Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 1682
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/25/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Rules (Garcia) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 68 - 1152
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
    6  subsections (3) and (9), paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection
    7  (12), and subsection (13) of section 718.111, Florida Statutes,
    8  are amended, paragraph (g) is added to subsection (12), and
    9  subsection (15) is added to that section, to read:
   10         718.111 The association.—
   11         (1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
   12         (a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the
   13  association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a
   14  Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association
   15  which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be
   16  incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or
   17  members of the association. The officers and directors of the
   18  association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It
   19  is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph
   20  shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of
   21  a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the
   22  association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or
   23  manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or
   24  service of value or kickback for which consideration has not
   25  been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her
   26  immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to
   27  provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer,
   28  director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to
   29  accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback is
   30  subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d), and if
   31  applicable, a criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d).
   32  However, this paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director,
   33  or manager from accepting services or items received in
   34  connection with trade fairs or education programs. An
   35  association may operate more than one condominium.
   36         (d) As required by s. 617.0830, an officer, director, or
   37  agent shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the
   38  care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would
   39  exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she
   40  reasonably believes to be in the interests of the association.
   41  An officer, director, or agent shall be liable for monetary
   42  damages as provided in s. 617.0834 if such officer, director, or
   43  agent breached or failed to perform his or her duties and the
   44  breach of, or failure to perform, his or her duties constitutes
   45  a violation of criminal law as provided in s. 617.0834;
   46  constitutes a transaction from which the officer or director
   47  derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or
   48  indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission
   49  that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner
   50  exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety,
   51  or property. Forgery of a ballot envelope used in a condominium
   52  association election or voting certificate is punishable as
   53  provided in s. 831.01, the theft or embezzlement of funds of a
   54  condominium association is punishable as provided in s. 812.014,
   55  and destruction of any document that is an official record of a
   56  condominium association in furtherance of any crime is
   57  punishable as tampering with evidence as provided in s. 918.13
   58  or as obstruction of justice as provided in s. 843.02. An
   59  officer or director charged by information or indictment with a
   60  crime referenced in this paragraph must be removed from office,
   61  and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in s.
   62  718.112(2)(d)2. until the earlier of the end of the officer’s or
   63  director’s period of suspension or the end of his or her term of
   64  office. While a criminal charge is pending against the officer
   65  or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected to a
   66  position as an officer or director of any association and may
   67  not have access to the official records of any association,
   68  except pursuant to a court order. However, if the charges are
   69  resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director
   70  must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of
   71  office, if any.
   74         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
   75  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
   76  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
   77  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
   78  condominium property. After control of the association is
   79  obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the
   80  association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions
   81  or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
   82  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
   83  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
   84  structural components of a building or other improvements;
   85  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
   86  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
   87  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
   88  and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and
   89  on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring
   90  inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the
   91  authority to maintain a class action, the association may be
   92  joined in an action as representative of that class with
   93  reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for
   94  which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein
   95  limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit
   96  owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without
   97  participation by the association which may otherwise be
   98  available.
   99         (b)An association may not hire an attorney who represents
  100  the management company of the association.
  101         (9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.—The association has the power,
  102  unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation,
  103  or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the
  104  condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey
  105  them. There shall be no limitation on the association’s right to
  106  purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
  107  association’s foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or
  108  to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure. However, except
  109  for a timeshare condominium, a board member, manager, or
  110  management company may not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale
  111  resulting from the association’s foreclosure of its lien for
  112  unpaid assessments or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
  113         (12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.—
  114         (a) From the inception of the association, the association
  115  shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which
  116  constitutes the official records of the association:
  117         1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other
  118  items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
  119         2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium
  120  of each condominium operated by the association and each
  121  amendment to each declaration.
  122         3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association
  123  and each amendment to the bylaws.
  124         4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the
  125  association, or other documents creating the association, and
  126  each amendment thereto.
  127         5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
  128         6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings
  129  of the association, the board of administration, and the unit
  130  owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.
  131         7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing
  132  addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if
  133  known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain
  134  the electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers of unit
  135  owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission.
  136  The electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers are not
  137  accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by
  138  electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with sub
  139  subparagraph (c)5.e. subparagraph (c)5. However, the association
  140  is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the electronic
  141  mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic
  142  transmission of notices.
  143         8. All current insurance policies of the association and
  144  condominiums operated by the association.
  145         9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or
  146  other contract to which the association is a party or under
  147  which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or
  148  responsibility.
  149         10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the
  150  association.
  151         11. Accounting records for the association and separate
  152  accounting records for each condominium that the association
  153  operates. All accounting records must be maintained for at least
  154  7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  155  destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails
  156  to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing
  157  harm to the association or one or more of its members, is
  158  personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s.
  159  718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not
  160  limited to:
  161         a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts
  162  and expenditures.
  163         b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly
  164  statement of the account for each unit designating the name of
  165  the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the
  166  amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
  167         c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and
  168  financial reports of the association or condominium.
  169         d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to
  170  be performed are also considered official records and must be
  171  maintained by the association.
  172         12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other
  173  papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be
  174  maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or
  175  meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph
  176  (b).
  177         13. All rental records if the association is acting as
  178  agent for the rental of condominium units.
  179         14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as
  180  described in s. 718.504.
  181         15. All other written records of the association not
  182  specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the
  183  operation of the association.
  184         16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s.
  185  718.301(4)(p).
  186         17.Bids for materials, equipment, or services.
