Home
Draft 718 F.S.
   
 

Common Interest Communities Act

Draft 2-2011 as it would be if adopted.

The principle of the establishment, maintenance, and administration of common interest communities, is to maintain the existence of the association, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in harmony and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to change the administration, and to take measures necessary for their shelter, prosperity and happiness.

The corporation is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which all the people covenant with each other and each other with the whole, that all shall be governed by certain covenants for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in consenting to a form of association, to provide for an equitable mode residence, of making rules, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every person may, at all times, find his equity in them.

We, therefore, adopt the laws and rules by which, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn contract with each other; and of forming a declaration of covenants and form of administration for the common good, for ourselves and posterity, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Administration, as the Common Interest Communities Act of the State of Florida.

The State by adoption of this Statute, its rights and responsibility based on equitable contributions to implementation and enforcement, covenants to support with due diligence the realization of the expectations of community intended herein.

Title XL

REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY Chapter 718

COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES

 

CHAPTER 718

COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

(ss. 718.101-718.127)

PART II

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF DEVELOPERS

(ss. 718.202, 718.203)

PART III

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF ASSOCIATIONS

(ss. 718.301-718.303)

PART IV

SPECIAL TYPES OF COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES

(ss. 718.401-718.405)

PART V

REGULATION AND DISCLOSURE PRIOR TO SALE OF RESIDENTIAL COMMON

 INTEREST COMMUNITY PROPERTY

(ss. 718.501-718.509)

PART VI

CONVERSIONS TO COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY

(ss. 718.604-718.622)

PART VII

DISTRESSED COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY RELIEF

(ss. 718.701-718.708)

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

718.101 Short title.

718.102 Purposes.

718.103 Definitions.

718.1035 Power of attorney; compliance with chapter.

718.104 Creation of common interest communities; contents of declaration.

718.1045 Timeshare estates; limitation on creation.

718.105 Recording of declaration.

718.106 Common interest community parcels; appurtenances; possession and enjoyment.

718.107 Restraint upon separation and partition of common elements.

718.108 Common elements.

718.1085 Certain regulations not to be retroactively applied.

718.109 Legal description of common interest community property.

718.110 Amendment of declaration; correction of error or omission in declaration by circuit court.

718.111 The association.

718.112 Bylaws.

718.1124 Failure to fill vacancies on board of directors sufficient to constitute a quorum; appointment of receiver upon petition of unit owner.

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

718.114 Association powers.

718.115 Common expenses and common surplus.

718.116 Assessments; liability; lien and priority; interest; collection.

718.117 Termination of common interest community.

718.118 Equitable relief.

718.119 Limitation of liability.

718.120 Separate taxation of common interest community property; survival of declaration after tax sale; assessment of timeshare estates.

718.121 Liens.

718.122 Unconscionability of certain leases; rebuttable presumption.

718.1224 Prohibition against SLAPP suits.

718.1225 Federal Condominium and Cooperative Abuse Relief Act of 1980; applicability.

718.123 Right of owners to peaceably assemble.

718.1232 Cable television service; resident’s right to access without extra charge.

718.124 Limitation on actions by association.

718.125 Attorney’s fees.

718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative findings.

718.1256 Common interest communities as residential property.

718.1265 Association emergency powers.

718.127 Receivership notification.

 

718.101 Short title.--

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Common Interest Communities Act.”

 
718.102 Purposes.--
 
(1)  The purposes of this chapter are to give statutory recognition to corporations that operate residential communities in this state, to provide procedures for operating common interest community associations, and protect the rights of association members without unduly impairing the ability of associations to perform their functions.

(2) To give statutory recognition to the common interest form of ownership of residential real property.

(3) To establish procedures for the creation, sale, and operation of parcels, interests and units in residential common interest communities.

(a) Condominium Units

(b) Homeowner Parcels

(c) Cooperative Units

(4) This statute is intended to clarify existing law, correct unconscionable conditions, policies against public interest and  applies to common interest communities existing on the effective date of this act and thereafter.

(5) All residential common interest communities previously subject to 719 and 720 Florida Statutes are hereby transferred to the jurisdiction of this chapter.

(6) Florida Statutes 719 and 720 are hereby repealed unless there are specific requirements not covered in this chapter.  References in other Statutes are hereby amended to refer to the relevant section of this chapter.

(7) Every common interest community created and existing in this state shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. 

718.103 Definitions.--

As used in this chapter, the term: 

(1) “Assessment” means a share of the funds which are required for the payment of common expenses, which from time to time is assessed against owners. 

(2) “Association” means, an organization created to manage the property or affairs of a common interest community in which membership is a condition of ownership of a unit or parcel in a planned development, or of a lot for a home or a mobile home, or of a residential unit that is part of a residential development scheme and is authorized to impose a fee necessary for maintenance of common ownership property.

(3) “Association property” means that property, real and personal, which is owned or leased by, or is dedicated by a recorded plat to, the association for the use and benefit of its members. 

(4) “Board of directors” or “board” means the board of directors or other representative body which is responsible for administration of the association. 

(5) "Buyer" means a person who purchases a common interest ownership community interest or lessee of a cooperative unit.

(6) “Bylaws” means the bylaws of the association as they are amended from time to time. 

(7) "Community Association Manager" or "CAM" means a person licensed by the State of Florida pursuant to 468 Part VIII Florida Statutes. 

(8) “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. 

(9) “Common elements” or "common property" means property rights of an identical or a similar kind held by the individual owners as appurtenances to the individually owned lots or units and not included in the units. 

(10) “Common expenses” means all expenses properly incurred by the association in the performance of its duties, including expenses specified in s. 718.115. 

(11) "Common interest community" or "CIC" means a real estate development or neighborhood in which individually owned lot or units are burdened by an obligation that cannot be avoided by nonuse or withdrawal and means property that is owned in conjunction with others that agree to a form of governance and responsibility: 

(a) to pay for the use of, or contribution to the maintenance of, property held or enjoined in common by the individual owners, or 

(b) to pay fees or assessments to an association that provides services or facilities to the common property or to the individually owned property, or that enforces other obligations burdening the property in the development or neighborhood, or

(c) to abide by a set of governing documents that create rights and responsibilities through covenants, restrictions or other proprietary instrument, or

(d) to automatically become members of the community association when they purchase or become shareholders in property defined in the documents, or

(e) to have an undivided ownership interest in the property.

(12) “Common surplus” means the amount of all receipts or revenues, including assessments, rents, or profits, collected by a CIC association which exceeds common expenses. 

(13) “Common property” means the lands, leaseholds, and personal property that are subjected to common ownership, whether or not contiguous, and all improvements thereon and all easements and rights appurtenant thereto intended for use in connection with the unit. 

(14) “Conspicuous type” means bold type in capital letters no smaller than the largest type, exclusive of headings, on the page on which it appears and, in all cases, at least 10-point type. Where conspicuous type is required, it must be separated on all sides from other type and print. Conspicuous type may be used in a contract for purchase and sale of a unit, a lease of a unit for more than 5 years, or a prospectus or offering circular only where required by law. 

(15) "Declaration", "declaration of condominium", "declaration of covenants and restrictions", "proprietary lease", "declaration of  common interest communities"  or the like means the instrument or instruments by which a common ownership community is created, as they are from time to time amended and used in this chapter as is obvious by its usage. 

(16) “Developer” means a person who creates a CIC or offers CIC parcels for sale or lease in the ordinary course of business, but does not include: 

(a) an owner or lessee of a unit who has acquired the unit for their own occupancy; 

(b) a cooperative association that creates a CIC by conversion of an existing residential cooperative after control of the association has been transferred to the unit owners if, following the conversion, the unit owners are the same persons who were unit owners of the cooperative and no units are offered for sale or lease to the public as part of the plan of conversion; 

(c) a bulk assignee or bulk buyer as defined in s. 718.703; or 

(d) a state, county, or municipal entity acting as a lessor and not otherwise named as a developer in the declaration.

(17) “Division” means the Division of Common Interest Communities of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

(18) "Governing documents" means the declaration and other documents, such as the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations that govern the operation of a common interest association, or determine the rights and obligations of the members of the common interest community.

(19) “Land” means the surface of a legally described parcel of real property and includes, unless otherwise specified in the declaration and whether separate from or including such surface, airspace lying above and subterranean space lying below such surface. However, if so defined in the declaration, the term “land” may mean all or any portion of the airspace or subterranean space between two legally identifiable elevations and may exclude the surface of a parcel of real property and may mean any combination of the foregoing, whether or not contiguous, or may mean a CIC unit. 

(20) “Limited common elements” means those common elements which are reserved for the use of a certain unit or units to the exclusion of all other units, as specified in the declaration.

(21) "Master association" is a common interest association when mandatory members are members or unit owners or common interest communities as described in 718.102(3) commonly referred to as "sub-associations".   

(22) "Member" means the owner of property burdened by servitude, aka obligation, described in subsection (10) 

(23) "Multi-common interest community" means a real estate development containing two or more common interest communities, all of which are operated by the same association.

(24)  "Notice" shall be liberally construed if the property is so configured so as to prevent posting in a conspicuous location.  Notice called for herein is complied with when reasonable procedures are followed to be sure required "notice" is provided to the intended recipients.

(25)  "Operation" or "operation of the common interest community" includes the administration and management of the common interest community property.

(26)  "Parcel" or "unit" means a part of the property that is subject to exclusive ownership. A unit may be in improvements, land, or land and improvements together, as specified in the documents and may include the following:

 (a)  "Condominium" means that form of ownership of real property created pursuant to this chapter comprised entirely of units that may be owned by one or more persons, and in which there is, appurtenant to each unit an undivided share in common elements

 (b)  "Cooperative" means that form of ownership of real property wherein legal title is vested in a corporation or other entity and the beneficial use is evidenced by an ownership interest in the association and a lease or other muniment of title or possession granted by the association as the owner of all the cooperative property.

(c) "Parcel" means a platted or unplatted lot, tract, unit, or other subdivision of real property within a community, as described in the documents that is capable of separate conveyance; and of which the parcel owner, or an association in which the parcel owner must be a member, is obligated by the governing documents to be a member of an association that serves the community; and to pay association assessments.

(27) “Rental agreement” means any written or oral agreement if for less duration than 1 year, providing for use and occupancy of premises.

(28)  "Residential common interest community" means a common interest community consisting of two or more units, any of which are intended for use as a private temporary or permanent residence, except that a common interest community is not a residential common interest community if the use for which the units are intended is primarily commercial or industrial and not more than three units are intended to be used for private residence, and are intended to be used as housing for maintenance, managerial, janitorial, or other operational staff of the common interest community. With respect to a common interest community, a residential unit includes a unit intended as a private temporary or permanent residence as well as a unit not intended for commercial or industrial use. If a unit is part of a common interest community but contains units intended to be used for commercial or industrial purposes, then, with respect to those units that are not intended for or used as private residences, the common interest community is not a residential common interest community. A common interest community that contains both commercial and residential units is a mixed-use common interest community and is subject to the requirements of s. 718.404.

(29) “Special assessment” means any assessment levied against a unit owner other than the assessment required by a budget adopted annually. 

(30) "Successor" or "subsequent" developer, means any person, other than the creating developer or concurrent developer, who offers parcels for sale or lease in the ordinary course of business except a financial lending institution receiving title to a number of units through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure unless they subsequently offer parcels for sale or lease in the ordinary course of business. Conveying all of such units to another person relieves the institution of developer responsibilities. 

(31) “Timeshare estate” means any interest in a unit under which the exclusive right of use, possession, or occupancy of the unit circulates among the various purchasers of a timeshare plan pursuant to chapter 721 on a recurring basis for a period of time.

(32) “Timeshare unit” means a unit in which timeshare estates have been created. 

(33) "Unit owner" or "owner of a unit" or "member" means a record owner of legal title or lessee of a cooperative unit to a common interest community parcel.

(34) “Voting certificate” means a document which designates one of the record title owners, or the corporate, partnership, or entity representative, who is authorized to vote on behalf of a unit that is owned by more than one owner or by any entity. 

(35) "Voting interests" means the voting rights distributed to the association members pursuant to s. 718.104(4)(j). In a multi- common interest community association, the voting interests of the association are the voting rights distributed to the unit owners in all common interest communities operated by the association. On matters related to a specific unit in a multi- common interest community association, the voting interests of the unit are the voting rights distributed to the unit owners in that common interest community. 

718.1035 Power of attorney; compliance with chapter.--

 The use of a power of attorney that affects any aspect of the operation of a CIC shall be subject to and in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and all documents, association rules and other rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, and all other covenants, conditions, and restrictions in force at the time of the execution of the power of attorney. The use of a power of attorney does not create eligibility to serve on the board of directors. 

718.104 Creation of CIC; contents of enabling document.--Every CIC created in this state shall be created pursuant to this chapter.  

(1) The date when CIC and unit existence shall commence is upon commencement of corporate existence of the CIC association as provided in s. 607.0203 and recordation of the enabling documents in the public records of the county in which the CIC is located, whichever is later. The enabling documents must be recorded in the county in which the CIC is located before property may be conveyed or transferred to the corporation or buyers. All persons who have any record interest in any mortgage encumbering the interest in the land being submitted to CIC ownership must either join in the execution of the CIC documents or execute, with the requirements for deed, and record consent to the CIC documents or an agreement subordinating their mortgage interest to the CIC documents. Upon creation of a CIC, the developer or association shall file the recording information with the division within 30 working days on a form prescribed by the division.  

(2)  All provisions of the CIC documents must be reasonable, are enforceable equitable servitudes, run with the land, and are effective until the CIC is terminated.  

(3) The provisions of the CIC documents shall be liberally construed providing the property rights and quiet enjoyment by other owners are not impinged. 

(4)  The enabling documents must contain or provide for the following matters:  

(a)  A statement submitting the property to CIC ownership.  

(b)  The name by which the CIC property is to be identified, that shall include the word "condominium", "homeowner", "cooperative" or be followed by the applicable designation. 

(c)  The legal description of the land and, if a leasehold estate is submitted to CIC, an identification of the lease. 

(d)  An identification of each unit by letter, name, or number, or combination thereof, so that no unit bears the same designation as any other unit.  

(e)  A survey of the land that meets the minimum technical standards set forth by the Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers, pursuant to s. 472.027, and a graphic description of the improvements in which units are located and a plot plan thereof that together with the documents are in sufficient detail to identify the common elements and each unit and their relative locations and approximate dimensions. Failure of the survey to meet minimum technical standards shall not invalidate an otherwise validly created CIC. 

(f) The survey, graphic description, and plot plan may be in the form of exhibits consisting of building plans, floor plans, maps, surveys, or sketches. If the construction of the CIC is not substantially completed, there shall be a statement to that effect, and, upon substantial completion of construction, the developer or the association shall amend the documents to include the certificate described below.  

(g) The amendment may be accomplished by referring to the recording data of a survey of the CIC that complies with the certificate. A certificate of a surveyor and mapper authorized to practice in this state shall be included in or attached to the documents or the survey or graphic description as recorded under s. 718.105 that the construction of the improvements is substantially complete so that the material, together with the provisions of the documents describing the CIC property, is an accurate representation of the location and dimensions of the improvements and so that the identification, location, and dimensions of the common elements, common property and of each unit can be determined from these materials.  

(h) Completed units within each substantially completed building in a CIC development may be conveyed to buyers, notwithstanding that other buildings in the CIC are not substantially completed, provided that all planned improvements, including, but not limited to, landscaping, utility services and access to the unit, and common-element facilities serving such building, as set forth in the documents, are first completed and the documents are first recorded and provided that as to the units being conveyed there is a certificate of a surveyor and mapper as required above, including certification that all planned improvements, including, but not limited to, landscaping, utility services and access to the unit, and common-element facilities serving the building in which the units to be conveyed are located have been substantially completed, and such certificate is recorded with the original documents or as an amendment to such documents. 

(i) For the purposes of this section, a "certificate of a surveyor and mapper" means certification by a surveyor and mapper in the form provided herein and may include, along with certification by a surveyor and mapper, when appropriate, certification by an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state. Notwithstanding the requirements of substantial completion provided in this section, nothing contained herein shall prohibit or impair the validity of a mortgage encumbering units together with an undivided interest in the common elements or common property as described in a documents recorded prior to the recording of a certificate of a surveyor and mapper as provided herein. 

(j)  The undivided share of ownership of the common elements, common property and common surplus of the CIC that is appurtenant to each unit stated as a percentage or a fraction of the whole. In the documents for residential units the ownership share of the common elements assigned to each residential unit shall be based either upon the total square footage of each residential unit in uniform relationship to the total square footage of each other residential unit in the CIC on an equal fractional basis.  

(k)  The percentage or fractional shares of liability for common expenses of the CIC that for all residential units must be the same as the undivided shares of ownership of the common elements and common surplus appurtenant to each unit as provided for in paragraph (j) except when such expenses are not related to the size of the unit. Expenses not related to the size of the unit may be allocated on a per unit basis. 

(l)  If a developer reserves the right, in the documents to create a multi-SOC, the documents must state, or provide a specific formula for determining, the fractional or percentage shares of liability for the common expenses of the association and of ownership of the common surplus of the association to be allocated to the units in each CIC to be operated by the association. If the documents for a CIC operated by a multi-CIC association as originally recorded fails to so provide, the share of liability for the common expenses of the association and of ownership of the common surplus of the association allocated to each unit in each CIC operated by the association shall be equal on a per unit.  

(m)  The name of the association that must be a corporation for profit or a corporation not for profit.  If not incorporated on the effective date of this chapter incorporation shall be completed within one year of the effective date. 

(n)  Unit owners' membership and voting rights in the association. 

(o)  The document or documents creating the association that may be attached as an exhibit.  

(p)  A copy of the bylaws that shall be attached as an exhibit. Defects or omissions in the bylaws shall not affect the validity of the CIC or title to the CIC parcels. 

(q)  Other desired provisions consistent with this chapter. 

(r)  The creation of a nonexclusive easement for ingress and egress over streets, walks, and other rights-of-way serving the units of a CIC, as part of the common elements or common property necessary to provide reasonable access to the public ways, or a dedication of the streets, walks, and other rights-of-way to the public. All easements for ingress and egress shall not be encumbered by any leasehold or lien other than those on the CIC parcels, unless: 

1.  Any such lien is subordinate to the rights of unit owners, or  

2.  The holder of any encumbrance or leasehold of any easement has executed and recorded an agreement that the use-rights of each unit owner will not be terminated as long as the unit owner has not been evicted because of a default under the encumbrance or lease, and the use-rights of any mortgagee of a unit who has acquired title to a unit may not be terminated.  

 (5)  The documents as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein may include reasonable covenants and restrictions concerning the use, occupancy, and transfer of the units permitted by law with reference to real property. However, the rule against perpetuities shall not defeat a right given any person or entity by the documents for the purpose of allowing unit owners to retain reasonable control over the use, occupancy, and transfer of units. 

(6)  A person who joins in, or consents to the execution of, an enabling document subjects their interest in the CIC property to the provisions of the document. 

718.1045 Timeshare estates; limitation on creation.-- 

No timeshare estates shall be created with respect to any CIC unit except pursuant to provisions in the declaration expressly permitting the creation of such estates.

718.105 Recording of declaration.-- 

(1)  When executed as required by s. 718.104, the documents shall be recorded in the county where the CIC is located together with all exhibits and amendments and is entitled to recordation as an agreement relating to the conveyance of land. 

(2)  Graphic descriptions of improvements constituting exhibits to the documents, when accompanied by the certificate of a surveyor required by s. 718.104, may be recorded as a part of the documents without approval of any public body or officer.  

(3)  When the documents are recorded pursuant to this section, a certificate or receipted bill shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the property is located showing that all taxes due and owing on the property have been paid in full as of the date of recordation.  

718.106 CIC parcels; appurtenances; possession and enjoyment.--

(1)  A CIC parcel created by the documents is a separate parcel of real property, even though the CIC may be created on leasehold.

(2)  There shall pass with a unit, as appurtenances thereto:

(a)  An undivided share in the corporation.

(b)  The exclusive right to use such portion of the common elements and property as may be provided by the documents, including the right to transfer such right to other units or unit owners to the extent authorized by the documents. Amendments to the documents providing for the transfer of use rights with respect to limited common elements are not amendments that materially modify unit appurtenances as described in s. 718.110(4). However, in order to be effective, the transfer of use rights with respect to limited common elements must be effectuated in conformity with the procedures set forth in the documents as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided herein. This section is intended to clarify existing law and applies to associations existing on the effective date of this act. 

(c)  An exclusive easement for the use of the airspace occupied by the unit as it exists at any particular time and as the unit may lawfully be altered or reconstructed from time to time. An easement in airspace that is vacated shall be terminated automatically.

(d)  Membership in the association designated in the documents, with the full voting rights appertaining thereto.

(e)  Other appurtenances as may be provided in the documents that may not be burdened by regulations or restrictions that are the purview of other authority.

(f) Expiration of a vehicle tag or failure to display a tag or parking permit is not sufficient grounds for enforcement action if it is the resident’s only vehicle and is in the parking spot assigned to the unit.

(g) An association shall not prohibit nor restrict the parking of a non-commercial vehicle owned by a member or invitee.

(3)  A unit owner is entitled to the exclusive possession of their unit, subject to the provisions of s. 718.111(5). They are entitled to use the common elements in accordance with the purposes for which they are intended, but no use may hinder or encroach upon the lawful rights of other unit owners.

 (4)  When a unit is leased, a tenant shall have all use rights in the association property and those common elements otherwise readily available for use generally by unit owners and the unit owner shall not have such rights except as a guest, unless such rights are waived in writing by the tenant. Nothing in this subsection shall interfere with the access rights of the unit owner as a landlord pursuant to chapter 83. The association shall have the right to adopt rules to prohibit dual usage by a unit owner and a tenant of association property and common elements otherwise readily available for use generally by unit owners.

(5)  A local government may not adopt an ordinance or regulation that prohibits unit owners or their guests, licensees, or invitees from pedestrian access to a public beach contiguous to the property, except where necessary to protect public health, safety, or natural resources. This subsection does not prohibit a governmental entity from enacting regulations governing activities taking place on the beach.

718.108 Common elements.--

(1)  "Common elements" includes within its meaning the following:

(a)  The CIC property that is not included within the units.

(b)  Easements through units for conduits, ducts, plumbing, wiring, and other facilities for the furnishing of utility services to other units and the common elements.

(c)  An easement of support in every portion of a unit that contributes to the support of a building.

(d)  The property and installations required for the furnishing of utilities and other services to more than one unit or to the common elements.

(2)  The documents may designate other parts of the property as common elements.

718.1085 Certain regulations not to be retroactively applied.--

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 633 or of any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation thereof, an association, CIC, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements or units of a residential CIC that meets the definition of “housing for older persons” in s. 760.29(4)(b)3. to comply with requirements relating to handrails and guardrails if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all voting interests in the affected CIC. However, a CIC association may not vote to forego the retrofitting in common areas in a high-rise building. For the purposes of this section, the term “high-rise building” means a building that is greater than 75 feet in height where the building height is measured from the lowest level of fire department access to the floor of the highest occupiable level. For the purposes of this section, the term “common areas” means stairwells and exposed, outdoor walkways and corridors. In no event shall the local authority having jurisdiction require retrofitting of common areas with handrails and guardrails before the end of 2014. 

(2) A vote to forego retrofitting may not be obtained by general proxy or limited proxy, but shall be obtained by a vote personally cast at a duly called membership meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and shall be effective upon the recording of a certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the CIC is located. The association shall provide each unit owner written notice of the vote to forego retrofitting of the required handrails or guardrails, or both, in at least 16-point bold type, by certified mail, within 20 days after the association’s vote. After such notice is provided to each owner, a copy of such notice shall be provided by the current owner to a new owner prior to closing and shall be provided by a unit owner to a renter prior to signing a lease. 

(3) As part of the information collected annually from CICs, the division shall require associations to report the membership vote and recording of a certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services the number of CICs that have elected to forego retrofitting. 

718.109 Legal description of CIC parcels.--

Following the recording of the declaration, a description of a CIC parcel by the number or other designation by which the unit is identified in the declaration, together with the recording data identifying the declaration, shall be a sufficient legal description for all purposes. The description includes all appurtenances to the unit concerned, whether or not separately described, including, but not limited to, the undivided share in the common elements appurtenant thereto. 

718.110 Amendment of documents; correction of error or omission in documents by circuit court.-

(1) The documents may be amended as to all matters except those described in subsection (4) or subsection (8) if the amendment is approved by the owners of a majority of the units present and voting at a duly called meeting of the CIC.

(a)  No provision of the documents shall be revised or amended by reference to its title or number only. Proposals to amend existing provisions of the documents shall contain the full text of the provision to be amended; new words shall be inserted in the text and underlined; and words to be deleted shall be struck through. However, if the proposed change is so extensive that this procedure would hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and strike through as indicators of words added or deleted, but, instead, a notation must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in substantially the following language: "Substantial rewording of the documents. See provision _____ for present text."

(b)  Nonmaterial errors or omissions in the amendment process will not invalidate an otherwise properly promulgated amendment.

(2)An amendment, other than amendments made by the developer pursuant to ss. 718.104, 718.403, and 718.504(6), (7), and (9) without a vote of the unit owners and any rights the developer may have in the declaration to amend without consent of the unit owners which shall be limited to matters other than those under subsections (4) and (8), shall be recorded and evidenced by a certificate of the association that shall include the recording data identifying the declaration and shall be executed in the form required for the execution of a deed. An amendment by the developer must be evidenced in writing.  

(3)An amendment of the documents is effective when properly recorded in the public records of the county where the documents are recorded. 

(4)  Unless otherwise provided in the documents as originally recorded, no amendment may change the configuration or size of any unit in any material fashion, materially alter or modify the appurtenances to the unit, or change the proportion or percentage by which the unit owner shares the common expenses of the CIC and owns the common surplus of the CIC unless the record owner of the unit and all record owners of liens on the unit join in the execution of the amendment and unless all the record owners of all other units in the same CIC approve the amendment. The acquisition of property by the association and material alterations or substantial additions to such property or the common elements by the association in accordance with s. 718.111(7) or s. 718.113, and amendments providing for the transfer of use rights in limited common elements pursuant to s. 718.106(2)(b) shall not be deemed to constitute a material alteration or modification of the appurtenances to the units.

(5)If it appears that through a scrivener’s error a unit has not been designated as owning an appropriate undivided share of the common elements or does not bear an appropriate share of the common expenses or that all the common expenses or interest in the common surplus or all of the common elements in the CIC have not been distributed in the declaration, so that the sum total of the shares of common elements which have been distributed or the sum total of the shares of the common expenses or ownership of common surplus fails to equal 100 percent, or if it appears that more than 100 percent of common elements or common expenses or ownership of the common surplus have been distributed, the error may be corrected by filing an amendment to the declaration approved by the board of administration or a majority of the unit owners. 

(6)  The common elements designated by the documents may be enlarged by an amendment to the documents. The amendment must describe the interest in the property and must submit the property to the terms of the documents. The amendment must be approved and executed as provided in this section. The amendment divests the association of title to the land and vests title in the unit owners as described in the documents, without naming them and without further conveyance, in the same proportion as the undivided share in the appurtenances to their unit.

(7)  The documents, bylaws, and common elements of two or more independent CICs of a single complex may be merged to form a single CIC, upon the approval of 75 percent of the  voting interests of each CIC and upon the recording of new or amended articles of incorporation, documents, and bylaws.

(8)  Unless otherwise provided in the documents as originally recorded, no amendment to the documents may permit timeshare estates to be created in any unit.

(9)  If there is an omission or error in the documents, or in any other document required by law to establish the CIC, the association may correct the error or omission by an amendment to the documents or to the other document required to create a CIC in the manner provided in 718.110(1)(a). The amendment is effective when passed and approved and a certificate of amendment is executed and recorded as provided in subsections (2) and (3). This procedure for amendment cannot be used if such an amendment would materially or adversely affect property rights of unit owners, unless the affected unit owners consent in writing.

(10)  If there is an omission or error in the documents, or any other document required to establish the CIC, which omission or error would affect the valid existence of the CIC, the circuit court has jurisdiction to entertain a petition of one or more of the unit owners in the CIC, or of the association, to correct the error or omission, and the action may be a class action.

(a) The court may require that one or more methods of correcting the error or omission be submitted to the unit owners to determine the most acceptable correction. All unit owners and the CIC association must be joined as parties to the action. Service of process on unit owners may be by personal service; certified mail, return receipt requested; electronically or publication.  The plaintiff shall mail to every unit owner a copy of the petition and final decree of the court by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the unit owner's last known residence address.

(b) If an action to determine whether the documents or another CIC document complies with the mandatory requirements for the formation of a CIC is not brought within 3 years of the recording of the documents, the documents and other documents shall be effective under this chapter to create a CIC, as of the date the documents were recorded, whether or not the documents substantially comply with the mandatory requirements of law.

(c) However, both before and after the expiration of this 3-year period, the circuit court has jurisdiction to entertain a petition permitted under this subsection for the correction of the documentation, and other methods of amendment may be utilized to correct errors or omissions at any time.

(11)  The Legislature finds that the procurement of mortgagee consent to amendments that do not affect the rights or interests of mortgagees is an unreasonable and substantial logistical and financial burden on the association and there is a compelling state interest in enabling the members of an association to approve amendments to the documents through legal means. Accordingly, and notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this section:

(a)  Any provision in the documents, articles of incorporation, bylaws or statute that requires the consent or joinder of some or all mortgagees of units or any other portion of the property to or in amendments to the documents, articles of incorporation, or bylaws or for any other matter including termination pursuant to 718.117 shall be enforceable only if the mortgagee and any subsequent designee or mortgage holder requests in writing, with notice to the association by certified mail, return receipt requested, as to the following matters:

1.  Those matters described in subsections (4) and (8).

2.  Amendments to the documents, articles of incorporation, or bylaws that adversely affect the mortgagee's rights to foreclose its lien or that otherwise materially affect the rights and interests of the mortgagees as must be described in the written notice to the association.

(b)  Any existing provisions in the documents, articles of incorporation, bylaws or statute requiring mortgagee consent shall be enforceable only if the mortgagee provides written notice as required in 718.110(11)(a).

(c)  In securing consent or joinder, the association shall be entitled to rely upon the written notice provided in 718.110(11)(a) to identify the holders of outstanding mortgages. Any notices required to be sent to the mortgagees under this paragraph shall be sent to the address as specified in the notice required by 718.110(11)(a) provided to the association.

(d)  Any notice to the mortgagees required under paragraph (c) may be sent by a method that establishes proof of delivery, and any mortgagee who fails to respond within 60 days after the date of mailing shall be deemed to have consented to the action.

