Official Records
What items are considered official records of the association?

A copy of the plans, permits, and warranties provided by the developer; a photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium and recorded bylaws, and amendments to both; a certified copy of the articles of incorporation; a photocopy of the cooperative documents; a copy of the current rules of the association; minutes of all meetings; a current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers; current insurance policies; current copy of any management agreements, leases or other contracts; bills of sale; accounting records; records of all receipts and expenditures; a current statement of account for each unit; all financial reporting statements; all contracts and bids for work to be performed; ballots, sign-in sheets, and voting proxies up to one year; all rental records, if the association is acting as agent for the rental of units; a copy of the current question and answer sheet; a copy of the inspection report; and, all other records relating to the operation of the association.  For a complete list of items, please review the following statutory cites: Condominium: Section 718.111(12), Florida Statutes and Rule 61B-23.002(7), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.104(2), Florida Statutes

Can the board charge me a fee for copies of official records that I have requested?

Upon inspecting the official records of the association, a unit owner may obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the unit owner.  Further, the association must maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet and, in the case of condominium associations, year-end financial information, on the condominium and cooperative property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the documents.  Additionally, an association must allow a member or his or her authorized representative to use a portable device, including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the association’s providing the member or his or her authorized representative with a copy of such records.  The association may not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for the use of a portable device.  The association may also offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet. Condominium: Section 718.111(12)(b) & (c), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.002(7)(c), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.104(2)(b) & (c), Florida Statutes

My association is involved in a lawsuit and has spent a considerable sum of money on legal fees. Unit owners have asked the board to allow them to review the records, but the board says they do not have the right to see such records. Are there any records of the association that should not be accessible to unit owners?

Unit owners do not have access to the following records: 1) any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in section 90.502, Florida Statutes, and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including any record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy or legal theory, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings or which was prepared in anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or proceedings; 2) information obtained in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit; 3) personnel records of association or management company employees; the term “personnel records” does not include written employment agreements with an association employee or management company, or budgetary or financial records that indicate the compensation paid to an association employee; 4) medical records of unit owners; 5) social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, and any addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail address, or facsimile number provided to the association to fulfill the association’s notice requirements; 6) any electronic security measure that is used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords; and 7) The software and operating system used by the association which allows manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association. You may find our “Request to Access Association Records” document (PDF) helpful to use at your access to records appointment. Condominium: Section 718.111(12)(c)1-7, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(2)(c)1-7., Florida Statutes

What can I do if the association refuses to allow me to inspect official records of the association?

If the association fails to properly allow access to the records, a complaint may be filed with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.  The records of the association must be made available to a unit owner within 10 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request will create the presumption that the association willfully failed to comply. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages. Minimum damages will be $50 per calendar day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. In addition, the failure of the association to permit inspection of the association records entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney’s fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records. If a unit owner seeks to collect statutory damages from the association, the dispute should be filed for mandatory arbitration under section 718.1255, Florida Statutes. An appeal to the courts may follow the arbitration proceeding. Condominium: Section 718.111(12)(b)&(c), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(2)(b)&(c), Florida Statutes

Where do the official records of the association have to be maintained?

The official records of the association must be maintained within the state for at least 7 years, unless otherwise provided by general law and must be made available to a unit owner within 10 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee.  The official records must be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the condominium or cooperative property, or within the county in which the condominium or cooperative property is located. The association may comply by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the cooperative, condominium, or association property, or the association may offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. Condominium: Section 718.111(12)(b), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(2)(b), Florida Statutes

Am I entitled to a copy of our association’s previous budgets?

Yes.  The budget and other accounting records for the association are a part of the official records of the association, and must be maintained for at least seven years. The official records of the association must be made available to a unit owner within five (10) working days after the receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the association member. You may find our “Request to Access Association Records” document (PDF) helpful to use at your access to records appointment. Condominium: Section 718.111(12), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(2), Florida Statutes

Do I have the right as a unit owner to obtain the names and addresses of all other unit owners in my condominium or cooperative?