  187         (c)1. The official records of the association are open to
  188  inspection by any association member or the authorized
  189  representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right
  190  to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain
  191  copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member or
  192  authorized representative of such member. A renter of a unit has
  193  a right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules.
  194  The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the
  195  frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record
  196  inspections and copying. The failure of an association to
  197  provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a
  198  written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the
  199  association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A
  200  unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled
  201  to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s
  202  willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar
  203  day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after
  204  receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection
  205  entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to
  206  recover reasonable attorney fees from the person in control of
  207  the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access
  208  to the records.
  209         2. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or
  210  destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to
  211  be maintained during the period for which such records are
  212  required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally
  213  fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required
  214  to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to
  215  the association or one or more of its members, is personally
  216  subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
  217         3. The association shall maintain an adequate number of
  218  copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
  219  and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well
  220  as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and
  221  year-end financial information required under this section, on
  222  the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit
  223  owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual
  224  costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those
  225  requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or
  226  his or her authorized representative to use a portable device,
  227  including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other
  228  technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an
  229  electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the
  230  association’s providing the member or his or her authorized
  231  representative with a copy of such records. The association may
  232  not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for
  233  the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph,
  234  the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
  235         a.1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  236  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  237  product privilege, including a record prepared by an association
  238  attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which
  239  reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy,
  240  or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which
  241  was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for
  242  adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in
  243  anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the
  244  conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
  245         b.2. Information obtained by an association in connection
  246  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  247  unit.
  248         c.3. Personnel records of association or management company
  249  employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll,
  250  health, and insurance records. For purposes of this sub
  251  subparagraph subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not
  252  include written employment agreements with an association
  253  employee or management company, or budgetary or financial
  254  records that indicate the compensation paid to an association
  255  employee.
  256         d.4. Medical records of unit owners.
  257         e.5. Social security numbers, driver license numbers,
  258  credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers,
  259  facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a
  260  unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s
  261  notice requirements, and other personal identifying information
  262  of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation,
  263  mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail
  264  address, or facsimile number provided to the association to
  265  fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding
  266  the restrictions in this sub-subparagraph subparagraph, an
  267  association may print and distribute to parcel owners a
  268  directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone
  269  numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his
  270  or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in
  271  writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to
  272  the disclosure of other contact information described in this
  273  sub-subparagraph subparagraph. The association is not liable for
  274  the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected
  275  under this sub-subparagraph subparagraph if the information is
  276  included in an official record of the association and is
  277  voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the
  278  association.
  279         f.6. Electronic security measures that are used by the
  280  association to safeguard data, including passwords.
  281         g.7. The software and operating system used by the
  282  association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the
  283  owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association.
  284  The data is part of the official records of the association.
  285         (g)1.By July 1, 2018, an association with 150 or more
  286  units which does not manage timeshare units shall post digital
  287  copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its
  288  website.
  289         a.The association’s website must be:
  290         (I)An independent website or web portal wholly owned and
  291  operated by the association; or
  292         (II)A website or web portal operated by a third-party
  293  provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or
  294  otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web
  295  portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to
  296  the association’s activities and on which required notices,
  297  records, and documents may be posted by the association.
  298         b.The association’s website must be accessible through the
  299  Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other
  300  protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the
  301  general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees
  302  of the association.
  303         c.Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association
  304  must provide the unit owner with a username and password and
  305  access to the protected sections of the association’s website
  306  that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be
  307  electronically provided.
  308         2.A current copy of the following documents must be posted
  309  in digital format on the association’s website:
  310         a.The recorded declaration of condominium of each
  311  condominium operated by the association and each amendment to
  312  each declaration.
  313         b.The recorded bylaws of the association and each
  314  amendment to the bylaws.
  315         c.The articles of incorporation of the association, or
  316  other documents creating the association, and each amendment
  317  thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must
  318  be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the
  319  Department of State.
  320         d.The rules of the association.
  321         e.Any management agreement, lease, or other contract to
  322  which the association is a party or under which the association
  323  or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
  324  Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services must be
  325  maintained on the website for 1 year.
  326         f.The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any
  327  proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
  328         g.The financial report required by subsection (13) and any
  329  proposed financial report to be considered at a meeting.
  330         h.The certification of each director required by s.
  331  718.112(2)(d)4.b.
  332         i.All contracts or transactions between the association
  333  and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association
  334  that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other
  335  entity in which an association director is also a director or
  336  officer and financially interested.
  337         j.Any contract or document regarding a conflict of
  338  interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss.
  339  468.436(2) and 718.3026(3).
  340         k.The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for
  341  the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14
  342  days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view
  343  on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of
  344  the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and
  345  linked from the front page. The association must also post on
  346  its website any document to be considered and voted on by the
  347  owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda
  348  at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the
  349  information within the document will be considered.
  350         l.Notice of any board meeting, and the agenda and any
  351  other document required for the meeting as required by s.
  352  718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date
  353  required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
  354         3.The association shall ensure that the information and
  355  records described in paragraph (c), which are not permitted to
  356  be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the
  357  association’s website. If protected information or information
  358  restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in
  359  documents that are required to be posted on the association’s
  360  website, the association shall ensure the information is
  361  redacted before posting the documents online.