(e)  In the event mortgagee consent is provided other than by properly recorded joinder, such consent shall be evidenced by affidavit of the association recorded in the public records of the county where the CIC is located. Any amendment adopted without the required consent of a mortgagee shall be voidable only by a mortgagee who was entitled to notice pursuant to 718.110(11)(a)and an opportunity to consent. An action to void an amendment or action shall be subject to the statute of limitations beginning 2 years after the date of recordation. This provision shall apply to all mortgages, regardless of the date of recordation of the mortgage.

(f)  The documents of a CIC shall be deemed amended to correspond with amendments to applicable Florida Statutes and may be recorded as amendments with approval of the board of directors of the CIC.

(12)  With respect to an existing multi-CIC association, any amendment to change the fractional or percentage share of liability for the common expenses of the association and ownership of the common surplus of the association must be approved by all of the total voting interests of each CIC operated by the association.

(a)  Unless approval by a greater percentage of the voting interests of an existing multi-CIC association is expressly required in the documents of an existing CIC, the documents may be amended upon approval of at least a majority of the total voting interests of each CIC operated by the multi-CIC association for the purpose of:

1.  Setting forth in the documents the formula currently utilized, but not previously stated in the documents, for determining the percentage or fractional shares of liability for the common expenses of the multi-CIC association and ownership of the common surplus of the multi-CIC association.

2.  Providing for the creation or enlargement of a multi-CIC association by the merger or consolidation of two or more associations and changing the name of the association, as appropriate.

3.  The formula in section (1) shall be either on equal per unit square foot basis or an equal per unit basis. 

(13)  There shall be no restriction on the alienation of units except if it is likely to threaten the security of the residents, association property, and the financial status of the association or the ability of the association to qualify for institutional mortgage financing.

(14) Except for those portions of the common elements designed and intended to be used by all unit owners, a portion of the common elements serving only one unit or a group of units may be reclassified as a limited common element upon the vote required to amend the declaration as provided therein or as required under paragraph (1)(a), and shall not be considered an amendment pursuant to subsection  (4).  This is a clarification of existing law.

718.111 The association.--

(1) CORPORATE ENTITY.--

(a)  The operation of the CIC shall be by the association that must be a Florida corporation for profit or a Florida corporation not for profit. The owners of units shall be shareholders or members of the association. An association may operate more than one CIC.

(b)  A director of the association present at a meeting of its board at which action on any corporate matter is taken shall be presumed to have assented to the action taken unless he or she votes against such action or abstains for a stated conflict of interest. Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings, except that officers may be elected by secret ballot. A vote or abstention for each member present shall be recorded in the minutes and if unanimous need not list the names.

(c)  A unit owner does not have any authority to act for the association by reason of being a unit owner.

(d)  An officer, director, or agent shall discharge their duties in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the association. An officer, director, or agent shall, notwithstanding any indemnification provisions in the documents, be individually liable for monetary damages as provided in s. 617.0834 if such officer, director, or agent breached or failed to perform their duties and the breach of, or failure to perform, their duties constitutes a violation of criminal law as provided in s. 617.0834; constitutes a transaction that the officer or director derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.

(e) Circumstances deemed to create a conflict of interest, include but are not limited to, for which a director must abstain:

1.    Outside interests.

(i)   A contract or transaction between the association and a board member, the board member’s co-owner or family member.

(ii)  A contract or transaction involving the association (including the approval of a transaction between a unit owner and third party) in which a board member will stand to either benefit financially by either the receipt of a payment in connection with services rendered in connection with the transaction or of which such person is a director, officer, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative.

2.    Outside activities.

(i)   A board member competing with the association or a party rendering services in a transaction to a unit owner.

(ii)  A board member having a material financial interest in; or serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative of, or consultant to; an entity or individual that competes with the association in the provision of services or in any other contract or transaction with a third party.

 3. Ownership of publically traded stock in a corporation shall not be deemed a conflict of interest if the ownership of the stock is disclosed.

(f) The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary duty and responsibility to the members. An officer, director, manager, employee or agent of an association or of a management firm may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept anything or service of value for which consideration has not been provided for their own benefit or that of their immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to provide goods or services to the association. Any such person who knowingly so solicits, offers to accept, or accepts anything or service of value is subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) and criminal penalty pursuant to s. 812.014. However, this paragraph does not prohibit accepting services or items of minimal value received in connection with trade fairs or education programs.

(2)POWERS AND DUTIES.—The powers and duties of the association include those set forth in this section and, except as expressly limited or restricted in this chapter, those set forth in the declaration and bylaws and chapters 607 and 617, as applicable. 

(3)  RESPONSIBILITY TO MANAGE CIC PROPERTY AND TO CONTRACT, SUE, AND BE SUED.--The association may contract, sue, or be sued with respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its responsibilities.  For these purposes, the responsibilities of the association include, but are not limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the CIC property and affairs.

(a)  After control of the association is obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning matters of common interest to most or all unit owners, including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof, structural components of a building or other improvements; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an improvement or a building; representations of the developer pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities; and protesting ad valorem taxes on units; unreasonable representations of common expenses; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring inverse condemnation actions.

(b) If the association has the authority to maintain a class action, the association may be joined in an action as representative of that class with reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without participation by the association that may otherwise be available.

(4)  ASSESSMENTS; MANAGEMENT OF COMMON ELEMENTS.--The association has the responsibility to make and collect assessments and to lease, maintain, repair, and replace the common elements or association property; however, the association may not charge a use fee against a unit owner for the use of common elements or association property unless otherwise provided for in the documents or by a majority vote of the association or unless the charges relate to expenses incurred because of an owner having temporary exclusive use of the common elements or association property.  

(5)  RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.--The association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, fire alarm inspection, sprinkler system inspection, or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the documents, as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements, to the unit, other units or to verify well-being of the resident.

(6)  OPERATION OF CICS CREATED PRIOR TO 1977.--Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, an association may operate two or more residential CICs in which the initial documents were recorded prior to January 1, 1977, and may continue to so operate such CICs as a single CIC for purposes of financial matters, including budgets, assessments, accounting, recordkeeping, and similar matters, if provision is made for such consolidated operation in the applicable documents of each such CIC or in the bylaws. An association for such units may also provide for consolidated financial operation as described in this section either by amending its documents pursuant to s. 718.110(1)(a) or by amending its bylaws and having the amendment approved by a majority of the voting interests present and voting at a duly called meeting of the association. Notwithstanding any provision in this chapter, common expenses for residential units in such a project being operated by a single association may be assessed against all unit owners in such project pursuant to the proportions or percentages established therefore in the documents as initially recorded or in the bylaws as initially adopted, subject, however, to the limitations of ss. 718.116 and 718.302.

(7) TITLE TO PROPERTY.— 

(a)  Except as otherwise permitted in subsections (8) and (9) and in s. 718.114, no association may acquire, convey or lease association real property except in the manner provided in the documents, and if the documents do not specify the procedure, then approval of 75 percent of the total voting interests shall be required.

(b)  Subject to the provisions of s. 718.112(2) (m), the association, through its board, has the limited authority to convey a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for the purposes of providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent domain proceedings.

(8)  PURCHASE OF LEASES.--The association has the authority to purchase any land or recreation lease upon the approval of such voting interest as is required by the documents. If the documents make no provision for acquisition of the land or recreation lease, the vote required shall be that required to amend the documents to permit the acquisition.

(9)  PURCHASE OF UNITS.--The association has the authority to purchase units in the CIC and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey them. There shall be no limitation on the association's right to purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association's foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.

(10) EASEMENTS.—Unless prohibited by the declaration, the board of administration has the authority, without the joinder of any unit owner, to grant, modify, or move any easement if the easement constitutes part of or crosses the common elements or association property. This subsection does not authorize the board of administration to modify, move, or vacate any easement created in whole or in part for the use or benefit of anyone other than the unit owners, or crossing the property of anyone other than the unit owners, without the consent or approval of those other persons having the use or benefit of the easement, as required by law or by the instrument creating the easement. Nothing in this subsection affects the minimum requirements of s. 718.104(4)(n) or the powers enumerated in subsection (3). 

(11) INSURANCE.—In order to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the people of the State of Florida and to ensure consistency in the provision of insurance coverage to CICs and their unit owners, this subsection applies to every residential CIC in the state, regardless of the date of its declaration. It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage lower or stable insurance premiums for associations described in this subsection. 

(a)  The association shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate insurance based upon the replacement cost of the property to be insured as determined by an independent insurance appraisal or update of a prior appraisal to protect the association, the association property, the common elements, and the CIC property required to be insured by the association pursuant to paragraph (b). The association may also obtain and maintain liability insurance for directors and officers, insurance for the benefit of association employees, and flood insurance for common elements, association property, and units. The full insurable value shall be determined at least once every 36 months.  When determining the adequate amount of property insurance coverage, the association may include reasonable deductibles as determined by the board

(b)  Every policy issued to protect an association building shall provide that the word "building" wherever used in the policy include, but not necessarily be limited to, the entry doors, glass in windows and sliding glass doors exposed to the elements, fixtures, installations, or additions comprising that part of the building within the unfinished interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings of the individual units initially installed, or replacements thereof of like kind or quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications, or as they existed at the time the unit was initially conveyed if the original plans and specifications are not available.

(c) However, the word "building" does not include unit window treatments, wall coverings, or ceiling coverings. Or, floor coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, air conditioner or heating equipment, (either inside or outside the unit) water heaters or built-in cabinets unless they are damaged by a covered peril under the association policy. With respect to the coverage provided for by this paragraph, the unit owners shall be considered additional insured under the policy.

(d)  Every insurance policy issued to an individual unit owner shall provide that the coverage afforded by such policy is excess over the amount recoverable under any other policy covering the same property without rights of subrogation against the association.

(e)  If an association is a developer-controlled association, the association shall exercise its best efforts to obtain and maintain insurance as described in paragraph (a). Failure to obtain and maintain adequate hazard insurance during any period of developer control constitutes an individual breach of fiduciary responsibility by the developer and developer-appointed members of the board of the association, unless the members can show that despite such failure, they made their best efforts to maintain the required coverage.

 (f)  The documents as originally recorded, or as amended pursuant to procedures provided therein, may provide that property consisting of freestanding buildings comprised of no more than one building need not be insured by the association if the declaration requires the unit owner to obtain adequate insurance for the association property. An association may also obtain and maintain liability insurance for directors and officers, insurance for the benefit of association employees, and flood insurance for common elements and association property.

(g)  Every property insurance policy to an individual unit owner must contain a provision stating the coverage afforded by such policy is excess coverage over the amount recoverable under any other policy covering the same property. Such policies must include loss assessment coverage of no less than $2,000 per occurrence and may not be offset by an assessment required for uninsured or underinsured losses. An insurance policy issued to an individual unit owner providing such coverage shall not provide rights of subrogation against the association operating the CIC in which such individual's unit is located.

(h)  The association shall maintain fidelity insurance of all persons and firms who control or disburse funds of the association. The insurance policy must cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. The association shall bear the cost of any such insurance.

(i)  The association may amend the CIC documents to conform the documents to the coverage requirements of this subsection without regard to any requirement for approval by mortgagees of amendments affecting insurance requirements.

(j)  Any portion of the property required to be insured by the association against loss that is damaged by a covered peril shall be reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the association as a common expense. All property insurance deductibles, uninsured losses, and other damages in excess of property insurance coverage under the insurance policies maintained by the association are a common expense of the association, except losses not mitigated where possible or exacerbated by the unit owner.

(k)  The association is not obligated to pay for reconstruction or repair expenses due to loss to any additions or alterations installed by a current or former owner of the unit or by the developer if it was not part of the standard improvements installed by the developer on all units as part of original construction, whether or not such improvement is located within the unit. This paragraph does not relieve any party of its obligations regarding recovery due under any insurance implemented specifically for any such improvements.

(12)  OFFICIAL RECORDS.--

(a)  From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, when applicable, that constitute official records of the association:

1.  A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).

2.  A photocopy of the recorded documents of each CIC operated by the association and of each amendment to each document.

3.  A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and of each amendment to the bylaws.

4.  A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and of each amendment thereto.

5.  A copy of the current rules of the association.

6.  A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, of the board, and of unit owners, which minutes shall be retained for a period of not less than 7 years.

7.  A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, telephone numbers and electronic numbers and addresses.

8.  All current insurance policies of the association and CICs operated by the association.

9.  A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.

10.  Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.

11.  Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each unit the association operates. Accounting records shall be maintained for a period of not less than 7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records required to be maintained by this chapter, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records required to be maintained by this chapter, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The accounting records shall include, but are not limited to:

a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.

b.  A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid upon the account, and the balance due.

c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the CIC.

d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed shall also be considered official records and shall be maintained by the association.

12.  Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners that shall be maintained for a period of at least 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph (b).

13.  All rental records, when the association is acting as agent for the rental of CIC units.

14.  A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described by s. 718.504.

15.  All other records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing that are related to the operation of the association.

16.  A copy of the inspection report as provided for in s. 718.301(4)(p).

(a) The association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to an association member or his or her authorized representative pursuant to the compliance requirements of this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose such information pursuant to this chapter. 

(b)  The official records of the association shall be maintained within the state for at least 7 years. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the CIC property or within the county in which the CIC property is located within 5 working days after receipt of written request by the board or its designee.

(c)  The official records of the association are open to inspection by any member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies at the reasonable expense if any, not to exceed 25 cents per page, of the association member. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the CIC property, or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format and printed upon request.  If the records are available electronically they shall be transmitted to the unit owner if the formats are compatible or can be converted to a compatible format at no charge. 

1. The division shall by rule establish reasonable rules that do not unduly restrict access to the records and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 5 working days after receipt of a written request shall create a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. 

2. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's willful failure to comply with this paragraph. The minimum damages shall be $100 per calendar day up to 20 working days, the calculation to begin on the 6th working day after receipt of the written request.

3. The failure to permit inspection of the association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records for inspection.

4. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys records that are required by this chapter, or knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain records that are required by this chapter, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).

5. The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the documents, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet updated annually provided for in s. 718.504, the inspection report as provided for in s. 718.301(4)(p). and year-end financial information required in this section to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective buyers, within 24 business hours of a request and may charge up to 25 cents per page for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the same unless transmitted electronically.

 Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the following records shall not be accessible to unit owners: 

a.  Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502; and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including a record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney's express direction; that reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and that was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or that was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.

b. Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.

c. Medical records of unit owners.

d. Social security numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal identifying information of any person.

e. Any electronic security measure that is used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords. 

f. The software and operating system used by the association which allows manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association. 

(d) The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually. 

(e)1.  The association or its authorized agent is not required to provide a prospective buyer or lien holder with information about the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective buyer, lien holder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective buyer or lien holder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney's fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.

2.  An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing information required by law in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: "THE RESPONSES HEREIN ARE MADE IN GOOD FAITH AND TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AS TO THEIR ACCURACY."

(13)  FINANCIAL REPORTING.--Within 60 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a sooner date provided in the bylaws, the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the preparation and completion of, a financial report for the preceding fiscal year. Within 15 days after the final financial report is completed by the association or received from the third party, but not later than 75 days after the end of the fiscal year or other date if sooner as provided in the bylaws, the association shall electronically transmit to each unit owner at the address last furnished the association by the unit owner, a copy of the financial report. Unit owners without electronic numbers or addresses shall within 75 days after the end of the fiscal year be mailed a notice that a copy of the financial report will be mailed or made available to the unit owner, without charge, upon receipt of a request.(a) The division shall adopt rules setting forth uniform accounting requirements and standards to be used by associations. The rules shall include, but not be limited to, uniform reporting procedures for disclosure of the reserves, including information as to whether such reserves were and are currently  being funded at a level that provides equal contributions over the remaining life of the elements that is consistent with an equal contribution over the total useful life of the elements sufficient to prevent the need for a  balloon payment or special assessment if continued at the same level and, if not, the amount necessary to bring the reserves up to the level necessary to avoid a special assessment or balloon payment.

The person preparing the financial reports is entitled to rely on the inspection report provided for in s. 718.301(4)(p) to meet the fiscal and fiduciary standards of this chapter. The results of the report called for in 718.115(4) shall be reported. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the number of members and annual revenues of an association. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:

(b)  An association that meets the criteria of this paragraph shall prepare or cause to be prepared a complete set of financial statements that include the items listed in (b)(3) below. The financial statements shall be based upon the association's total annual revenues, as follows:

1.  An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements.

2.  An association with total annual revenues of at least $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall have an independent CPA prepare reviewed financial statements.

3.  An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or more shall have an independent CPA prepare audited financial statements.

4.  The association and not the developer shall be considered the client regardless of any responsibility for payment of the CPA services.

(c)1.  An association with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare at least a report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial statements required by paragraph (b).

2.  A balance sheet, a report of cash receipts and disbursements that must disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services, expenses for grounds maintenance, costs for building maintenance and repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures, deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the association maintains reserves.

3. The board may prepare or cause to be prepared a higher level of reporting without a meeting of or approval by the unit owners.

4. If approved by a majority of the voting interests present at a properly called meeting of the association, an association may prepare or cause to be prepared a lower level of reporting but not less than that required by section (c).

5. Such meeting and approval must occur prior to the end of the fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which the vote is taken.

(d) Any financial statements required under this section shall be paid for by the developer if the period covered is before turnover of control of the association. An association may not waive the financial reporting requirements of section (b) for more than one year.

(e) The Board shall review the financial reports and statements and certify them as accurate and reflective of the financial status of the association prior to distribution to the members.

(f) The level of financial reporting shall be voted on each year at the annual meeting on the limited proxy as to whether it should be higher than that required by this section unless an audit is planned. Upon approval of a majority of the voting interests present in person or by proxy, the association shall amend the budget or adopt a special assessment to pay for the financial report regardless of any provision to the contrary in the governing documents, and shall provide the statements within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year.  Estimates from at least two CPAs familiar with CIC accounting shall be presented at the meeting unless an audit is already budgeted.

(14)  COMMINGLING.--All funds collected by an association shall be maintained separately in the association's name. Operating and reserve funds shall be accounted for separately, and in a commingled account shall not, at any time, be less than the amount identified as reserve funds. A manager or business entity required to be licensed under s. 468.432, or an agent, employee, officer, or director of an association, shall not commingle any association funds with their funds or with the funds of any other CIC association.

(a)  All association funds held by a developer shall be maintained separately in the association's name. Reserve and operating funds of the association shall not be commingled prior to turnover.

(b)  No developer in control of a CIC association shall commingle any association funds with their funds or with the funds of any other CIC.

(c)  Association funds may not be used by a developer to defend a civil or criminal action, administrative proceeding, or arbitration proceeding filed against the developer or directors appointed to the association board by the developer, even if the subject of the action or proceeding concerns the operation of the developer-controlled association.

(15) LIMITATION OF LIABILITY OF ASSOCIATION - After turnover from the developer, notwithstanding the duty of the Association to maintain and repair parts of the CIC Property, the Association shall not be liable to unit owners for injury or damage, other than for the cost of maintenance and repair, caused by any latent condition of the Property.  Further, the Association shall not be liable for any such injury or damage caused by defects in design or workmanship or any other reason connected with any additions, alterations or improvements done by or on behalf of any Unit Owners, regardless of whether or not the same shall have been approved by the Association pursuant to the provisions hereof.  The documents shall include and if not included shall be deemed to include the following:

NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING CONTAINED HEREIN OR IN THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, BY-LAWS, ANY RULES OR REGULATIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION OR ANY OTHER DOCUMENT GOVERNING OR BINDING THE ASSOCIATION (COLLECTIVELY, THE "ASSOCIATION DOCUMENTS"), THE ASSOCIATION SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR, OR IN ANY MANNER BE A GUARANTOR OR INSURER OF, THE HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE OF ANY OWNER, OCCUPANT OR USER OF ANY PORTION OF THE COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY PROPERTY, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, RESIDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES, GUESTS, INVITEES, AGENTS, SERVANTS, CONTRACTORS OR SUBCONTRACTORS OR FOR ANY PROPERTY OF ANY SUCH PERSONS.  WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING:

(a)          IT IS THE EXPRESS INTENT OF THE ASSOCIATION DOCUMENTS THAT THE VARIOUS PROVISIONS THEREOF WHICH ARE ENFORCEABLE BY THE ASSOCIATION AND WHICH GOVERN OR REGULATE THE USES OF THE COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY PROPERTY HAVE BEEN WRITTEN, AND ARE TO BE INTERPRETED AND ENFORCED, FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF ENHANCING AND MAINTAINING THE ENJOYMENT OF THE COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY PROPERTY AND THE VALUE THEREOF;

(b)          THE ASSOCIATION IS NOT EMPOWERED, AND HAS NOT BEEN CREATED, TO ACT AS AN ENTITY WHICH ENFORCES OR ENSURES THE COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, STATE OF FLORIDA, ____ COUNTY, AND/OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION OR THE PREVENTION OF TORTIOUS ACTIVITIES; AND

(c)           ANY PROVISIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION DOCUMENTS SETTING FORTH THE USES OF ASSESSMENTS WHICH RELATE TO HEALTH, SAFETY AND/OR WELFARE SHALL BE INTERPRETED AND APPLIED ONLY AS LIMITATIONS ON THE USES OF ASSESSMENT FUNDS AND NOT AS CREATING A DUTY OF THE ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT OR FURTHER THE HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE OF ANY PERSON(S), EVEN IF ASSESSMENT FUNDS ARE CHOSEN TO BE USED FOR ANY SUCH REASON.

EACH UNIT OWNER (BY VIRTUE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE OF TITLE TO HIS UNIT) AND EACH OTHER PERSON HAVING AN INTEREST IN OR LIEN UPON, OR MAKING ANY USE OF, ANY PORTION OF THE COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY PROPERTY (BY VIRTUE OF ACCEPTING SUCH INTEREST OR MAKING SUCH USES) SHALL BE BOUND BY THIS PROVISION AND SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE AUTOMATICALLY WAIVED ANY AND ALL RIGHTS, CLAIMS, DEMANDS AND CAUSES OF ACTION AGAINST THE ASSOCIATION ARISING FROM OR CONNECTED WITH ANY MATTER FOR WHICH THE LIABILITY OF THE ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN DISCLAIMED IN THIS PROVISION.

AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "ASSOCIATION" SHALL INCLUDE WITHIN ITS MEANING ALL OF THE ASSOCIATION'S DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, COMMITTEE AND BOARD MEMBERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CONTRACTORS, MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, SUBCONTRACTORS, SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS.

718.112 Bylaws.-- 

(1) GENERALLY.—

 (a) The operation of the association shall be governed by the articles of incorporation if the association is incorporated, and the bylaws of the association, which shall be included as exhibits to the recorded declaration. If one association operates more than one CIC, it shall not be necessary to rerecord the same articles of incorporation and bylaws as exhibits to each declaration after the first, provided that in each case where the articles and bylaws are not so recorded, the declaration expressly incorporates them by reference as exhibits and identifies the book and page of the public records where the first declaration to which they were attached is recorded.
 
(b) No amendment to the articles of incorporation or bylaws is valid unless recorded with identification on the first page thereof of the book and page of the public records where the declaration of each CIC operated by the association is recorded.

(2)  REQUIRED PROVISIONS.--The bylaws shall provide for the following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include the following:

(a)  Administration.--

1.  The form of administration of the association shall be described indicating the title of the officers and board of directors and specifying the responsibility, duties, manner of selection and removal, of officers and board members. In the absence of such a provision, the board of directors shall be composed of five members, except in the case of a CIC with fifty or fewer units, in which case the board shall consist of not fewer than three members. In the absence of provisions to the contrary in the bylaws, the board of directors 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 directors may appoint other officers and grant them the duties it deems appropriate.

2.  When a unit owner files a written inquiry, and has proof of delivery, with the association, the board or the CAM shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 15 days of receipt of the inquiry. The 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 advice is requested from the division, the board shall, within 10 days of receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, within 30 days after the receipt of the inquiry, a substantive response to the inquiry shall be provided. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the association from recovering attorney's fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry. The division may adopt reasonable policies regarding responding to unit owner inquiries.

3. Any substantive response shall include, at a minimum, a  restatement of the issue presented by the owner, the board's written response to that issue, and the board's actions or intended actions in response to the issue in addition to all other facts, opinions, requests and/or positions taken that are relevant to the issue.  In the event an outside opinion was requested by the board and the fact of that request was conveyed to the unit owner in an initial response as a reason for a delayed final response, the outside opinion text will also be included in the board's subsequent response to the unit owner.

4. A unit owner who does not receive a substantive response within 15 days is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's willful failure to comply with this paragraph. The minimum damages shall be $100 per calendar day up to 20 working days, the calculation to begin on the 16th working day after receipt of the written request. This time limit may be extended if the division has not responded.

 (b)  Quorum; voting requirements; proxies.--

1.  Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members shall be a majority of the total eligible voting interests. If a quorum is not attained the meeting shall be rescheduled within 30 days with a notice of at least 14 days to those not present in person or by proxy with a quorum requirement of 40 percent of the total eligible voting interests and if a quorum is not attained shall be rescheduled as many times as necessary with the quorum requirement reduced by 10 percent for each rescheduled meeting until a quorum is attained. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the articles of incorporation or bylaws, decisions that require a vote of the members must be made by the concurrence of at least a majority of the voting interests present, in person or by proxy, at a meeting at which a quorum has been attained.  Proxies provided for the original meeting shall be valid for each successive meeting if not more than 90 days after the date of the originally called meeting.

2.  Except as specifically otherwise provided herein unit owners may not vote by general proxy, but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division. Limited proxies and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Limited proxies shall be used for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves in accordance with subparagraph (f)2.; for votes taken to waive the financial reporting requirements of s. 718.111(13); for votes taken to amend the documents pursuant to s. 718.110; for votes taken to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws pursuant to this section; and for any other matter for which this chapter requires or permits a vote of the unit owners. No proxy, limited or general, shall be used for the election of board members. General proxies may be used for other matters for which limited proxies are not required, and may also be used in voting for nonsubstantive changes to items for which a limited proxy is required and given. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph, unit owners may vote in person at unit owner meetings.

3.  Any proxy given shall be effective only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned meetings thereof. In no event shall any proxy be valid for a period longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given. Every proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the unit owner executing it.

4.  When a board or committee meeting includes meeting by telephone conference or other electronic means, all other unit owners shall also be allowed to attend by telephone conference or electronic means if it is or can be made available, at the unit owners' expense, and all meeting notices shall include information necessary for a unit owner to join the meeting.  The distant communication must provide for two way communications between all parties at all times unless technical issues exist that require "listen only."  When board or committee members are attending a meeting by distant communication, all votes must be recorded as roll call votes.

5. The voting rights of a member delinquent in excess of 90 days for the nonpayment of regular or special assessments shall be suspended and such members shall not be considered to determine a quorum.  The percentage of the membership required for a quorum shall include only members not delinquent in excess of 90 days.

(c)  Board of director's meetings.--Meetings of the board of directors at which a quorum of the members is present shall be open to all unit owners.

1.  Any unit owner may voice or video record meetings. The division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the voice or video recording of the meeting. A copy of any such recording shall be made available to the association upon request and at its expense. Any unit owner with a hearing or vision disability may have an interpreter accompany them if the assistance does not disrupt the meeting. Any unit owner not proficient in English may have an interpreter accompany them if the translating does not disrupt the meeting.

2.  Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a specific location on the CIC property or association property upon which all notices of board meetings shall be posted. If there is no CIC property or association property upon which notices can be posted, notices of board meetings shall be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted at least 14 days before the meeting to each unit owner.

3.  Adequate notice of all meetings, which notice shall specifically incorporate an identification of agenda items, shall be posted conspicuously on the CIC property at least 48 continuous hours preceding the meeting except in an emergency. If 10 percent of the voting interests petition the board to address an item of business, the board shall at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting of the board, but not later than 60 days after the receipt of the petition, place the item on the agenda.

4.  Written notice of any meeting at which nonemergency special assessments, or at which amendment to rules regarding unit or common element use, will be considered shall be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the CIC property not less than 14 days prior to the meeting. Evidence of compliance with this 14-day notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed among the official records of the association.

5.  Notice of any meeting in which regular or special assessments are to be considered shall specifically state that assessments will be considered and the nature, estimated cost, and description of the purposes for such assessments.

6.  Any item not included on the notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a majority plus one of the members of the board if they are reasonably available. Such emergency action shall be noticed and ratified at the next regular meeting of the board.

7.  The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items when the item is addressed by the board and prior to it being voted on. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements.

8.  Meetings of a committee of the board are subject to the provisions of this section.

9.  Notwithstanding any other law, the requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open to the unit owners is not applicable to meetings between the board or a committee and the association's attorney, with respect to proposed or pending litigation, when the meeting is held for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice.

10.  An executive committee may be appointed by the board if it is comprised of less than a quorum of the board. The executive committee may consider items of personnel, discipline or contracts provided their recommendations are considered at the next board meeting.

(d)  Unit owner meetings.--

1.  An annual meeting of the unit owners shall be held at the location provided in the bylaws and, if the bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held within 10 miles of the CIC property.

2. 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 must be by secret ballot; however, if the number of vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, an election is not required.

3. The terms of all members of the board expire at the annual meeting and current board members may stand for reelection. If no person is interested in or demonstrates an intention to run for the position of a board member whose term has expired such board member may be reappointed to the board if they provide a current certification form as provided in 9.

4. Co-owners 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 (o), is not eligible for board membership.

5. A person who pleaded nolo contendere or has been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or who pleaded nolo contendere or has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction that would be considered a felony if committed in this state, is not eligible for board membership unless such felon's civil rights have been restored for at least  10 years as of the date on which such person seeks election to the board. The validity of an action by the board is not affected if it is later determined that a member of the board was ineligible for board membership.

6.  The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice that must include an agenda shall be mailed, hand delivered, or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days before the annual meeting and must be posted in a conspicuous place on the CIC property at least 14 continuous days preceding the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location on the CIC property or association property upon which all notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted. However, if there is no CIC property or association property upon which notices can be posted, this requirement does not apply.

7. Unless an owner waives in writing the right to receive notice such notice shall be hand delivered, mailed, or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the association shall provide notice, for meetings and all other purposes, to that one address which the developer initially identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or more of the owners of the unit shall so advise the association in writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do not agree, to the address provided on the county records of the property appraiser. The person providing notice of the association meeting shall provide an affidavit to be included in the official records of the association affirming that the notice was mailed, transmitted, sent or hand delivered in accordance with this provision.

8.  The members of the board shall be elected by secret ballot. Proxies may not be used in electing the board, in general elections or elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter.

9. At least 60 days and not more than 90 days before a scheduled election, the association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, whether by separate association mailing or included in another association mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly published newsletters, to each unit owner, a first notice of the date of the election along with a certification form provided by the division to be used by potential candidates for the board attesting they read the declaration, bylaws, current written policies, provisions of this chapter, applicable sections of the Florida Administrative Code, association rules; that they shall work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of their ability; and that they will faithfully discharge their fiduciary responsibility to the association's members.   A new certification form must be entered in the minute book to be available for verification by any owner and must be submitted each year in order to be eligible to be included on the ballot and serve on the board.

