2013 Legislative Changes
2013 Legislative Changes Affecting Community Associations
By Michael S. Bender, Esq., Kaye Bender Rembaum, P.L.
Following the conclusion of the 2013 Legislative Session in Tallahassee, Governor Scott signed into law several pieces of legislation which effect Condominium Associations. Some of the more pertinent legislation is set forth in detail below:
Changes to Section 718.111(8) F.S. removed language regarding approval requirements for the association to purchase any land or recreational lease, referring such issues to the provisions of Section 718.114 F.S.
Section 718.111(11) F.S. regarding association insurance clarifies that certain obligations of the association apply to damages only when caused by an “insurable event.” Additionally, it further clarifies unit owner responsibility for reconstruction costs, including that such costs are collected as an assessment against the unit through the lien and foreclosure process.
Copying of Official Records by an inspecting owner is addressed in changes to Section 718.111(12)(c) F.S. The new provision allows for a portable device to be used by a member or his or her authorized representative for copies and, in such event, at no charge. Subsection (c)5. has been revised to allow for the creation of a directory containing the name, parcel address and telephone number of each owner, but any owner may request, in writing, to withhold telephone number.
Section 718.111(13) F.S. has been revised to increase threshold gross budget levels relative to the specific financial reporting requirement. Associations with annual revenues between $150,000 and $300,000 minimally are required to prepare a compilation; those with annual revenues between $300,000 and $500,000 must minimally prepare a reviewed financial report; and, those with annual revenues of over $500,000 must minimally prepare an audit. Associations with annual revenues of less than $150,000 must prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures, as must associations with any level of annual revenues if it operates fewer than 50 units (reduced by the change from fewer than 75 units). The minimum reporting requirements continue to be able to be reduced each year upon a vote of the membership, unless the bylaws mandate a specific level of reporting.
With respect to unit owner meetings and board service, Section 718.112(2)(d)(2) F.S. has been revised to remove the requirement of a vote of owners to affirm 2 year staggered terms when they are expressed in the articles or bylaws. This subsection also clarifies when an owner is ineligible to be a candidate for the board and listed on the ballot. If the person desiring to be a candidate is delinquent with any monetary obligation, in any amount at the 40-day cut off for ballot eligibility, that person is not eligible to be on the ballot.
Section 718.112(2)(d)(3) F.S. has had a provision added that an association is only required to broadcast notice of meetings if it is the only means of notice.
Section 718.112(2)(d)(4) F.S. clarifies that the prohibition on proxy voting for director elections do not apply to timeshare condominiums. Subsection (b) has been revised to add that director certifications are to be maintained for the greater of the length of term on the board if uninterrupted or 5 years. A new subsection (c) indicates that any challenge to the elections process must be commenced within 60 days after the announcement of the results.
Section 718.112(2)(j) F.S. has been revised regarding certain recall related issues. New subsections (5) and (7) were added, authorizing the unit owner representative for a recall attempt to file a petition for arbitration to challenge the failure of the board to act on the recall, and a recalled board member to file such a petition to challenge the validity of the recall in the instance that the board otherwise does not. A new subsection (8) provides that no petition will be accepted by the Division if there are 60 or fewer days until the next scheduled election, or when 60 or fewer days have elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be recalled.
Changes to Section 718.113(5) F.S. address the hurricane protection provision and attempt to clarify that doors and other types of code-compliant hurricane protection are
Iincluded in what can be installed by the association or unit owner. The definition of what is permitted to be installed has been expanded to include impact glass, doors or other types of code-compliant protection.
Section 718.115 F.S. has been revised to incorporate the same clarifications as in Section 718.113 F.S. as to expenses of installation of hurricane protections and also clarifies that for an owner to receive a credit for the costs associated with the installation of hurricane protection by the association, the owner installation must comply with current applicable building codes and be the same type of code-compliant protection being installed by the association.
Section 718.303 F.S. further clarifies areas of the condominium property which cannot be suspended for violations of the governing documents, adding limited common elements, common elements needed to access the unit, utility services, parking spaces or elevators.
Should you have any questions regarding any of these changes, please contact your association legal counsel.