  362         (13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of
  363  the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws,
  364  the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the
  365  preparation and completion of, a financial report for the
  366  preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial
  367  report is completed by the association or received from the
  368  third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the
  369  fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the
  370  association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last
  371  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver
  372  to each unit owner, a copy of the most recent financial report
  373  or a notice that a copy of the most recent financial report will
  374  be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge,
  375  within 5 business days after upon receipt of a written request
  376  from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting
  377  forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by
  378  all associations and addressing the financial reporting
  379  requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must
  380  include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a
  381  summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate
  382  disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be
  383  necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each
  384  reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This
  385  disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling
  386  method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the
  387  number of members and annual revenues of an association.
  388  Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
  389         (a) An association that meets the criteria of this
  390  paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements
  391  in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The
  392  financial statements must be based upon the association’s total
  393  annual revenues, as follows:
  394         1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or
  395  more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial
  396  statements.
  397         2. An association with total annual revenues of at least
  398  $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed
  399  financial statements.
  400         3. An association with total annual revenues of $500,000 or
  401  more shall prepare audited financial statements.
  402         (b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less
  403  than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and
  404  expenditures.
  405         2. An association that operates fewer than 50 units,
  406  regardless of the association’s annual revenues, shall prepare a
  407  report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial
  408  statements required by paragraph (a).
  409         3. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must
  410  disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt
  411  classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and
  412  expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the
  413  following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and
  414  management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation
  415  facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services,
  416  expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and
  417  repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and
  418  reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures,
  419  deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the
  420  association maintains reserves.
  421         (c) An association may prepare, without a meeting of or
  422  approval by the unit owners:
  423         1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if
  424  the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts
  425  and expenditures;
  426         2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the
  427  association is required to prepare compiled financial
  428  statements; or
  429         3. Audited financial statements if the association is
  430  required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
  431         (d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests
  432  present at a properly called meeting of the association, an
  433  association may prepare:
  434         1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a
  435  compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
  436         2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled
  437  financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial
  438  statement; or
  439         3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled
  440  financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu
  441  of an audited financial statement.
  443  Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the
  444  fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which
  445  the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be
  446  effective for the following fiscal year. If the developer has
  447  not turned over control of the association, all unit owners,
  448  including the developer, may vote on issues related to the
  449  preparation of the association’s financial reports, from the
  450  date of incorporation of the association through the end of the
  451  second fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the
  452  certificate of a surveyor and mapper is recorded pursuant to s.
  453  718.104(4)(e) or an instrument that transfers title to a unit in
  454  the condominium which is not accompanied by a recorded
  455  assignment of developer rights in favor of the grantee of such
  456  unit is recorded, whichever occurs first. Thereafter, all unit
  457  owners except the developer may vote on such issues until
  458  control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any
  459  audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by
  460  the developer if done before turnover of control of the
  461  association. An association may not waive the financial
  462  reporting requirements of this section for more than 3
  463  consecutive years.
  464         (e)If the division determines that an association has not
  465  mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner a copy of the most
  466  recent financial report within 5 business days after receipt of
  467  a written request from the unit owner, the unit owner may give
  468  notice to the division of the association’s failure to comply.
  469  Upon notification, the division shall give notice to the
  470  association that the association must mail or hand deliver the
  471  copy of the most recent financial report to the unit owner and
  472  the division within 5 business days after such notice. Any
  473  association that fails to comply with the division’s request may
  474  not waive the financial reporting requirement provided in
  475  paragraph (d). A financial report received by the division
  476  pursuant to this paragraph shall be maintained, and the division
  477  shall provide a copy of such report to an association member
  478  upon his or her request.
  479         (15) DEBIT CARDS.—An association or any officer, director,
  480  employee, or agent of an association may not use a debit card
  481  issued in the name of the association, or which is billed
  482  directly to the association, for the payment of any association
  483  expense. Use of a debit card issued in the name of the
  484  association or billed directly to the association for any
  485  expense that is not a lawful obligation of the association may
  486  be prosecuted as credit card fraud pursuant to s. 817.61.
  487         Section 2. In order to implement the website requirement in
  488  section 1 of this act, the Department of Business and
  489  Professional Regulation is directed to include in the next
  490  condominium association annual fee statement required by s.
  491  718.501(2)(a), Florida Statutes, a notice informing condominium
  492  associations of 150 or more units of the requirement to create a
  493  website for association documents which is operational no later
  494  than July 1, 2018.
  495         Section 3. Paragraphs (d) and (j) of subsection (2) of
  496  section 718.112, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
  497  (p) is added to that subsection, to read:
  498         718.112 Bylaws.—
  499         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  500  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  501  the following:
  502         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  503         1. An annual meeting of the unit owners shall be held at
  504  the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  505  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  506  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  507  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  508  a timeshare condominium.