10. Any unit owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must give written notice of their intention to be a candidate to the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election along with the signed certification form provided for in this section.  If the certification form is not provided or the person is otherwise ineligible for election to the board their name shall not be listed on the ballot.

11. Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in subparagraph 2., the association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all unit owners entitled to vote, together with a ballot that lists all eligible candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information sheet, no larger than 81/2 inches by 11 inches, furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election, must along with the signed certification form provided for in this section, be included with the mailing delivery, or transmission of the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic transmission and copying to be borne by the association. The association is not liable for the contents of the information sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the association may print or duplicate the information sheets on both sides of the paper.

12. The division shall by rule establish voting procedures consistent with the provisions contained herein, including rules establishing procedures for giving notice by electronic transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of those ballots cast. There shall be no quorum requirement; however, at least 20 percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to have a valid election of members of the board. No unit owner shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided any unit owner who violates this provision may be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain assistance. The regular election shall occur on the date of the annual meeting. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph, an election is not required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run than board vacancies exist. Tie votes may be determined by lot or runoff election at the option of the candidates and by runoff election if they cannot agree.

13.  Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter or the applicable documents or bylaws, including, but not limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), shall be made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and shall be subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable documents relating to unit owner decision making, except that unit owners may take action by written agreement, without meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement without meetings is not expressly prohibited by the applicable bylaws or documents or any statute that provides for such action.

14.  Notice of meetings of the board, unit owner meetings, and committee meetings may be given by electronic transmission or hand delivery to unit owners unless notice is requested by mail.

15.  The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items at the time the item is addressed prior to it being voted on. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements. 

16.  Any unit owner may audio or video record a meeting of the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the division. . Any unit owner with a hearing or vision disability may have an interpreter accompany them if the assistance does not disrupt the meeting. Any unit owner not proficient in English may have an interpreter accompany them if the translating does not disrupt the meeting

17.  Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative, a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case the election procedures must conform to the requirements of this section. A board member appointed or elected under this section shall fill the vacancy until the next election. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.

18.  Any rule or regulation may be overturned by vote of a majority of owners represented in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting.  By petition of at least 10 percent of the voting interests any rule or regulation must be added to the agenda of the next owner's meeting for ratification or revocation.  Any rules or regulations adopted by the board during the previous year shall be added to the agenda for the annual meeting for ratification or revocation.

19.  Elections for members of the board of a master association are exempted from the above election procedure if the members of the board are elected as representatives of the CIC exclusively by the members of the CIC they represent. 

(e)  SPECIAL MEETINGS.--Special meetings must be held when called by the board of directors or, unless a different percentage is stated in the governing documents, by at least 10 percent of the total voting interests of the association. Business conducted at a special meeting is limited to the purposes described in the notice of the meeting.

(f)  Budget meeting.--

1.  Any meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be adopted by the board or unit owners shall be open to all unit owners. At least 14 days prior to the meeting, the board shall transmit to the unit owners by electronic transmission, unless notice is requested by mail, or is hand delivered to each unit owner, at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, a notice of such meeting and a copy of the proposed annual budget. The person providing notice of such meeting, shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with such notice requirement, and such affidavit shall be filed among the official records of the association.

2.  If a board adopts in any fiscal year an annual budget that requires an assessment against unit owners that is 15 percent or more than the amount of assessment for the preceding fiscal year, the board shall conduct a special meeting of the unit owners to consider a substitute budget if the board receives, within 21 days after adoption of the annual budget, a written request for a special meeting from at least 10 percent of the voting interests with the draft of the substitute budget.

a. The special meeting shall be conducted within 30 days after adoption of the annual budget and it may not be rescheduled if a quorum is not attained. At least 14 days prior to such a meeting, the board shall transmit to the unit owners by electronic transmission, unless notice is requested by mail, or is hand delivered to each unit owner, at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, a notice of such meeting and a copy of the proposed substitute annual budget. The person providing notice of such meeting, shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with such notice requirement, and such affidavit shall be filed among the official records of the association. Unit owners may consider and adopt a substitute budget at the special meeting. A substitute budget is adopted if approved by a majority of all voting interests. If there is not a quorum at the special meeting or a substitute budget is not adopted, the annual budget previously adopted by the board shall take effect as scheduled.

b.   Any determination of whether an assessment increase exceeds 15 percent of the amount of the assessments for the prior fiscal year shall exclude provision for reasonable reserves for deferred maintenance or replacement of the CIC property, anticipated expenses of the association the board does not expect to be incurred on a regular or annual basis, statutory expense requirements or expenses over which the board has no control.

c.   If the developer controls the board, assessments shall not exceed the assessments for the prior fiscal year by more than 15 percent unless approved by a majority of all voting interests other than the developer.

(g)  Annual budget.--

1.  The proposed annual budget of estimated revenues and expenses shall be detailed and show the amounts budgeted by accounts and expense classifications, including, if applicable, but not limited to, those expenses listed in s. 718.504(21). A multi-CIC association shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for each CIC the association operates and shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for the association. In addition, if the association maintains limited common elements with the cost to be shared only by those entitled to use the limited common elements as provided for in s. 718.113(1), the budget or a schedule attached thereto shall show amounts budgeted therefore.  If, after turnover of control of the association to the unit owners, any of the expenses listed in s. 718.504(21) are not applicable, they need not be listed.

2.  In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget shall include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. These accounts shall include and need not be limited to any item for which the full funding of the deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost would require a reserve contribution of more than $600 per year for any Unit in the association. 

3. The amount to be reserved shall be computed by means of a formula based upon estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of each reserve item. Total reserve contribution requirement may be calculated by "pooling" as determined by the division. The association shall adjust replacement reserve assessments annually to take into account any changes in estimates or change of the useful life of a reserve item.

4.  Reserve funds shall remain in the reserve account or accounts, and shall be used only for authorized reserve expenditures unless their use for other purposes is approved in advance by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association. Prior to turnover of control of an association by a developer to unit owners other than the developer pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer-controlled association shall not use reserves for purposes other than that for which they are intended.

5.  The only voting interests eligible to vote on questions that involve using existing reserve funds for purposes other than purposes that the reserves are intended for, are the voting interests of the units subject to assessment to fund the reserves in question. Proxy questions relating to using existing reserve funds for purposes other than purposes for which the reserves are intended shall contain the following statement in capitalized, bold letters in a font size larger than any other used on the face of the proxy ballot: WAIVING OF RESERVES, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OR ALLOWING ALTERNATIVE USES OF EXISTING RESERVES WILL RESULT IN UNIT OWNER LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ANTICIPATED SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS REGARDING THOSE ITEMS.

6. It the board fails to adopt an annual budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year the previous year's budget shall be continued until a new budget is adopted.  When the new budget is adopted it shall be retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year.

(h)  Assessments.--The manner of collecting from the unit owners their shares of the common expenses shall be stated in the bylaws. Assessments shall be made against units not less frequently than quarterly in an amount that is not less than that required to provide funds in advance for payment of anticipated current operating expenses and for unpaid operating expenses previously incurred. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the right of an association to accelerate assessments of an owner delinquent in payment of common expenses.  Accelerated assessments shall be due and payable on the date the claim of lien is filed. Such accelerated assessments shall include the amounts due for the remainder of the budget year in which the claim of lien was filed and if the unit is foreclosed shall not be forgiven as to the remaining portion of the year if not paid.

(i)  Amendment of bylaws.--

1.  The bylaws may be amended if the amendment is approved by the owners of a majority of the units present and voting at a duly called meeting of the CIC.

2.  No bylaw shall be revised or amended by reference to its title or number only. Proposals to amend existing bylaws shall contain the full text of the bylaws to be amended; new words shall be inserted in the text underlined, and words to be deleted shall be struck through. However, if the proposed change is so extensive that this procedure would hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and strike through as indicators of words added or deleted, but, instead, a notation must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in substantially the following language: "Substantial rewording of bylaw. See bylaw _____ for present text."

3.  Nonmaterial errors or omissions in the bylaw process will not invalidate an otherwise properly promulgated amendment.

(j)  Transfer fees.--A charge of may be made by the association in connection with the sale, mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit unless the association is prohibited from approving such transfer.

1. Any such fee may be preset, and be no more than $100.  A husband/wife or parent/dependent child shall be considered one applicant. However, if the lease or sublease is a renewal of a lease or sublease with the same lessee or sub-lessee, no charge shall be made.

2. The foregoing notwithstanding, an association may, unless prohibited by the documents or bylaws, require that a prospective lessee place a security deposit, in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of 1 month's rent, into an escrow account maintained by the association. The security deposit shall protect against damages to the common elements or association property.  Claims for payment of interest against the deposit, refunds, and disputes under this paragraph shall be handled in the same fashion as provided in part II of chapter 83.

3. The lease shall provide that the provisions of 718.303 apply including the assignment of rent to the association in the case of delinquency of assessments and if not included shall be deemed included.

(k)  Recall of board members.-- Any member of the board of directors may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests on a form provided by the division.  

1.  The agreement in writing by a majority of all voting interests or a copy thereof shall be served on the association or manager by certified mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

2. The board of directors shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in which case such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full business days any and all records and property of the association in their possession, or proceed as described in subparagraph 3.

3.  If the board determines not to certify the written agreement to recall a member or members of the board the board shall, within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit owners who executed the agreement in writing shall constitute one party under the petition for arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any member or members of the board, the recall will be effective upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the association. If the association fails to comply with the order of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s. 718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the board any and all records of the association in their possession within 5 full business days of the effective date of the recall.

4.  If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days of service of an agreement in writing the recall shall be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall immediately turn over to the board any and all records and property of the association.

5.  If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a recall or removal and less than a majority of the board members are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the person(s) as specified on the recall petition form.  If the vacancies exceed the number of replacement directors on the recall form the vacancy may be filled by affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the association during the period after a recall but prior to the recall election.

6.  Any recalled director failing to turn over association records as required shall be in violation of s. 718.111(12)(c) and shall be personally fined by the division.

(l)  Arbitration.--There shall be a provision for mandatory nonbinding arbitration as provided for in s. 718.1255.

(m) Certificate of compliance.-- A provision that a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor, electrician or engineer may be accepted by the association's board as evidence of compliance of the CIC units with applicable fire and life safety code must be included. Notwithstanding or of any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation of the foregoing, an association, CIC, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements, association property or units of a residential CIC with a fire sprinkler system in a building that has been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental entity if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting by the affirmative vote of majority of all voting interests in the affected CIC.  The local authority having jurisdiction may not require completion of retrofitting of with a fire sprinkler system before the end of 2019. By December 31, 2016, an association that is not in compliance with the requirements for a fire sprinkler system and has not voted to forego retrofitting of such a system must initiate an application for a building permit for the required installation with the local government having jurisdiction demonstrating that the association will become compliant by December 31, 2019.

 

1.  A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by limited proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called membership meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and is effective upon recording of a certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the CIC is located. The association shall mail or hand deliver to each unit owner written notice at least 14 days before the membership meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required fire sprinkler system is to take place.  Within 30 days after the association's opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out vote must be mailed or hand delivered to all unit owners. Evidence of compliance with this notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed among the official records of the association. After notice is provided to each owner, a copy must be provided by the current owner to a new owner before closing and shall be provided by a unit owner or agent to a renter before to signing a lease.

2.  If there has been a previous vote to forego retrofitting, a vote to require retrofitting may be obtained at a special meeting of the unit owners called by a petition of at least 10 percent of the voting interests. Such a vote may only be called once every 3 years. Notice shall be provided as required for any regularly called meeting of the unit owners, and must state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be used to provide notice of a meeting called in whole or in part for this purpose.

3.  As part of the information collected annually from CICs, the division shall require CIC associations to report the membership vote and recording of a certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services the number of units that have elected to forego retrofitting.  

4. Notwithstanding s. 553.509, an association may not be obligated to, and may forego the retrofitting of, any improvements required by s. 553.509(2) upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting interests in the affected CIC. 

5. A notice of approval as provided by the division of the opt-out provision shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property and adjacent to each elevator door on the first floor of the building.  

(n)  Common elements; authority to convey.-- The association through the board of directors has the authority to convey a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for the purpose of providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent domain proceedings.

(o)  Director or officer delinquencies.--A director or officer more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due the association shall be deemed to have abandoned the office, creating a vacancy in the office that may be filled by appointment by the remaining directors or by special election.

(p)  Director or officer offenses.--A director or officer charged by information or indictment with a felony theft or embezzlement must be removed from office, creating a vacancy in the office to be filled according to law until the end of the period of the suspension or the end of the director's term of office, whichever occurs first. While such director or officer has such criminal charge pending, they may not be appointed or elected to a position as a director or officer. However, if the charges are resolved without a finding of guilt, the director or officer shall be reinstated for the remainder of their term of office, if any.

(q) Director or officer responsibility.-- In determining whether a member of the board performed their duties pursuant to 718.111(1)(f), the division or commission may consider whether the member of the executive board has:

1. Acted outside the scope of the authority granted in the governing documents;

2. Acted for reasons of self-interest, gain, prejudice or revenge;

3. Committed an act or omission which amounts to incompetence, negligence or gross negligence;

4. Except as otherwise required by law or court order, disclosed confidential information relating to a unit’s owner, a member of the executive board or an officer, employee or authorized agent of the association unless the disclosure is consented to by the person to whom the information relates;

5. Impeded or otherwise interfered with an investigation of the division by:

(a) Failing to comply with a request by the division to provide information or documents;

(b) Supplying false or misleading information to an investigator, auditor or any other officer or agent of the Division; or

(c) Concealing any facts or documents relating to the business of the association;

6. Kept informed of laws, regulations and developments relating to CICs;

7. Cooperated with the division in resolving complaints filed with the division; and

8. Caused the association to:

(a) Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and the governing documents of the association;

(b) Uniformly enforce the governing documents of the association;

(c) Hold meetings of the board with such frequency as to properly and efficiently address the affairs of the association;

(d) Obtain, when practicable, at least three bids from reputable service providers who possess the proper licensing before purchasing any such service for use by the association;

(e) Consult with appropriate professionals as necessary before making any major decision affecting the association or the common elements;

(f) Deposit all funds of the association for investment in government securities that are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Or in a financial institution, so as not to exceed the insured amount,  whose accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Securities Investor Protection Corporation;

(g) Maintain current, accurate and properly documented financial records;

(h) Establish policies and procedures for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and the appropriate manner by which to resolve such conflicts;

(i) Establish policies and procedures that are designed to provide reasonable assurances in the reliability of financial reporting, including, without limitation, proper maintenance of accounting records, documentation of the authorization for receipts and disbursements, verification of the integrity of the data used in making business decisions, facilitation of fraud detection and prevention and compliance with the applicable laws and regulations governing financial records;

(j) Prepare interim and annual financial statements that will allow the division, the board, the units’ owners and an accountant or auditor to determine whether the financial position of the association is fairly presented in accordance with good business practices;

(k) Make the financial records of the association available for inspection by the division in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations of this State;

(l) Cooperate with the division in resolving complaints filed with the division; and

(m) Adopt and fairly enforce the collection policies and operating policies of the association.

(3)  OPTIONAL PROVISIONS.--The bylaws as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein may provide for the following:

(a)  A method of adopting and amending administrative rules and regulations governing the details of the operation and use of the common elements that may not be implemented prior to publication to all members and residents.

(b)  Restrictions on and requirements for the use, maintenance, and appearance of the units and the use of the common elements.

(c)  Provisions for giving notice in a manner authorized by law of meetings of the board of directors and committees and of annual and special meetings of the members.

(d)  Other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter or with the documents, as may be desired.

718.1124 Failure to fill vacancies on board of directors sufficient to constitute a quorum; appointment of receiver upon petition of unit owner.--

(1) If an association fails to fill vacancies on the board of directors sufficient to constitute a quorum in accordance with the bylaws, any unit owner may give notice of his or her intent to apply to the circuit court within whose jurisdiction the CIC lies for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the association. The form of the notice and procedures shall be as determined by the division. 

(2) The association shall be responsible for the salary of the receiver, court costs, and attorney’s fees. The receiver shall have all powers and duties of a duly constituted board of directors and shall serve until the association fills vacancies on the board sufficient to constitute a quorum and the court relieves the receiver of the appointment. 

 (3)  The association shall be responsible for the salary of the receiver, court costs, and attorney's fees. The receiver shall have all responsibility and duties of a duly constituted board of directors and shall serve until the association fills vacancies on the board sufficient to constitute a quorum and the court relieves the receiver of the appointment.

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

(1)  Maintenance of the common elements is the responsibility of the association. The documents may provide that certain limited common elements shall be maintained by those entitled to use the limited common elements or that the association shall provide the maintenance, either as a common expense or with the cost shared only by those entitled to use the limited common elements. If the maintenance is to be by the association at the expense of only those entitled to use the limited common elements, the documents shall describe in detail the method of apportioning such costs among those entitled to use the limited common elements, and the association may use the provisions of s. 718.116 to enforce payment of the shares of such costs by the unit owners entitled to use the limited common elements.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, there shall be no material alteration or substantial additions to the common elements or to real property that is association property, CIC property or multi-CIC property except in a manner provided for amendment of the documents.

(3)  A unit owner shall not do anything within their unit or on the common elements that would adversely affect the safety or soundness of the common elements or any portion of the association property or CIC property that is to be maintained by the association.

(4)  Any unit owner may display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful way. On Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, may also 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.  Such additional flag must be equal in size or smaller than the United States flag. On property not owned or maintained by the CIC an owner may erect a freestanding flagpole no more than 20 feet high on any portion of their real property if the flagpole does not obstruct sightlines at intersections and is not erected within or upon an easement. If installed on property to be maintained by the association reasonable accommodations shall be adopted to allow display of the flag.

(5)  Each board shall adopt building opening hurricane protection specifications for each building within each CIC operated by the association that shall include color, style, and other factors deemed relevant by the board. All specifications adopted by the board must comply with applicable building code.

(a)  The board may, subject to the provisions of s. 718.3026, and the approval of a majority of voting interests of the CIC, install building opening hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds the applicable building code, except that a vote of the owners is not required if the maintenance, repair, and replacement of building opening hurricane protection is the responsibility of the association pursuant to the documents.  If hurricane protection or laminated glass or window film architecturally designed to function as hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds the current applicable building code was previously installed, the board may not install additional protection except upon approval by a majority vote of the owners at a duly called meeting.

(b)  The association is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the building hurricane protection authorized by this subsection if such building hurricane protection is the responsibility of the association pursuant to the documents. If the building hurricane protection authorized by this subsection is the responsibility of the unit owners pursuant to the documents, the responsibility for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of such items are the responsibility of the unit owner.

(c)  The board may operate shutters installed pursuant to this subsection without permission of the unit owners only if such operation is necessary to preserve and protect the CIC property and association property. The installation, replacement, operation, repair, and maintenance of such shutters in accordance with the procedures set forth in this paragraph are not a material alteration to the common elements or association property within the meaning of this section.

(d)  Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the CIC documents, if approval is required by the documents, a board may not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters by a unit owner conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.

(e)  No prohibition of use of hurricane shutters may be enforced by the association unless they also accept the responsibility to install or operate them at the time of a hurricane warning to protect the property.

(6)  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 spiritual object not to exceed 3 inches wide, 6 inches high, and 1.5 inches deep.

(7)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or the governing documents of a CIC, the board may, without any requirement for approval of the unit owners, install upon or within the common elements or association property solar collectors, or other energy-efficient devices based on renewable resources for the benefit of the unit owners.

(8)(a)  Any parcel owner may construct an access ramp if a resident or occupant of the parcel has a medical necessity or disability that requires a ramp for egress and ingress under the following conditions:

1.  The ramp must be as unobtrusive as possible, be designed to blend in aesthetically as practicable, and be reasonably sized to fit the intended use without obstructing ingress or egress for any other person .

2.  Plans for the ramp must be submitted in advance to the association. The association may make reasonable requests to modify the design to achieve architectural consistency with surrounding structures and surfaces.

(b)  The parcel owner must submit to the association an affidavit from a physician attesting to the medical necessity or disability of the resident or occupant of the parcel requiring the access ramp. Certification used for s. 320.0848 shall be sufficient to meet the affidavit requirement.

(c) Costs for installation, removal and renovation of the property to original condition shall be the responsibility of the owner.

(6)  An owner may display a sign or window decal of reasonable size provided by a contractor for security services within 10 feet of any entrance to the home as long as it is not on CIC property.

718.114 Association powers.-- 

(1) An association has the power to enter into agreements, to acquire leaseholds, memberships, and other possessory or use interests in lands or facilities such as country clubs, golf courses, marinas, and other recreational facilities. It has this power whether or not the lands or facilities are contiguous to the lands of the CIC, if they are intended to provide enjoyment, recreation, or other use or benefit to the unit owners.  

(2) All of these leaseholds, memberships, and other possessory or use interests existing or created at the time of recording the declaration must be stated and fully described in the declaration.  

(3) Subsequent to the recording of the declaration, agreements acquiring these leaseholds, memberships, or other possessory or use interests not entered into within 12 months following the recording of the declaration shall be considered a material alteration or substantial addition to the real property that is association property, and the association may not acquire or enter into agreements acquiring these leaseholds, memberships, or other possessory or use interests except as authorized by the declaration as provided in s. 718.113.  

(4) The declaration may provide that the rental, membership fees, operations, replacements, and other expenses are common expenses and may impose covenants and restrictions concerning their use and may contain other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter.  

(5) Mandatory membership or other possessory or use rights can only be enforced upon membership owned facilities. 

(6) A CIC association may conduct bingo games as provided in s. 849.0931. 

718.115 Common expenses and common surplus. --  Common expenses include the expenses of the operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, or protection of the common elements and association property, costs of carrying out the responsibilities and duties of the association, and any other expense, whether or not included in the foregoing, designated as common expense by this chapter, the documents, the documents creating the association, or the bylaws.

(1) Common expenses also include reasonable transportation services, insurance for directors and officers, road maintenance and operation expenses, in-house communications, and security services, that are reasonably related to the general benefit of the unit owners even if such expenses do not attach to the common elements or property of the CIC.

 (2) However, such common expenses must either have been services or items provided on or after the date control of the association is transferred from the developer to the unit owners or must be services or items provided for in the CIC documents or bylaws.

(3) Unless the manner of payment or allocation of expenses is otherwise addressed in the documents, the expenses of any items or services required by any federal, state, or local governmental entity to be installed, maintained, or supplied to the CIC property by the association, including, but not limited to, fire safety equipment or water and sewer service where a master meter serves the CIC, shall be common expenses except as provided in (4) whether or not such items or services are specifically identified as common expenses in the documents of the CIC, articles of incorporation, or bylaws of the association.

(4)  In a CIC where water service is provided through a master meter serving the CIC and the board determines the water usage per unit, compared to similar CICs with individual meters, is excessive individual meters may be installed.  The installation may be by the utility company serving the CIC or sub-meters may be installed by the CIC that shall then bill each unit no less frequently than quarterly for their usage based on the actual cost per gallon of water and sewer service billed by the utility.  Meters so installed shall not be considered material alterations nor be considered a change in the allocation of common expenses.

(5)  The common expenses of a CIC within a multi-CIC are the common expenses directly attributable to the operation of that CIC. The common expenses of a multi-CIC association do not include the common expenses directly attributable to the operation of any specific CIC or CICs within the multi-CIC.

(6)  The common expenses of a multi-CIC association may include categories of expenses related to the property or common elements within a specific CIC in the multi-CIC if such property or common elements are areas in which all members of the multi-CIC association have use rights or from which all members receive tangible economic benefits. Such common expenses of the association shall be identified in the documents or bylaws as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein of each CIC within the multi-CIC association.

(7)  If so provided in the documents, the cost of a master antenna system or duly franchised cable service obtained pursuant to a bulk contract shall be deemed a common expense. If the documents do not provide for the cost of a master antenna system or duly franchised cable service obtained under a bulk contract as a common expense, the board may enter into such a contract, and the cost of the service will be a common expense but allocated on a per-unit basis rather than a percentage basis if the documents provide for other than an equal sharing of common expenses, and any contract entered into in which the cost of the service is not equally divided among all unit owners, may be changed by vote of a majority of the voting interests present at a regular or special meeting of the association, to allocate the cost equally among all units. The contract shall be for a term of not less than 2 years.

(a)  Any contract made by the board after the effective date hereof for a community antenna system or duly franchised cable service may be canceled by a majority of the voting interests present at the next regular or special meeting of the association. The question shall be included on the limited proxy for the meeting and a copy of the contract shall be included with the information for the meeting.  If such question fails to obtain the required majority at the next regular or special meeting, whichever is sooner, following the making of the contract, and then such contract shall be deemed ratified for the term therein expressed.

(b)  Any such contract shall provide, and shall be deemed to provide if not expressly set forth, that any hearing-impaired or legally blind unit owner who does not occupy the unit with a non-hearing-impaired or sighted person, or any unit owner receiving supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act or food stamps as administered by the Department of Children and Family Services pursuant to s. 414.31, may discontinue the service without incurring disconnect fees, penalties, or subsequent service charges, and, as to such units, the owners shall not be required to pay any common expenses charge related to such service and that amount shall be deducted from the amount of the payment required to service provider. The association may use the provisions of s. 718.116 to enforce payment of the shares of such costs by the unit owners receiving cable service. If any unit owner is in default of payment of regular assessments for more than 60 days the service provider upon request by the association shall terminate the service to the defaulting unit without charge to the association and shall adjust the payment due the service provider to remove the relevant charge. Any charge for reconnection shall be at the expense of the unit owner.

(8)  The expense of installation, replacement, operation, repair, and maintenance of building hurricane protection by the board pursuant to s. 718.113(5) shall constitute a common expense as defined herein and shall be collected as provided in this section if the association is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the building hurricane protection pursuant to the documents of the CIC.

(a) However, if the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the hurricane protection is the responsibility of the unit owners pursuant to the documents of the CIC, the cost of the installation of the hurricane protection shall not be a common expense, but shall be charged individually to the unit owners based on the cost of installation of the hurricane protection appurtenant to the unit.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 718.116(9), and regardless of whether or not the documents require the association or unit owners maintain, repair, or replace hurricane protection, a unit owner who has previously installed hurricane protection in accordance with s. 718.113(5) shall receive a credit equal to the pro rata portion of the assessed installation cost assigned to each unit.

(c) However, such unit owner shall remain responsible for the pro rata share of expenses for hurricane protection installed on common elements and association property by the board pursuant to s. 718.113(5), and shall remain responsible for a pro rata share of the expense of the replacement, operation, repair, and maintenance of such hurricane protection.

(9) Any other charges that are considered common expenses but are not attributable to the size of the unit where the common expenses are based on the size of the unit shall be allocated to the units on a per unit basis and not prorated by any regular or special assessment allocation based on the unit's size compared to the whole.  The division shall by rule determine which expenses meet these criteria.

 (10)  Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, funds for payment of the common expenses of a CIC shall be collected by assessments against the units in that CIC in the proportions or percentages provided in that CIC's documents. Each unit's share of the common expenses of the CIC and common surplus of the CIC shall be the same as the unit's appurtenant ownership interest in the common elements.

 (11)(a)  Funds for payment of the common expenses of a CIC within a multi-CIC shall be collected as provided in subsection (10). Common expenses of a multi-CIC association shall be funded by assessments against all unit owners in the association in the proportion or percentage set forth in the documents as required by s. 718.104(4)(h) or s. 718.110(12), as applicable based on subsections (1) and (2).

(b)  In a multi-CIC association, the total common surplus owned by a unit owner consists of that owner's share of the common surplus of the association plus that owner's share of the common surplus of the CIC in which the owner's unit is located, in the proportion or percentage set forth in the documents as required by s. 718.104(4) (h) or s. 718.110(12), as applicable based on subsections (1) and (2).

718.116 Assessments; liability; lien and priority; interest; collection.--

(1)(a)  A unit owner, regardless of how title has been acquired, including by purchase at a foreclosure sale or by deed in lieu of foreclosure, is liable for all assessments that come due during ownership. Additionally, a unit owner is jointly and severally liable with the previous owner for all unpaid assessments that came due up to the time of transfer of title. This liability is without prejudice to any right the owner may have to recover from the previous owner the amounts paid by the owner. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the association may not be deemed the previous  owner for purposes of joint and several liability for  assessments which came due while the association owned the unit  or units on which it has foreclosed or taken title via deed in  lieu of foreclosure.

(b)  The person acquiring title shall pay the amount owed to the association within 30 days after transfer of title. Failure to pay the full amount when due shall entitle the association to record a claim of lien and proceed in the same manner as provided in this section for the collection of unpaid assessments.

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 48, the association shall be a proper party to intervene in any foreclosure proceeding to seek equitable relief.

(2)  The liability for assessments may not be avoided by waiver of the use or enjoyment of any common element or by abandonment of the unit for which the assessments are made.

(3)  Assessments and installments on them that are not paid when due bear interest at the rate provided in the documents, from the due date until paid. This rate may not exceed the rate allowed by law, and, if no rate is provided in the documents, interest shall accrue at the rate of 18 percent per year. Also, if the documents or bylaws do not prohibit it, the association may charge an administrative late fee in addition to such interest, in an amount not to exceed the greater of $25 or 5 percent of each installment of the assessment for each delinquent installment that the payment is late. Any payment received by an association shall be applied first to any interest accrued by the association, then to any administrative late fee, then to any costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in collection, and then to the delinquent assessment. The foregoing shall be applicable notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation, or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. A late fee shall not be subject to the provisions in chapter 687 or s. 718.303(3).

(4)  Unless the association is prohibited by the documents or bylaws to approve or disapprove a proposed lease of a unit, the grounds for disapproval may include, but are not limited to, a unit owner being delinquent in the payment of an assessment at the time approval is sought.

(5) The association has a lien on each CIC parcel to secure the payment of assessments. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1) and as set forth below, the lien is effective from and shall relate back to the recording of the original documents, or, in the case of lien on a parcel located in a phase CIC, the last to occur of the recording of the original documents or amendment thereto creating the parcel.

(a)  To be valid, a claim of lien must state the description of the CIC parcel, the name of the record owner, the name and address of the association, the amount due, and the due dates. It must be executed and acknowledged by an officer or authorized agent of the association. No such lien shall be effective longer than 1 year after the claim of lien was recorded unless, within that time, an action to enforce the lien is commenced. The 1-year period shall automatically be extended for any length of time during which the association is prevented from filing a foreclosure action by an automatic stay resulting from a bankruptcy petition filed by the parcel owner or any other person claiming an interest in the parcel. The claim of lien shall secure all unpaid assessments that are due and that may accrue subsequent to the recording of the claim of lien and prior to the entry of a certificate of title, as well as interest and all reasonable costs and attorney's fees incurred by the association incident to the collection process. Upon payment in full, the person making the payment is entitled to a satisfaction of the lien.