Yes. The association is required to provide upon request the unit owner name, unit designation, mailing address and property address. If an association so chooses, it may print and distribute to unit owners a directory containing the name, property address, and all telephone numbers of each unit owner. However, if requested in writing to the association, an owner may exclude his or her telephone numbers from the directory. Condominium:Sections 718.111(12)(a)7. and (c)5, Florida Statutes Cooperative:Sections 719.104(2)(a)5. and (c)5., Florida Statutes

Right of Access
Does the law require me to give the association a key to my unit? And, does the association have the right to allow a pest control company access to my unit?

Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, do not specifically address the issues of providing keys to the association or access by the association for pest control. However, the association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a unit. You may wish to review the documents of the association for additional information regarding the association’s right of access. Additionally, a condominium association, at the sole discretion of the board, may enter an abandoned unit to inspect the unit and adjoining common elements; make repairs to the unit or to the common elements serving the unit, as needed; repair the unit if mold or deterioration is present; turn on the utilities for the unit; or otherwise maintain, preserve, or protect the unit and adjoining common elements. Condominium: Sections 718.111(5) and 718.113(1), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(1), Florida Statutes

Does the board have the right to enter a unit in order to make sure that the hurricane shutters are properly secured?

Yes. The condominium board may operate hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, or other types of code-compliant hurricane protection without the permission of the unit owner only where such operation is necessary to preserve and protect the condominium property and association property. Further, the condominium or cooperative association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration or cooperative documents, or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a unit or units. Condominium: Sections 718.113(5), and 718.111(5), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Hurricane shutters are not addressed in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, review section 719.104(1), Florida Statutes, regarding access to units.

Management of the Association
Can the unit owners stop the board from hiring a management company?

The operation of the association will be governed by the articles of incorporation, if the association is incorporated, and the bylaws of the association. You may wish to review the association’s documents to determine whether the unit owners or the board has the right to approve hiring a management company. Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, do not require the association to hire a manager. However, the Florida Administrative Code, states that if a condominium board of directors chooses to employ a manager, it must only employ a licensed community association manager where licensure is required by section 468.431, Florida Statutes. Condominium: Section 718.112(1), Florida Statutes and Rule 61B-23.001(4), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(a)1., Florida Statutes

May the association pay a board member for his or her services as a board member?

Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws of the association, the members of the board will serve without compensation. However, if compensated, a board member may require licensure as a community association manager in accordance with Chapter 468, Florida Statutes. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(a) 1., Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.001(4), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(a) 1., Florida Statutes

Does the association have the authority to sue on behalf of the unit owners, even if the unit owners aren’t in favor of bringing suit?

The condominium association may contract, sue, or be sued with respect to the exercise or non-exercise of its powers. The condominium association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning matters of common interest to most or all unit owners. The cooperative association’s powers and duties include those provided in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and Chapters 607 and 617, Florida Statutes, as applicable. Condominium: Section 718.111(3), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(10), Florida Statutes

Can a cooperative or residential condominium board install hurricane shutters on the common elements if some unit owners are opposed to it?

The condominium board may, subject to section 718.3026, Florida Statutes, and the approval of a majority of the voting interests of the residential condominium, install hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, or other types of code-compliant hurricane protection that comply with or exceed the applicable building code. However, a vote of the owners is not required if the maintenance, repair, and replacement of hurricane shutters, impact glass, or code-compliant windows or doors, or other types of code-compliant hurricane protection are the responsibility of the association pursuant to the declaration of a condominium. If hurricane protection or laminated glass or window film architecturally designed to function as hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds the current applicable building code has been previously installed, the board may not install hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, or other types of code-compliant hurricane protection except upon approval by a majority vote of the voting interests. For cooperatives, this situation is not addressed in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes. Hurricane protection may be addressed in the governing documents of the cooperative association. Condominium:  Section 718.113(5), Florida Statutes

Rules and Regulations/Violations/Fines
As a condominium or cooperative unit owner, can the board keep me from using the common elements?