  509         2. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the
  510  board caused by the expiration of a director’s term shall be
  511  filled by electing a new board member, and the election must be
  512  by secret ballot. An election is not required if the number of
  513  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates. For
  514  purposes of this paragraph, the term “candidate” means an
  515  eligible person who has timely submitted the written notice, as
  516  described in sub-subparagraph 4.a., of his or her intention to
  517  become a candidate. Except in a timeshare or nonresidential
  518  condominium, or if the staggered term of a board member does not
  519  expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms
  520  would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of
  521  all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members
  522  may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws. If the
  523  bylaws or articles of incorporation permit terms of no more than
  524  2 years, the association Board members may serve 2-year terms if
  525  permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation. A board
  526  member may not serve more than 4 consecutive 2-year terms,
  527  unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the
  528  total voting interests of the association or unless there are
  529  not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the
  530  board at the time of the vacancy. If the number of board members
  531  whose terms expire at the annual meeting equals or exceeds the
  532  number of candidates, the candidates become members of the board
  533  effective upon the adjournment of the annual meeting. Unless the
  534  bylaws provide otherwise, any remaining vacancies shall be
  535  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the directors
  536  making up the newly constituted board even if the directors
  537  constitute less than a quorum or there is only one director. In
  538  a residential condominium association of more than 10 units or
  539  in a residential condominium association that does not include
  540  timeshare units or timeshare interests, coowners of a unit may
  541  not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time
  542  unless they own more than one unit or unless there are not
  543  enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at
  544  the time of the vacancy. A unit owner in a residential
  545  condominium desiring to be a candidate for board membership must
  546  comply with sub-subparagraph 4.a. and must be eligible to be a
  547  candidate to serve on the board of directors at the time of the
  548  deadline for submitting a notice of intent to run in order to
  549  have his or her name listed as a proper candidate on the ballot
  550  or to serve on the board. A person who has been suspended or
  551  removed by the division under this chapter, or who is delinquent
  552  in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the
  553  association, is not eligible to be a candidate for board
  554  membership and may not be listed on the ballot. A person who has
  555  been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States
  556  District or Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any
  557  offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a
  558  felony if committed in this state, is not eligible for board
  559  membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored
  560  for at least 5 years as of the date such person seeks election
  561  to the board. The validity of an action by the board is not
  562  affected if it is later determined that a board member is
  563  ineligible for board membership due to having been convicted of
  564  a felony. This subparagraph does not limit the term of a member
  565  of the board of a nonresidential or timeshare condominium.
  566         3. The bylaws must provide the method of calling meetings
  567  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice must
  568  include an agenda, must be mailed, hand delivered, or
  569  electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days
  570  before the annual meeting, and must be posted in a conspicuous
  571  place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days
  572  before the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the
  573  board shall, by duly adopted rule, designate a specific location
  574  on the condominium property or association property where all
  575  notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted. This requirement
  576  does not apply if there is no condominium property or
  577  association property for posting notices. In lieu of, or in
  578  addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the
  579  association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for
  580  conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and
  581  the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving
  582  the condominium association. However, if broadcast notice is
  583  used in lieu of a notice posted physically on the condominium
  584  property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four
  585  times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is
  586  otherwise required under this section. If broadcast notice is
  587  provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner
  588  and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an
  589  average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the
  590  entire content of the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner
  591  waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual
  592  meeting, such notice must be hand delivered, mailed, or
  593  electronically transmitted to each unit owner. Notice for
  594  meetings and notice for all other purposes must be mailed to
  595  each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association
  596  by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner.
  597  However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the
  598  association must provide notice to the address that the
  599  developer identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or
  600  more of the owners of the unit advise the association in
  601  writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do
  602  not agree, to the address provided on the deed of record. An
  603  officer of the association, or the manager or other person
  604  providing notice of the association meeting, must provide an
  605  affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of
  606  mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  607  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  608  delivered in accordance with this provision.
  609         4. The members of the board of a residential condominium
  610  shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies
  611  may not be used in electing the board in general elections or
  612  elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or
  613  otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. This
  614  subparagraph does not apply to an association governing a
  615  timeshare condominium.
  616         a. At least 60 days before a scheduled election, the
  617  association shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit, by
  618  separate association mailing or included in another association
  619  mailing, delivery, or transmission, including regularly
  620  published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a
  621  first notice of the date of the election. A unit owner or other
  622  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  623  give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to
  624  the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election.
  625  Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in
  626  subparagraph 3., the association shall mail, deliver, or
  627  electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all
  628  unit owners entitled to vote, together with a ballot that lists
  629  all candidates. Upon request of a candidate, an information
  630  sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be
  631  furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election,
  632  must be included with the mailing, delivery, or transmission of
  633  the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic
  634  transmission and copying to be borne by the association. The
  635  association is not liable for the contents of the information
  636  sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the
  637  association may print or duplicate the information sheets on
  638  both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish
  639  voting procedures consistent with this sub-subparagraph,
  640  including rules establishing procedures for giving notice by
  641  electronic transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of
  642  ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of ballots
  643  cast. There is no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
  644  percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
  645  have a valid election. A unit owner may not permit any other
  646  person to vote his or her ballot, and any ballots improperly
  647  cast are invalid. A unit owner who violates this provision may
  648  be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A
  649  unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the
  650  reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain such assistance. The
  651  regular election must occur on the date of the annual meeting.
  652  Notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph, an election is not
  653  required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or
  654  are nominated than board vacancies exist.
  655         b. Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the
  656  board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly
  657  elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the
  658  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  659  association’s declaration of condominium, articles of
  660  incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
  661  she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
  662  of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
  663  discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  664  association’s members. In lieu of this written certification,
  665  within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board,
  666  the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate
  667  of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum
  668  administered by a division-approved condominium education
  669  provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of
  670  election or appointment. The written certification or
  671  educational certificate is valid and does not have to be
  672  resubmitted as long as the director serves on the board without
  673  interruption. A director of an association of a residential
  674  condominium who fails to timely file the written certification
  675  or educational certificate is suspended from service on the
  676  board until he or she complies with this sub-subparagraph. The
  677  board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of
  678  suspension. The secretary shall cause the association to retain
  679  a director’s written certification or educational certificate
  680  for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s
  681  election or the duration of the director’s uninterrupted tenure,
  682  whichever is longer. Failure to have such written certification
  683  or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity
  684  of any board action.