(b)  By recording a NOTICE OF CONTEST OF LIEN, a unit owner or the unit owner's agent or attorney may require the association to enforce a recorded claim of lien against their CIC parcel:

After notice of contest of lien has been recorded, the clerk of the circuit court shall mail a copy of the recorded notice to the association by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address shown in the claim of lien or most recent amendment to it and shall certify to the service on the face of the notice. Service is complete upon mailing. After service, the association has 90 days in which to file an action to enforce the lien; and, if the action is not filed within the 90-day period, the lien is void. However, the 90-day period shall be extended for any length of time that the association is prevented from filing its action because of an automatic stay resulting from the filing of a bankruptcy petition by the unit owner or by any other person claiming an interest in the parcel.

(6) The association may bring an action in its name to foreclose a lien for assessments in the manner a mortgage of real property is foreclosed and may also bring an action to recover a money judgment including in County Court or Small Claims Court as applicable for the unpaid assessments without waiving any claim of lien. Any money judgment so obtained shall continue to increase based on any additional assessments, fees or costs reasonably expended or coming due until paid in full. The association is entitled to recover its reasonable attorney's fees incurred in either a lien foreclosure action or an action to recover a money judgment for unpaid assessments.

(a)  No foreclosure action seeking judgment may be entered until at least 30 days after the association gives written notice to the unit owner of its intention to foreclose its lien to collect the unpaid assessments. If this notice is not given at least 30 days before the foreclosure action is filed, and if the unpaid assessments, including those coming due after the claim of lien is recorded, are paid before the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure, the association shall not recover attorney's fees or costs. The notice must be given by delivery of a copy of it to the unit owner or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the unit owner at his or her last known address; and, upon such mailing, the notice shall be deemed to have been given, and the court shall proceed with the foreclosure action and may award attorney's fees and costs as permitted by law. The notice requirements of this subsection are satisfied if the unit owner records a notice of contest of lien as provided in subsection (5). The notice requirements of this subsection do not apply if an action to foreclose a mortgage on the CIC unit is pending before any court; if the rights of the association would be affected by such foreclosure; and if actual, constructive, or substitute service of process has been made on the unit owner.

(b)  If the unit owner remains in possession of the unit after a foreclosure judgment has been entered, the court, in its discretion, may require the unit owner to pay a reasonable rental for the unit. If the unit is rented or leased during the pendency of the foreclosure action, the association is entitled to the appointment of a receiver to collect the rent. The expenses of the receiver shall be paid by the party that does not prevail in the foreclosure action.

(c)  The association has the authority to purchase the CIC parcel at the foreclosure sale and to hold, lease, mortgage, or convey it.

(7)  A mortgagee acquiring title to a CIC parcel as a result of foreclosure, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, may not, during the period of its ownership of such parcel, whether or not such parcel is unoccupied, be excused from the payment of some or all of the common expenses coming due during the period of such ownership. It is declared that the public policy of this state prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of superiority of lien clauses in mortgage contracts or declarations for CICs, and such clauses are hereby declared void for public policy. This subsection shall apply retroactively as a remedial measure.

(8)  Within 15 days after receiving a written request from a unit owner or their designee, or a unit mortgagee or their designee, the association or its agent shall provide a certificate signed by an officer or agent of the association stating all assessments and other moneys owed to the association by the unit owner with respect to the CIC parcel.

(a)  Any person other than the owner who relies upon such certificate shall be protected thereby.

(b)  A summary proceeding pursuant to s. 51.011 may be brought to compel compliance with this subsection, and in any such action the prevailing party is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees.

(c)  Notwithstanding any limitation on transfer fees contained in s. 718.112(2)(i), the association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee or the cost of attorney fees incurred for the preparation of the certificate. The amount of the fee must be included on the certificate. (d)  The authority to charge a fee for the certificate shall be established by a written resolution adopted by the board or provided by a written management, bookkeeping, or retainer agreement and is payable

upon the preparation of the certificate. If the certificate is requested in conjunction with the sale or mortgage of a unit the contract or mortgage application must state that the fee is not refundable.

(9)(a)  A unit owner may not be excused from payment of the unit owner's share of common expenses unless all other unit owners are likewise proportionately excluded from payment, except as provided in subsection (1) and in the following cases:

1.  If authorized by the documents, a developer who is offering units for sale may elect to be excused from payment of assessments against those unsold units for a stated period of time after the documents are recorded. However, the developer must pay common expenses incurred during such period that exceed regular periodic assessments against other unit owners in the CIC. The stated period must terminate no later than the first day of the fourth calendar month following the month in which the first closing occurs of a purchase contract for a unit in that CIC. If a developer-controlled association has maintained insurance coverage required by s. 718.111(11)(a), common expenses incurred during the stated period resulting from a natural disaster or an act of God occurring during the stated period, that are not covered by proceeds from insurance maintained by the association, may be assessed against all unit owners owning units on the date of such natural disaster or act of God, and their respective successors and assigns, including the developer with respect to units owned by the developer. In the event of such an assessment, all units shall be assessed in accordance with s. 718.115(2).

2.  A developer who owns CIC units, and who is offering the units for sale, may be excused from payment of assessments against those unsold units for the period of time the developer has guaranteed to all buyers or other unit owners in the same CIC that assessments will not exceed a stated dollar amount and that the developer will pay any common expenses that exceed the guaranteed amount. Such guarantee may be stated in the purchase contract, documents, prospectus, or written agreement between the developer and a majority of the unit owners other than the developer and may provide that after the initial guarantee period the developer may extend the guarantee for one or more stated periods. If a developer-controlled association has maintained all insurance coverage required by s. 718.111(11)(a), common expenses incurred during a guarantee period, as a result of a natural disaster or an act of God occurring during the same guarantee period, that are not covered by the proceeds from such insurance, may be assessed against all unit owners owning units on the date of such natural disaster or act of God, and their successors and assigns, including the developer with respect to units owned by the developer. Any such assessment shall be in accordance with s. 718.115(2) or (4), as applicable.

(b)  If the purchase contract, documents, prospectus, or written agreement between the developer and a majority of unit owners other than the developer provides for the developer to be excused from payment of assessments under paragraph (a), only regular periodic assessments for common expenses as provided for in the documents and prospectus and disclosed in the estimated operating budget shall be used for payment of common expenses during any period in which the developer is excused. Accordingly, no funds that are receivable from unit buyers or unit owners and payable to the association, including capital contributions, or startup funds collected from unit buyers at closing, may be used for payment of such common expenses.

(c)  If a developer of a multi-CIC is excused from payment of assessments under paragraph (a), the developer's financial obligation to the multi-CIC association during any period in which the developer is excused from payment of assessments is as follows:

1.  The developer shall pay the common expenses of a CIC affected by a guarantee, including the funding of reserves as provided in the adopted annual budget of that CIC, that exceed the regular periodic assessments at the guaranteed level against all other unit owners within that CIC.

2.  The developer shall pay the common expenses of a multi-CIC association, including the funding of reserves as provided in the adopted annual budget of the association, that are allocated to units within a CIC affected by a guarantee and that exceed the regular periodic assessments against all other unit owners within that CIC.

(10)  The specific purpose or purposes of any special assessment, including any contingent special assessment levied in conjunction with the purchase of an insurance policy authorized by s. 718.111(11), approved in accordance with the CIC documents shall be set forth in a written notice of such assessment sent or delivered to each unit owner. The funds collected pursuant to a special assessment shall be used only for the specific purpose or purposes set forth in such notice. However, upon completion of such specific purpose or purposes, any excess funds will be considered common surplus, and may, at the discretion of the board, either be returned to the unit owners or applied as a credit toward future assessments.

718.117 Termination or dissolution of common interest community.--

(1)  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. -- Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the documents, the CIC form of ownership of a property may be terminated or dissolved by a plan of termination approved pursuant to Chapters 607 and 617 Florida Statutes as applicable.

718.118  Equitable relief.--In the event of substantial damage to or destruction of all or a substantial part of the CIC property, and if the property is not repaired, reconstructed, or rebuilt within a reasonable period of time, any unit owner may petition a court for equitable relief, that may include a termination of the CIC and partition.

718.119 Limitation of liability.--

(1)  The liability of the owner of a unit for common expenses is limited to the amounts for which he or she is assessed for common expenses from time to time in accordance with this chapter, the documents, and bylaws.

(2)  The owner of a unit may be personally liable for the acts or omissions of the association in relation to the use of the common elements, but only to the extent of their pro rata share of that liability in the same percentage as his or her interest in the common elements, and in no case shall that liability exceed the value of their unit.

(3)  In any legal action in which the association may be exposed to liability in excess of insurance coverage protecting it and the unit owners, the association shall give notice of the exposure within a reasonable time to all unit owners, and they shall have the right to intervene and defend.

718.120 Separate taxation of common interest community parcels; survival of documents after tax sale; assessment of timeshare estates.--

(1)  Ad valorem taxes, benefit taxes, and special assessments by taxing authorities shall be assessed against the CIC parcels and not upon the CIC property as a whole. No ad valorem tax, benefit tax, or special assessment, including those made by special districts, drainage districts, or water management districts, may be separately assessed against recreational facilities or other common elements if such facilities or common elements are owned by the CIC association or are owned jointly by the owners of the CIC parcels. Each CIC parcel shall be separately assessed for ad valorem taxes and special assessments as a single parcel. The taxes and special assessments levied against each CIC parcel shall constitute a lien only upon the CIC parcel assessed and upon no other portion of the CIC property.

(2)  All provisions of a documents relating to a CIC parcel that has been sold for taxes or special assessments survive and are enforceable after the issuance of a tax deed or master's deed, upon foreclosure of an assessment, a certificate or lien, a tax deed, tax certificate, or tax lien, to the same extent that they would be enforceable against a voluntary grantee of the title immediately prior to the delivery of the tax deed, master's deed, or clerk's certificate of title as provided in s. 197.573.

(3) The association shall provide information to the county property appraiser annually upon request as to the rental status of each CIC unit so as to verify homestead exemptions.

 (4)  Any CIC unit not constructed within seven years after recordation of the documents shall upon application and certification to the property appraiser by the association be removed from the tax rolls. 

(5) Any CIC subject to a Submerged Land Lease with the FDEP shall not be subject to any  lease fee or tax on the lease.

718.121 Liens.--

(1)  Subsequent to recording the documents and while the property remains subject to the documents, no liens of any nature are valid against the CIC property as a whole except with the unanimous consent of the unit owners. During this period, liens may arise or be created only against individual CIC parcels.

(2)  Labor performed on or materials furnished to a unit shall not be the basis for the filing of a lien pursuant to part I of chapter 713, the Construction Lien Law, against the unit or CIC parcel of any unit owner not expressly consenting to or requesting the labor or materials. Labor performed on or materials furnished to the common elements are not the basis for a lien on the common elements, but if authorized by the association, the labor or materials are deemed to be performed or furnished with the express consent of each unit owner and may be the basis for the filing of a lien against all CIC parcels in the proportions for which the owners are liable for common expenses only if a money judgment has been obtained in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3)  If a lien against two or more CIC parcels becomes effective, each owner may relieve their CIC parcel of the lien by exercising any of the rights of a property owner under chapter 713, or by payment of the proportionate amount attributable to their CIC parcel. Upon the payment, the lien holder shall release the lien of record for that CIC parcel.

(4)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no lien may be filed by the association against a CIC unit until 30 days after the date on which a notice of intent to file a lien has been delivered to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class United States mail to the owner at their last known address as reflected in the records of the association. However, if the address reflected in the records is outside the United States, then the notice must be sent by first-class United States mail to the unit and to the last known address by regular mail with international postage, that shall be deemed sufficient. Delivery of the notice shall be deemed given upon mailing as required by this subsection. Alternatively, notice shall be complete if served on the unit owner in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

718.122 Unconscionability of certain leases; rebuttable presumption.--

(1)  A lease pertaining to use by CIC unit owners of recreational or other common facilities, irrespective of the date such lease was entered into, is presumptively unconscionable if all of the following elements exist:

(a)  The lease was executed by persons none of whom at the time of the execution of the lease were elected by CIC unit owners, other than the developer, to represent their interests;

(b)  The lease requires either the CIC association or the CIC unit owners to pay real estate taxes on the subject real property;

(c)  The lease requires either the CIC association or the CIC unit owners to insure buildings or other facilities on the subject real property against fire or any other hazard;

(d)  The lease requires either the CIC association or the CIC unit owners to perform some or all maintenance obligations pertaining to the subject real property or facilities located upon the subject real property;

(e)  The lease requires either the CIC association or the CIC unit owners to pay rents to the lessor for a period of 10 years or more;

(f)  The lease provides that failure of the lessee to make payments of rents due under the lease either creates, establishes, or permits establishment of a lien upon individual CIC units of the CIC to secure claims for rent;

(g)  The lease requires an annual rental that exceeds 5 percent of the appraised value of the leased property as improved, provided that for purposes of this paragraph, "annual rental" means the amount due during the first 12 months of the lease for all units, regardless of whether such units were in fact occupied or sold during that period, and "appraised value" means the appraised value placed upon the leased property by the county property appraiser the first tax year after the sale of a unit in the CIC;

(h)  The lease provides for a periodic rental increase; and

(i)  The lease or other CIC documents require that every transferee of a CIC unit must assume obligations under the lease.

(2)  The Legislature expressly finds that many leases involving use of recreational or other common facilities by residents of CICs were entered into by parties wholly representative of the interests of a CIC developer at a time when the CIC unit owners not only did not control the administration of their CIC, but also had little or no voice in such administration. Such leases often contain numerous obligations on the part of either or both a CIC association and CIC unit owners with relatively few obligations on the part of the lessor. Such leases may or may not be unconscionable in any given case. Nevertheless, the Legislature finds that a combination of certain onerous obligations and circumstances warrants the establishment of a rebuttable presumption of unconscionability of certain leases, as specified in subsection (1). The presumption may be rebutted by a lessor upon the showing of additional facts and a circumstance to justify and validate what otherwise appears to be an unconscionable lease under this section. Failure of a lease to contain all the enumerated elements shall neither preclude a determination of unconscionability of the lease nor raise a presumption as to its conscionability. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section is remedial and does not create any new cause of action to invalidate any lease, but shall operate as a statutory prescription on procedural matters in actions brought on one or more causes of action existing at the time of the execution of such lease.

(3)  It is declared that the public policy of this state prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of certain types of clauses in association documents, including documents of the CIC, declaration of covenants, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or any other document of the association that binds members of the association that either have the effect of or provide that:

(a)  A developer has the unilateral ability and right to make changes to the association documents after the transition of association control in a community from the developer to the non-developer members has occurred.

(b)  An association is prohibited or restricted from filing a lawsuit against the developer, or the association is otherwise effectively prohibited or restricted from bringing a lawsuit against the developer.

(c)  After the transition of association control in a CIC from the developer to the non-developer members, as set forth in s. 718.301 has occurred, a developer is not entitled to cast votes that exceed one vote per unit.

(d) Superiority of any lien except taxes over that of the CIC for assessments. 

(e) Any such clauses are declared null and void as against the public policy of this state.

(4)  Any provision of the Florida Statutes to the contrary notwithstanding, neither the statute of limitations nor laches shall prohibit unit owners from maintaining a cause of action under the provisions of this section.

718.1224 Prohibition against SLAPP suits.--

(1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the right of CIC unit owners to exercise their rights to instruct their representatives and petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Article I of the State Constitution. The Legislature recognizes that strategic lawsuits against public participation, or "SLAPP suits," as they are typically referred to, have occurred when association members are sued by individuals, business entities, or governmental entities arising out of a CIC unit owner's appearance and presentation before a governmental entity on matters related to the CIC association. However, it is the public policy of this state that governmental entities, business organizations, and individuals not engage in SLAPP suits, because such actions are inconsistent with the right of CIC unit owners to participate in the state's institutions of government. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that prohibiting such lawsuits by governmental entities, business entities, and individuals against CIC unit owners who address matters concerning their CIC association will preserve this fundamental state policy, preserve the constitutional rights of CIC unit owners, and ensure the continuation of representative government in this state. It is the intent of the Legislature that such lawsuits are expeditiously disposed of by the courts. As used in this subsection, the term "governmental entity" means the state, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government; the independent establishments of the state, counties, municipalities, districts, authorities, boards, or commissions; or any agencies of these branches that are subject to chapter 286.

(2)  A governmental entity, business organization, or individual in this state may not file, threaten to file, or cause to be filed through its employees or agents any lawsuit, cause of action, claim, cross-claim, or counterclaim against a CIC unit owner without merit and solely because such CIC unit owner has exercised the right to instruct his or her representatives or the right to petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state, as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Article I of the State Constitution.

(3)  A CIC unit owner sued by a governmental entity, business organization, or individual in violation of this section has a right to an expeditious resolution of a claim that the suit is in violation of this section. A CIC unit owner may petition the court for an order dismissing the action or granting final judgment in favor of that CIC unit owner. The petitioner may file a motion for summary judgment, together with supplemental affidavits, seeking a determination that the governmental entity, business organization, or individual's lawsuit has been brought in violation of this section. The governmental entity, business organization, or individual shall thereafter file its response and any supplemental affidavits. As soon as practicable, the court shall set a hearing on the petitioner's motion, that shall be held at the earliest possible time after the filing of the governmental entity, business organization, or individual's response. The court may award the CIC unit owner sued by the governmental entity, business organization, or individual actual damages arising from the governmental entity, individual's, or business organization violation of this section. A court may treble the damages awarded to a prevailing CIC unit owner and shall state the basis for the treble damages award in its judgment. The court shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with a claim that an action was filed in violation of this section.

(4)  CIC associations may not expend association funds in prosecuting a SLAPP suit against a CIC owner.

718.1225 Federal Condominium and Cooperative Abuse Relief Act of 1980; applicability.--It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of Title VI of Pub. L. No. 96-399, other than the exceptions stated in s. 611 of that act, shall not apply in this state.

718.123 Right of owners to peaceably assemble.--

(1)  All common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities serving any CIC shall be available to unit owners in the CIC or CICs served thereby and their invited guests for the use intended for such common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities, subject to the provisions of s. 718.106(4). The entity or entities responsible for the operation of the common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities may adopt reasonable rules and regulations pertaining to the use of such common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities. No entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit owner's right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities.

(2)  Any owner prevented from exercising rights guaranteed by subsection (1) may bring an action in the appropriate court of the county in which the alleged infringement or dispute occurred, and, upon favorable adjudication, the court shall enjoin the enforcement of any provision contained in any CIC document or rule that operates to deprive the owner of such rights.

(3) Members and other Residents shall not engage in any abusive, pejorative or harassing behavior, either verbal or physical, or any form of intimidation or aggression directed at other members, residents, guests, occupants, invitees, or directed at management, its agents, its employees, or vendors.

718.1232  Cable communication service; resident's right to access without extra charge.--No resident of any CIC dwelling unit, whether tenant or owner, shall be denied access to any available franchised or licensed electronic communication service, nor shall such resident or electronic communication service be required to pay anything of value in order to obtain or provide such service except those charges normally paid for like services by residents of, or providers of such services to, other homes within the same franchised or licensed area and except for installation charges as such charges may be agreed to between such resident and the provider of such services. 

718.124 Limitation on actions by association.--The statute of limitations for any actions in law or equity that a CIC association may have shall not begin to run until the unit owners have elected a majority of the members of the board of directors.

718.125 Attorney's fees.--If a contract or lease between a 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.

718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative findings.--

(1)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term "dispute" means any disagreement between two or more parties as defined as a dispute in this chapter.

(2) Disputes shall be filed as a claim in small claims court unless an amount  is claimed that exceeds said jurisdiction and include but are limited to:

(a)  The authority of the board of directors, under this chapter or association document to:

1.  Require any owner to take any action, or not to take any action, involving that owner's unit or the appurtenances thereto.

2.  Alter or add to a common area or element.

(b)  The failure of the board of directors, when required by this chapter or an association document, to:

1.  Properly conduct elections.

2.  Give adequate notice of meetings or other actions.

3.  Properly conduct meetings.

4.  Allow inspection of books and records.

5.  Uphold covenants, restrictions or rules and regulations.

 (c)  A disagreement that involves:

1. Title to any unit or common element.

2. The levy of a fee or assessment and collection thereof.

3. The eviction or other removal of a tenant from a unit.

4. Breaches of fiduciary duty by one or more directors or officers.

5. Claims for damages to a unit based upon the alleged failure of the association to maintain the common elements or CIC property.

6. Enforcement of provisions of the CIC documents.

7. Failure to maintain and damages there from.

(2)  VOLUNTARY MEDIATION.--Voluntary mediation through Citizen Dispute Settlement Centers as provided for in s. 44.201 is encouraged.

(3) THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER THE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS HEREIN.--

(a)  The Legislature finds that unit owners are frequently at a disadvantage when litigating against an association. Specifically, an association with its statutory assessment authority, is often more able to bear the costs and expenses of litigation than the unit owner who must rely on his or her own financial resources to satisfy the costs of litigation against the association.

(b)  The Legislature finds that alternative dispute resolution has been making progress in reducing court dockets and trials and in offering a more efficient, cost-effective option to court litigation. However, the Legislature also finds that alternative dispute resolution should not be used as a mechanism to encourage the filing of frivolous or nuisance suits.

(c)  The high cost and significant delay of circuit court litigation faced by unit owners in the state can be alleviated by requiring nonbinding arbitration and mediation in appropriate cases, thereby reducing delay and attorney's fees while preserving the right of either party to have its case heard by a jury, if applicable, in a court of law.

(4)  MANDATORY NONBINDING ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION OF DISPUTES.--The Division of Common Interest Communities of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall maintain lists of arbitrators and mediators to address cases referred by the court. The Division of Common Interest Communities of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall maintain lists of paid and unpaid mediators to act as mediators to conduct mediation proceedings if referred by the court.

(a)  Prior to the institution of litigation, except in an emergency, the petitioner in a dispute shall provide the respondent or respondents notice of the anticipated action.  The notice must recite:

1.  Advance written notice of the specific nature of the dispute;

2.  A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to comply or to provide the relief; and

3.  Notice of the intention to file a legal action in the absence of a resolution of the dispute.

(b) Failure to reply or cure the dispute within 20 days shall allow initiation of court litigation.

(c) Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without prejudice.

(5) Prior to the initiation of litigation, except in an emergency, in response to the notice in section (a) the respondent may within 20 days of receipt of the notice prepare and submit to the unit owners a proposed amendment to the documents or rules and regulations that will change the nature of the alleged violation so as not to be a violation. This is to provide the association the opportunity to change the community documents to be in-line with changes in mores and styles.  The board shall set a date within 30 days for a meeting of the owners to consider the amendment and submit the proposed amendment to the unit owners with the reasonable cost paid by the respondent.  This action will provide an automatic extension of any scheduled court date until after the meeting.

 (6)  DISPUTES INVOLVING ELECTION IRREGULARITIES.--Every complaint received by the court and required to be filed under this section challenging the legality of the election of any director of the board must be handled on an expedited basis as an emergency action.

718.1265 Association emergency responsibility.--

(1)  To the extent allowed by law, the documents, the articles and the bylaws of an association, and consistent with the provisions of s. 617.0830, the board, in response to damage caused by an event for which a state of emergency is declared pursuant to s. 252.36 in the locale in which the CIC is located, may, but is not required to, exercise reasonable emergency actions.

 (2)  The special responsibility authorized under subsection (1) shall be limited to that time reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the association, the unit owners and other persons, that shall be reasonably necessary to mitigate further damage and make emergency repairs.

718.127 Receivership notification.--Upon the appointment of a receiver by a court for any reason relating to a CIC association, the court shall direct the receiver to provide to unit owners written notice of his or her appointment as receiver. Such notice shall be mailed or delivered within 10 days after the appointment. Notice by mail to a unit owner shall be sent to the address used by the county property appraiser for notice to the unit owner.

PART II

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF DEVELOPERS

718.202 Sales or reservation deposits prior to closing.

718.203 Warranties.

718.202 Sales or reservation deposits prior to closing.--

(1)  If a developer contracts to sell a CIC parcel and the construction, furnishing, and landscaping of the property submitted or proposed to be submitted to CIC ownership is not substantially completed in accordance with the plans and specifications and representations made by the developer in the disclosures required by this chapter, the developer shall pay into an escrow account all payments received by the developer from the buyer towards the sale price. The escrow agent shall give to the buyer a receipt for the deposit.  In lieu of the foregoing, the division director has the discretion to accept other assurances, including, but not limited to, a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit in an amount equal to the escrow requirements of this section.  Default determinations and refund of deposits shall be governed by the escrow release provision of this subsection. Funds shall be released from escrow as follows:

(a)  If a buyer properly terminates the contract pursuant to its terms or pursuant to this chapter, the funds shall be paid to the buyer together with any interest earned.

(b)  If the buyer defaults in the performance of his or her obligations under the contract of purchase and sale, the funds shall be paid to the developer together with any interest earned.

(c)  If the contract does not provide for the payment of any interest earned on the escrowed funds, any interest earned shall be credited to the buyer at the closing of the transaction.

(d)  If the funds of a buyer have not been previously disbursed in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, they may be disbursed to the developer by the escrow agent at the closing of the transaction, unless prior to the disbursement the escrow agent receives from the buyer written notice of a dispute between the buyer and developer.

(2)  The term "completion of construction" means issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the entire building or improvement, or the equivalent authorization issued by the governmental body having jurisdiction, and, in a jurisdiction where no certificate of occupancy or equivalent authorization is issued, it means substantial completion of construction, finishing, and equipping of the building or improvements according to the plans and specifications.

(3)  The failure to comply with the provisions of this section renders the contract voidable by the buyer, and, if voided, all sums deposited or advanced under the contract shall be refunded with interest at the highest rate then being paid on savings accounts, excluding certificates of deposit, by banks in the area in which the CIC property is located.

(4)  If a developer enters into a reservation agreement, the developer shall pay into an escrow account all reservation deposit payments. Reservation deposits shall be payable to the escrow agent, who shall give to the prospective buyer a receipt for the deposit, acknowledging that the deposit is being held pursuant to the requirements of this subsection.

(a) The funds may be placed in interest-bearing accounts, provided that the funds shall at all reasonable times be available for withdrawal in full by the escrow agent. The developer shall maintain separate records for each CIC or proposed CIC for which deposits are being accepted. Upon written request to the escrow agent by the prospective buyer or developer, the funds shall be immediately and without qualification refunded in full to the prospective buyer.

(b) Upon such refund, any interest shall be paid to the prospective buyer. A reservation deposit shall not be released directly to the developer except as a down payment on the purchase price simultaneously with or subsequent to the execution of a contract upon a completed unit. Upon the execution of a purchase agreement for a unit, any funds paid by the buyer as a deposit to reserve the unit pursuant to a reservation agreement, and any interest thereon, shall cease to be subject to the provisions of this subsection and shall instead be subject to the provisions of subsections (1)-(5).

(5)  Any developer who willfully fails to comply with the provisions of this section concerning establishment of an escrow account, deposits of funds into escrow, and withdrawal of funds from escrow is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, or the successor thereof. The failure to establish an escrow account or to place funds in an escrow account is prima facie evidence of an intentional and purposeful violation of this section.

(6)  Every escrow account required by this section shall be established with an institution with adequate insurance to cover the deposit i.e. a bank; a savings bank; an attorney who is a member of The Florida Bar; a real estate broker registered under chapter 475; a title insurer authorized to do business in this state, acting through either its employees or a title insurance agent licensed under chapter 626; or any financial lending institution having a net worth in excess of $5 million. The escrow agent shall not be located outside the state unless, pursuant to the escrow agreement, the escrow agent submits to the jurisdiction of the division and the courts of this state for any cause of action arising from the escrow. Every escrow agent shall be independent of the developer, and no developer or any officer, director, affiliate, subsidiary, or employee of a developer may serve as escrow agent. Escrow funds may be invested only in securities of the United States or an agency thereof or in accounts in institutions the deposits of which are insured by an agency of the United States.

(7)  Any developer who is subject to the provisions of this section is not subject to the provisions of s. 501.1375.

(9)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any filing with the division in the case of CICs other than residential CICs.

(10)  No compensation or consideration may be provided or solicited for any contract entered into by the developer on behalf of the association and if so shall be voidable and a violation of s. 718.111(2)(f).

718.203 Warranties.--

(1)  The developer shall be deemed to have granted to the buyer of each unit an implied warranty of fitness and merchantability for the purposes or uses intended as follows:

(a)  As to each unit, a warranty for 3 years commencing with the completion of the building.

(b)  As to the personal property that is transferred with, or appurtenant to, each unit, a warranty that is for the same period as that provided by the manufacturer of the personal property, commencing with the date of closing of the purchase or the date of possession of the unit, whichever is earlier.

(c)  As to all other improvements for the use of unit owners, a 3-year warranty commencing with the date of completion of the improvements.

(d)  As to all other personal property for the use of unit owners, a warranty that shall be the same as that provided by the manufacturer of the personal property.

(e)  As to the roof and structural components of a building or other improvements and as to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving improvements or a building, except mechanical elements serving only one unit, a warranty for a period beginning with the completion of construction of each building or improvement and continuing for 3 years thereafter or 1 year after owners other than the developer obtain control of the association, whichever occurs last, but in no event more than 7 years.

(f)  As to all other property that is conveyed with a unit, a warranty to the initial buyer of each unit for a period of 1 year from the date of closing of the purchase or the date of possession, whichever first occurs.

(2)  The contractor, and all subcontractors and suppliers, grant to the developer and to the buyer of each unit implied warranties of fitness and merchantability as to the work performed or materials supplied by them as follows:

(a)  For a period of 3 years from the date of completion of construction of a building or improvement, a warranty as to the roof and structural components of the building or improvement and mechanical and plumbing elements serving a building or an improvement, except mechanical elements serving only one unit.

(b)  For a period of 1 year after completion of all construction, a warranty as to all other improvements and materials.

(3)  "Completion of a building or improvement" means issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the entire building or improvement, or the equivalent authorization issued by the governmental body having jurisdiction, and in jurisdictions where no certificate of occupancy or equivalent authorization is issued, it means substantial completion of construction, furnishing and equipping of the building or improvement according to the plans and specifications.

(4)  These warranties are conditioned upon routine maintenance being performed and shall not depreciate by lack of maintenance during developer control.

(5)  The warranties provided by this section shall inure to the benefit of each owner and successor owners and to the benefit of the developer.

 (6)  Residential CICs may be covered by an insured warranty program underwritten by a licensed insurance company registered in this state, provided that such warranty program meets the minimum requirements of this chapter; to the degree that such warranty program does not meet the minimum requirements of this chapter, such requirements shall apply.

(7) Any person taking title to seven or more units or the development rights for more than seven units in a development sold, foreclosed or assigned in lieu of foreclosure shall assume the responsibility for warranties as provided herein or provide an insured warranty program for all existing unit owners.

