(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 administration and specifying the powers, duties, manner of selection and removal, and compensation, if any, of officers and boards. In the absence of such a provision, the board of administration shall be composed of five members, unless the condominium has five or fewer units. The board shall consist of not fewer than three members in condominiums with five or fewer units that are not-for-profit corporations. In the absence of provisions to the contrary in the bylaws, the board of administration shall have a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall perform the duties of such officers customarily performed by officers of corporations. Unless prohibited in the bylaws, the board of administration may appoint other officers and grant them the duties it deems appropriate. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the officers shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the board of administration. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the members of the board shall serve without compensation.
2. When a unit owner of a residential condominium files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days after receipt of the inquiry. The board’s response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within 10 days after its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the board from recovering attorney fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry. The association may through its board of administration adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries, one of which may be that the association is only obligated to respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as applicable.
(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 is a majority of the voting interests. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws, and except as provided in subparagraph (d)4., decisions shall be made by a majority of the voting interests represented at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
2. Except as specifically otherwise provided herein, unit owners in a residential condominium may not vote by general proxy, but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division. A voting interest or consent right allocated to a unit owned by the association may not be exercised or considered for any purpose, whether for a quorum, an election, or otherwise. 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 declaration 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. Except as provided in paragraph (d), a proxy, limited or general, may not be used in the election of board members in a residential condominium. General proxies may be used for other matters for which limited proxies are not required, and may be used in voting for nonsubstantive changes to items for which a limited proxy is required and given. Notwithstanding this subparagraph, unit owners may vote in person at unit owner meetings. This subparagraph does not limit the use of general proxies or require the use of limited proxies for any agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare condominium association or a nonresidential condominium association. 13. A proxy given is effective only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned meetings thereof. A proxy is not valid longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given. Each proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the unit owner executing it.
4. A member of the board of administration or a committee may submit in writing his or her agreement or disagreement with any action taken at a meeting that the member did not attend. This agreement or disagreement may not be used as a vote for or against the action taken or to create a quorum.
5. A board or committee member’s participation in a meeting via telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication counts toward a quorum, and such member may vote as if physically present. A speaker must be used so that the conversation of such members may be heard by the board or committee members attending in person as well as by any unit owners present at a meeting.
(c) Board of administration meetings.—Meetings of the board of administration at which a quorum of the members is present are open to all unit owners. Members of the board of administration may use e-mail as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on an association matter via e-mail. A unit owner may tape record or videotape the meetings. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items. The division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the tape recording and videotaping of the meeting. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements.
1. Adequate notice of all board meetings, which must specifically identify all agenda items, must be posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 48 continuous hours before the meeting except in an emergency. If 20 percent of the voting interests petition the board to address an item of business, the board, within 60 days after receipt of the petition, shall place the item on the agenda at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. An item not included on the notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by a vote of at least a majority plus one of the board members. Such emergency action must be noticed and ratified at the next regular board meeting. Written notice of a meeting at which a nonemergency special assessment or an amendment to rules regarding unit use will be considered must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 14 days before the meeting. Evidence of compliance with this 14-day notice requirement must be made by an affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed with the official records of the association. Notice of any meeting in which regular or special assessments against unit owners are to be considered must specifically state that assessments will be considered and provide the estimated cost and description of the purposes for such assessments. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location on the condominium property where all notices of board meetings must be posted. If there is no condominium property where notices can be posted, notices shall be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days before the meeting. In lieu of or in addition to the physical posting of the notice on the condominium property, the association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice physically posted on condominium property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of the notice and the agenda. In addition to any of the authorized means of providing notice of a meeting of the board, the association may, by rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting the meeting notice and the agenda on a website serving the condominium association for at least the minimum period of time for which a notice of a meeting is also required to be physically posted on the condominium property. Any rule adopted shall, in addition to other matters, include a requirement that the association send an electronic notice in the same manner as a notice for a meeting of the members, which must include a hyperlink to the website where the notice is posted, to unit owners whose e-mail addresses are included in the association’s official records.
2. Meetings of a committee to take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget are subject to this paragraph. Meetings of a committee that does not take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget are subject to this section, unless those meetings are exempted from this section by the bylaws of the association.