An association may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the right of a unit owner, or a unit owner’s tenant, guest, or invitee, to use the common elements, common facilities, or any other association property for failure to comply with any provision of the declaration of condominium or cooperative documents, the association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association. If a unit owner is delinquent for more than 90 days in paying a monetary obligation due to the association, the association may suspend the right of a unit owner or a unit’s occupant, licensee, or invitee to use common elements, common facilities, or any other association property until the monetary obligation is paid. This does not apply to limited common elements intended to be used only by that unit, common elements that must be used to access the unit, utility services provided to the unit, parking spaces, or elevators. When a unit is rented, the unit owner will not have use rights of the association property or common elements, except as a guest, unless such rights are waived in writing by the tenant.  When a unit is leased, it is the tenant who has all such use rights that otherwise would be available to unit owners.  The association may adopt rules to prohibit dual usage by the unit owner and the tenant. Condominium: Sections 718.106(4) and 718.303(3)-(4), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.105(3), and 719.303(3)-(4), Florida Statutes

I sent a letter to the board asking it to force an adjacent unit owner to abide by association rules. The board failed to respond to my letter and refuses to take my telephone calls. What can I do?

Cooperative unit owners may wish to file a complaint with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, if the board fails to respond to a written inquiry sent by certified mail. The Division does not have jurisdiction over this particular matter in unit owner controlled condominium associations. Condominium unit owners may wish to seek the advice of an attorney for their next course of action. Note: when a unit owner of a cooperative or residential condominium files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board, the board must respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days after receipt of the inquiry. The board’s response must either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the Division. If the board requests advice from the Division, the board must, within 10 days after its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board must, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. The association may through its board of administration adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries, one of which may be that the association is only obligated to respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as applicable. You may wish to refer to your association’s rules for any such restrictions. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(a)2., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(a)2., Florida Statutes

How much can a board fine a unit owner for a rule violation?

If the cooperative documents so provide, the association may levy reasonable fines against a unit owner for failure to comply with any provision of the cooperative documents or reasonable rules of the association. No fine may exceed $100 per violation. However, a fine may be levied on the basis of each day of a continuing violation, provided that no such fine shall in the aggregate exceed $1,000. No fine may become a lien against a unit. Condominium associations may levy fines in the above manner, even if the condominium documents do not provide for such fines. Condominium: Section 718.303(3), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.303(3), Florida Statutes

Is there a procedure that an association must follow before levying a fine?

A fine cannot be levied except after the association has provided the unit owner with reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of other owners. If the committee does not approve the proposed fine by majority vote, the fine may not be levied. If the proposed fine is approved by the committee, the fine payment is due 5 days after the date of the committed meeting at which the fine is approved. Condominium: Section 718.303(3), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.303(3), Florida Statutes

Condominium Documents/Amendments
How does an association amend its bylaws?

The method used to amend the bylaws should be located within the bylaws of the association and should be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 718 or 719, Florida Statutes. If the bylaws fail to provide a method of amendment, the bylaws may be amended if the amendment is approved by the owners of not less than two-thirds of the voting interests. Proposals to amend existing bylaws must contain the full text of the bylaws to be amended; new words must be inserted in the text underlined, and words to be deleted must be lined through with hyphens. If the change is so extensive that this procedure would hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and hyphens as indicators of words added or deleted, but, instead, a notation must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in substantially the following language: “Substantial rewording of bylaw. See bylaw ___ for present text.” Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(h), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(h), Florida Statutes

When does an amendment to the bylaws become effective?

Amendments to condominium bylaws become effective when they are recorded in the public records of the county where the declaration of condominium is recorded. Condominium: Section 718.112(1)(b), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Not addressed in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes

Leasing/ Rentals
Can the association charge me $100 to lease a unit?

This type of charge is generally referred to as a transfer fee. If an association is required by its documents to approve the transfer (sale, mortgage, lease, etc.) of a unit, the association may charge a fee, if a fee for such approval is provided for in the condominium or cooperative documents. The maximum charge allowable is $100 per applicant, and no charge may be made on renewals with the same lessee or sublessee. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(i), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(i), Florida Statutes

As a renter, do I have the same rights in using the common elements as a unit owner?

When a unit is leased, the tenant has all use rights of the association property and common elements that otherwise would be available for use by unit owners.  The tenant of an association member’s unit also has the right to inspect and copy the bylaws and rules of an association. The unit owner will not have such use rights except as a guest, unless such rights are waived in writing by the tenant.  The association may adopt rules to prohibit dual usage by the unit owner and the tenant. The association may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the right of a unit owner, or a unit owner’s tenant, guest, or invitee, to use the common elements, common facilities, or any other association property for failure to comply with any provision of the declaration of condominium or cooperative documents, the association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association or when the unit owner is delinquent for more than 90 days in paying a monetary obligation due to the association. This does not apply to limited common elements intended to be used only by that unit, common elements that must be used to access the unit, utility services provided to the unit, parking spaces, or elevators. Condominium: Sections 718.106(4) and 718.303(3)-(4), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.105(3) and 719.303(3)-(4), Florida Statutes

Insurance
Must the association insure its officers and directors?