PART III

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF ASSOCIATION (ss. 718.301-718.303)

718.301 Transfer of association control; claims of defect by association.

718.302 Agreements entered into by the association.

718.3025 Agreements for operation, maintenance, or management of SOXCs; specific requirements.

718.3026 Contracts for products and services; in writing; bids; exceptions.

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

718.301 Transfer of association control; claims of defect by association.--

(1)  When unit owners other than the developer own 15 percent or more of the units in a CIC that will be operated ultimately by an association, the unit owners other than the developer shall be entitled to elect no less than one-third of the members of the board of directors of the association. Unit owners other than the developer are entitled to elect not less than a majority of the members of the board of directors of an association:

(a)  Three years after 50 percent of the units that will be operated ultimately by the association have been conveyed to buyers;

(b)  No later than three months after 90 percent of the units that will be operated ultimately by the association have been conveyed to buyers;

(c)  When all the units that will be operated ultimately by the association have been completed, some of them have been conveyed to buyers, and none of the others are being offered for sale by the developer in the ordinary course of business;

(d)  When some of the units have been conveyed to buyers and none of the others are being constructed or offered for sale by the developer in the ordinary course of business;

(e)  When the developer files a petition seeking protection in bankruptcy;

(f)  When a receiver for the developer is appointed and is not discharged within 30 days after such appointment; or

(g)  Seven years after recordation of the documents; or, in the case of an association that may ultimately operate more than one CIC, 7 years after recordation of the documents for the first CIC it operates; or, in the case of an association operating a phase CIC created pursuant to s. 718.403, 7 years after recordation of the documents creating the initial phase, whichever occurs first. The developer is entitled to elect one member of the board of an association as long as the developer holds for sale in the ordinary course of business at least 5 percent, in CICs with fewer than 500 units, and 2 percent, in CICs with more than 500 units, of the units in a CIC operated by the association. Following the time the developer relinquishes control of the association, the developer may exercise the right to vote any developer-owned units in the same manner as any other unit owner except for purposes of reacquiring control of the association or selecting the majority members of the board of directors.

(2)  Within 75 days after the unit owners other than the developer are entitled to elect a member or members of the board of directors of an association, the association shall call, and give not less than 60 days' notice of an election for the members of the board of directors. The election shall proceed as provided in s. 718.112(2)(d). The notice may be given by any unit owner if the association fails to do so. Upon election of the first unit owner other than the developer to the board of directors, the developer shall forward to the division the name and mailing address of the unit owner board member.

(3)  If a developer holds units for sale in the ordinary course of business, none of the following actions may be taken without approval in writing by the developer:

(a)  Assessment of the developer as a unit owner for capital improvements other than items for which reserves are not adequate.

(b)  Any action by the association that would be detrimental to the sales of units by the developer. However, an increase in assessments for common expenses without discrimination against the developer shall not be deemed to be detrimental to the sales of units.

(4)  At the time that unit owners other than the developer elect a majority of the members of the board of directors of an association, the developer shall relinquish control of the association, and the unit owners shall accept control. Simultaneously, or for the purposes of paragraph (c) not more than 90 days thereafter, the developer shall deliver to the association, at the developer's expense, all property of the unit owners and of the association that is held or controlled by the developer, including, but not limited to, the following items, if applicable, as to each CIC operated by the association:

(a)1.  The original or a photocopy of the recorded documents and all amendments thereto. If a photocopy is provided, it shall be certified by affidavit of the developer or an officer or agent of the developer as being a complete copy of the actual recorded documents.

2.  The minute books, including all minutes, books and records of the association.

3.  Any house rules and regulations that have been promulgated.

(b)  Resignations of officers and members of the board of directors who are required to resign because the developer is required to relinquish control of the association. If the resignations are not available they shall automatically be deemed resigned upon election of the unit owner member to the seat on the board

(c)  The financial records, including financial statements of the association, and source documents from the incorporation of the association through the date of turnover. The records shall be audited for the period from the incorporation of the association or from the period covered by the last audit, if an audit was performed for each fiscal year since incorporation, by an independent certified public accountant. All financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and shall be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, as prescribed by the Florida Board of Accountancy, pursuant to chapter 473. The accountant performing the audit shall examine to the extent necessary supporting documents and records, including the cash disbursements and related paid invoices to determine if expenditures were for association purposes and the billings, cash receipts, and related records to determine that the developer was charged and paid the proper amounts of assessments. All such records are considered official records of the association.

(d)  Association funds or control thereof.

(e)  All tangible personal property that is property of the association that is represented by the developer to be part of the common elements or that is ostensibly part of the common elements, and an inventory of that property.

(f)  A copy of the plans and specifications utilized in the construction or remodeling of improvements and the supplying of equipment to the CIC and in the construction and installation of all mechanical components serving the improvements and the site with a certificate in affidavit form of the developer or the developer's agent or an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state that such plans and specifications represent, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the actual plans and specifications utilized in the construction and improvement of the CIC property and for the construction and installation of the mechanical components serving the improvements. If the CIC property has been declared a CIC more than 3 years after the completion of construction or remodeling of the improvements, the requirements of this paragraph do not apply.

(g)  A list of the names and addresses, of which the developer had knowledge at any time in the development of the CIC, of all contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers utilized in the construction or remodeling of the improvements and in the landscaping of the CIC or association property.

(h)  Insurance policies.

(i)  Copies of any certificates of occupancy, certificates of completion and certificates of compliance issued for the property.

(j)  Any other permits applicable to the property that were issued by governmental bodies and are in force prior to the date the unit owners other than the developer take control of the association.

(k)  All written warranties of the contractor, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, if any, that are still effective.

(l)  A roster of unit owners and their addresses, telephone numbers, electronic addresses and numbers if known, as shown on the developer's records.

(m)  Leases of the common elements and other leases to which the association is a party.

(n)  Employment contracts or service contracts in which the association is one of the contracting parties or service contracts in which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility, directly or indirectly, to pay some or all of the fee or charge of the person or persons performing the service.

(o)  All other contracts to which the association is a party.

(p)  A report included in the official records, under seal of an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state, attesting to required maintenance, useful life, and replacement costs of the following applicable common elements comprising a turnover inspection report:

1.  Roof.

2.  Structure.

3.  Fireproofing and fire protection systems.

4.  Elevators.

5.  Heating and cooling systems.

6.  Plumbing.

7.  Electrical systems.

8.  Swimming pool or spa and equipment.

9.  Seawalls.

10.  Pavement and parking areas.

11.  Drainage systems.

12.  Exterior painting and waterproofing.

13.  Irrigation systems.

(5)  If, during the period prior to the time that the developer relinquishes control of the association pursuant to subsection (4), any provision of the documents or law or any rule promulgated thereunder is violated by the association, the developer is responsible for such violation and is subject to the administrative action provided in this chapter for such violation or violations and is liable for such violation or violations to third parties. This subsection is intended to clarify existing law.

(6)  Prior to the developer relinquishing control of the association pursuant to subsection (4), actions taken by members of the board of directors designated by the developer are considered actions taken by the developer, and the developer is responsible to the association and its members for all such actions.

(7)  In any claim against a developer by an association alleging a defect in design, structural elements, construction, or any mechanical, electrical, fire protection, plumbing, or other element that requires a licensed professional for design or installation under chapter 455, chapter 471, chapter 481, chapter 489, or chapter 633, such defect must be examined and certified by an appropriately licensed Florida engineer, design professional, contractor, or otherwise licensed Florida individual or entity.

(8)  The division is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to ensure the efficient and effective transition from developer control of a CIC to the establishment of a unit-owner controlled association.

718.302 Agreements entered into by the association.--

(1)  Any grant or reservation made by a declaration, lease, or other document, and any contract made by an association prior to assumption of control of the association by unit owners other than the developer, that provides for operation, maintenance, or management of a CIC association or property serving the unit owners of a CIC shall be fair and reasonable, and such grant, reservation, or contract may be canceled by unit owners other than the developer:

(a)  If the association operates only one CIC and the unit owners other than the developer have assumed control of the association, or if unit owners other than the developer own not less than 50 percent of the voting interests in the CIC, the cancellation shall be by concurrence of the owners of not less than a majority of the voting interests present and voting in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting other than the voting interests owned by the developer. If a grant, reservation, or contract is so canceled and the unit owners other than the developer have not assumed control of the association, the association may make a new contract or otherwise provide for maintenance, management, or operation in lieu of the canceled obligation. Such a meeting shall be called by the association within 30 days of a request signed by at least 10 percent of the current owners if at least 30 percent of the units have been conveyed.

(b)  If the association operates more than one CIC and the unit owners other than the developer have not assumed control of the association, and if unit owners other than the developer own at least 50 percent of the voting interests in a CIC operated by the association, any grant, reservation, or contract for maintenance, management, or operation of buildings containing the units in that CIC or of improvements used only by unit owners of that CIC may be canceled by concurrence of the owners of the owners of not less than a majority of the voting interests present and voting in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting other than the voting interests owned by the developer. No grant, reservation, or contract for maintenance, management, or operation of recreational areas or any other property serving more than one CIC, and operated by more than one association, may be canceled except pursuant to paragraph (d).

(c)  If the association operates more than one CIC and the unit owners other than the developer have assumed control of the association, the cancellation shall be by concurrence of the owners of not less than a majority of the voting interests present and voting in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting in all CICs operated by the association other than the voting interests owned by the developer.

(d)  If the owners of units in a CIC have the right to use property in common with owners of units in other CICs and those CICs are operated by more than one association, no grant, reservation, or contract for maintenance, management, or operation of the property serving more than one CIC may be canceled until unit owners other than the developer have assumed control of all of the associations operating the CIC that are to be served by the recreational area or other property, after which cancellation may be effected by concurrence of the owners of not less than a majority of the voting interests present and voting in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting other than voting interests owned by the developer.

(2)  Any grant or reservation made by a declaration, lease, or other document, or any contract made by the developer or association prior to the time when unit owners other than the developer elect a majority of the board, which grant, reservation, or contract requires the association to purchase CIC property or to lease CIC property to another party, shall be deemed ratified unless rejected by a majority of the voting interests of unit owners present and voting in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting other than the developer within 18 months after turn-over and unit owners other than the developer elect a majority of the board. This subsection does not apply to any grant or reservation made by a declaration whereby persons other than the developer or the developer's heirs, assigns, affiliates, directors, officers, or employees are granted the right to use the CIC property, so long as such persons are obligated to pay, at a minimum, a proportionate share of the cost associated with such property.

(3)  Any grant or reservation made by a declaration, lease, or other document, and any contract made by an association, whether before or after assumption of control of the association by unit owners other than the developer, that provides for operation, maintenance, or management of a CIC association or property serving the unit owners of a CIC shall not be in conflict with the responsibility and duties of the association or the rights of the unit owners as provided in this chapter. This subsection is intended only as a clarification of existing law.

 (4)  It is declared that the public policy of this state prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of escalation clauses in maintenance or management contracts for CICs, and such clauses are hereby declared void for public policy. For the purposes of this section, an escalation clause is any clause in a CIC management contract that provides that the fee under the contract shall increase at the same percentage rate as any nationally recognized and conveniently available commodity or consumer price index.

(5)  Any action to compel compliance with the provisions of this section or of s. 718.301 may be brought pursuant to the summary procedure provided for in s. 51.011. In any such action brought to compel compliance with the provisions of s. 718.301, the prevailing party is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees.

718.3025  Agreements for operation, maintenance, or management of CICs; specific requirements.--
(1)  No written contract between a party contracting to provide maintenance or management services and an association which contract provides for operation, maintenance, or management of a association or property serving the unit owners of a CIC shall be valid or enforceable unless the contract:

(a)  Specifies the services, obligations, and responsibilities of the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services to the unit owners.

(b)  Specifies those costs incurred in the performance of those services, obligations, or responsibilities that are to be reimbursed by the association to the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services.

(c)  Provides an indication of how often each service, obligation, or responsibility is to be performed, whether stated for each service, obligation, or responsibility or in categories thereof.

(d)  Specifies a minimum number of personnel to be employed by the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services for the purpose of providing service to the association.

(e)  Discloses any financial or ownership interest that the developer, if the developer is in control of the association, holds with regard to the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services.

(f)  Discloses any financial or ownership interest a board member or any party providing maintenance or management services to the association holds with the contracting party.

(2)  In any case in which the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services fails to provide such services in accordance with the contract, the association is authorized to procure such services from some other party and shall be entitled to collect any fees or charges paid for service performed by another party from the party contracting to provide maintenance or management services.

(3)  Any services or obligations not stated on the face of the contract shall be unenforceable.

718.3026  Contracts for products and services; in writing; bids; exceptions.--

 (1)  All contracts as further described herein or any contract that is not to be fully performed within 1 year after the making thereof, for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment to be used by the association in accomplishing its purposes under this chapter, and all contracts for the provision of services, shall be in writing. If a contract for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment, or for the provision of services, requires payment by the association on behalf of any CIC operated by the association in the aggregate that exceeds 5 percent of the total annual budget of the association, excluding reserves, the association shall obtain competitive bids for the materials, equipment, or services. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require the association to accept the lowest bid.

(2)(a)  Notwithstanding the foregoing, contracts with employees of the association, and contracts for attorney, accountant, architect, community association manager, community association management firm, engineering, and landscape architect services are not subject to the provisions of this section.

(b)  Nothing contained herein is intended to limit the ability of an association to obtain needed products and services in an emergency.

(c)  This section shall not apply if the business entity with which the association desires to enter into a contract is the only source of supply within the county serving the association.

(d)  Nothing contained herein shall excuse a party contracting to provide maintenance or management services from compliance with s. 718.3025.

(3)  As to any contract or other transaction between an association and one or more of its directors or any other corporation, firm, association, or entity in which one or more of its directors are directors or officers or are financially interested:

(a)  The association shall comply with the requirements of s. 617.0832.

(b)  The disclosures required by s. 617.0832 shall be entered into the written minutes of the meeting.

(c)  The interested directors shall abstain from voting.

(d)  Approval of the contract or other transaction shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors present.

(e)  At the next regular or special meeting of the members, the existence of the contract or other transaction shall be disclosed to the members. Upon motion of any member, the contract or transaction shall be brought up for a vote and may be canceled by a majority vote of the members present. Should the members cancel the contract, the association shall only be liable for the reasonable value of goods and services provided up to the time of cancellation and shall not be liable for any termination fee, liquidated damages, or other form of penalty for such cancellation.

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 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 or a dispute 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 buyer 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 their 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.

(2)  A provision of this chapter may not be waived if the waiver would adversely affect the rights of a unit owner or the purpose of the provision. Any instruction given in writing by a unit owner or buyer to an escrow agent may be relied upon by an escrow agent, whether or not such instruction and the payment of funds thereunder might constitute a waiver of any provision of this chapter.

(3)  Unless the documents or bylaws prohibit, 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 documents, the 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.

PART IV

SPECIAL TYPES OF COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES (ss. 718.401-718.405)

718.401  Leaseholds.

718.4015 CIC leases; escalation clauses.

718.402  Conversion of existing improvements to CIC.

718.403  Phase CICs.

718.404  Mixed-use CICs.

718.405  Multi-CICs; multi-CIC associations.

718.401  Leaseholds.--

(1)  A CIC may be created on lands held under lease or may include recreational facilities or other common elements or commonly used facilities on a leasehold if, on the date the first unit is conveyed by the developer to a bona fide buyer, the lease has an unexpired term of at least 50 years. However, if the CIC constitutes a nonresidential CIC or commercial CIC, the lease shall have an unexpired term of at least 30 years. If rent under the lease is payable by the association or by the unit owners, the lease shall include the following requirements:

(a)  The leased land must be identified by a description that is sufficient to pass title, and the leased personal property must be identified by a general description of the items of personal property and the approximate number of each item of personal property that the developer is committing to furnish for each room or other facility. In the alternative, the personal property may be identified by a representation as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to purchase the personal property for the facility. Unless the lease is of a unit, the identification of the land shall be supplemented by a survey showing the relation of the leased land to the land included in the common elements. This provision shall not prohibit adding additional land or personal property in accordance with the terms of the lease, provided there is no increase in rent or material increase in maintenance costs to the individual unit owner.

(b)  The lease shall not contain a reservation of the right of possession or control of the leased property by the lessor or any person other than unit owners or the association and shall not create rights to possession or use of the leased property in any parties other than the association or unit owners of the CIC to be served by the leased property, unless the reservations and rights created are conspicuously disclosed. Any provision for use of the leased property by anyone other than unit owners of the CIC to be served by the leased property shall require the other users to pay a fair and reasonable share of the maintenance and repair obligations and other exactions due from users of the leased property.

(c)  The lease shall state the minimum number of unit owners that will be required, directly or indirectly, to pay the rent under the lease and the maximum number of units that will be served by the leased property. The limitation of the number of units to be served shall not preclude enlargement of the facilities leased and an increase in their capacity, if approved by the association operating the leased property after unit owners other than the developer have assumed control of the association. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply if the lessor is the Government of the United States or this state or any political subdivision thereof or any agency of any political subdivision thereof.

(d)1.  In any action by the lessor to enforce a lien for rent payable or in any action by the association or a unit owner with respect to the obligations of the lessee or the lessor under the lease, the unit owner or the association may raise any issue or interpose any defense, legal or equitable, that they or it may have with respect to the lessor's obligations under the lease. If the unit owner or the association initiates any action or interposes any defense other than payment of rent under the lease, the unit owner or the association shall, upon service of process upon the lessor, pay into the registry of the court any allegedly accrued rent and the rent that accrues during the pendency of the proceeding, when due. If the unit owner or the association fails to pay the rent into the registry of the court, the failure constitutes an absolute waiver of the unit owner's or association's defenses other than payment, and the lessor is entitled to default. The unit owner or the association shall notify the lessor of any deposits. When the unit owner or the association has deposited the required funds into the registry of the court, the lessor may apply to the court for disbursement of all or part of the funds shown to be necessary for the payment of taxes, mortgage payments, maintenance and operating expenses, and other necessary expenses incident to maintaining and equipping the leased facilities or necessary for the payment of other expenses arising out of personal hardship resulting from the loss of rental income from the leased facilities. The court, after an evidentiary hearing, may award all or part of the funds on deposit to the lessor for such purpose. The court shall require the lessor to post bond or other security, as a condition to the release of funds from the registry, when the value of the leased land and improvements, apart from the lease itself, is inadequate to fully secure the sum of existing encumbrances on the leased property and the amounts released from the court registry.

2.  When the association or unit owners have deposited funds into the registry of the court pursuant to this subsection and the unit owners and association have otherwise complied with their obligations under the lease or agreement, other than paying rent into the registry of the court rather than to the lessor, the lessor cannot hold the association or unit owners in default on their rental payments nor may the lessor file liens or initiate foreclosure proceedings against unit owners. If the lessor, in violation of this subsection, attempts such liens or foreclosures, then the lessor may be liable for damages plus attorney's fees and costs that the association or unit owners incurred in satisfying those liens or foreclosures.

 (e)  If the lease is of recreational facilities or other commonly used facilities that are not completed, rent shall not commence until all of the facilities are completed. The facilities shall be complete when they have been constructed, finished, and equipped and are available for use and a certificate of completion, if applicable,  has been issued by the governing authority.

(f)1.  A lease of recreational or other commonly used facilities entered into by the association or unit owners prior to the time when the control of the association is turned over to unit owners other than the developer shall grant to the lessee an option to purchase the leased property, payable in cash, on any anniversary date of the beginning of the lease term after the 5th anniversary, at a price then determined by agreement. If there is no agreement as to the price, then the price shall be determined by arbitration conducted pursuant to chapter 44 or chapter 682.

2.  If the lessor wishes to sell his or her interest and has received a bona fide offer to purchase it, the lessor shall send the association and each unit owner a copy of the executed offer. For 120 days following receipt of the offer by the association or unit owners, the association or unit owners have the option to purchase the interest on the terms and conditions in the offer. The option shall be exercised, if at all, by notice in writing given to the lessor within the 120-day period. If the association or unit owners do not exercise the option, the lessor shall have the right, for a period of 60 days after the 120-day period has expired, to complete the transaction described in the offer to purchase. If for any reason such transaction is not concluded within the 60 days, the offer shall have been abandoned, and the provisions of this subsection shall be re-imposed.

3.  The option shall be exercised upon approval by a majority of the voting interests present in person or by proxy at a duly called meeting of the association served by the leased property.

4.  The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to a nonresidential CIC and do not apply if the lessor is the Government of the United States or this state or any political subdivision thereof or, in the case of an underlying land lease, a person or entity that is not the developer or directly or indirectly owned or controlled by the developer and did not obtain, directly or indirectly, ownership of the leased property from the developer.

(g)  The lease or a subordination agreement executed by the lessor must provide either:

1.  That any lien that encumbers a unit for rent or other moneys or exactions payable is subordinate to any obligation due the CIC and any mortgage held by an institutional lender, or

2.  That upon the foreclosure of any mortgage held by an institutional lender or upon delivery of a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the lien for the unit owner's share of the rent or other exactions shall not be extinguished but shall be foreclosed and unenforceable against the mortgagee with respect to that unit's share of the rent and other exactions that mature or become due and payable on or before the date of the final judgment of foreclosure, in the event of foreclosure, or on or before the date of delivery of the deed in lieu of foreclosure. The lien may, however, automatically and by operation of the lease or other instrument, reattach to the unit and secure the payment of the unit's proportionate share of the rent or other exactions coming due subsequent to the date of final decree of foreclosure or the date of delivery of the deed in lieu of foreclosure.

The provisions of this paragraph do not apply if the lessor is the Government of the United States or this state or any political subdivision thereof or any agency of any political subdivision thereof.

 (2)  If rent under the lease is a fixed amount for the full duration of the lease, and the rent thereunder is payable by a person or persons other than the association or the unit owners, the division director has the discretion to accept alternative assurances that are sufficient to secure the payment of rent, including, but not limited to, annuities with an insurance company authorized to do business in this state, the beneficiary of which shall be the association, or cash deposits in trust, the beneficiary of which shall be the association, which deposit shall be in an amount sufficient to generate interest sufficient to meet lease payments as they occur. If alternative assurances are accepted by the division director, the following provisions are applicable:

(a)  Disclosures contemplated by paragraph (1)(b), if not contained within the lease, may be made by the developer.

(b)  Disclosures as to the minimum number of unit owners that will be required, directly or indirectly, to pay the rent under the lease and the maximum number of units that will be served by the leased property, if not contained in the lease, may be stated by the developer.

(c)  The provisions of paragraphs (1)(d) and (e) apply but are not required to be stated in the lease.

(d)  The provisions of paragraph (1)(g) do not apply.

718.4015  Common interest community leases; escalation clauses.--

(1)  It is declared that the public policy of this state prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of escalation clauses in land leases or other leases or agreements for recreational facilities, land, or other commonly used facilities serving residential CICs, and such clauses are hereby declared void for public policy. For the purposes of this section, an escalation clause is any clause in a CIC lease or agreement which provides that the rental under the lease or agreement shall increase at the same percentage rate as any nationally recognized and conveniently available commodity or consumer price index.

(2)  This public policy prohibits the inclusion or enforcement of such escalation clauses in leases related to CICs.

 (3)  The provisions of this section do not apply if the lessor is the Government of the United States or this state or any political subdivision thereof or any agency of any political subdivision thereof.

718.402  Conversion of existing improvements to CIC.--A developer may create a CIC by converting existing, previously occupied improvements to such ownership by complying with part I of this chapter. A developer of a residential CIC must also comply with part VI of this chapter, but the failure to comply will not affect the validity of the CIC.

718.403  Phase common interest communities.--

(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 718.110, a developer may develop a CIC in phases, if the original documents submitting the initial phase to CIC ownership or an amendment to the documents that has been approved by all of the unit owners and unit mortgagees provides for and describes in detail all anticipated phases; the impact, if any, that the completion of subsequent phases would have upon the initial phase; and the time period (that may not exceed 7 years from the date of recording the documents) within which all phases must be added to the CIC and comply with the requirements of this section and at the end of which the right to add additional phases expires.

(2)  The original documents, or an amendment to the documents, which amendment has been approved by all unit owners and unit mortgagees and the developer, shall describe:

(a)  The land that may become part of the CIC and the land on which each phase is to be built. The descriptions shall include metes and bounds or other legal descriptions of the land for each phase, plot plans, and surveys. Plot plans, attached as an exhibit, must show the approximate location of all existing and proposed buildings and improvements that may ultimately be contained within the CIC. The plot plan may be modified by the developer as to unit or building types to the extent that such changes are described in the documents. If provided in the documents, the developer may make nonmaterial changes in the legal description of a phase.

(b)  The minimum and maximum numbers and general size of units to be included in each phase. The general size may be expressed in terms of minimum and maximum square feet. In stating the minimum and maximum numbers of units, the difference between the minimum and maximum numbers shall not be greater than 20 percent of the maximum.

(c)  Each unit's percentage of ownership in the common elements as each phase is added. In lieu of describing specific percentages, the documents or amendment may describe a formula for reallocating each unit's proportion or percentage of ownership in the common elements and manner of sharing common expenses and owning common surplus as additional units are added to the CIC by the addition of any land. The basis for allocating percentage of ownership among units in added phases shall be consistent with the basis for allocation made among the units originally in the CIC.

(d)  The recreational areas and facilities that will be owned as common elements by all unit owners and all personal property to be provided as each phase is added to the CIC and those facilities or areas that may not be built or provided if any phase or phases are not developed and added as a part of the CIC. The developer may reserve the right to add additional common-element recreational facilities if the original documents contain a description of each type of facility and its proposed location. The documents shall set forth the circumstances under which such facilities will be added.

(e)  The membership vote and ownership in the association attributable to each unit in each phase and the results if any phase or phases are not developed and added as a part of the CIC.

 (3)  The developer shall notify owners of existing units of the decision not to add one or more additional phases. Notice shall be by first-class mail addressed to each owner at the address of his or her unit or at his or her last known address.

(4)  If one or more phases are not built, the units that are built are entitled to 100 percent ownership of all common elements within the phases actually developed and added as a part of the CIC.

(5)  If the documents require the developer to convey any additional lands or facilities to the CIC after the completion of the first phase and he or she fails to do so within the time specified, or within a reasonable time if none is specified, then any owner of a unit or the association may enforce such obligations against the developer or bring an action against the developer for damages caused by the developer's failure to convey to the association such additional lands or facilities.

(6)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, any amendment by the developer that adds any land to the CIC shall be consistent with the provisions of the documents granting such right and shall contain or provide for the following matters:

(a)  A statement submitting the additional land to CIC ownership as an addition to the CIC.

(b)  The legal description of the land being added to the CIC.

(c)  An identification by letter, name, or number, or a combination thereof, of each unit within the land added to the CIC, to ensure that no unit in the CIC, including the additional land, will bear the same designation as any other unit.

(d)  A survey of the additional land and a graphic description of the improvements in which any units are located and a plot plan thereof and a certificate of a surveyor, in conformance with s. 718.104(4)(e).

(e)  The undivided share in the common elements appurtenant to each unit in the CIC, stated as a percentage or fraction that in the aggregate, must equal the whole and must be determined in conformance with the manner of allocation set forth in the original documents.

(f)  The proportion or percentage of, and the manner of sharing, common expenses and owning common surplus, that for a residential unit must be the same as the undivided share in the common elements.

(g) An amendment that adds phases to a CIC does not require the execution of such amendment or consent thereto by unit owners other than the developer, unless the amendment permits the creation of timeshare estates in any unit of the additional phase of the CIC and such creation is not authorized by the original documents.

(7)  An amendment to the documents that adds land to the CIC shall be recorded in the public records of the county where the land is located and shall be executed and acknowledged in compliance with the same requirements as for a deed. All persons who have record title to the interest in the land submitted to CIC ownership, or their lawfully authorized agents, must join in the execution of the amendment. Every such amendment shall comply with the provisions of s. 718.104(3).

(8)  Upon recording the documents or amendments adding phases pursuant to this section, the developer shall file the recording information with the division within 120 calendar days on a form prescribed by the division.

718.404  Mixed-use common interest communities.--When a CIC consists of both residential and commercial units, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  The CIC documents shall not provide that the owner of any commercial unit shall have authority to veto amendments to the documents, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules or regulations of the association. This subsection shall apply retroactively as a remedial measure.

(2)  Subject to s. 718.301, where the number or square footage of residential units in the CIC equals or exceeds 50 percent of the total units or square footage operated by the association, owners of the residential units shall be entitled to elect a majority of the seats on the board of directors. This subsection shall apply retroactively as a remedial measure.

(3)  In the documents for mixed-use CICs the ownership share of the common elements assigned to each unit shall be based either on the total square footage of each unit in uniform relationship to the total square footage of each other unit in the CIC or on an equal fractional basis.

718.405  Multi- common interest communities; multi- common interest community associations.--

(1)  An association may operate more than one CIC. For multi-CICs the documents for each CIC to be operated by that association must provide for participation in a multi-CIC, in conformity with this section, and disclose or describe:

(a)  The manner or formula by which the assets, liabilities, common surplus, and common expenses of the association will be apportioned among the units within the CICs operated by the association, in accordance with s. 718.104(4)(g) or (h), as applicable.

(b)  Whether unit owners in any other CIC, or any other persons, will or may have the right to use recreational areas or any other facilities or amenities that are common elements or property of the CIC, and, if so, the specific formula by which the other users will share the common expenses related to those facilities or amenities.

(c)  Recreational and other commonly used facilities or amenities that the developer has committed to provide that will be owned, leased by, or dedicated by a recorded plat to the association but that are not included within any CIC operated by the association. The developer may reserve the right to add additional facilities or amenities if the documents and prospectus for each CIC to be operated by the association contains the following statement in conspicuous type and in substantially the following form: RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MAY BE EXPANDED OR ADDED WITHOUT CONSENT OF UNIT OWNERS OR THE ASSOCIATION.

(d)  The voting rights of the unit owners in the election of directors and in other multi-CIC association affairs when a vote of the owners is taken, including, but not limited to, a statement that each unit owner will have a right to personally cast his or her own vote in all matters voted upon.

(2)  If any documents require a developer to convey additional lands or facilities to a multi-CIC association and the developer fails to do so within the time specified, or within a reasonable time if none is specified in the documents, any unit owner or the association may enforce that obligation against the developer or bring an action against the developer for specific performance or for damages that result from the developer's failure or refusal to convey the additional lands or facilities.
(3)  The documents for each CIC to be operated by a multi-CIC association may not, at the time of the initial recording of the documents, contain any provision with respect to allocation of the association's assets, liabilities, common surplus, or common expenses that is inconsistent with this chapter or the provisions of documents for any other CIC then being operated by the multi-CIC association.