  685         c. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced
  686  within 60 days after the election results are announced.
  687         5. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  688  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  689  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), must be
  690  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and is subject to
  691  all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium
  692  documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that
  693  unit owners may take action by written agreement, without
  694  meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement
  695  without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws
  696  or declaration or any law that provides for such action.
  697         6. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  698  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any law.
  699  Notice of meetings of the board of administration, unit owner
  700  meetings, except unit owner meetings called to recall board
  701  members under paragraph (j), and committee meetings may be given
  702  by electronic transmission to unit owners who consent to receive
  703  notice by electronic transmission.
  704         7. Unit owners have the right to participate in meetings of
  705  unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items.
  706  However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing
  707  the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
  708         8. A unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  709  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  710  division.
  711         9. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  712  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  713  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  714  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  715  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  716  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  717  the election procedures must conform to sub-subparagraph 4.a.
  718  unless the association governs 10 units or fewer and has opted
  719  out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws
  720  of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the
  721  bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section
  722  shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being
  723  filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by
  724  paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
  725         10. This chapter does not limit the use of general or
  726  limited proxies, require the use of general or limited proxies,
  727  or require the use of a written ballot or voting machine for any
  728  agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
  729  condominium association or nonresidential condominium
  730  association.
  732  Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)2. and sub-subparagraph 4.a., an
  733  association of 10 or fewer units may, by affirmative vote of a
  734  majority of the total voting interests, provide for different
  735  voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a
  736  proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election
  737  procedures. The different voting and election procedures may
  738  provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general
  739  proxy.
  740         (j) Recall of board members.—Subject to s. 718.301, any
  741  member of the board of administration may be recalled and
  742  removed from office with or without cause by the vote or
  743  agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests.
  744  A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or
  745  members of the board of administration may be called by 10
  746  percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as
  747  required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall
  748  state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may
  749  not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in
  750  whole or in part for this purpose.
  751         1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting
  752  interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective
  753  as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and
  754  hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the
  755  adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more
  756  board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify
  757  the recall, in which case Such member or members shall be
  758  recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board
  759  within 10 5 full business days after the vote any and all
  760  records and property of the association in their possession, or
  761  shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
  762         2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by
  763  a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or
  764  a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified
  765  mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter
  766  48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of
  767  administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board
  768  within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in
  769  writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the
  770  written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in
  771  which case Such member or members shall be recalled effective
  772  immediately and shall turn over to the board within 10 5 full
  773  business days any and all records and property of the
  774  association in their possession, or proceed as described in
  775  subparagraph 3.
  776         3.If the board determines not to certify the written
  777  agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or does
  778  not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, the board shall,
  779  within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the
  780  division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures
  781  in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit
  782  owners who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in
  783  writing shall constitute one party under the petition for
  784  arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any
  785  member or members of the board, the recall will be effective
  786  upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the
  787  association. If the association fails to comply with the order
  788  of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s.
  789  718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the
  790  board any and all records of the association in their possession
  791  within 5 full business days after the effective date of the
  792  recall.
  793         3.4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board
  794  meeting within 5 full business days after service of an
  795  agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the
  796  adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall
  797  be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall
  798  immediately turn over to the board within 10 full business days
  799  after the vote any and all records and property of the
  800  association.
  801         4.5. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the
  802  required meeting or fails to file the required petition, the
  803  unit owner representative may file a petition pursuant to s.
  804  718.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act. The petition
  805  must be filed within 60 days after the expiration of the
  806  applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition
  807  under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service
  808  on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or
  809  ballots filed.
  810         5.6. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a
  811  recall or removal and less than a majority of the board members
  812  are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote
  813  of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any
  814  provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If
  815  vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a
  816  majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies
  817  shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be
  818  adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with
  819  this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the
  820  conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the
  821  association during the period after a recall but before the
  822  recall election.
  823         6.7. A board member who has been recalled may file a
  824  petition pursuant to s. 718.1255 challenging the validity of the
  825  recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the
  826  recall is deemed certified. The association and the unit owner
  827  representative shall be named as the respondents.
  828         7.8. The division may not accept for filing a recall
  829  petition, whether filed pursuant to subparagraph 1.,
  830  subparagraph 2., subparagraph 4. 5., or subparagraph 6. 7. and
  831  regardless of whether the recall was certified, when there are
  832  60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board
  833  member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have
  834  elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be
  835  recalled.
  836         (p)Service providers; conflicts of interest.—An
  837  association that is not a timeshare condominium association may
  838  not employ or contract with any service provider owned or
  839  operated by a board member or with any person who has a
  840  financial relationship with a board member or officer, or a
  841  relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood or
  842  marriage of a board member or officer. This paragraph does not
  843  apply to a service provider in which a board member or officer,
  844  or a relative within the third degree of consanguinity by blood
  845  or marriage of a board member or officer, owns less than 1
  846  percent of the equity shares of the service provider.