3. Notwithstanding any other law, the requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open to the unit owners does not apply to:
a. Meetings between the board or a committee and the association’s attorney, with respect to proposed or pending litigation, if the meeting is held for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice; or
b. Board meetings held for the purpose of discussing personnel matters.
(d) Unit owner meetings.—
1. An annual meeting of the unit owners must be held at the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting must be held within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium.
2. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director’s term must be filled by electing a new board member, and the election must be by secret ballot. An election is not required if the number of vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “candidate” means an eligible person who has timely submitted the written notice, as described in sub-subparagraph 4.a., of his or her intention to become a candidate. Except in a timeshare or nonresidential condominium, or if the staggered term of a board member does not expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws. Board members may serve terms longer than 1 year if permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation. A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive years unless approved by an affirmative vote of unit owners representing two-thirds of all votes cast in the election or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy. If the number of board members whose terms expire at the annual meeting equals or exceeds the number of candidates, the candidates become members of the board effective upon the adjournment of the annual meeting. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, any remaining vacancies shall be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the directors making up the newly constituted board even if the directors constitute less than a quorum or there is only one director. In a residential condominium association of more than 10 units or in a residential condominium association that does not include timeshare units or timeshare interests, coowners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time unless they own more than one unit or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy. A unit owner in a residential condominium desiring to be a candidate for board membership must comply with sub-subparagraph 4.a. and must be eligible to be a candidate to serve on the board of directors at the time of the deadline for submitting a notice of intent to run in order to have his or her name listed as a proper candidate on the ballot or to serve on the board. A person who has been suspended or removed by the division under this chapter, or who is delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the association, is not eligible to be a candidate for board membership and may not be listed on the ballot. A person who has been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction which 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 5 years as of the date 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 board member is ineligible for board membership due to having been convicted of a felony. This subparagraph does not limit the term of a member of the board of a nonresidential or timeshare condominium.
3. The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice must include an agenda, must 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 condominium property at least 14 continuous days before the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location on the condominium property where all notices of unit owner meetings must be posted. This requirement does not apply if there is no condominium property for posting notices. In lieu of, or in addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted physically on the condominium property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of the notice and the agenda. In addition to any of the authorized means of providing notice of a meeting of the board, the association may, by rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting the meeting notice and the agenda on a website serving the condominium association for at least the minimum period of time for which a notice of a meeting is also required to be physically posted on the condominium property. Any rule adopted shall, in addition to other matters, include a requirement that the association send an electronic notice in the same manner as a notice for a meeting of the members, which must include a hyperlink to the website where the notice is posted, to unit owners whose e-mail addresses are included in the association’s official records. Unless a unit owner waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual meeting, such notice must be hand delivered, mailed, or electronically transmitted to each unit owner. Notice for meetings and notice for all other purposes must be mailed to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the association must provide notice to the address that the developer identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or more of the owners of the unit 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 deed of record. An officer of the association, or the manager or other person providing notice of the association meeting, must provide an affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of mailing, to be included in the official records of the association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand delivered in accordance with this provision.
4. The members of the board of a residential condominium shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. 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. This subparagraph does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. a. At least 60 days before a scheduled election, the association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, by separate association mailing or included in another association mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a first notice of the date of the election. A unit owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election. Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in subparagraph 3., 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 candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election, must 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. The division shall by rule establish voting procedures consistent with this sub-subparagraph, 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 ballots cast. There is no quorum requirement; however, at least 20 percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to have a valid election. A unit owner may not authorize any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any ballots improperly cast are invalid. A 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 such assistance. The regular election must occur on the date of the annual meeting. Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, an election is not required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or are nominated than board vacancies exist.
b. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. In lieu of this written certification, within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered by a division-approved condominium education provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of election or appointment. The written certification or educational certificate is valid and does not have to be resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without interruption. A director of an association of a residential condominium who fails to timely file the written certification or educational certificate is suspended from service on the board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain a director’s written certification or educational certificate for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s election or the duration of the director’s uninterrupted tenure, whichever is longer. Failure to have such written certification or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity of any board action.
c. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are announced.
5. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), must be made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and is subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that unit owners may take action by written agreement, without meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law that provides for such action.
6. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law. Notice of meetings of the board of administration, unit owner meetings, except unit owner meetings called to recall board members under paragraph (j), and committee meetings may be given by electronic transmission to unit owners who consent to receive notice by electronic transmission. A unit owner who consents to receiving notices by electronic transmission is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of mass emails sent to members on behalf of the association in the course of giving electronic notices.
7. Unit owners have the right to participate in meetings of unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items. However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
8. A unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the division.
9. 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 sub-subparagraph 4.a. unless the association governs 10 units or fewer and has opted out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
10. This chapter does not limit the use of general or limited proxies, require the use of general or limited proxies, or require the use of a written ballot or voting machine for any agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare condominium association or nonresidential condominium association.
Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)2. and sub-subparagraph 4.a., an association of 10 or fewer units may, by affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests, provide for different voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election procedures. The different voting and election procedures may provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy.
(e) Budget meeting.—
1. Any meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be considered by the board or unit owners shall be open to all unit owners. At least 14 days prior to such a meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or electronically transmit to the location furnished by the unit owner for that purpose a notice of such meeting and a copy of the proposed annual budget. An officer or manager of the association, or other 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.a. If a board adopts in any fiscal year an annual budget which requires assessments against unit owners which exceed 115 percent of assessments 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 all voting interests. The special meeting shall be conducted within 60 days after adoption of the annual budget. At least 14 days prior to such special meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association, a notice of the meeting. An officer or manager of the association, or other person providing notice of such meeting shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with this 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 unless the bylaws require adoption by a greater percentage of 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 assessments exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year shall exclude any authorized provision for reasonable reserves for repair or replacement of the condominium property, anticipated expenses of the association which the board does not expect to be incurred on a regular or annual basis, or assessments for betterments to the condominium property.
c. If the developer controls the board, assessments shall not exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year unless approved by a majority of all voting interests.
(f) Annual budget.— 1. The proposed annual budget of estimated revenues and expenses must be detailed and must show the amounts budgeted by accounts and expense classifications, including, at a minimum, any applicable expenses listed in s. 718.504(21). A multicondominium association shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for each condominium 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 to it must show the amount budgeted for this maintenance. 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.a. In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget must include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. These accounts must include, but are not limited to, roof replacement, building painting, and pavement resurfacing, regardless of the amount of deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost, and any other item that has a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost that exceeds $10,000. The amount to be reserved must be computed using a formula based upon estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of each reserve item. The association may adjust replacement reserve assessments annually to take into account any changes in estimates or extension of the useful life of a reserve item caused by deferred maintenance. This subsection does not apply to an adopted budget in which the members of an association have determined, by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association, to provide no reserves or less reserves than required by this subsection.
b. Before turnover of control of an association by a developer to unit owners other than a developer pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer may vote the voting interests allocated to its units to waive the reserves or reduce the funding of reserves through the period expiring at the end of the second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s. 718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such unit is recorded, whichever occurs first, after which time reserves may be waived or reduced only upon the vote of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of the association. If a meeting of the unit owners has been called to determine whether to waive or reduce the funding of reserves and no such result is achieved or a quorum is not attained, the reserves included in the budget shall go into effect. After the turnover, the developer may vote its voting interest to waive or reduce the funding of reserves. 3. Reserve funds and any interest accruing thereon shall remain in the reserve account or accounts, and may 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. Before 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 may not vote to use reserves for purposes other than those for which they were intended without the approval of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests, voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of the association.
4. The only voting interests that are eligible to vote on questions that involve waiving or reducing the funding of reserves, or using existing reserve funds for purposes other than purposes for which the reserves were intended, are the voting interests of the units subject to assessment to fund the reserves in question. Proxy questions relating to waiving or reducing the funding of reserves or using existing reserve funds for purposes other than purposes for which the reserves were intended must 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 MAY RESULT IN UNIT OWNER LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT OF UNANTICIPATED SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS REGARDING THOSE ITEMS.
(g) 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 which is not less than that required to provide funds in advance for payment of all of the anticipated current operating expenses and for all of the 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.