(4)  This section does not prevent or restrict the formation of a multi-CIC by the merger or consolidation of two or more CIC associations. Mergers or consolidations of associations shall be accomplished in accordance with this chapter, the documents of the CICs being merged or consolidated, and chapter 617. Section 718.110(4) does not apply to amendments to documents necessary to effect a merger or consolidation. This section is intended to clarify existing law and applies to associations existing on the effective date of this act.

PART V

REGULATION AND DISCLOSURE PRIOR TO SALE OF RESIDENTIAL COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES (ss. 718.501-718.509)

718.501 Authority, responsibility, and duties of Florida Division of Common Interest Communities

718.5011 Ombudsman; appointment; administration.

718.5012  Ombudsman; powers and duties.

718.5014  Ombudsman location.

718.50151 Common Interest Community Commission; membership functions.

718.50152  Offices.

718.50153  Payment of per diem, mileage, and other expenses to division employees.

718.50154  Seal and authentication of records.

718.50155  Service of process.

718.502  Filing prior to sale or lease.

718.503  Developer disclosure prior to sale; non-developer unit owner disclosure prior to sale; voidability.

718.504  Prospectus or offering circular.

718.505  Good faith effort to comply.

718.506  Publication of false and misleading information.

718.507  Zoning and building laws, ordinances, and regulations.

718.508  Regulation by Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

718.509 Division of Florida Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund.

718.501 Authority, responsibility, and duties of Division of Common Interest Communities.--

(1)  The Division of Common Interest Communities of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, referred to as the "division" in this part, has the responsibility to enforce and ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules relating to the development, construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management of residential CIC units for protection of the rights and peaceful enjoyment by the owners. In performing its duties, the division has complete jurisdiction to investigate complaints and enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter with respect to associations that are still under developer control and complaints against developers involving improper turnover or failure to turnover, pursuant to s. 718.301.

(a)1.  The division shall make necessary public or private investigations within or outside this state to determine whether any person has violated this chapter or any rule or order hereunder, to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, or to aid in the adoption of rules or forms hereunder.

2.  The division may submit any official written report, worksheet, or other related paper, or a duly certified copy thereof, compiled, prepared, drafted, or otherwise made by and duly authenticated by a financial examiner or analyst to be admitted as competent evidence in any hearing in which the financial examiner or analyst is available for cross-examination and attests under oath that such documents were prepared as a result of an examination or inspection conducted pursuant to this chapter.

(b)  The division may require or permit any person to file a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as the division determines, as to the facts and circumstances concerning a matter to be investigated.

(c)  For the purpose of any investigation under this chapter, the division director or any officer or employee designated by the division director may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any matter that is relevant to the investigation, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts or any other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of material evidence. Upon the failure by a person to obey a subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the investigating officer and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected thereby, the division may apply to the court for an order compelling compliance.

(d)  Notwithstanding any remedies available to unit owners and associations, if the division has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or related rule has occurred, the division may institute enforcement proceedings in its own name against any developer, association, officer, or member of the board, or its assignees, agents, managers or as follows: 

1.  The division may permit a person whose conduct or actions may be under investigation to waive formal proceedings and enter into a consent proceeding whereby orders, rules, or letters of censure or warning, whether formal or informal, may be entered against the person.

2.  The division may issue an order requiring the developer, association, developer-designated officer, or developer-designated member of the board, developer-designated assignees or agents, community association manager, or community association management firm to cease and desist from the unlawful practice and take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the division will carry out the purposes of this chapter. If the division finds that a developer, association, officer, or member of the board, or its assignees or agents, is violating or is about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule adopted or order issued by the division, or any written agreement entered into with the division, and presents an immediate danger to the public requiring an immediate final order, it may issue an emergency cease and desist order reciting with particularity the facts underlying such findings. The emergency cease and desist order is effective for 90 days. If the division begins nonemergency cease and desist proceedings, the emergency cease and desist order remains effective until the conclusion of the proceedings under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

3.  If a developer fails to pay any restitution determined by the division to be owed, plus any accrued interest at the highest rate permitted by law, within 30 days after expiration of any appellate time period of a final order requiring payment of restitution or the conclusion of any appeal thereof, whichever is later, the division shall bring an action in circuit or county court on behalf of any association, class of unit owners, lessees, or buyers for restitution, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, or any other available remedy. The division may also revoke its acceptance of the filing for the developer to which the restitution relates until payment of restitution is made.

4.  The division may petition the court for the appointment of a receiver or conservator. If appointed, the receiver or conservator may take action to implement the court order to ensure the performance of the order and to remedy any breach thereof. In addition to all other means provided by law for the enforcement of an injunction or temporary restraining order, the circuit court may impound or sequester the property of a party defendant, including books, papers, documents, and related records, and allow the examination and use of the property by the division and a court-appointed receiver or conservator.

5.  The division may apply to the circuit court for an order of restitution whereby the defendant in an action brought pursuant to subparagraph 4. shall be ordered to make restitution of those sums shown by the division to have been obtained by the defendant in violation of this chapter. Such restitution shall, at the option of the court, be payable to the conservator or receiver appointed pursuant to subparagraph 4 or directly to the persons whose funds or assets were obtained in violation of this chapter.

6.  The division may impose a civil penalty against a developer, association, its assignee, agent, management firm or manager, for any violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

7. The division may impose a civil penalty individually against a board member who willfully and knowingly violates a provision of this chapter, adopted rule, or a final order of the division; may order the removal of such individual from the board and as an officer of the association; and may prohibit such individual from serving on the board of a community association or as an officer for a period of time.

8. Any indemnification provided in the documents of the CIC shall not be applicable to such civil penalty, action or attorney fees incurred in defending against the violation if confirmed.

9. For an officer or board member the term "willfully and knowingly" means that the officer or board member filed a certificate as provided in 718.112(2)(d)(9) and is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division and that the officer or board member, including a developer appointed board member, refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final order of the division.10. For a community association manager or community association management firm term "willfully and knowingly" means the issuance of their license is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final

order of the division and that the manager or management firm refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.

11. For a developer the term "willfully and knowingly" means their responsibility as a developer is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final order of the division and that the developer refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.

12. For an association the term "willfully and knowingly" means that if the association at a duly called meeting against professional advice voted approval or ratification of a violation it is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final order of the division and that the association refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.

13. For an assignee the term "willfully and knowingly" means their responsibility by accepting as an assignee is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final order of the division and that the assignee refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.

14. For an agent or professional the term "willfully and knowingly" means their responsibility by accepting compensation for providing professional advice or failing to offer appropriate professional advice is prima facie evidence that their action or intended action violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, the Florida Administrative Code or a final order of the division and that the agent refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a final order of the division.

15. A penalty may be imposed on the basis of each day of continuing violation, but in no event shall the penalty for any offense exceed $5,000.

16. The division shall adopt, by rule, penalty guidelines applicable to responsible individuals for possible violations or to categories of violations of this chapter or rules adopted by the division. The guidelines must specify a meaningful range of civil penalties for each such violation of the statute and rules and must be based upon the harm caused by the violation, the repetition of the violation, and upon such other factors deemed relevant by the division.

17. For example, the division may consider whether the violations were committed by a developer or owner-controlled association, the size of the association, and other factors. The guidelines must designate the possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances that justify a departure from the range of penalties provided by the rules.

18. It is the legislative intent that technical minor violations be distinguished from those that endanger the health, safety, funds, or welfare of the CIC residents or other persons and that such guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice to the public of penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct.

19. This subsection does not limit the ability of the division to informally dispose of administrative actions or complaints by stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order. All amounts collected in excess of any amounts due the association shall be deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund.

20. If a developer fails to pay the civil penalty and the amount deemed to be owed to the association, the division shall issue an order directing that such developer cease and desist from further operation until such time as the civil penalty is paid and shall pursue enforcement of the penalty in a court of competent jurisdiction.

21. If an individual, its assignee, agent or manager fails to pay the civil penalty, the division shall pursue enforcement in a court of competent jurisdiction, and the order imposing the civil penalty or the cease and desist order will not become effective until 20 days after the date of such order. Any action commenced by the division shall be brought in the county where the violation occurred.

22.  If a unit owner presents the division with proof that the unit owner requested access to official records in writing by certified mail or other means to the person with custody of the records, and that after 10 days the association or custodian of the records  has still failed or refused to provide access to official records as required by this chapter, the division shall issue a subpoena requiring production of the requested records where the records are kept pursuant to s. 718.112.

23.  In addition to subparagraph 6., the division may seek the imposition of a civil penalty through the appropriate court for any violation for which the division may issue a notice to show cause under paragraph (r). The civil penalty shall be at least $500 but no more than $5,000 for each violation. The court shall also award to the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney's fees and, if the division prevails, may also award reasonable costs of investigation.

24.  If an association, board member or officer is found guilty of violating Florida Statutes and is issued an informational/warning letter or fined, the complaint and resolution must be provided to all owners and posted on the association property in the official notice posting area for at least 14 days.

(e)  The division shall prepare and disseminate a prospectus and other information to assist prospective owners, buyers, lessees, and developers of residential CICs in assessing the rights, privileges, and duties pertaining thereto.

(f)  The division has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(g)  The division shall establish procedures for providing notice to an association and the developer during the period where the developer controls the association when the division is considering the issuance of a declaratory statement with respect to any related document governing in such CIC.

(h)  The division shall furnish upon request each association that pays the fees required by paragraph (2)(a) a copy of this act, subsequent changes to this act on an annual basis, an amended version of this act as it becomes available from the Secretary of State's office on a biennial basis, and the rules adopted thereto on an annual basis. Having them available electronically on the division web site will fulfill this requirement unless a paper copy is specifically requested.

(i)  The division shall annually provide each association with a summary of declaratory statements and formal legal opinions relating to the operations of CICs that were rendered by the division during the previous year.  Having them available electronically on the division web site will fulfill this requirement unless a paper copy is specifically requested.

(j)  The division shall provide training and educational programs for association board members and unit owners.

1. The training may, in the division's discretion, include web-based electronic media, and live training and seminars in various locations throughout the state.

2. The division shall have the authority to review and approve education and training programs for board members and unit owners offered by providers and shall maintain a current list of approved programs and providers and shall make such list available to board members and unit owners in a reasonable and cost-effective manner.

3.  The division shall maintain public outreach and education programs at public events deemed appropriate by the division

(k)  The division shall maintain a toll-free telephone number accessible to the public.

(l)  The division shall develop a program to certify volunteer and paid mediators to provide mediation of CIC disputes voluntarily or when ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. Parties to a dispute are encouraged to use the services of a mediator prior to filing a complaint with the court. The division shall provide, upon request, a list of such mediators to any association, unit owner, or other participant in proceedings under s. 718.1255 requesting a copy of the list and it shall be available on the division web site. In order to become initially certified by the division, mediators must be certified by the Supreme Court .

(m)  When a complaint is made, the division shall conduct its inquiry with due regard to the interests of the affected parties. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint, the division shall acknowledge the complaint in writing and notify the complainant whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the division and whether additional information is needed by the division from the complainant.

The division shall conduct its investigation and shall, within 90 days after receipt of the original complaint or of timely requested additional information, take action upon the complaint. However, the failure to complete the investigation within 90 days does not prevent the division from continuing the investigation, accepting or considering evidence obtained or received after 90 days, or taking administrative action if reasonable cause exists to believe that a violation of this chapter or a rule of the division has occurred.

If an investigation is not completed within the time limits established in this paragraph, the division shall, on a monthly basis, notify the complainant in writing of the status of the investigation. When reporting its action to the complainant, the division shall inform the complainant of any right to a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

(n)  CIC association directors, officers, and employees; CIC developers; community association managers; and community association management firms have an ongoing duty to reasonably cooperate with the division in any investigation pursuant to this section. The division shall refer to local law enforcement authorities any person whom the division believes has altered, destroyed, concealed, or removed any record, document, or thing required to be kept or maintained by this chapter with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in the department's investigation.

(o)  The division may:

1.  Contract with agencies in this state or other jurisdictions to perform investigative functions; or

2.  Accept grants-in-aid from any source.

(p)  The division shall cooperate with similar agencies in other jurisdictions to establish uniform filing procedures and forms, public offering statements, advertising standards, and rules and common administrative practices.

(q)  The division shall consider notice to a developer, association, manager or management firm  to be complete when it is delivered to the address currently on file with the division or as otherwise provided.

(r)  In addition to its enforcement authority, the division may issue a notice to show cause that shall provide for a hearing, upon written request, in accordance with chapter 120.

(s)  The division shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairs of the legislative appropriations committees an annual report that includes, but need not be limited to, the number of training programs provided for CIC association board members and unit owners, the number of complaints received by type, the number and percent of complaints acknowledged in writing within 30 days and the number and percent of investigations acted upon within 90 days in accordance with paragraph (m), and the number of investigations exceeding the 90-day requirement.

(t) The annual report shall also include an evaluation of the division's core business processes and make recommendations for improvements, including statutory changes. The report shall be submitted by October 31 each year.

(2)(a)  Each CIC association that operates more than two units shall pay to the division an annual fee of $2 for each residential unit in CICs operated by the association. If the fee is not paid by March 1, the association shall be assessed a penalty of 10 percent of the amount due, and the association will not have standing to maintain or defend any action in the courts of this state until the amount due, plus any penalty, is paid.  A master association is not required to pay this fee if their members or member associations are required to pay the annual fee.

(b)  All fees shall be deposited in the Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund as provided by law.

718.5011  Ombudsman; appointment; administration.--

(1)  There is created an Office of the CIC Ombudsman, to be located for administrative purposes within the Division of Common Interest Communities. The functions of the office shall be funded by the Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund. The ombudsman shall be a bureau chief of the division, and the office shall be set within the division in the same manner as any other bureau is staffed and shall be funded sufficiently to fulfill the intent of the office.

(2)  The Governor shall appoint the ombudsman. The ombudsman must be an attorney admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. A vacancy in the office shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. An officer or full-time employee of the ombudsman's office may not actively engage in any other business or profession; serve as the representative of any political party, executive committee, or other governing body of a political party; serve as an executive, officer, or employee of a political party; receive remuneration for activities on behalf of any candidate for public office; or engage in soliciting votes or other activities on behalf of a candidate for public office. The ombudsman or any employee of their office may not become a candidate for election to public office unless they first resign from their office or employment.

718.5012  Ombudsman; authority and duties.--The ombudsman shall have the authority necessary to carry out the duties of their office, including the following specific powers:

(1)  To have access to and use of all files and records of the division.

(2)  To employ professional and clerical staff as necessary for the efficient operation of the office.

(3)  To prepare and issue reports and recommendations to the Governor, the department, the division, the CIC commission, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of the division. The ombudsman shall make recommendations deemed appropriate for legislation relative to division procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions.

(4)  To act as liaison between the division, unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties. The ombudsman shall develop policies and procedures to assist unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties to understand their rights and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and the CIC documents governing their respective association. The ombudsman shall coordinate and assist in the preparation and adoption of educational and reference material, and shall endeavor to coordinate with private or volunteer providers of these services, so that the availability of these resources is made known to the largest possible audience.
(5)  To monitor and review procedures and disputes concerning CIC elections or meetings, including, but not limited to, recommending the division pursue enforcement action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe that election misconduct occurred.

(6)  To make recommendations to the division for changes in rules and procedures for the filing, investigation, and resolution of complaints filed by unit owners, associations, and managers.

(7)  To provide resources to assist members of boards and officers of associations to carry out their responsibility and duties consistent with this chapter, division rules, and the documents governing the association.

(8)  To encourage and facilitate voluntary meetings with and between unit owners, boards, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties when the meetings may assist in resolving a dispute within a community association before a person submits a dispute for a formal or administrative remedy. It is the intent of the Legislature that the ombudsman acts as a neutral resource for both the rights and responsibilities of unit owners, associations, and board members.

(9)  To assist with the resolution of disputes prior to referring them to court jurisdiction pursuant to 34.01 F.S when the dispute is not within the jurisdiction of the division to resolve.

(10) To submit a budget for fulfillment of the duties herein.

(11)  Ten percent of the total voting interests in a CIC association, or six unit owners, whichever is greater, may petition the ombudsman to appoint an election monitor to attend the annual meeting of the unit owners and conduct the election of directors. The ombudsman shall appoint a division employee, a person or persons specializing in CIC election monitoring, as the election monitor. All reasonable costs associated with the election monitoring process shall be paid by the association. The division with advice of the ombudsman shall adopt a rule establishing procedures for the appointment of election monitors and the scope and extent of the monitor's role in the election process.

718.5014  Ombudsman location.--The ombudsman shall maintain a principal office in Leon County on the premises of the division or, if suitable space cannot be provided there, at another place convenient to the offices of the division that will enable the ombudsman to expeditiously carry out the duties and functions of the office. The ombudsman may establish branch offices elsewhere in the state that may be shared with other government offices upon the concurrence of the Governor.

718.50151 Common Interest Community Commission; membership functions.--

(1)  There is created the Common Interest Community Commission pursuant to s. 20.052.

(a) The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

(b) Each member of the Commission must have resided in a CIC or have been actively engaged in a business or profession related to common-interest communities for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of  appointment.

(c) Two members who are CIC owners and have served as a member of a CIC board;

(d) One member in the business of developing CICs in this State;

(e) Two members who are licensed Community Association Managers;

(f) One member who is a certified public accountant licensed to practice in this State.; and

(g) One member who is an attorney licensed to practice in this State.

(h)  Each member of the Commission must be a resident of this State.

(i) No member of the commission may be a registered lobbyist, partner or shareholder in a firm providing lobbying services, or principal or employee of a lobbying firm provided compensation by community associations.

(j) The chair of the board of community association managers shall be an ad hoc representative to the commission.

(k) If eligible, the initial members of the commission shall be those persons formerly appointed to the Community Association Living Study Council. The director of the division shall appoint a nonvoting representative not considered a member to facilitate communication with divisions, departments and government.

(l) The Legislature intends the persons appointed represent a cross-section of persons knowledgeable in community association issues.

(m) The commission shall be located within the division for administrative purposes. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but are entitled to receive per diem and travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061 while on official business.

(2)  The functions of the commission shall be to:

(a)  Receive input regarding issues of concern with respect to community association living, including living in CICs. The commission shall make recommendations for changes in the law related to community association living and administration. The issues that the commission shall consider include, but are not limited to, the rights and responsibilities of the unit owners in relation to the rights and responsibilities of the association.

(b)  Review, evaluate, propose and advise the division concerning revisions and adoption of rules affecting CICs.

(c)  Recommend improvements in education programs offered by the division.

(d)  Review, evaluate, and advise the Legislature concerning revisions and improvements to laws relating to CIC associations.

(3)  The commission shall elect a chair and vice chair and such other officers as it may deem advisable. The commission shall meet at the call of the chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the division, or at such times as it may prescribe. A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. Commission action may be taken by vote of a majority of the voting members who are present at a meeting when there is a quorum.

718.50152  Offices.--

(1)  The executive offices of the division shall be established and maintained in Tallahassee unless a change is authorized by the Commissioner of the department.

(2)  The division may establish and maintain branch offices.

718.50154  Seal and authentication of records.--The division shall adopt a seal by which it shall authenticate its records. Copies of the records of the division, and certificates purporting to relate the facts contained in those records, when authenticated by the seal, shall be prima facie evidence of the records in all the courts of this state.

718.50155  Service of process.--

(1)  In addition to the methods of service provided for in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and the Florida Statutes, service may be made and shall be binding upon the defendant or respondent if:

(a)  The division, that is acting as the petitioner or plaintiff, immediately sends a copy of the process and of the pleading by certified mail to the defendant or respondent at his or her last known address; and

(b)  The division files an affidavit of compliance with this section on or before the return date of the process or within the time set by the court.

(2)  If any person, including any nonresident of this state, allegedly engages in conduct prohibited by this chapter, or any rule or order of the division, and has not filed a consent to service of process, and personal jurisdiction over them cannot otherwise be obtained in this state, the director shall be authorized to receive service of process in any noncriminal proceeding against that person or their successor that grows out of the conduct and is brought by the division under this chapter or any rule or order of the division. The process shall have the same force and validity as if personally served. Notice shall be given as provided in subsection (1).

718.502  Filing prior to sale or lease.-- Developer requirements under the following sections shall be as obviously applicable to the architectural and ownership form of CIC being created

(1)(a)  A developer of a residential CIC or mixed-use CIC shall file with the division one copy of each of the documents and items required to be furnished to a buyer or lessee by ss. 718.503 and 718.504, if applicable. Until the developer has so filed, a contract for sale of a unit or lease of a unit for more than 5 years shall be voidable by the buyer or lessee prior to the closing of his or her purchase or lease of a unit.

(b)  A developer may not close on any contract for sale or contract for a lease period of more than 5 years until the developer prepares and files with the division documents complying with the requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted by the division and until the division notifies the developer that the filing is proper and the developer prepares and delivers all documents required by s. 718.503(1)(b) to the prospective buyer.

(c)  The division by rule may develop filing, review, and examination requirements and relevant timetables to ensure compliance with the notice and disclosure provisions of this section.

(2)(a)  Prior to filing as required by subsection (1), and prior to acquiring an ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the CIC is to be developed, a developer shall not offer a contract for purchase of a unit or lease of a unit for more than 5 years. However, the developer may accept deposits for reservations upon the approval of a fully executed escrow agreement and reservation agreement form properly filed with the Division of Common Interest Communities  Each filing of a proposed reservation program shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $250. Reservations shall not be taken on a proposed CIC unless the developer has an ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the CIC is to be developed. The division shall notify the developer within 20 days of receipt of the reservation filing of any deficiencies contained therein. Such notification shall not preclude the determination of reservation filing deficiencies at a later date, nor shall it relieve the developer of any responsibility under the law. The escrow agreement and the reservation agreement form shall include a statement of the right of the prospective buyer to an immediate unqualified refund of the reservation deposit moneys upon written request to the escrow agent by the prospective buyer or the developer.

(b)  The executed escrow agreement signed by the developer and the escrow agent shall contain the following information:

1.  A statement that the escrow agent will grant a prospective buyer an immediate, unqualified refund of the reservation deposit moneys upon written request either directly to the escrow agent or to the developer.

2.  A statement that the escrow agent is responsible for not releasing moneys directly to the developer except as a down payment on the purchase price at the time a contract is signed by the buyer if provided in the contract.

(c)  The reservation agreement form shall include the following:

1.  A statement of the obligation of the developer to file CIC documents with the division prior to entering into a binding purchase agreement or binding agreement for a lease of more than 5 years.

2.  A statement of the right of the prospective buyer to receive all CIC documents as required by this chapter.

3.  The name and address of the escrow agent.

4.  A statement as to whether the developer assures that the purchase price represented in or pursuant to the reservation agreement will be the price in the contract for purchase and sale or that the price represented may be exceeded within a stated amount or percentage or that no assurance is given as to the price in the contract for purchase or sale.

5.  A statement that the deposit must be payable to the escrow agent and that the escrow agent must provide a receipt to the prospective buyer.

(3) The developer shall file with the division proof of a completion bond or dedicated financial assets sufficient to complete all common elements, common property and recreational facilities that will serve the CIC.

(4)  Upon filing as required by subsection (1), the developer shall pay to the division a filing fee of $20 for each residential unit to be sold by the developer that is described in the documents filed. If the CIC is to be built or sold in phases, the fee shall be paid prior to offering for sale units in any subsequent phase. Every developer who holds a unit or units for sale in a CIC shall submit to the division any amendments to documents or items on file with the division and deliver to buyers all amendments prior to closing, but in no event, later than 10 days after the amendment. Upon filing of amendments to documents currently on file with the division, the developer shall pay to the division a filing fee of up to $100 per filing, with the exact fee to be set by division rule.

(5)  Any developer who complies with this section is not required to file with any other division or agency of this state for approval to sell the units in the CIC, the information for the CIC for which he or she filed.

(6)  In addition to those disclosures described by ss. 718.503 and 718.504, the division is authorized to require such other disclosure as deemed necessary to fully or fairly disclose all aspects of the offering.

718.503  Developer disclosure prior to sale; non-developer unit owner disclosure prior to sale; voidability.--

(1)  DEVELOPER DISCLOSURE.--

(a)  Contents of contracts.--Any contract for the sale of a residential unit or a lease thereof for an unexpired term of more than 5 years shall:

1.  Contain the following legend in conspicuous type: THIS AGREEMENT IS VOIDABLE BY BUYER BY DELIVERING WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE BUYER'S INTENTION TO CANCEL WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF EXECUTION OF THIS AGREEMENT BY THE BUYER, AND RECEIPT BY BUYER OF ALL OF THE ITEMS REQUIRED TO BE DELIVERED TO HIM OR HER BY THE DEVELOPER UNDER SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES (ATTACHED). THIS AGREEMENT IS ALSO VOIDABLE BY BUYER BY DELIVERING WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE BUYER'S INTENTION TO CANCEL WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF RECEIPT FROM THE DEVELOPER OF ANY AMENDMENT THAT MATERIALLY ALTERS OR MODIFIES THE OFFERING IN A MANNER ADVERSE TO THE BUYER. ANY PURPORTED WAIVER OF THESE VOIDABILITY RIGHTS SHALL BE OF NO EFFECT. BUYER MAY EXTEND THE TIME FOR CLOSING FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN 15 DAYS AFTER THE BUYER HAS RECEIVED ALL OF THE ITEMS REQUIRED. BUYER'S RIGHT TO VOID THIS AGREEMENT SHALL TERMINATE AT CLOSING. FIGURES CONTAINED IN ANY BUDGET DELIVERED TO THE BUYER PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY ACT ARE GOOD FAITH ESTIMATES ONLY AND REPRESENT AN APPROXIMATION OF FUTURE EXPENSES BASED ON FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING AT THE TIME OF THE PREPARATION OF THE BUDGET BY THE DEVELOPER. ACTUAL COSTS OF SUCH ITEMS MAY EXCEED THE ESTIMATED COSTS. SUCH CHANGES IN COST DO NOT CONSTITUTE MATERIAL ADVERSE CHANGES IN THE OFFERING UNLESS THE TOTAL INCREASE IS MORE THAN TEN PERCENT.

2.  Contain the following caveat in conspicuous type on the first page of the contract: ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO THIS CONTRACT AND THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE.

3.  If the unit has been occupied by someone other than the buyer, contain a statement that the unit has been occupied.

4.  If the contract is for the sale or transfer of a unit subject to a lease, include as an exhibit a copy of the executed lease and shall contain within the text in conspicuous type: THE UNIT IS SUBJECT TO A LEASE (OR SUBLEASE) (ATTACHED).

5.  If the contract is for the lease of a unit for a term of 5 years or more, include as an exhibit a copy of the proposed lease.

6.  If the contract is for the sale or lease of a unit that is subject to a lien for rent payable under a lease of a recreational facility or other commonly used facility, contain within the text the following statement in conspicuous type: THIS CONTRACT IS FOR THE TRANSFER OF A UNIT THAT IS SUBJECT TO A LIEN FOR RENT PAYABLE UNDER A LEASE (ATTACHED) OF COMMONLY USED FACILITIES. FAILURE TO PAY RENT MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.

7.  State the name and address of the escrow agent required by s. 718.202 (attached) and state that the buyer may obtain a receipt for his or her deposit from the escrow agent upon request.

8.  If the contract is for the sale or lease of a unit that is subject to a lien for fees payable under a community development district, contain within the text the following statement in conspicuous type: THIS CONTRACT IS FOR THE TRANSFER OF A UNIT THAT IS SUBJECT TO A LIEN FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS FEES (CDD DOCUMENTS ATTACHED). FAILURE TO PAY FEES MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.

 (b)  Copies of documents to be furnished to prospective buyer or lessee.--Until such time as the developer has furnished the documents listed below to a person who has entered into a contract to purchase a residential unit or lease it for more than 5 years, the contract may be voided by that person, entitling the person to a refund of any deposit together with interest thereon as provided in s. 718.202. The contract may be terminated by written notice from the proposed buyer or lessee delivered to the developer within 15 days after the buyer or lessee receives all of the documents required by this section. The developer may not close for 15 days following the execution of the agreement and delivery of the documents to the buyer as evidenced by a signed receipt for documents. The documents to be delivered to the prospective buyer are the prospectus or disclosure statement with all exhibits, if the development is subject to the provisions of s. 718.504, or, if not, then copies of the following that are applicable:

1.  The question and answer sheet described in s. 718.504, and documents, or the proposed documents if the documents have not been recorded, that shall include the certificate of a surveyor approximately representing the locations required by s. 718.104.

2.  The recorded documents creating the association.

3.  The bylaws.

4.  The ground lease or other underlying lease of the CIC.

5.  The management contract, maintenance contract, and other contracts for services, management and operation of the CIC and facilities used by the unit owners having a service term of 1 year or more, and any contracts that are renewable.

6.  The current estimated operating budget for the CIC and a schedule of expenses for each type of unit, including fees assessed pursuant to s. 718.113(1) for the maintenance of limited common elements where such costs are shared only by those entitled to use the limited common elements.

7.  The lease of recreational and other facilities that will be used only by unit owners of the subject CIC.

8.  The lease of recreational and other common facilities that will be used by unit owners in common with unit owners of other CICs.

9.  The form of unit lease if the offer is of leasehold.

10.  Any declaration of servitude of properties serving the CIC but not owned by unit owners or leased to them or the association.

11.  If the development is to be built in phases or if the association is to manage more than one CIC, a description of the plan of phase development or the arrangements for the association to manage two or more CICs.

12.  If the CIC is a conversion of existing improvements, the statements and disclosure required by s. 718.616.

13.  The form of agreement for sale or lease of units.

14.  A copy of the floor plan of the unit and the plot plan showing the location of the residential buildings and the recreation and other common areas.

15.  A copy of all covenants and restrictions that will affect the use of the property and that are not contained in the foregoing.

16.  If the developer is required by state or local authorities to obtain acceptance or approval of any dock, marina facilities or other facilities intended to serve the CIC, a copy of any such acceptance or approval acquired by the time of filing with the division under s. 718.502(1), or a statement that such acceptance or approval has not been acquired or received.

17.  Evidence demonstrating that the developer has an ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the CIC is to be developed.

18.  Copies of documentation and budgets for any community development district. 

19. A copy of the document entitled "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers" required by s. 718.504 and a copy of a governance form referred to below.

20. A copy of the most recent year-end financial information.

(c)  Subsequent estimates; when provided.--If the closing on a contract occurs after January 1 of the year following filing of the offering circular with the division, the developer shall provide a copy of the current estimated operating budget of the association to the buyer at closing, that shall not be considered an amendment that modifies the offering provided any changes to the association's budget from the budget given to the buyer at the time of contract signing do not exceed ten percent. Changes in budgets of any community development district, master association, recreation association, or club and similar budgets for entities other than the association shall likewise be considered amendments that modify the offering.