  847         Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 718.1255, Florida
  848  Statutes, is amended to read:
  849         718.1255 Alternative dispute resolution; voluntary
  850  mediation; mandatory nonbinding arbitration; legislative
  851  findings.—
  853  DISPUTES.—The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
  854  Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional
  855  Regulation may shall employ full-time attorneys to act as
  856  arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearings provided by this
  857  chapter. The division may also certify attorneys who are not
  858  employed by the division to act as arbitrators to conduct the
  859  arbitration hearings provided by this chapter section. No person
  860  may be employed by the department as a full-time arbitrator
  861  unless he or she is a member in good standing of The Florida
  862  Bar. A person may only be certified by the division to act as an
  863  arbitrator if he or she has been a member in good standing of
  864  The Florida Bar for at least 5 years and has mediated or
  865  arbitrated at least 10 disputes involving condominiums in this
  866  state during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of
  867  application, mediated or arbitrated at least 30 disputes in any
  868  subject area in this state during the 3 years immediately
  869  preceding the date of application, or attained board
  870  certification in real estate law or condominium and planned
  871  development law from The Florida Bar. Arbitrator certification
  872  is valid for 1 year. An arbitrator who does not maintain the
  873  minimum qualifications for initial certification may not have
  874  his or her certification renewed. The department may not enter
  875  into a legal services contract for an arbitration hearing under
  876  this chapter with an attorney who is not a certified arbitrator
  877  unless a certified arbitrator is not available within 50 miles
  878  of the dispute. The department shall adopt rules of procedure to
  879  govern such arbitration hearings including mediation incident
  880  thereto. The decision of an arbitrator shall be final; however,
  881  a decision shall not be deemed final agency action. Nothing in
  882  this provision shall be construed to foreclose parties from
  883  proceeding in a trial de novo unless the parties have agreed
  884  that the arbitration is binding. If judicial proceedings are
  885  initiated, the final decision of the arbitrator shall be
  886  admissible in evidence in the trial de novo.
  887         (a) Prior to the institution of court litigation, a party
  888  to a dispute shall petition the division for nonbinding
  889  arbitration. The petition must be accompanied by a filing fee in
  890  the amount of $50. Filing fees collected under this section must
  891  be used to defray the expenses of the alternative dispute
  892  resolution program.
  893         (b) The petition must recite, and have attached thereto,
  894  supporting proof that the petitioner gave the respondents:
  895         1. Advance written notice of the specific nature of the
  896  dispute;
  897         2. A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to
  898  comply or to provide the relief; and
  899         3. Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition
  900  or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the
  901  dispute.
  903  Failure to include the allegations or proof of compliance with
  904  these prerequisites requires dismissal of the petition without
  905  prejudice.
  906         (c) Upon receipt, the petition shall be promptly reviewed
  907  by the division to determine the existence of a dispute and
  908  compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b). If
  909  emergency relief is required and is not available through
  910  arbitration, a motion to stay the arbitration may be filed. The
  911  motion must be accompanied by a verified petition alleging facts
  912  that, if proven, would support entry of a temporary injunction,
  913  and if an appropriate motion and supporting papers are filed,
  914  the division may abate the arbitration pending a court hearing
  915  and disposition of a motion for temporary injunction.
  916         (d) Upon determination by the division that a dispute
  917  exists and that the petition substantially meets the
  918  requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) and any other applicable
  919  rules, the division shall assign or enter into a contract with
  920  an arbitrator and serve a copy of the petition shall be served
  921  by the division upon all respondents. The arbitrator shall
  922  conduct a hearing within 30 days after being assigned or
  923  entering into a contract unless the petition is withdrawn or a
  924  continuance is granted for good cause shown.
  925         (e) Before or after the filing of the respondents’ answer
  926  to the petition, any party may request that the arbitrator refer
  927  the case to mediation under this section and any rules adopted
  928  by the division. Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the
  929  division shall promptly contact the parties to determine if
  930  there is agreement that mediation would be appropriate. If all
  931  parties agree, the dispute must be referred to mediation.
  932  Notwithstanding a lack of an agreement by all parties, the
  933  arbitrator may refer a dispute to mediation at any time.
  934         (f) Upon referral of a case to mediation, the parties must
  935  select a mutually acceptable mediator. To assist in the
  936  selection, the arbitrator shall provide the parties with a list
  937  of both volunteer and paid mediators that have been certified by
  938  the division under s. 718.501. If the parties are unable to
  939  agree on a mediator within the time allowed by the arbitrator,
  940  the arbitrator shall appoint a mediator from the list of
  941  certified mediators. If a case is referred to mediation, the
  942  parties shall attend a mediation conference, as scheduled by the
  943  parties and the mediator. If any party fails to attend a duly
  944  noticed mediation conference, without the permission or approval
  945  of the arbitrator or mediator, the arbitrator must impose
  946  sanctions against the party, including the striking of any
  947  pleadings filed, the entry of an order of dismissal or default
  948  if appropriate, and the award of costs and attorney attorneys’
  949  fees incurred by the other parties. Unless otherwise agreed to
  950  by the parties or as provided by order of the arbitrator, a
  951  party is deemed to have appeared at a mediation conference by
  952  the physical presence of the party or its representative having
  953  full authority to settle without further consultation, provided
  954  that an association may comply by having one or more
  955  representatives present with full authority to negotiate a
  956  settlement and recommend that the board of administration ratify
  957  and approve such a settlement within 5 days from the date of the
  958  mediation conference. The parties shall share equally the
  959  expense of mediation, unless they agree otherwise.
  960         (g) The purpose of mediation as provided for by this
  961  section is to present the parties with an opportunity to resolve
  962  the underlying dispute in good faith, and with a minimum
  963  expenditure of time and resources.
