Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Some things in the Florida Condo Regulations you might want to know about

718.103 Definitions.--As used in this chapter, the term:
(4) "Board of administration" or "board" means the board of directors or other representative body which is responsible for administration of the association.

(7) "Committee" means a group of board members, unit owners, or board members and unit owners appointed by the board or a member of the board to make recommendations to the board regarding the proposed annual budget or to take action on behalf of the board.

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718.113 Maintenance; limitation upon improvement; display of flag; hurricane shutters; display of religious decorations.

(4) Any unit owner may display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful way and, on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, may display in a respectful way portable, removable official flags, not larger than 41/2 feet by 6 feet, that represent the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with flags or decorations.

(7) An association may not refuse the request of a unit owner for a reasonable accommodation for the attachment on the mantel or frame of the door of the unit owner of a religious object not to exceed 3 inches wide, 6 inches high, and 1.5 inches deep.

(12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.-- 7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers.

The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers designated by unit owners for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and numbers provided by unit owners to receive notice by electronic transmission shall be removed from association records when consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked. However, the association is not liable for an erroneous disclosure of the electronic mail address or the number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.

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718.111 (11)3(h) The association.-- The association shall maintain insurance or fidelity bonding of all persons who control or disburse funds of the association. The insurance policy or fidelity bond must cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. As used in this paragraph, the term "persons who control or disburse funds of the association" includes, but is not limited to, those individuals authorized to sign checks on behalf of the association, and the president, secretary, and treasurer of the association. The association shall bear the cost of any such bonding.

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718.125 Attorney's fees.--If a contract or lease between a condominium unit owner or association and a developer contains a provision allowing attorney's fees to the developer, should any litigation arise under the provisions of the contract or lease, the court shall also allow reasonable attorney's fees to the unit owner or association when the unit owner or association prevails in any action by or against the unit owner or association with respect to the contract or lease.
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718.112 Bylaws.--
2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.--The bylaws shall provide for the following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include the following:(2)(a). Administration.--
The form of administration of the association shall be described indicating the title of the officers and board of administration and specifying the powers, duties, manner of selection and removal, and compensation, if any, of officers and boards. In the absence of such a provision, the board of administration shall be composed of five members, except in the case of a condominium which has five or fewer units, in which case in a not-for-profit corporation the board shall consist of not fewer than three members. In the absence of provisions to the contrary in the bylaws, the board of administration shall have a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall perform the duties of such officers customarily performed by officers of corporations. Unless prohibited in the bylaws, the board of administration may appoint other officers and grant them the duties it deems appropriate. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the officers shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the board of administration. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the members of the board shall serve without compensation.

(2)(a)2. When a unit owner files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days of receipt of the inquiry. The board's response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within 10 days of its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the board from recovering attorney's fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry. The association may through its board of administration adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries, one of which may be that the association is only obligated to respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as applicable.

(2)(n) Director or officer delinquencies.--A director or officer more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of regular assessments shall be deemed to have abandoned the office, creating a vacancy in the office to be filled according to law.

(2)(d) Unit owner meetings.--

1. There shall be an annual meeting of the unit owners held at the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director's term shall be filled by electing a new board member, and the election shall be by secret ballot; however, if the number of vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, no election is required. The terms of all members of the board shall expire at the annual meeting and such board members may stand for reelection unless otherwise permitted by the bylaws. In the event that the bylaws permit staggered terms of no more than 2 years and upon approval of a majority of the total voting interests, the association board members may serve 2-year staggered terms. If no person is interested in or demonstrates an intention to run for the position of a board member whose term has expired according to the provisions of this subparagraph, such board member whose term has expired shall be automatically reappointed to the board of administration and need not stand for reelection. In a condominium association of more than 10 units, coowners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time. Any unit owner desiring to be a candidate for board membership shall comply with subparagraph 3. A person who has been suspended or removed by the division under this chapter, or who is delinquent in the payment of any fee or assessment as provided in paragraph (n), is not eligible for board membership.

7. Any unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the division.

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

(1) Each unit owner, each tenant and other invitee, and each association shall be governed by, and shall comply with the provisions of, this chapter, the declaration, the documents creating the association, and the association bylaws and the provisions thereof shall be deemed expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit. Actions for damages or for injunctive relief, or both, for failure to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by a unit owner against:
(a) The association.
(b) A unit owner.
(c) Directors designated by the developer, for actions taken by them prior to the time control of the association is assumed by unit owners other than the developer.
(d) Any director who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions.
(e) Any tenant leasing a unit, and any other invitee occupying a unit.
The prevailing party in any such action or in any action in which the purchaser claims a right of voidability based upon contractual provisions as required in s. 718.503(1)(a) is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees. A unit owner prevailing in an action between the association and the unit owner under this section, in addition to recovering his or her reasonable attorney's fees, may recover additional amounts as determined by the court to be necessary to reimburse the unit owner for his or her share of assessments levied by the association to fund its expenses of the litigation. This relief does not exclude other remedies provided by law. Actions arising under this subsection shall not be deemed to be actions for specific performance.

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