  Representatives, and the chairs of the legislative
  853  appropriations committees an annual report that includes, but
  854  need not be limited to, the number of training programs provided
  855  for condominium association board members and unit owners, the
  856  number of complaints received by type, the number and percent of
  857  complaints acknowledged in writing within 30 days and the number
  858  and percent of investigations acted upon within 90 days in
  859  accordance with paragraph (m), and the number of investigations
  860  exceeding the 90-day requirement. The annual report must also
  861  include an evaluation of the division’s core business processes
  862  and make recommendations for improvements, including statutory
  863  changes. The report shall be submitted by September 30 following
  864  the end of the fiscal year.
  865         Section 5. This act shall take effect October 1, 2022.