(2)  NONDEVELOPER DISCLOSURE.--

(a)  Each unit owner who is not a developer as defined by this chapter shall comply with the provisions of this subsection prior to the sale of their unit. Each prospective buyer who has entered into a contract for the purchase of a CIC unit is entitled, at the seller's expense, to a current copy of the recorded documents, articles of incorporation of the association, bylaws and rules of the association, financial information required by s. 718.111, the document entitled "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers" required by s. 718.504 and a copy of a governance form. Such form shall be provided by the division summarizing governance of CIC associations. In addition to such other information as the division considers helpful to a prospective buyer in understanding association governance, the governance form shall address the following subjects:

1.  The role of the board in conducting the day-to-day affairs of the association on behalf of, and in the best interests of, the owners.

2.  The board's responsibility to provide advance notice of board and membership meetings.

3.  The rights of owners to attend and speak at board and membership meetings.

4.  The responsibility of the board and of owners with respect to maintenance of the CIC property.

5.  The responsibility of the board and owners to abide by the CIC documents, this chapter, Florida Administrative Code rules adopted by the division, and reasonable rules adopted by the board.

6.  Owners' rights to inspect and copy association records and the limitations on such rights.

7.  Remedies available to owners with respect to actions by the board that may be abusive or beyond the board's responsibility and authority.

8.  The right of the board to hire a community association manager or management firm, subject to its own primary responsibility for such management.

9.  The responsibility of owners with regard to payment of regular or special assessments necessary for the operation of the property and the potential consequences of failure to pay such assessments.

10.  The voting rights of owners.

11.  Rights and responsibilities of the board in enforcement of rules in the CIC documents and rules adopted by the board.

The governance form shall also include the following statement in conspicuous type: "THIS PUBLICATION IS INTENDED AS AN INFORMAL EDUCATIONAL OVERVIEW OF CIC GOVERNANCE. IN THE EVENT OF A CONFLICT, THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 718, FLORIDA STATUTES, RULES ADOPTED BY THE DIVISION OF COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/index.html . THE PROVISIONS OF THE CIC DOCUMENTS, AND REASONABLE RULES ADOPTED BY THE CIC ASSOCIATION'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS PREVAIL OVER THE CONTENTS OF THIS PUBLICATION."

(b)  If a person licensed under part I of chapter 475 provides or otherwise obtains for a prospective buyer the documents described in this subsection, the person is not liable for any error or inaccuracy contained in the documents unless it was done to obfuscate relevant information.

(c)  Each contract entered into for the resale of a residential unit shall contain in conspicuous type either:

1.  A clause that states: THE BUYER HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGES RECIEPT OF DOCUMENTS REPRESENTED AS CURRENT; COPY OF THE DOCUMENTS, ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE ASSOCIATION, BYLAWS, RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION, AND A COPY OF THE MOST RECENT YEAR-END FINANCIAL INFORMATION, DIVISION PREPARED GOVERNANCE FORM, DOCUMENTS THAT REPRESENT ANY OTHER OBLIGATIONS APPERTENANT TO THE UNIT AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS DOCUMENT MORE THAN 3 DAYS, EXCLUDING SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS, PRIOR TO EXECUTION OF THIS CONTRACT; or

2.  A clause that states: THIS AGREEMENT IS VOIDABLE BY BUYER BY DELIVERING WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE BUYER'S INTENTION TO CANCEL WITHIN 3 DAYS, EXCLUDING SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS, AFTER THE DATE OF EXECUTION OF THIS AGREEMENT BY THE BUYER AND RECEIPT BY BUYER OF DOCUMENTS REPRESENTED AS CURRENT; COPY OF THE DOCUMENTS, ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, BYLAWS, RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION, A COPY OF THE MOST RECENT YEAR-END FINANCIAL INFORMATION, DIVISION PREPARED GOVERNANCE FORM, DOCUMENTS THAT REPRESENT ANY OTHER OBLIGATIONS APPERTENANT TO THE UNIT AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS DOCUMENT. ANY PURPORTED WAIVER OF THESE VOIDABILITY RIGHTS SHALL BE OF NO EFFECT. BUYER MAY EXTEND THE TIME FOR CLOSING FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN 3 DAYS, EXCLUDING SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS, AFTER THE BUYER RECEIVES THE DOCUMENTS, ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION, BYLAWS AND RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION, AND A COPY OF THE MOST RECENT YEAR-END FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS DOCUMENT IF REQUESTED IN WRITING. BUYER'S RIGHT TO VOID THIS AGREEMENT SHALL TERMINATE AT CLOSING.

A contract that does not conform to the requirements of this paragraph is voidable at the option of the buyer prior to closing and is entitled to damages if the information was not provided or was not waived in writing by the buyer.

(3)  OTHER DISCLOSURE.--

(a)  If residential CIC parcels are offered for sale or lease prior to completion of construction of the units and of improvements to the common elements, or prior to completion of remodeling of previously occupied buildings, the developer shall make available to each prospective buyer or lessee, for his or her inspection at a place convenient to the site, a copy of the complete plans and specifications for the construction or remodeling of the unit offered to them and of the improvements to the common elements appurtenant to the unit.

(b)  Sales brochures, if any, shall be provided to each buyer, and the following caveat in conspicuous type shall be placed on the inside front cover or on the first page containing text material of the sales brochure, or otherwise conspicuously displayed: ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THIS BROCHURE AND TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE.

718.504  Prospectus or offering circular.--Every developer of a residential CIC shall prepare a prospectus or offering circular and file it with the Division of Common Interest Communities prior to entering into an enforceable contract of purchase and sale of any unit or lease of a unit for more than 5 years and shall furnish a copy of the prospectus or offering circular to each buyer. In addition to the prospectus or offering circular, each buyer shall be furnished a separate page entitled "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers," that shall be in accordance with a format approved by the division, the governance form and a copy of the financial information required by s. 718.111. This page shall, in readable language, inform prospective buyers regarding their voting rights and unit use restrictions, including restrictions on the leasing of a unit; shall indicate whether and in what amount the unit owners or the association is obligated to pay rent or land use fees for recreational or other commonly used facilities; shall contain a statement identifying that amount of assessment that pursuant to the budget, would be levied upon each unit type, exclusive of any special assessments, and that shall further identify the basis upon which assessments are levied, whether monthly, quarterly, or otherwise; shall state and identify any court cases in that the association is currently a party of record in which the association may face liability in excess of $100,000; obligations due any community development districts; and that shall further state whether membership in a recreational facilities association is mandatory, and if so, shall identify the fees currently charged per unit type. The division shall by rule require such other disclosure as in its judgment will assist prospective buyers. The prospectus or offering circular may include more than one CIC, although not all such units are being offered for sale as of the date of the prospectus or offering circular. The prospectus or offering circular must contain the following information:

(1)  The front cover or the first page must contain only:

(a)  The name of the CIC.

(b)  The following statements in conspicuous type:

1.  THIS PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) CONTAINS IMPORTANT MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN ACQUIRING A CIC UNIT.

2.  THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE ONLY SUMMARY IN NATURE. A PROSPECTIVE BUYER SHOULD REFER TO ALL REFERENCES, ALL EXHIBITS HERETO, THE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS, AND SALES MATERIALS.

3.  ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. REFER TO THIS PROSPECTUS (OFFERING CIRCULAR) AND ITS EXHIBITS FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS. THIS COMMUNITY IS BEING DEVELOPED ACCORDING TO FLORIDA STATUTE 718 AND OTHERS.  A COPY OF THE STAUTE IS AVAILBLE UPON REQUEST OR ON-LINE AT

 http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?Mode=View%20Statutes&Submenu=1&Tab=statutes

(2)  Summary: The next page must contain all statements required to be in conspicuous type in the prospectus or offering circular.

(3)  A separate index of the contents and exhibits of the prospectus.

(4)  Beginning on the first page of the text (not including the summary and index), a description of the CIC, including, but not limited to, the following information:

(a)  Its name and location.

(b)  A description of the CIC property, including as applicable, without limitation:

1.  The number of buildings, the number of units in each building, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in each unit, and the total number of units, if the CIC is not a phase CIC, or the maximum number of buildings that may be contained within the CIC, the minimum and maximum numbers of units in each building, the minimum and maximum numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms that may be contained in each unit, and the maximum number of units that may be contained within the CIC, if the CIC is a phase CIC.

2.  The page in the CIC documents where a copy of the plot plan and survey of the CIC is located.

3.  The estimated latest date of completion of constructing, finishing, and equipping. In lieu of a date, the description shall include a statement that the estimated date of completion of the CIC is in the purchase agreement and a reference to the article or paragraph containing that information.

(c)  The maximum number of units that will use facilities in common with the CIC. If the maximum number of units will vary, a description of the basis for variation and the minimum amount of dollars per unit to be spent for additional recreational facilities or enlargement of such facilities. If the addition or enlargement of facilities will result in a material increase of a unit owner's maintenance expense or rental expense, if any, the maximum increase and limitations thereon shall be stated.

(5)  A statement in conspicuous type describing whether the CIC is created and being sold as fee simple interests or as leasehold interests. If the CIC is created or being sold on a leasehold, the location of the lease in the disclosure materials shall be stated.

 (6)  A description of the recreational and other commonly used facilities that will be used only by unit owners of the CIC, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a)  Each room and its intended purposes, location, approximate floor area, and capacity in numbers of people.

(b)  Each swimming pool, as to its general location, approximate size and depths, approximate deck size and capacity, and whether heated.

(c)  Additional facilities, as to the number of each facility, its approximate location, approximate size, and approximate capacity.

(d)  A general description of the items of personal property and the approximate number of each item of personal property that the developer is committing to furnish for each room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to purchase the personal property for the facility.

(e)  The estimated date when each room or other facility will be available for use by the unit owners.

(f)1.  An identification of each room or other facility to be used by unit owners that will not be owned by the unit owners or the association;

2.  A reference to the location in the disclosure materials of the lease or other agreements providing for the use of those facilities; and

3.  A description of the terms of the lease or other agreements, including the length of the term; the rent payable, directly or indirectly, by each unit owner, and the total rent payable to the lessor, stated in monthly and annual amounts for the entire term of the lease; and a description of any option to purchase the property leased under any such lease, including the time the option may be exercised, the purchase price or how it is to be determined, the manner of payment, and whether the option may be exercised for a unit owner's share or only as to the entire leased property.

(g)  A statement as to whether the developer may provide additional facilities not described above; their general locations and types; improvements or changes that may be made; the approximate dollar amount to be expended; and the maximum additional common expense or cost to the individual unit owners that may be charged during the first annual period of operation of the modified or added facilities.

(h)Descriptions as to locations, areas, capacities, numbers, volumes, or sizes may be stated as approximations or minimums.

(7)  A description of the recreational and other facilities that will be used in common with other community associations, or CICs that require the payment of the maintenance and expenses of such facilities, directly or indirectly, by the unit owners. The description shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a)  Each building and facility committed to be built.

(b)  As to each facility committed to be built, or that will be committed to be built upon the happening of one of the conditions in paragraph (b), a statement of whether it will be owned by the unit owners having the use thereof or by an association or other entity that will be controlled by them, or others, and the location in the exhibits of the lease or other document providing for use of those facilities.

(c)  The year in which each facility will be available for use by the unit owners or, in the alternative, the maximum number of unit owners in the project at the time each of all of the facilities is committed to be completed.

(d)  A general description of the items of personal property, and the approximate number of each item of personal property, that the developer is committing to furnish for each room or other facility or, in the alternative, a representation as to the minimum amount of expenditure that will be made to purchase the personal property for the facility.

(e)  If there are leases, a description thereof, including the length of the term, the rent payable, and a description of any option to purchase.

(f) Descriptions shall include location, areas, capacities, numbers, volumes, or sizes and may be stated as approximations or minimums.

(8)  Recreation lease or associated club membership:

(a)  If any recreational facilities or other facilities offered by the developer and available to, or to be used by, unit owners are to be leased or have club membership associated, the following statement in conspicuous type shall be included: THERE IS A RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CIC; or, THERE IS A CLUB MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CIC and if applicable THERE IS A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CIC. There shall be a reference to the location in the disclosure materials where the recreation lease, club membership or community development district is described in detail.

(b)  If it is mandatory that unit owners pay a fee, rent, dues, or other charges under a recreational facilities lease, club membership for the use of facilities or community development district (CDD), there shall be in conspicuous type the applicable statement:

1.  MEMBERSHIP IN THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES CLUB IS MANDATORY FOR UNIT OWNERS; or

2.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED, AS A CONDITION OF OWNERSHIP, TO BE LESSEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE; or

3.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THEIR SHARE OF THE COSTS AND EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT, UPKEEP, REPLACEMENT, RENT, AND FEES UNDER THE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES LEASE (OR THE OTHER INSTRUMENTS PROVIDING THE FACILITIES); and/or

4.  UNIT OWNERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THEIR SHARE OF THE COSTS AND EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT, UPKEEP, REPLACEMENT, RENT, AND FEES UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; or

5.  A similar statement of the nature of the organization or the manner in which the use rights are created, and unit owners are required to pay.

6. Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the development is described in detail shall be stated.

(c)  If the developer, or any other person other than the unit owners and other persons having use rights in the facilities, reserves, or is entitled to receive, any rent, fee, or other payment for the use of the facilities, then there shall be the following statement in conspicuous type: THE UNIT OWNERS OR THE ASSOCIATION(S) MUST PAY RENT OR LAND USE FEES FOR RECREATIONAL OR OTHER COMMONLY USED FACILITIES. Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the rent or land use fee is described in detail shall be stated.

(d)  If, in any recreation format, whether leasehold, club, community development district, or other, any person other than the association has the right to a lien on the units to secure the payment of assessments, rent, or other exactions, there shall appear a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form:

1.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO SECURE THE PAYMENT OF RENT AND OTHER EXACTIONS UNDER THE RECREATION LEASE. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN; or

2.  THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO SECURE THE PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS OR OTHER EXACTIONS COMING DUE FOR THE USE, MAINTENANCE, UPKEEP, OR REPAIR OF THE RECREATIONAL OR COMMONLY USED FACILITIES. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.

3. THERE IS A LIEN OR LIEN RIGHT AGAINST EACH UNIT TO SECURE THE PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS OR OTHER EXACTIONS COMING DUE FOR THE USE, MAINTENANCE, UPKEEP, OR REPAIR OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT. THE UNIT OWNER'S FAILURE TO MAKE THESE PAYMENTS MAY RESULT IN FORECLOSURE OF THE LIEN.

Immediately following the applicable statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the lien or lien right is described in detail shall be stated.

(9)  If the developer or any other person has the right to increase or add to the recreational facilities at any time after the establishment of the CIC whose unit owners have use rights therein, without the consent of the unit owners or associations being required, there shall appear a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form: RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MAY BE EXPANDED OR ADDED WITHOUT CONSENT OF UNIT OWNERS OR THE ASSOCIATION(S). Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where such reserved rights and costs are described shall be stated.

(10)  A statement of whether the developer's plan includes a program of leasing units rather than selling them, or leasing units and selling them subject to such leases. If so, there shall be a description of the plan, including the number and identification of the units and the provisions and term of the proposed leases, and a statement in boldfaced type that: THE UNITS MAY BE TRANSFERRED SUBJECT TO A LEASE.

(11)  The arrangements for management of the association, maintenance, services and operation of the CIC property and of other property that will serve the unit owners of the CIC property, and a description of the management contract and all other contracts for these purposes having a term of 1 year or longer, including the following:

(a)  The names of contracting parties.

(b)  The term of the contract.

(c)  The nature of the services included.

(d)  The compensation, stated on a monthly and annual basis, and provisions for increases in the compensation.

(e)  A reference to the pages of the CIC documents and of the exhibits containing copies of such contracts.

Copies of all described contracts shall be attached as exhibits. If there is a contract for the management of the CIC property, then a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall appear, identifying the proposed or existing contract manager: THERE IS (IS TO BE) A CONTRACT FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CIC PROPERTY WITH (NAME OF THE CONTRACT MANAGER). Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials of the contract for management of the CIC property shall be stated.

(12)  If the developer or any other person or persons other than the unit owners has the right to retain control of the board of directors of the association for a period of time that can exceed 1 year after the closing of the sale of a majority of the units in that CIC to persons other than successors or alternate developers, then a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be included: THE DEVELOPER (OR OTHER PERSON) HAS THE RIGHT TO RETAIN CONTROL OF THE ASSOCIATION AFTER A MAJORITY OF THE UNITS HAVE BEEN SOLD. Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where this right to control is described in detail shall be stated.

(13)  If there are restrictions upon the sale, transfer, conveyance, or leasing of a unit, then a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be included: THE SALE, LEASE, OR TRANSFER OF UNITS IS RESTRICTED OR CONTROLLED.

(14)  If the CIC is part of a phase project, the following information shall be stated:

(a)  A statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form: THIS IS A PHASE CIC. ADDITIONAL LAND AND UNITS MAY BE ADDED TO THIS CIC. Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the phasing is described shall be stated.

(b)  A summary of the provisions of the documents that provide for the phasing.

(c)  A statement as to whether or not residential buildings and units that are added to the CIC may be substantially different from the residential buildings and units originally in the CIC. If the added residential buildings and units may be substantially different, there shall be a general description of the extent to which such added residential buildings and units may differ, and a statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form shall be included: BUILDINGS AND UNITS THAT ARE ADDED TO THE CIC MAY BE SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER BUILDINGS AND UNITS IN THE CIC. Immediately following this statement, the location in the disclosure materials where the extent to which added residential buildings and units may substantially differ is described shall be stated.

(d)  A statement of the maximum number of buildings containing units, the maximum and minimum numbers of units in each building, the maximum number of units, and the minimum and maximum square footage of the units that may be contained within each parcel of land that may be added to the CIC.

(15)  If a CIC is or may become part of a multi-CIC, the following information must be provided:

(a)  A statement in conspicuous type in substantially the following form: THIS CIC IS (MAY BE) PART OF A MULTI-CIC DEVELOPMENT IN WHICH OTHER CICS WILL (MAY) BE OPERATED BY THE SAME ASSOCIATION. Immediately following this statement, the location in the prospectus or offering circular and its exhibits where the multi-CIC aspects of the offering are described must be stated.

(b)  A summary of the provisions in the documents, articles of incorporation, and bylaws that establish and provide for the operation of the multi-CIC, including a statement as to whether unit owners in the CIC will have the right to use recreational or other facilities located or planned to be located in other CICs operated by the same association, and the manner of sharing the common expenses related to such facilities.

(c)  A statement of the minimum and maximum number of CICs, and the minimum and maximum number of units in each of those CICs, that will or may be operated by the association, and the latest date by which the exact number will be finally determined.

(d)  A statement as to whether any of the CICs in the multi-CIC may include units intended to be used for nonresidential purposes and the purpose or purposes permitted for such use.

(e)  A general description of the location and approximate acreage of any land on which any additional CICs to be operated by the association may be located.

(16)  If the CIC is created by conversion of existing improvements, the following information shall be stated:

(a)  The information required by s. 718.616.

(b)  A caveat in bold type THAT THERE ARE NO EXPRESS WARRANTIES UNLESS THEY ARE STATED IN WRITING BY THE DEVELOPER.

(17)  A summary of the restrictions, if any, to be imposed on units concerning the use of any of the CIC property and reference to the pages of the CIC documents where such restrictions are found, or if such restrictions are contained elsewhere, then a copy of the documents containing the restrictions shall be attached as an exhibit.

(18)  If there is any land that is offered by the developer for use by the unit owners and that is neither owned by them nor leased to them, the association, or any entity controlled by unit owners and other persons having the use rights to such land, a statement shall be made as to how such land will serve the CIC.  If any part of such land will serve the CIC, the statement shall describe the land and the nature and term of service, and the documents or other instrument creating such servitude shall be included as an exhibit.

(19)  The manner in which utility and other services, including, but not limited to, security, sewage and waste disposal, water supply, and storm drainage, will be provided and the person or entity furnishing them.

(20)  An explanation of the manner in which the apportionment of common expenses and ownership of the common elements was determined.

(21)  An estimated operating budget for the CIC and the association, and a schedule of the unit owner's expenses shall be attached as an exhibit and shall contain the following information:

(a)  The estimated monthly and annual expenses of the CIC and the association that are collected from unit owners by assessments.

(b)  The estimated monthly and annual expenses of each unit owner for a unit, other than common expenses paid by all unit owners, payable by the unit owner to persons or entities other than the association, as well as to the association, including fees assessed pursuant to s. 718.113(1) for maintenance of limited common elements where such costs are shared only by those entitled to use the limited common element, and the total estimated monthly and annual expense. There may be excluded from this estimate expenses which are not provided for or contemplated by the CIC documents, including, but not limited to, the costs of private communication; maintenance of the interior of CIC units, that is not the obligation of the association; maid or janitorial services privately contracted for by the unit owners; utility bills billed directly to each unit owner for utility services to his or her unit; insurance premiums other than those incurred for policies obtained by the CIC; and similar personal expenses of the unit owner. A unit owner's estimated payments for assessments shall also be stated in the estimated amounts for the times when they will be due.

(c)  The estimated items of expenses of the CIC and the association, except as excluded under paragraph (b), including, but not limited to, the following items, that shall be stated as an association expense collectible by assessments or as unit owners' expenses payable to persons other than the association:

1.  Expenses for the association and CIC:

a.  Administration of the association.

b.  Working capital

c.  Management fees.

d.  Maintenance.

e.  Rent for recreational and other commonly used facilities.

f.  Taxes upon leased areas.

g.  Insurance.

h.  Security provisions.

i.  Other expenses.

j.  Operating capital.

k.  Reserves.

l.  Fees payable to the division.

2.  Expenses for a unit owner:

a.  Rent for the unit, if subject to a lease.

b.  Rent payable by the unit owner directly to the lessor or agent under any recreational lease or lease for the use of commonly used facilities, which use and payment is a mandatory condition of ownership and is not included in the common expense or assessments for common maintenance paid by the unit owners to the association.

(d)  The following statement in conspicuous type: THE BUDGET CONTAINED IN THIS OFFERING CIRCULAR HAS BEEN PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION ACT , FLORIDA STATUTE 718 AND IS A GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE ONLY AND REPRESENTS AN APPROXIMATION OF FUTURE EXPENSES BASED ON FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING AT THE TIME OF ITS PREPARATION. ACTUAL COSTS OF SUCH ITEMS MAY EXCEED THE ESTIMATED COSTS. SUCH CHANGES IN COST DO NOT CONSTITUTE MATERIAL ADVERSE CHANGES IN THE OFFERING IF THEY DO NOT EXCEED TEN PERCENT OF THE TOTAL ESTIMATES.

(e)  Each budget for an association prepared by a developer consistent with this subsection shall be prepared in good faith and shall reflect accurate documented estimated amounts for the required items in paragraph (c) at the time of the filing of the offering circular with the division.

 (f)  The estimated amounts shall be stated for a period of at least 12 months and may distinguish between the periods prior to the time unit owners other than the developer elect a majority of the board and the period after that date.

(22)  A schedule of estimated closing expenses to be paid by a buyer or lessee of a unit and a statement of whether title opinion or title insurance policy is available to the buyer and, if so, at whose expense.

(23)  The identity of the developer and the chief operating officer or principal directing the creation and sale of the CIC and a statement of its and their experience in this field.

(24)  Copies of the following, to the extent they are applicable, shall be included as exhibits:

(a)  The recorded documents.

(b)  The articles of incorporation creating the association.

(c)  The bylaws of the association.

(d)  The ground lease or other underlying lease of the CIC.

(e)  The management agreement and all maintenance and other contracts for management of the association and operation of the CIC and facilities used by the unit owners having a service term of 1 year or longer.

(f)  The estimated operating budget for the CIC and the required schedule of unit owners' expenses.

(g)  A copy of the floor plan of the unit and the plot plan showing the location of the residential buildings and the recreation and other common areas.

(h)  The lease of recreational and other facilities that will be used only by unit owners of the subject CIC.

(i)  The lease of facilities used by owners and others.

(j)  The form of unit lease, if the offer is of leasehold.

(k)  A declaration of servitude of properties serving the CIC but not owned by unit owners or leased to them or the association.

(l)  The statement of condition of the existing building or buildings, if the offering is of units in an operation being converted to CIC ownership.

(m)  The statement of inspection for termite damage and treatment of the existing improvements, if the CIC is a conversion.

(n)  The form of agreement for sale or lease of units.

(o)  A copy of the agreement for escrow of payments made to the developer prior to closing.

(p)  A copy of the documents containing any restrictions on use of the property required by subsection (17).

(25)  A brief narrative description of the location and effect of all existing and intended easements located or to be located on the CIC property other than those described in the documents.

(26)  If the developer is required by state or local authorities to obtain acceptance or approval of any dock, marina or other facilities intended to serve the CIC, a copy of any such acceptance or approval acquired by the time of filing with the division under s. 718.502(1) or a statement that such acceptance or approval has not been acquired or received.

(27)  Evidence demonstrating that the developer has an ownership, leasehold, or contractual interest in the land upon which the CIC is to be developed.

718.505  Good faith effort to comply.--If a developer can provide reasonable documentation that in good faith there was an attempt to comply with the requirements of this part, and if, in fact, they substantially complied with the disclosure requirements of this chapter, nonmaterial errors or omissions in the disclosure materials shall not be actionable.

718.506  Publication of false and misleading information.--

(1)  Any person who, in reasonable reliance upon any material statement or information that is false or misleading and published by or under authority from the developer in advertising and promotional materials, including, but not limited to, a prospectus, the items required as exhibits to a prospectus, brochures, and newspaper advertising, pays anything of value toward the purchase of a CIC parcel located in this state shall have a cause of action to rescind the contract or collect damages from the developer for his or her loss prior to the closing of the transaction. After the closing of the transaction, the buyer shall have a cause of action against the developer for damages under this section from the time of closing until 1 year after the date upon which the last of the events described in paragraphs (a) through (d) shall occur:

(a)  The closing of the transaction;

(b)  The first issuance by the applicable governmental authority of a certificate of occupancy or other evidence of sufficient completion of construction of the building containing the unit to allow lawful occupancy of the unit. In counties or municipalities in which certificates of occupancy or other evidences of completion sufficient to allow lawful occupancy are not customarily issued, for the purpose of this section, evidence of lawful occupancy shall be deemed to be given or issued upon the date that such lawful occupancy of the unit may first be allowed under prevailing applicable laws, ordinances, or statutes;

(c)  The completion by the developer of the common elements and such recreational facilities, whether or not the same are common elements, that the developer is obligated to complete or provide under the terms of the written contract or written agreement for purchase or lease of the unit; or

(d)  In the event there shall not be a written contract or agreement for sale or lease of the unit, then the completion by the developer of the common elements and such recreational facilities, whether or not the same are common elements, that the developer would be obligated to complete under any rule of law applicable to the developer's obligation.

(e) Under no circumstances shall a cause of action created or recognized under this section survive for a period of more than 7 years after the closing of the transaction.

(2)  In any action for relief under this section or under s. 718.503, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees.

718.507  Zoning and building laws, ordinances, and regulations.--All laws, ordinances, and regulations concerning buildings or zoning shall be construed and applied with reference to the nature and use of such property, without regard to the form of ownership. No law, ordinance, or regulation shall establish any requirement concerning the use, location, placement, or construction of buildings or other improvements that are, or may thereafter be, subjected to the CIC form of ownership, unless such requirement shall be equally applicable to all buildings and improvements of the same kind not then, or thereafter to be, subjected to the CIC form of ownership. This section does not apply if the owner in fee of any land enters into and records a covenant that existing improvements or improvements to be constructed shall not be converted to the CIC form of residential ownership prior to 5 years after the later of the date of the covenant or completion date of the improvements. Such covenant shall be entered into with the governing body of the municipality in which the land is located or, if the land is not located in a municipality, with the governing body of the county in which the land is located.

718.508  Regulation by Division of Hotels and Restaurants.--In addition to the authority, regulation, or control exercised by the Division of Common Interest Communities pursuant to this act with respect to CICs, buildings included in a CIC property are subject to the authority, regulation, or control of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, to the extent provided in chapter 399.

718.509  Division of Common Interest Communities.--

(1)  There is created within the State Treasury the Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund to be used only for the administration and operation of this chapter by the division.

(2)  All moneys collected by the division from fees, fines, or penalties or from costs awarded to the division by a court or administrative final order shall be paid into the Division of Common Interest Communities Trust Fund. The Commissioner shall appropriate funds from this trust fund sufficient to carry out the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of law completely, expeditiously and efficiently. As part of its normal budgetary process, the division shall prepare an annual report of revenue and allocated expenses related to the operation that may be used to determine fees charged by the division.  Any funds annually not used shall be explained as to why they were not used and the report shall provide an explanation as to how they will be used to promote the intent of this chapter. This subsection shall operate pursuant to the provisions of s. 215.20.

PART VI

CONVERSIONS TO COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES (ss. 718.604-718.622)

718.606  Conversion of existing improvements to CIC; rental agreements.

718.608  Notice of intended conversion; time of delivery; content.

718.610  Notices.

718.612  Right of first refusal.

718.614  Economic information to be provided.

718.616  Disclosure of condition of building and estimated replacement costs and notification of municipalities.

718.618  Converter reserve accounts; warranties.

718.620  Prohibition of discrimination against non-purchasing tenants.

718.621  Rulemaking authority.

718.622  Saving clause.

718.606  Conversion of existing improvements to CIC; rental agreements.--When existing improvements are converted to ownership as a residential CIC:

(1)(a)  Each residential tenant residing in the existing improvements for at least the 180 days preceding the date of the written notice of intended conversion shall have the right to extend an expiring rental agreement upon the same terms for a period that will expire no later than 270 days after the date of the notice. If the rental agreement expires more than 270 days after the date of the notice, the tenant may not unilaterally extend the rental agreement.

(b)  Each other residential tenant shall have the right to extend an expiring rental agreement upon the same terms for a period that will expire no later than 180 days after the date of the written notice of intended conversion. If the rental agreement expires more than 180 days after the date of the notice, the tenant may not unilaterally extend the rental agreement.

(2)(a)  In order to extend the rental agreement as provided in subsection (1), a tenant shall, within 45 days after the date of the written notice of intended conversion, give written notice to the developer of the intention to extend the rental agreement.

(b)  If the rental agreement will expire within 45 days following the date of the notice, the tenant may continue occupancy for the 45-day decision period upon the same terms by giving the developer written notice and paying rent on a pro rata basis from the expiration date of the rental agreement to the end of the 45-day period.

(c)  The tenant may extend the rental agreement for the full extension period or a part of the period.

(3)  After the date of a notice of intended conversion, a tenant may terminate any rental agreement, or any extension period having an unexpired term of 180 days or less, upon 30 days' written notice to the developer. However, unless the rental agreement was entered into, extended, or renewed after the effective date of this part, the tenant may not unilaterally terminate the rental agreement but may unilaterally terminate any extension period having an unexpired term of 180 days or less upon 30 days' written notice.