  964         (h) Mediation proceedings must generally be conducted in
  965  accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and these
  966  proceedings are privileged and confidential to the same extent
  967  as court-ordered mediation. Persons who are not parties to the
  968  dispute are not allowed to attend the mediation conference
  969  without the consent of all parties, with the exception of
  970  counsel for the parties and corporate representatives designated
  971  to appear for a party. If the mediator declares an impasse after
  972  a mediation conference has been held, the arbitration proceeding
  973  terminates, unless all parties agree in writing to continue the
  974  arbitration proceeding, in which case the arbitrator’s decision
  975  shall be binding or nonbinding, as agreed upon by the parties;
  976  in the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not consider
  977  any evidence relating to the unsuccessful mediation except in a
  978  proceeding to impose sanctions for failure to appear at the
  979  mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to continue
  980  arbitration, the arbitrator shall enter an order of dismissal,
  981  and either party may institute a suit in a court of competent
  982  jurisdiction. The parties may seek to recover any costs and
  983  attorney attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with arbitration
  984  and mediation proceedings under this section as part of the
  985  costs and fees that may be recovered by the prevailing party in
  986  any subsequent litigation.
  987         (i) Arbitration shall be conducted according to rules
  988  adopted by the division. The filing of a petition for
  989  arbitration shall toll the applicable statute of limitations.
  990         (j) At the request of any party to the arbitration, the
  991  arbitrator shall issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
  992  and the production of books, records, documents, and other
  993  evidence and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
  994  apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
  995  production. Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable
  996  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  997  Discovery may, in the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
  998  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
  999  Rules adopted by the division may authorize any reasonable
 1000  sanctions except contempt for a violation of the arbitration
 1001  procedural rules of the division or for the failure of a party
 1002  to comply with a reasonable nonfinal order issued by an
 1003  arbitrator which is not under judicial review.
 1004         (k) The arbitration decision shall be rendered within 30
 1005  days after the hearing and presented to the parties in writing.
 1006  An arbitration decision is final in those disputes in which the
 1007  parties have agreed to be bound. An arbitration decision is also
 1008  final if a complaint for a trial de novo is not filed in a court
 1009  of competent jurisdiction in which the condominium is located
 1010  within 30 days. The right to file for a trial de novo entitles
 1011  the parties to file a complaint in the appropriate trial court
 1012  for a judicial resolution of the dispute. The prevailing party
 1013  in an arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the
 1014  arbitration and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees in an amount
 1015  determined by the arbitrator. Such an award shall include the
 1016  costs and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees incurred in the
 1017  arbitration proceeding as well as the costs and reasonable
 1018  attorney attorney’s fees incurred in preparing for and attending
 1019  any scheduled mediation. An arbitrator’s failure to render a
 1020  written decision within 30 days after the hearing may result in
 1021  the cancellation of his or her arbitration certification.
 1022         (l) The party who files a complaint for a trial de novo
 1023  shall be assessed the other party’s arbitration costs, court
 1024  costs, and other reasonable costs, including attorney attorney’s
 1025  fees, investigation expenses, and expenses for expert or other
 1026  testimony or evidence incurred after the arbitration hearing if
 1027  the judgment upon the trial de novo is not more favorable than
 1028  the arbitration decision. If the judgment is more favorable, the
 1029  party who filed a complaint for trial de novo shall be awarded
 1030  reasonable court costs and attorney attorney’s fees.
 1031         (m) Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
 1032  arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
 1033  jurisdiction in which the condominium is located. A petition may
 1034  not be granted unless the time for appeal by the filing of a
 1035  complaint for trial de novo has expired. If a complaint for a
 1036  trial de novo has been filed, a petition may not be granted with
 1037  respect to an arbitration award that has been stayed. If the
 1038  petition for enforcement is granted, the petitioner shall
 1039  recover reasonable attorney attorney’s fees and costs incurred
 1040  in enforcing the arbitration award. A mediation settlement may
 1041  also be enforced through the county or circuit court, as
 1042  applicable, and any costs and fees incurred in the enforcement
 1043  of a settlement agreement reached at mediation must be awarded
 1044  to the prevailing party in any enforcement action.
 1045         Section 5. Subsection (5) is added to section 718.3025,
 1046  Florida Statutes, to read:
 1047         718.3025 Agreements for operation, maintenance, or
 1048  management of condominiums; specific requirements.—
 1049         (5)A party contracting to provide maintenance or
 1050  management services to an association managing a residential
 1051  condominium after transfer of control of the association, as
 1052  provided in s. 718.301, which is not a timeshare condominium
 1053  association, or an officer or board member of such party, may
 1054  not purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the
 1055  association’s foreclosure of association lien for unpaid
 1056  assessments or take a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If 50 percent
 1057  or more of the units in the condominium are owned by a party
 1058  contracting to provide maintenance or management services to an
 1059  association managing a residential condominium after transfer of
 1060  control of the association, as provided in s. 718.301, which is
 1061  not a timeshare condominium association, or by an officer or
 1062  board member of such party, the contract with the party
 1063  providing maintenance or management services may be canceled by
 1064  a majority vote of the unit owners other than the contracting
 1065  party or an officer or board member of such party.
 1066         Section 6. Section 718.3027, Florida Statutes, is created
 1067  to read:
 1068         718.3027Conflicts of interest.—
 1069         (1)Directors and officers of a board of an association
 1070  that is not a timeshare condominium association, and the
 1071  relatives of such directors and officers, must disclose to the
 1072  board any activity that may reasonably be construed to be a
 1073  conflict of interest. A rebuttable presumption of a conflict of
 1074  interest exists if any of the following occurs without prior
 1075  notice, as required in subsection (4):
 1076         (a)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1077  officer enters into a contract for goods or services with the
 1078  association.