(h) Amendment of bylaws.—
1. The method by which the bylaws may be amended consistent with the provisions of this chapter shall be stated. If the bylaws fail to provide a method of amendment, the bylaws may be amended if the amendment is approved by the owners of not less than two-thirds of the voting interests.
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 lined through with hyphens. 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 hyphens 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.
(i) Transfer fees.—No charge shall be made by the association or any body thereof in connection with the sale, mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit unless the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles, or bylaws. Any such fee may be preset, but in no event may such fee exceed $100 per applicant other than husband/wife or parent/dependent child, which are considered one applicant. However, if the lease or sublease is a renewal of a lease or sublease with the same lessee or sublessee, no charge shall be made. The foregoing notwithstanding, an association may, if the authority to do so appears in the declaration 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. Payment of interest, claims against the deposit, refunds, and disputes under this paragraph shall be handled in the same fashion as provided in part II of chapter 83.
(j) Recall of board members.—Subject to s. 718.301, any member of the board of administration may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests. A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or members of the board of administration may be called by 10 percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in whole or in part for this purpose.
1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more board members. Such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately upon conclusion of the board meeting, provided that the recall is facially valid. A recalled member must turn over to the board, within 10 full business days after the vote, any and all records and property of the association in their possession.
2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in writing. Such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately upon the conclusion of the board meeting, provided that the recall is facially valid. A recalled member must turn over to the board, within 10 full business days, any and all records and property of the association in their possession.
3. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after service of an agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall turn over to the board within 10 full business days after the vote any and all records and property of the association.
4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the required meeting or at the conclusion of the meeting determines that the recall is not facially valid, the unit owner representative may file a petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act or challenging the board’s determination on facial validity. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the expiration of the applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or ballots filed.
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 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 before the recall election.
6. A board member who has been recalled may file a petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the validity of the recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the recall. The association and the unit owner representative shall be named as the respondents. The petition may challenge the facial validity of the written agreement or ballots filed or the substantial compliance with the procedural requirements for the recall. If the arbitrator determines the recall was invalid, the petitioning board member shall immediately be reinstated and the recall is null and void. A board member who is successful in challenging a recall is entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs from the respondents. The arbitrator may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the respondents if they prevail, if the arbitrator makes a finding that the petitioner’s claim is frivolous.
7. The division may not accept for filing a recall petition, whether filed pursuant to subparagraph 1., subparagraph 2., subparagraph 4., or subparagraph 6. when there are 60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be recalled.
(k) Arbitration.—There shall be a provision for mandatory nonbinding arbitration as provided for in s. 718.1255 for any residential condominium. (l) Certificate of compliance.—A provision that a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by the association’s board as evidence of compliance of the condominium units with the applicable fire and life safety code must be included. Notwithstanding chapter 633 or of any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any interpretation of the foregoing, an association, residential condominium, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements, association property, or units of a residential condominium 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 a majority of all voting interests in the affected condominium. The local authority having jurisdiction may not require completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system before January 1, 2020. By December 31, 2016, a residential condominium 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 a certificate attesting to such vote in the public records of the county where the condominium 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 requirement must be made by 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 by a unit owner to a renter before 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 condominiums, the division shall require condominium 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 condominiums that have elected to forego retrofitting.
4. Notwithstanding s. 553.509, a residential 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 condominium. (m) Common elements; limited power to convey.—
1. With respect to condominiums created on or after October 1, 1994, the bylaws shall include a provision granting the association a limited power 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.
2. In any case where the bylaws are silent as to the association’s power to convey common elements as described in subparagraph 1., the bylaws shall be deemed to include the provision described in subparagraph 1.
(n) 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 to be filled according to law.
(o) Director or officer offenses.—A director or officer charged by information or indictment with a felony theft or embezzlement offense involving the association’s funds or property 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, he or she 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 his or her term of office, if any.
(p) Service providers; conflicts of interest.—An association, which is not a timeshare condominium association, may not employ or contract with any service provider that is owned or operated by a board member or with any person who has a financial relationship with a board member or officer, or a relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood or marriage of a board member or officer. This paragraph does not apply to a service provider in which a board member or officer, or a relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood or marriage of a board member or officer, owns less than 1 percent of the equity shares.