Florida Senate - 2020                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1752
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  02/18/2020           .                                

       The Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology (Pizzo)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 37 - 106
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (e) of subsection (3) of section
    6  194.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         194.011 Assessment notice; objections to assessments.—
    8         (3) A petition to the value adjustment board must be in
    9  substantially the form prescribed by the department.
   10  Notwithstanding s. 195.022, a county officer may not refuse to
   11  accept a form provided by the department for this purpose if the
   12  taxpayer chooses to use it. A petition to the value adjustment
   13  board must be signed by the taxpayer or be accompanied at the
   14  time of filing by the taxpayer’s written authorization or power
   15  of attorney, unless the person filing the petition is listed in
   16  s. 194.034(1)(a). A person listed in s. 194.034(1)(a) may file a
   17  petition with a value adjustment board without the taxpayer’s
   18  signature or written authorization by certifying under penalty
   19  of perjury that he or she has authorization to file the petition
   20  on behalf of the taxpayer. If a taxpayer notifies the value
   21  adjustment board that a petition has been filed for the
   22  taxpayer’s property without his or her consent, the value
   23  adjustment board may require the person filing the petition to
   24  provide written authorization from the taxpayer authorizing the
   25  person to proceed with the appeal before a hearing is held. If
   26  the value adjustment board finds that a person listed in s.
   27  194.034(1)(a) willfully and knowingly filed a petition that was
   28  not authorized by the taxpayer, the value adjustment board shall
   29  require such person to provide the taxpayer’s written
   30  authorization for representation to the value adjustment board
   31  clerk before any petition filed by that person is heard, for 1
   32  year after imposition of such requirement by the value
   33  adjustment board. A power of attorney or written authorization
   34  is valid for 1 assessment year, and a new power of attorney or
   35  written authorization by the taxpayer is required for each
   36  subsequent assessment year. A petition shall also describe the
   37  property by parcel number and shall be filed as follows:
   38         (e)1. A condominium association as described in chapter
   39  718, a cooperative association as described in chapter 719, or a
   40  any homeowners’ association as defined in s. 723.075, with
   41  approval of its board of administration or directors, may file
   42  with the value adjustment board a single joint petition on
   43  behalf of any association members who own units or parcels of
   44  property which the property appraiser determines are
   45  substantially similar with respect to location, proximity to
   46  amenities, number of rooms, living area, and condition. The
   47  condominium association, cooperative association, or homeowners’
   48  association as defined in s. 723.075 shall provide the unit or
   49  parcel owners with notice of its intent to petition the value
   50  adjustment board and shall provide at least 20 days for a unit
   51  or parcel owner to elect, in writing, that his or her unit or
   52  parcel not be included in the petition.
   53         2.A condominium association as described in chapter 718,
   54  or a cooperative association as described in chapter 719, which
   55  has filed a single joint petition under this subsection may
   56  continue to represent, prosecute, or defend the unit owners
   57  through any related subsequent proceeding in any tribunal,
   58  including judicial review under part II of this chapter and any
   59  appeals. This subparagraph is intended to clarify existing law
   60  and applies to cases pending on July 1, 2020.
   61         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 194.181, Florida
   62  Statutes, is amended to read:
   63         194.181 Parties to a tax suit.—
   64         (2)(a) In any case brought by a the taxpayer or a
   65  condominium or cooperative association, as described in chapters
   66  718 and 719, respectively, on behalf of some or all unit owners
   67  to contest contesting the assessment of any property, the county
   68  property appraiser is the shall be party defendant.
   69         (b)Except as provided in paragraph (c), in any case
   70  brought by the property appraiser under pursuant to s.
   71  194.036(1)(a) or (b), the taxpayer is the shall be party
   72  defendant.
   73         (c)In any case brought by the property appraiser under s.
   74  194.036(1)(a) or (b) concerning a value adjustment board
   75  decision on a single joint petition filed by a condominium or
   76  cooperative association under s. 194.011(3), the association and
   77  all unit owners included in the single joint petition are the
   78  party defendants.
   79         1.The condominium or cooperative association must provide
   80  unit owners with notice of its intent to respond to or answer
   81  the property appraiser’s complaint and advise the unit owners
   82  that they may elect to:
   83         a.Retain their own counsel to defend the appeal;
   84         b.Choose not to defend the appeal; or
   85         c.Be represented together with other unit owners in the
   86  response or answer filed by the association.
   87         2.The notice required in subparagraph 1. must be mailed,
   88  delivered, or electronically transmitted to unit owners and
   89  posted conspicuously on the condominium or cooperative property
   90  in the same manner as is required for notice of board meetings
   91  under ss. 718.112(2) or 719.106(1), as applicable. Any unit
   92  owner who does not respond to the association’s notice will be
   93  represented in the response or answer filed by the association.
   94         (d) In any case brought by the property appraiser under
   95  pursuant to s. 194.036(1)(c), the value adjustment board is the
   96  shall be party defendant.