 1079         (b)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1080  officer holds an interest in a corporation, limited liability
 1081  corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or
 1082  other business entity that conducts business with the
 1083  association or proposes to enter into a contract or other
 1084  transaction with the association.
 1085         (2)If any director, officer, or relative of any director
 1086  or officer proposes to engage in an activity that is a conflict
 1087  of interest, as described in subsection (1), the proposed
 1088  activity must be listed on, and all contracts and transactional
 1089  documents related to the proposed activity must be attached to,
 1090  the meeting agenda. If the board votes against the proposed
 1091  activity, the director, officer, or relative must notify the
 1092  board in writing of his or her intention not to pursue the
 1093  proposed activity, or the director or officer shall withdraw
 1094  from office. If the board finds that any officer or director has
 1095  violated this subsection, the officer or director shall be
 1096  deemed removed from office. The vacancy shall be filled
 1097  according to general law.
 1098         (3)Any director, officer, or relative of any director or
 1099  officer who is a party to, or has an interest in, an activity
 1100  that is a possible conflict of interest, as described in
 1101  subsection (1), may attend the meeting at which the activity is
 1102  considered by the board, and is authorized to make a
 1103  presentation to the board regarding the activity. After the
 1104  presentation, the director, officer, or relative must leave the
 1105  meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the activity.
 1106  Any director or officer who is a party to, or has an interest
 1107  in, the activity must recuse himself or herself from the vote.
 1108         (4)Any contract entered into between any director,
 1109  officer, or relative of any director or officer and the
 1110  association, which is not a timeshare condominium association,
 1111  which has not been properly disclosed as a conflict of interest
 1112  or potential conflict of interest as required by s.
 1113  718.111(12)(g) is voidable and terminates upon the filing of a
 1114  written notice terminating the contract with the board of
 1115  directors which contains the consent of at least 20 percent of
 1116  the voting interests of the association.
 1117         (5) As used in this section, reference to a “relative”
 1118  means a relative within the third degree of consanguinity by
 1119  blood or marriage.
 1121  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
 1122  And the title is amended as follows:
 1123         Delete lines 2 - 55
 1124  and insert:
 1125         An act relating to condominiums; amending s. 718.111,
 1126         F.S.; prohibiting an officer, director, or manager
 1127         from soliciting, offering to accept, or accepting a
 1128         kickback for which consideration has not been
 1129         provided; providing criminal penalties; requiring that
 1130         an officer or director charged with certain crimes be
 1131         removed from office; providing requirements for
 1132         filling the vacancy left by such removal; prohibiting
 1133         such officer or director from being appointed or
 1134         elected or having access to official condominium
 1135         association records for a specified time; providing an
 1136         exception; requiring an officer or director to be
 1137         reinstated if the charges are resolved without a
 1138         finding of guilt; prohibiting an association from
 1139         hiring an attorney who represents the management
 1140         company of the association; prohibiting a board
 1141         member, manager, or management company from purchasing
 1142         a unit at a foreclosure sale under certain
 1143         circumstances; providing recordkeeping requirements;
 1144         providing that the official records of an association
 1145         are open to inspection by unit renters; providing that
 1146         a renter of a unit has a right to inspect and copy the
 1147         association’s bylaws and rules; providing requirements
 1148         relating to the posting of specified documents on an
 1149         association’s website; providing a remedy for an
 1150         association’s failure to provide a unit owner with a
 1151         copy of the most recent financial report; requiring
 1152         the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
 1153         Mobile Homes to maintain and provide copies of
 1154         financial reports; prohibiting a condominium
 1155         association and its officers, directors, employees,
 1156         and agents from using a debit card issued in the name
 1157         of the association or billed to the association;
 1158         providing that use of such a debit card for any
 1159         expense that is not a lawful obligation of the
 1160         association may be prosecuted as credit card fraud;
 1161         providing direction to the Department of Business and
 1162         Professional Regulation; amending s. 718.112, F.S.;
 1163         providing board member term limits; providing an
 1164         exception; deleting certification requirements
 1165         relating to the recall of board members; revising the
 1166         amount of time a recalled board member has to turn
 1167         over records and property of the association to the
 1168         board; prohibiting certain associations from employing
 1169         or contracting with a service provider owned or
 1170         operated by certain persons; amending s. 718.1255,
 1171         F.S.; authorizing, rather than requiring, the division
 1172         to employ full-time attorneys to conduct certain
 1173         arbitration hearings; providing requirements for the
 1174         certification of arbitrators; prohibiting the
 1175         Department of Business and Professional Regulation
 1176         from entering into a legal services contract for
 1177         certain arbitration hearings; requiring the division
 1178         to assign or enter into contracts with arbitrators;
 1179         requiring arbitrators to conduct hearings within a
 1180         specified period; providing an exception; providing
 1181         arbitration proceeding requirements; amending s.
 1182         718.3025, F.S.; prohibiting specified parties from
 1183         purchasing a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from
 1184         the association’s foreclosure of association lien for
 1185         unpaid assessments or from taking a deed in lieu of
 1186         foreclosures; authorizing a contract with a party
 1187         providing maintenance or management services to be
 1188         canceled by a majority vote of certain unit owners
 1189         under specified conditions; creating s. 718.3027,
 1190         F.S.; providing requirements relating to board
 1191         director and officer conflicts of interest; providing
 1192         that certain contracts are voidable if they do not
 1193         meet specified notice requirements and terminate,
 1194         subject to a certain condition; specifying who is
 1195         considered a relative for certain purposes; amending
 1196         s.