The association may obtain liability insurance for its officers and directors. And, the association must maintain insurance or fidelity bonding of all persons who control or disburse funds of the association; this includes, but is not limited to, those individuals authorized to sign checks on behalf of the association, and the president, secretary, and treasurer of the association. This insurance is a common expense of the association. Condominium: Section 718.111(11)(e) and (h), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Sections 719.104(3), and 719.106(1)(k), Florida Statutes

Does the association have to carry insurance on the condominium or cooperative property?

An association must use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate property insurance to protect the association, the association property, the common elements, and the condominium or cooperative property that must be insured by the association in accordance with Florida Statutes. Additional insurance may be required by the association documents and the statutes. Condominium: Section 718.111(11), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(3), Florida Statutes

May an association self-insure?

A condominium association may provide adequate property insurance coverage through a self-insurance fund that complies with the requirements of sections 624.460-624.488, F.S. A cooperative association may self-insure against claims against the association, the association property, and the cooperative property required to be insured by an association, upon compliance with the applicable provisions of sections 624.460-624.488, F.S. Condominium: Section 718.111(11), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(3), Florida Statutes

Adult Communities/55 & Older Issues
How would a condominium or cooperative go about becoming an adult community (55 or older)?

A property must meet certain requirements of the Federal Fair Housing Act to be designated as an adult community. The Florida Commission on Human Relations administers (FCHR) the Federal Fair Housing Act in Florida. You may contact the FCHR at 1.800.342.8170, or on the Internet at: http://fchr.state.fl.us. Condominium: Not addressed in Chapter 718, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Not addressed in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes

Board Member Responsibilities/Board & Committee Meetings/Notices
What are the powers and responsibilities of the board of administration?

The powers and responsibilities of the board of administration are described in Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes (FS), and, except as expressly limited or restricted by Chapters 718 and 719, FS, those described in the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws and Chapters 607 and 617, as applicable. The board of administration administers the affairs of the association, sets policy, assures proper property maintenance, and may appoint committees to manage various affairs of the condominium or cooperative property.  Directors have a fiduciary relationship with the unit owners, and must use the highest degree of good faith in placing the interests of the unit owners above their own personal interests. Condominium: Sections 718.111(1)-(14) and 718.112(1)(a)-(2)(a), and 718.114, Florida Statutes. Cooperative: Sections 719.104(1)-(11) and 719.106(1)(a), Florida Statutes

What happens when a board member who is in attendance at a board meeting fails to cast his or her vote on a matter brought before the board for a vote?

A director of the association who is present at a board meeting at which action on any corporate matter is taken is presumed to have assented to the action taken unless he or she votes against such action or abstains from voting. A director who abstains from voting on any action taken on any corporate matter is presumed to have taken no position with regard to the action. A vote or abstention for each member present must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Condominium: Section 718.111(1)(b), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.104(8)(b), Florida Statutes

Board members often gather socially for dinner. Is this considered a board meeting if condominium matters are being discussed?

A condominium board meeting is defined as any gathering of the members of the board of directors, at which a quorum of the members is present, for the purpose of conducting association business. Meetings of the board must be properly noticed and the unit owners have the right to attend the meeting. Condominium: Rule 61B-23.001(1)(a), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Not defined in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes

Is there a time limit in which the board must make the minutes of a board meeting available to unit owners?

There is no time limit provided by Chapters 718 or 719, Florida Statutes, for the association to reduce the minutes of a meeting to writing. One may refer to the documents of the association for clarification. Condominium: Not defined in Chapter 718, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Not defined in Chapter 719, Florida Statutes

What do we do if no one is interested in serving on the condominium or cooperative board?