   97         Section 3. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
   98  subsection (3), paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (g) of subsection
   99  (12), and paragraph (b) of subsection (15) of section 718.111,
  100  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  101         718.111 The association.—
  102         (1) CORPORATE ENTITY.—
  103         (a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the
  104  association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a
  105  Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association
  106  which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be
  107  incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or
  108  members of the association. The officers and directors of the
  109  association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It
  110  is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph
  111  shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of
  112  a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the
  113  association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or
  114  manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or
  115  service of value or kickback for which consideration has not
  116  been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her
  117  immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to
  118  provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer,
  119  director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to
  120  accept, or accepts any thing or service of value or kickback
  121  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
  122  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and is subject to a civil
  123  penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) and, if applicable, a
  124  criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d). However, this
  125  paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director, or manager
  126  from accepting services or items received in connection with
  127  trade fairs or education programs. An association may operate
  128  more than one condominium.
  129         (d) As required by s. 617.0830, an officer, director, or
  130  agent shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the
  131  care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would
  132  exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she
  133  reasonably believes to be in the interests of the association.
  134  An officer, director, or agent shall be liable for monetary
  135  damages as provided in s. 617.0834 if such officer, director, or
  136  agent breached or failed to perform his or her duties and the
  137  breach of, or failure to perform, his or her duties constitutes
  138  a violation of criminal law as provided in s. 617.0834;
  139  constitutes a transaction from which the officer or director
  140  derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or
  141  indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission
  142  that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner
  143  exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety,
  144  or property. Forgery of a ballot envelope or voting certificate
  145  used in a condominium association election is punishable as
  146  provided in s. 831.01, the theft or embezzlement of funds of a
  147  condominium association is punishable as provided in s. 812.014,
  148  and the destruction of or the refusal to allow inspection or
  149  copying of an official record of a condominium association that
  150  is accessible to unit owners within the time periods required by
  151  general law in furtherance of any crime is punishable as
  152  tampering with physical evidence as provided in s. 918.13 or as
  153  obstruction of justice as provided in chapter 843. An officer or
  154  director charged by information or indictment with a crime
  155  referenced in this paragraph must be removed from office, and
  156  the vacancy shall be filled as provided in s. 718.112(2)(d)2.
  157  until the end of the officer’s or director’s period of
  158  suspension or the end of his or her term of office, whichever
  159  occurs first. If a criminal charge is pending against the
  160  officer or director, he or she may not be appointed or elected
  161  to a position as an officer or a director of any association and
  162  may not have access to the official records of any association,
  163  except pursuant to a court order. However, if the charges are
  164  resolved without a finding of guilt, the officer or director
  165  must be reinstated for the remainder of his or her term of
  166  office, if any.
  169         (a) The association may contract, sue, or be sued with
  170  respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these
  171  purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not
  172  limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the
  173  condominium property.
  174         (b) After control of the association is obtained by unit
  175  owners other than the developer, the association may:
  176         1. Institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or
  177  hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning
  178  matters of common interest to most or all unit owners,
  179  including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and
  180  structural components of a building or other improvements;
  181  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an
  182  improvement or a building; representations of the developer
  183  pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities;
  184         2.Protest and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used
  185  facilities and on units; and may
  186         3. Defend actions pertaining to ad valorem taxation of
  187  commonly used facilities or units or pertaining to in eminent
  188  domain; or
  189         4. Bring inverse condemnation actions.
  190         (c) If the association has the authority to maintain a
  191  class action, the association may be joined in an action as
  192  representative of that class with reference to litigation and
  193  disputes involving the matters for which the association could
  194  bring a class action.
  195         (d)The association, in its own name or on behalf of some
  196  or all unit owners, may institute, file, protest, maintain, or
  197  defend any administrative challenge, lawsuit, appeal, or other
  198  challenge to ad valorem taxes assessed on units for commonly
  199  used facilities or common elements. The affected association
  200  members are not necessary or indispensable parties to such
  201  actions. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and
  202  applies to cases pending on July 1, 2020.
  203         (e) Nothing herein limits any statutory or common-law right
  204  of any individual unit owner or class of unit owners to bring
  205  any action without participation by the association which may
  206  otherwise be available.
  207         (f) An association may not hire an attorney who represents
  208  the management company of the association.
  210  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  211  And the title is amended as follows:
  212         Delete lines 3 - 5
  213  and insert:
  214         s. 194.011, F.S.; providing that certain associations
  215         may continue to represent, prosecute, or defend unit
  216         owners in certain proceedings; providing
  217         applicability; amending s. 194.181, F.S.; revising the
  218         parties considered to be the defendant in a tax suit;
  219         requiring condominium and cooperative associations to
  220         provide unit owners with certain notice and
  221         information under certain circumstances; providing
  222         requirements for such notice; specifying that a unit
  223         owner who does not respond to the notice will be
  224         represented in the response or answer filed by the
  225         association; amending s. 718.111, F.S.; revising
  226         criminal penalties relating to the acceptance of
  227         things or services of value or kickbacks; authorizing
  228         a condominium association to take certain actions
  229         relating to ad valorem taxes assessed on units for
  230         commonly used facilities or common elements; providing
  231         applicability; revising the documents required to be