(4)  A developer may elect to provide tenants who have been continuous residents of the existing improvements for at least 180 days preceding the date of the written notice of intended conversion and whose rental agreements expire within 180 days of the date of the written notice of intended conversion the option of receiving in cash a tenant relocation payment at least equal to 1 month's rent in consideration for extending the rental agreement for not more than 180 days, rather than extending the rental agreement for up to 270 days.

(5)  A rental agreement may provide for termination by the developer upon 60 days' written notice if the rental agreement is entered into subsequent to the delivery of the written notice of intended conversion to all tenants and conspicuously states that the existing improvements are to be converted. No other provision in a rental agreement shall be enforceable to the extent that it purports to reduce the extension period provided by this section or otherwise would permit a developer to terminate a rental agreement in the event of a conversion. This subsection applies to rental agreements entered into, extended, or renewed after the effective date of this part; the termination provisions of all other rental agreements are governed by the provisions of s. 718.402(3), Florida Statutes.

718.608  Notice of intended conversion; time of delivery; content.--

(1)  Prior to or simultaneous with the first offering of individual units to any person, each developer shall deliver a notice of intended conversion to all tenants of the existing improvements being converted to residential CIC. All such notices shall be given within a 72-hour period.

(2)(a)  Each notice of intended conversion shall be dated and in writing. The notice shall contain the following statement, with the phrases of the following statement which appear in upper case printed in conspicuous type:

These apartments are being converted to CIC by  (name of developer) , the developer.

1.  YOU MAY REMAIN AS A RESIDENT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT. FURTHER, YOU MAY EXTEND YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

a.  If you have continuously been a resident of these apartments during the last 180 days and your rental agreement expires during the next 270 days, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 270 days after the date of this notice.

b.  If you have not been a continuous resident of these apartments for the last 180 days and your rental agreement expires during the next 180 days, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 180 days after the date of this notice.

c.  IN ORDER FOR YOU TO EXTEND YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT, YOU MUST GIVE THE DEVELOPER WRITTEN NOTICE WITHIN 45 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE.

2.  IF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT EXPIRES IN THE NEXT 45 DAYS, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 45 days after the date of this notice while you decide whether to extend your rental agreement as explained above. To do so, you must notify the developer in writing. You will then have the full 45 days to decide whether to extend your rental agreement as explained above.

3.  During the extension of your rental agreement you will be charged the same rent that you are now paying.

4.  YOU MAY CANCEL YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT AND ANY EXTENSION OF THE RENTAL AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

a.  If your rental agreement, including extensions and renewals, has an unexpired term of 180 days or less, you may cancel your rental agreement upon 30 days' written notice and move. Also, upon 30 days' written notice, you may cancel any extension of the rental agreement.

b.  If your rental agreement was not begun or was not extended or renewed you may not cancel the rental agreement without the consent of the developer. If your rental agreement, including extensions and renewals, has an unexpired term of 180 days or less, you may, however, upon 30 days' written notice cancel any extension of the rental agreement.

5.  All notices must be given in writing and sent by mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the developer at this address:  (name and address of developer) .

6.  If you have continuously been a resident of these apartments during the last 180 days:

a.  You have the right to purchase your apartment and will have 45 days to decide whether to purchase. If you do not buy the unit at that price and the unit is later offered at a lower price, you will have the opportunity to buy the unit at the lower price. However, in all events your right to purchase the unit ends when the rental agreement or any extension of the rental agreement ends or when you waive this right in writing.

b.  Within 90 days you will be provided purchase information relating to your apartment, including the price of your unit and the condition of the building. If you do not receive this information within 90 days, your rental agreement and any extension will be extended 1 day for each day over 90 days until you are given the purchase information. If you do not want this rental agreement extension, you must notify the developer in writing.

7.  If you have any questions regarding this conversion or the CIC Act, you may contact the developer or the state agency that regulates CICs: The Division of Business and Professional Regulation,  (Tallahassee address and telephone number of division) .

(b)  When a developer offers tenants an optional tenant relocation payment pursuant to s. 718.606(4), the notice of intended conversion shall contain a statement substantially as follows:

If you have been a continuous resident of these apartments for the last 180 days and your lease expires during the next 180 days, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 270 days, or you may extend your rental agreement for up to 180 days and receive a cash payment at least equal to 1 month's rent. You must make your decision and inform the developer in writing within 45 days after the date of this notice.

(c)  When the rental agreement extension provisions of s. 718.606(6) are applicable to a conversion, subparagraphs 1.a. and b. of the notice of intended conversion shall read as follows:

1.  YOU MAY REMAIN AS A RESIDENT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT. FURTHER, YOU MAY EXTEND YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

a.  If you have continuously been a resident of these apartments during the last 180 days and your rental agreement expires during the next 360 days, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 360 days after the date of this notice.

b.  If you have not been a continuous resident of these apartments for the last 180 days and your rental agreement expires during the next 270 days, you may extend your rental agreement for up to 270 days after the date of this notice.

(3)  Notice of intended conversion may not be waived by a tenant unless the tenant's lease conspicuously states that the building is to be converted and the other tenants residing in the building have previously received a notice of intended conversion.

(4)  Upon the request of a developer and payment of a fee prescribed by the rules of the division, not to exceed $50, the division may verify to a developer that a notice complies with this section.

(5)  Prior to delivering a notice of intended conversion to tenants of existing improvements being converted to a residential CIC, each developer shall file with the division and receive approval of a copy of the notice of intended conversion. Upon filing, each developer shall pay to the division a filing fee of $100.

718.610  Notices.--

(1)  All notices from tenants to a developer shall be deemed given when deposited in the United States mail, addressed to the developer's address as stated in the notice of conversion, and sent postage prepaid, return receipt requested, or when personally delivered in writing by the tenant to the developer at such address. The date of a notice is the date when it is mailed or personally delivered by the tenant.

(2)  All notices from developers to tenants shall be deemed given when deposited in the United States mail, addressed to the tenant's last known residence, that may be the address of the property subject to the rental agreement, and sent by certified or registered mail, postage prepaid. The date of a notice is the date when it is mailed to the tenant.

718.612  Right of first refusal.--

(1)  Each tenant, who for the 180 days preceding a notice of intended conversion has been a residential tenant of the existing improvements, shall have the right of first refusal to purchase the unit in which he or she resides on the date of the notice, under the following terms and conditions:

(a)  Within 90 days following the written notice of the intended conversion, the developer shall deliver to the tenant the following purchase materials: an offer to sell stating the price and terms of purchase, the economic information required by s. 718.614, and the disclosure documents required by ss. 718.503 and 718.504. The failure by the developer to deliver such purchase materials within 90 days following the written notice of the intended conversion will automatically extend the rental agreement, any extension of the rental agreement provided for in s. 718.606, or any other extension of the rental agreement. The extension shall be for that number of days in excess of 90 days that has elapsed from the date of the written notice of the intended conversion to the date when the purchase materials are delivered.

(b)  The tenant shall have the right of first refusal to purchase the unit for a period of not less than 45 days after mailing or personal delivery of the purchase materials.

(c)  If, after any right of first refusal has expired, the developer offers the unit at a price lower than that offered to the tenant, the developer shall in writing notify the tenant prior to the publication of the offer. The tenant shall have the right of first refusal at the lower price for a period of not less than an additional 10 days after the date of the notice. Thereafter, the tenant shall have no additional right of first refusal. As used in this paragraph, the term "offer" includes any solicitation to the general public by means of newspaper advertisement, radio, television, or written or printed sales literature or price list but does not include a transaction involving the sale of more than one unit to one buyer.

(2)  Prior to closing on the sale of the unit, a tenant alleging a developer's violation of paragraph (1)(c) may bring an action for equitable or other relief, including specific performance. Subsequent to closing, the tenant's sole remedy for such a violation will be damages. In addition to any damages otherwise recoverable by law, the tenant is entitled to an amount equal to the difference between the price last offered in writing to the tenant pursuant to this section and the price at which the unit was sold to a third party, plus court costs and attorney's fees.

(3)  It is against the public policy of this state for any developer to seek to enforce any provision of any contract that purports to waive the right of a purchasing tenant to bring an action for specific performance.

(4)  A tenant's right of first refusal terminates upon:

(a)  The termination of the rental agreement and all extensions thereof;

(b)  Waiver of the right in writing by the tenant, if the waiver is executed subsequent to the date of the notice of intended conversion. A tenant who waives the right of first refusal waives the right to receive the purchase materials; or

(c)  The running of the tenant's 45-day right of first refusal and the additional 10-day period provided for by paragraph (1)(c), if applicable.

718.614  Economic information to be provided.--The developer shall distribute to tenants having a right of first refusal, if any:

(1)  Information in summary form regarding mortgage financing; estimated down payment; alternative financing and down payments; monthly payments of principal, interest, and real estate taxes; and federal income tax benefits.

(2)  Any other information that the division publishes and by rule determines will assist tenants in making a decision and which the division makes available to the developer.

718.616  Disclosure of condition of building and estimated replacement costs and notification of municipalities.--

(1)  Each developer of a residential CIC created by converting existing, previously occupied improvements to such form of ownership shall prepare a report that discloses the condition of the improvements and the condition of certain components and their current estimated replacement costs as of the date of the report.

(2)  The following information shall be stated concerning the improvements:

(a)  The date and type of construction.

(b)  The prior use.

(c)  Whether there is termite damage or infestation and whether the termite damage or infestation, if any, has been properly treated. The statement shall be substantiated by including, as an exhibit, an inspection report by a certified pest control operator.

(3)(a)  Disclosure of condition shall be made for each of the following components that the existing improvements may include:

1.  Roof.

2.  Structure.

3.  Fire protection systems.

4.  Elevators.

5.  Heating and cooling systems.

6.  Plumbing.

7.  Electrical systems.

8.  Swimming pool.

9.  Seawalls, pilings, and docks.

10.  Pavement and concrete, including roadways, walkways, and parking areas.

11.  Drainage systems.

12.  Irrigation systems.

(b)  For each component, the following information shall be disclosed and substantiated by attaching a copy of a certificate under seal of an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state:

1.  The age of the component as of the date of the report.

2.  The estimated remaining useful life of the component as of the date of the report.

3.  The estimated current replacement cost of the component as of the date of the report, expressed:

a. As a total amount; and

b. As a per-unit amount, based upon each unit's proportional share of the common expenses.

4.  The structural and functional soundness of the component.

(c)  Each unit owner and the association are third-party beneficiaries of the report.

(d)  A supplemental report shall be prepared for any structure or component that is renovated or repaired after completion of the original report and prior to the recording of the documents. If the documents are not recorded within 1 year after the date of the original report, the developer shall update the report annually prior to recording the documents.

(e)  The report may not contain representations on behalf of the development concerning future improvements or repairs and must be limited to the current condition of the improvements.

(4)  If the proposed CIC is situated within a municipality, the disclosure shall include a letter from the municipality acknowledging that the municipality has been notified of the proposed creation of a residential CIC by conversion of existing, previously occupied improvements and, in any county, as defined in s. 125.011(1), acknowledging compliance with applicable zoning requirements as determined by the municipality.

718.618 Converter reserve accounts; warranties.--

(1)  When existing improvements are converted to ownership as a residential CIC, the developer shall establish converter reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance, or give warranties as provided by subsection (6), or post a surety bond as provided by subsection (7). The developer shall fund the converter reserve accounts in amounts calculated as follows:

(a)1.  When the existing improvements include an air-conditioning system serving more than one unit or property that the association is responsible to repair, maintain, or replace, the developer shall fund an air-conditioning reserve account. The amount of the reserve account shall be the product of the estimated current replacement cost of the system, as disclosed and substantiated pursuant to s. 718.616(3)(b), multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the lesser of the age of the system in years or 7, and the denominator of which shall be 8. When such air-conditioning system is within 1,000 yards of the seacoast, the numerator shall be the lesser of the age of the system in years or 3, and the denominator shall be 4.

2.  The developer shall fund a plumbing reserve account. The amount of the funding shall be the product of the estimated current replacement cost of the plumbing component, as disclosed and substantiated pursuant to s. 718.616(3)(b), multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the lesser of the age of the plumbing in years or 25, and the denominator of which shall be 30.

3.  The developer shall fund a roof reserve account. The amount of the funding shall be the product of the estimated current replacement cost of the roofing component, as disclosed and substantiated pursuant to s. 718.616(3)(b), multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the lesser of the age of the roof in years or the numerator listed in the following table. The denominator of the fraction shall be determined based on the roof type, as follows:
Roof Type Numerator Denominator
a. Built-up roof without insulation 4 5
b. Built-up roof with insulation 4 5
c. Cement tile roof 20 25
d. Asphalt shingle roof 12 14
e. Copper roof 25 30
f. Wood shingle roof 9 10
g. All other types 15 18

(b)  The age of any component or structure for which the developer is required to fund a reserve account shall be measured in years, rounded to the nearest whole year. The amount of converter reserves to be funded by the developer for each structure or component shall be based on the age of the structure or component as disclosed in the inspection report. The architect or engineer shall determine the age of the component from the later of:

1.  The date when the component or structure was replaced or substantially renewed, if the replacement or renewal of the component at least met the requirements of the then-applicable building code; or

2.  The date when the installation or construction of the existing component or structure was completed.

(c)  When the age of a component or structure is to be measured from the date of replacement or renewal, the developer shall provide the division with a certificate, under the seal of an architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state, verifying:

1.  The date of the replacement or renewal; and

2.  That the replacement or renewal at least met the requirements of the then-applicable building code.

(d)  In addition to establishing the reserve accounts specified above, the developer shall establish those other reserve accounts required by s. 718.112(2)(f), and shall fund those accounts in accordance with the formula provided therein.

(2)(a)  The developer shall fund the reserve account required by subsection (1), on a pro rata basis upon the sale of each unit. The developer shall deposit in the reserve account not less than a percentage of the total amount to be deposited in the reserve account equal to the percentage of ownership of the common elements allocable to the unit sold. When a developer deposits amounts in excess of the minimum reserve account funding, later deposits may be reduced to the extent of the excess funding. For the purposes of this subsection, a unit is considered sold when a fee interest in the unit is transferred to a third party or the unit is leased for a period in excess of 5 years.

(b)  When an association makes an expenditure of converter reserve account funds before the developer has sold all units, the developer shall make a deposit in the reserve account. Such deposit shall be at least equal to that portion of the expenditure that would be charged against the reserve account deposit that would have been made for any such unit had the unit been sold. Such deposit may be reduced to the extent the developer has funded the reserve account in excess of the minimum reserve account funding required by this subsection. This paragraph applies only when the developer has funded reserve accounts as provided by paragraph (a).

(3)  The use of reserve account funds, as provided in this section, is limited as follows:

(a)  Reserve account funds may be spent prior to the assumption of control of the association by unit owners other than the developer; and

(b)  Reserve account funds may be expended only for repair or replacement of the specific components for which the funds were deposited, unless, after assumption of control of the association by unit owners other than the developer, it is determined by three-fourths of the voting interests in the CIC to expend the funds for other purposes.

(4)  The developer shall establish the reserve account, as provided in this section, in the name of the association at a bank, savings bank, or trust company located in this state.

(5)  A developer may establish and fund additional converter reserve accounts. The amount of funding shall be the product of the estimated current replacement cost of a component, as disclosed and substantiated pursuant to s. 718.616(3)(b), multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the age of the component in years and the denominator of which is the total estimated life of the component in years.

(6)  A developer makes no implied warranties when existing improvements are converted to ownership as a residential CIC and reserve accounts are funded in accordance with this section. Except that the developer shall be deemed to have granted to the buyer of each unit an implied warranty of fitness and merchantability for the purposes or uses intended. The warranty shall be for a period beginning with the notice of intended conversion and continuing for 3 years thereafter, or the recording of the documents and continuing for 3 years thereafter, or 1 year after owners other than the developer obtain control of the association, whichever occurs last, but in no event more than 5 years.

(a)  The warranty provided for in this section is conditioned upon routine maintenance being performed, unless the maintenance is an obligation of the developer or a developer-controlled association.

(b)  The warranty shall inure to the benefit of each owner and successor owner.

(c)  Existing improvements converted to residential CIC may be covered by an insured warranty program underwritten by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state, if such warranty program meets the minimum requirements of this chapter. To the degree that the warranty program does not meet the minimum requirements of this chapter, such requirements shall apply.

(7)  When a developer desires to post a surety bond, the developer shall, after notification to the buyer, acquire a surety bond issued by a company licensed to do business in this state, if such a bond is readily available in the open market, in an amount that would be equal to the total amount of all reserve accounts required under subsection (1), payable to the association.

(8)  The amended provisions of this section do not affect a conversion of existing improvements when a developer has filed a notice of intended conversion and the documents required by s. 718.503 or s. 718.504, as applicable, with the division prior to the effective date of this law, provided:

(a)  The documents are proper for filing purposes.

(b)  The developer, not later than 6 months after such filing:

1.  Records documents for such filing in accordance with part I.

2.  Gives a notice of intended conversion.

(9)  This section applies only to the conversion of existing improvements where construction of the improvement was commenced prior to its designation by the developer as a CIC. In such circumstances, s. 718.203 does not apply.

(10)  A developer who sells a CIC parcel that is subject to this part shall disclose in conspicuous type in the contract of sale whether the developer has established converter reserve accounts, provided a warranty of fitness and merchantability, or posted a surety bond for purposes of complying with this section.

718.620 Prohibition of discrimination against non-purchasing tenants.--When existing improvements are converted to CIC, tenants who have not purchased a unit in the CIC being created shall, during the remaining term of the rental agreement and any extension thereof, be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and services that were enjoyed by all tenants prior to the date of the written notice of conversion and that are granted, offered, or provided to buyers.

718.621  Rulemaking authority.--The division is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to administer and ensure compliance with developers' obligations with respect to CIC conversions concerning the filing and noticing of intended conversion, rental agreement extensions, rights of first refusal, and disclosure and post purchase protections.

718.622 Saving clause.

—(1)Notices of intended conversion given subsequent to the effective date of this part shall be subject to the requirements of ss. 718.606, 718.608, and 718.61. Tenants given such notices shall have a right of first refusal as provided by s. 718.612. 

(2)The disclosure provided by s. 718.616 and required by ss. 718.503 and 718.504 to be furnished to each prospective buyer or lessee for a period of more than 5 years shall be provided to any such person who has not, prior to May 1, 1980, been furnished the documents, prospectus, or offering circular required by ss. 718.503 and 718.504. 

(3)The provisions of s. 718.618 do not affect a conversion of existing improvements when a developer has filed with the division prior to May 1, 1980, provided:

(a)The documents are proper for filing purposes; and 

(b)The developer, not later than 6 months after such filing: 

1.Records a declaration for such filing in accordance with part I of this chapter, and 

2.Gives a notice of intended conversion. 

PART VII

DISTRESSED CIC RELIEF 

718.701 Short title.

718.702 Legislative intent.

718.703 Definitions.

718.704 Assignment and assumption of developer rights by bulk assignee; bulk buyer.

718.705 Board of administration; transfer of control.

718.706 Specific provisions pertaining to offering of units by a bulk assignee or bulk buyer.

718.707 Time limitation for classification as bulk assignee or bulk buyer.

718.708 Liability of developers and others.

718.701 Short title.

—This part may be cited as the “Distressed CIC Relief Act.” 

718.702Legislative intent.

—(1)The Legislature acknowledges the massive downturn in the real estate market that occurred throughout the state and the impact of such downturn on developers, lenders, unit owners, and associations. Numerous CIC projects have failed or are in the process of failing such that the CIC  has a small percentage of third-party unit owners as compared to the unsold inventory of units. As a result of the inability to find purchasers for this inventory of units, which results in part from the devaluing of real estate, developers are unable to satisfy the requirements of their lenders, leading to defaults on mortgages. Consequently, lenders are faced with the task of finding a solution to the problem in order to receive payment for their investments.

(2)The Legislature recognizes that all of the factors listed in this section lead to CICs becoming distressed, resulting in detriment to the unit owners and the CIC association due to the resulting shortage of assessment moneys available for proper maintenance of the CIC. Such shortage and the resulting lack of proper maintenance further erode property values. The Legislature finds that individuals and entities within this state and in other states have expressed interest in purchasing unsold inventory in one or more CIC projects, but are reticent to do so because of accompanying liabilities inherited from the original developer, which are by definition imputed to the successor purchaser, including a foreclosing mortgagee. This results in the potential successor purchaser having unknown and unquantifiable risks that the potential purchaser is unwilling to accept. As a result, CIC projects stagnate, leaving all parties involved at an impasse and without the ability to find a solution. 

(3)The Legislature declares that it is the public policy of this state to protect the interests of developers, lenders, unit owners, and Common Interest Communities Act associations with regard to distressed CICs, and that there is a need for relief from certain provisions of the Florida Common Interest Communities Act geared toward enabling economic opportunities for successor purchasers, including foreclosing mortgagees. Such relief would benefit existing unit owners and CIC associations. The Legislature further finds and declares that this situation cannot be open-ended without potentially prejudicing the rights of unit owners and CIC associations, and thereby declares that the provisions of this part may be used by purchasers of CIC inventory for only a specific and defined period. 

718.703Definitions.


—As used in this part, the term: 

(1)“Bulk assignee” means a person who:

(a)Acquires more than seven CIC parcels as set forth in s. 718.707; and 

(b)Receives an assignment of some or all of the rights of the developer as set forth in the declaration of CIC or this chapter by a written instrument recorded as an exhibit to the deed or as a separate instrument in the public records of the county in which the CIC is located. 

(2)“Bulk buyer” means a person who acquires more than seven CIC parcels as set forth in s. 718.707, but who does not receive an assignment of developer rights other than the right to conduct sales, leasing, and marketing activities within the CIC; the right to be exempt from the payment of working capital contributions to the CIC association arising out of, or in connection with, the bulk buyer’s acquisition of a bulk number of units; and the right to be exempt from any rights of first refusal which may be held by the CIC association and would otherwise be applicable to subsequent transfers of title from the bulk buyer to a third party purchaser concerning one or more units. 

718.704 Assignment and assumption of developer rights by bulk assignee; bulk buyer.

—(1)A bulk assignee assumes and is liable for all duties and responsibilities of the developer under the declaration and this chapter, except: 

(a)Warranties of the developer under s. 718.203(1) or s. 718.618, except for design, construction, development, or repair work performed by or on behalf of such bulk assignee; 

(b)The obligation to: 

1.Fund converter reserves under s. 718.618 for a unit that was not acquired by the bulk assignee; or

2.Provide converter warranties on any portion of the CIC property except as expressly provided by the bulk assignee in the contract for purchase and sale executed with a purchaser and pertaining to any design, construction, development, or repair work performed by or on behalf of the bulk assignee; 

(c)The requirement to provide the association with a cumulative audit of the association’s finances from the date of formation of the CIC association as required by s. 718.301(4)(c). However, the bulk assignee must provide an audit for the period during which the bulk assignee elects a majority of the members of the board of administration; 

(d)Any liability arising out of or in connection with actions taken by the board of administration or the developer-appointed directors before the bulk assignee elects a majority of the members of the board of administration; and 

(e)Any liability for or arising out of the developer’s failure to fund previous assessments or to resolve budgetary deficits in relation to a developer’s right to guarantee assessments, except as otherwise provided in subsection (2).

The bulk assignee is also responsible for delivering documents and materials in accordance with s. 718.705(3). A bulk assignee may expressly assume some or all of the obligations of the developer described in paragraphs (a)-(e). 

(2)A bulk assignee receiving the assignment of the rights of the developer to guarantee the level of assessments and fund budgetary deficits pursuant to s. 718.116 assumes and is liable for all obligations of the developer with respect to such guarantee, including any applicable funding of reserves to the extent required by law, for as long as the guarantee remains in effect. A bulk assignee not receiving such assignment or a bulk buyer does not assume and is not liable for the obligations of the developer with respect to such guarantee, but is responsible for payment of assessments in the same manner as all other owners of CIC parcels. 

(3)A bulk buyer is liable for the duties and responsibilities of the developer under the declaration and this chapter only to the extent provided in this part, together with any other duties or responsibilities of the developer expressly assumed in writing by the bulk buyer.

(4)An acquirer of CIC parcels is not a bulk assignee or a bulk buyer if the transfer to such acquirer was made before the effective date of this part with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any purchaser, unit owner, or the association, or if the acquirer is a person who would be considered an insider under s. 726.102(7).

(5)An assignment of developer rights to a bulk assignee may be made by the developer, a previous bulk assignee, or court acting on behalf of the developer or the previous bulk assignee. At any particular time, there may be no more than one bulk assignee within a CIC, but there may be more than one bulk buyer. If more than one acquirer of CIC parcels in the same CIC receives an assignment of developer rights from the same person, the bulk assignee is the acquirer whose instrument of assignment is recorded first.

718.705 Board of administration; transfer of control.

—(1)For purposes of determining the timing for transfer of control of the board of administration of the association to unit owners other than the developer under s. 718.301(1)(a) and (b), if a bulk assignee is entitled to elect a majority of the members of the board, a CIC parcel acquired by the bulk assignee is conveyed to a purchaser, or owned by an owner other than the developer, until the CIC parcel is conveyed to an owner who is not a bulk assignee.

(2) Unless control of the board of administration of the association has already been relinquished pursuant to s. 718.301(1), the bulk assignee must relinquish control of the association pursuant to s. 718.301 and this part, as if the bulk assignee were the developer.

(3) If a bulk assignee relinquishes control of the board of administration as set forth in s. 718.301, the bulk assignee must deliver all of those items required by s. 718.301(4). However, the bulk assignee is not required to deliver items and documents not in the possession of the bulk assignee during the period during which the bulk assignee was entitled to elect at least a majority of the members of the board of administration. In conjunction with acquisition of CIC parcels, a bulk assignee shall undertake a good faith effort to obtain the documents and materials that must be provided to the association pursuant to s. 718.301(4). If the bulk assignee is not able to obtain all of such documents and materials, the bulk assignee must certify in writing to the association the names or descriptions of the documents and materials that were not obtainable by the bulk assignee. Delivery of the certificate relieves the bulk assignee of responsibility for delivering the documents and materials referenced in the certificate as otherwise required under ss. 718.112 and 718.301 and this part. The responsibility of the bulk assignee for the audit required by s. 718.301(4) commences as of the date on which the bulk assignee elected a majority of the members of the board of administration.

(4)If a conflict arises between the provisions or application of this section and s. 718.301, this section prevails.

(5)Failure of a bulk assignee or bulk buyer to substantially comply with all the requirements in this part results in the loss of any and all protections or exemptions provided under this part. 

718.706 Specific provisions pertaining to offering of units by a bulk assignee or bulk buyer.

—(1)Before offering any units for sale or for lease for a term exceeding 5 years, a bulk assignee or a bulk buyer must file the following documents with the division and provide such documents to a prospective purchaser or tenant: 

(a) An updated prospectus or offering circular, or a supplement to the prospectus or offering circular, filed by the original developer prepared in accordance with s. 718.504, which must include the form of contract for sale and for lease in compliance with s. 718.503(2); 

(b) An updated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers sheet; 

(c) The executed escrow agreement if required under s. 718.202; and

(d) The financial information required by s. 718.111(13). However, if a financial information report does not exist for the fiscal year before acquisition of title by the bulk assignee or bulk buyer, or accounting records cannot be obtained in good faith by the bulk assignee or the bulk buyer which would permit preparation of the required financial information report, the bulk assignee or bulk buyer is excused from the requirement of this paragraph. However, the bulk assignee or bulk buyer must include in the purchase contract the following statement in conspicuous type: 

THE FINANCIAL INFORMATION REPORT REQUIRED UNDER S. 718.111(13) FOR THE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING FISCAL YEAR OF THE ASSOCIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE OR CANNOT BE CREATED BY THE SELLER DUE TO THE INSUFFICIENT ACCOUNTING RECORDS OF THE ASSOCIATION. 

(2) Before offering any units for sale or for lease for a term exceeding 5 years, a bulk assignee must file with the division and provide to a prospective purchaser a disclosure statement that includes, but is not limited to: 

(a) A description of any rights of the developer which have been assigned to the bulk assignee or bulk buyer; 

(b) The following statement in conspicuous type: 

THE SELLER IS NOT OBLIGATED FOR ANY WARRANTIES OF THE DEVELOPER UNDER S. 718.203(1) OR S. 718.618, AS APPLICABLE, EXCEPT FOR DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, DEVELOPMENT, OR REPAIR WORK PERFORMED BY OR ON BEHALF OF SELLER; and 

(c) If the CIC is a conversion subject to part VI, the following statement in conspicuous type: 

THE SELLER HAS NO OBLIGATION TO FUND CONVERTER RESERVES OR TO PROVIDE CONVERTER WARRANTIES UNDER S. 718.618 ON ANY PORTION OF THE CIC PROPERTY EXCEPT AS MAY BE EXPRESSLY REQUIRED OF THE SELLER IN THE CONTRACT FOR PURCHASE AND SALE EXECUTED BY THE SELLER AND THE PREVIOUS DEVELOPER AND PERTAINING TO ANY DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, DEVELOPMENT, OR REPAIR WORK PERFORMED BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE SELLER. 

(3) A bulk assignee, while it is in control of the board of administration of the association, may not authorize, on behalf of the association: 

(a) The waiver of reserves or the reduction of funding of the reserves pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(f)2., unless approved by a majority of the voting interests not controlled by the developer, bulk assignee, and bulk buyer; or 

(b) The use of reserve expenditures for other purposes pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(f)3., unless approved by a majority of the voting interests not controlled by the developer, bulk assignee, and bulk buyer.

(4) A bulk assignee or a bulk buyer must comply with all the requirements of s. 718.302 regarding any contracts entered into by the association during the period the bulk assignee or bulk buyer maintains control of the board of administration. Unit owners shall be afforded all the protections contained in s. 718.302 regarding agreements entered into by the association before unit owners other than the developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer elected a majority of the board of administration. 

(5) A bulk buyer must comply with the requirements contained in the declaration regarding any transfer of a unit, including sales, leases, and subleases. A bulk buyer is not entitled to any exemptions afforded a developer or successor developer under this chapter regarding the transfer of a unit, including sales, leases, or subleases. 

718.707 Time limitation for classification as bulk assignee or bulk buyer.

—A person acquiring CIC parcels may not be classified as a bulk assignee or bulk buyer unless the CIC parcels were acquired before July 1, 2012. The date of such acquisition shall be determined by the date of recording of a deed or other instrument of conveyance for such parcels in the public records of the county in which the CIC is located, or by the date of issuance of a certificate of title in a foreclosure proceeding with respect to such CIC parcels.

718.708 Liability of developers and others.

—An assignment of developer rights to a bulk assignee or bulk buyer does not release the original developer from liabilities under the declaration or this chapter. This part does not limit the liability of the original developer for claims brought by unit owners, bulk assignees, or bulk buyers for violations of this chapter by the original developer, unless specifically excluded in this part. This part does not waive, release, compromise, or limit liability established under this chapter except as specifically excluded under this part.

 




 
   
Top