If an association fails to fill vacancies on the board sufficient to constitute a quorum in accordance with the bylaws, any unit owner may apply to the circuit court for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the association.  A receiver will have the same powers and duties as the board and will serve until the vacancies are filled sufficient to constitute a quorum.  The association will be responsible for the receiver’s salary, court costs, and attorney’s fees. At least 30 days prior to applying to the circuit court for a receiver, the condominium unit owner must mail to the association by certified mail or personal delivery, as well as to all unit owners, and post in a conspicuous place on the condominium property, a notice of the intended action and give the association the opportunity to fill the vacancies.  In cooperatives, the unit owner must mail to the association, and post in a conspicuous place on the cooperative property, a notice of the intended action and give the association the opportunity to fill the vacancies. Condominium: Section 718.1124, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.1064, Florida Statutes

Is the board required to provide unit owners with board meeting notices?

Notice of all board meetings along with the agenda must be posted conspicuously on the condominium or cooperative property at least 48 hours prior to the meeting, except in an emergency. However, notice of board meetings in which non-emergency special assessments or amendment to rules regarding unit use, will be considered must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the condominium or cooperative property not less than 14 days prior to the meeting. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(c), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(c), Florida Statutes

Does a unit owner have the right to record a board meeting?

Condominium unit owners have the right to tape record or videotape board meetings subject to the following restrictions: (1) the only audio and video equipment and devices which unit owners may use is equipment which does not produce distracting sound or light emissions; (2) if adopted in advance by the board or unit owners as a written rule, (a) audio and video equipment must be set up before the meeting starts, (b) anyone videotaping or recording a meeting cannot move about the meeting room, and (c) unit owners must give advance notice to the board if they intend to videotape or tape record a meeting.  Cooperative unit owners have the right to tape record or videotape board meetings subject to restrictions (2)(a) and (b) listed above. Condominium: Section 718,112(2)(c), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.002(10), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(c), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-75.004, Florida Administrative Code

Can a board member attend a board meeting by telephone conference, instead of attending in person?

Yes. When any of the board members meet by telephone conference, those board members may be counted toward obtaining a quorum and may vote by telephone. A telephone speaker must be used so that the conversation of those board members attending by telephone may be heard by the board members attending in person, as well as by any unit owners present at the meeting. Additionally, in condominium associations, a board member may participate in a meeting via real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication, as long as a speaker is used so that the conversation of such members may be heard by the board members attending in person, as well as by any owners present at a meeting. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(b)5., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(b)5., Florida Statutes

How are condominium and cooperative committees formed?

Committees are appointed by the board, or a member of the board, in order to take action on behalf of the board, make recommendations to the board regarding the association’s budget, or other matters deemed necessary by the board. A committee is made up of a group of board members, unit owners, or board members and unit owners. A committee meeting is defined as a gathering of committee members in which a quorum of its members are present.  (Note: The Florida Administrative Code does not address how a cooperative committee is formed.) Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(c), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.001(1)(b), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(c), Florida Statutes

Do unit owners have the right to attend committee meetings?

Unit owners have the right to attend and observe committee meetings. However, a committee meeting with the association’s attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation, if the meeting is held for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice, is exempt from open meeting requirements.  A cooperative committee meeting held for the purpose of discussing personnel matters is also exempt from open meeting requirements. The association bylaws may provide meeting restrictions for certain committee meetings that do not take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the budget. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(c), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.001(2), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(c), Florida Statutes

Elections/Vacancies/Terms of Office of Board Members
I would like to know how a vacancy on the board should be filled.

The association should follow the provisions in the association’s bylaws to fill vacancies on the board. If the bylaws are silent, then any vacancy occurring on the board prior to the expiration of a term, except in the case of a vacancy caused by recall, may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In its discretion, the board can decide to hold an election to fill the vacancy. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)98., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d)6., Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-75.005(13), Florida Administrative Code

What is the length of a board member’s term?

Except if the staggered term of a board member does not expire until a later annual meeting, or if all members’ terms would otherwise expire but there are no candidates, the terms of all members of a residential condominium board expire at the annual meeting. If the condominium association’s bylaws or articles of incorporation permit terms of no more than 2 years, the association board members may serve longer than 1 year if permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation.  A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive years. A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive terms.  All members of a cooperative board are elected at the annual meeting, unless the bylaws provide for staggered terms or for their election at another meeting. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)2., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d), Florida Statutes

May candidates for the board of administration engage in campaigning for an election?

Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, do not address the issue of campaigning for elections. You may review the documents of the association to determine if they address this issue. The statutes do, however, provide that candidates may submit a candidate information sheet to the board that must be included with the second notice of election that is provided to the unit owners. The information sheet can include the candidate’s background, education, and qualifications, as well as other factors deemed relevant by the candidate. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)4.a., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d)1., Florida Statutes

If an association has the same number of candidates as there are vacancies on the board, do they need to hold an election?

If the number of vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, an election is not required. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)2., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d)1., Florida Statutes

Is a residential condominium or cooperative association permitted to use proxies in the election of directors?

Proxies may not be used in electing the board in general elections or elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise.  However, condominium associations of 10 or fewer units and cooperative associations may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests, provide for different voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which vote may be by a proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election procedures.  The different voting and election procedures may provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)4., Florida Statutes, and see the language following section 718.112(2)(d)10, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d)1., Florida Statutes, and see the language following section 719.106(1)(d)6., Florida Statutes

Unit Owner Rights, Responsibilities and Restrictions
As a unit owner, do I have the right to attend a budget meeting?

Yes. As a unit owner, you should receive at least 14 days advance notice of the budget meeting along with a copy of the proposed annual budget either by mail, personal delivery, or electronic transmission. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(e), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(e)1., Florida Statutes

Unit Owner Meetings/Notices
What is the notice requirement for the annual meeting?

The board must give written notice, including an agenda, by mail, personal delivery, or electronic transmission to each unit owner at least 14 days before the annual meeting of the unit owners. The board must also post a notice of the meeting in a conspicuous place on the property at least 14 continuous days before the meeting.  In lieu of, or in addition to, the physical posting of meeting notices, the association may, by reasonable rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the condominium or cooperative association.  However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a posted notice, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this section. In addition to any of the authorized means of providing notice of a meeting of the board, the association may, by rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting the meeting notice and the agenda on a website serving the condominium association for at least the minimum period of time for which a notice of a meeting is also required to be physically posted on the condominium property. Any rule adopted shall, in addition to other matters, include a requirement that the association send an electronic notice in the same manner as a notice for a meeting of the members, which must include a hyperlink to the website where the notice is posted, to unit owners whose e-mail addresses are included in the association’s official records. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(d)3., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(d), Florida Statutes

Is my association required to hold regular meetings on a monthly basis?

Every association must hold an annual meeting of the members and a budget meeting. There is no requirement in Chapters 718 or 719, Florida Statutes, for regular meetings of the unit owners or the board of directors. The documents of the association, however, should be reviewed for any such requirements. Note: if 20 percent of the voting interests in a condominium association petition the board to address an item of business, the board, within 60 days after receipt of the petition, shall place the item on the agenda at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. Condominium: Sections 718.112(2)(c), (d) & (e), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Sections 719.106(1)(d) & (e), Florida Statutes

Proxies/General & Limited
What is the difference between a general proxy and a limited proxy?

A general proxy allows a proxy holder to vote however he or she sees fit on any matter that may be undertaken at a specific condominium or cooperative unit owner meeting. General proxies may be used for matters for which limited proxies are not required. A limited proxy lists the issues that a proxy holder may cast a vote for on behalf of a voting interest, and instructs the proxy holder on how to vote on those issues. Limited proxies are used for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves; votes taken to waive financial statement requirements; amend the declaration, articles of incorporation or bylaws; and for any other matter for which a vote of the unit owners is required. A proxy form may grant a proxy holder both general and limited powers. Limited and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Link to Sample Limited Proxy Form (DBPR Form CO 6000-7) Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(b)2.-3., Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.002(5), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(b)2.-3., Florida Statutes

Can a unit owner mail his or her ballot in the election of the board of administration?

Yes, a unit owner may mail his or her ballot to the association in accordance with the requirements of Rule 61B-23.0021(8) or Rule 61B-75.005(8), Florida Administrative Code. Condominium: Rule 61B-23.0021(8), Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Rule 61B-75.005(8), Florida Administrative Code

What decisions of the association require a unit owner vote?

Unit owner decisions are required for votes taken to do the following:

  • Waive or reduce reserves
  • Use reserves for other purposes
  • Elect directors by ballot
  • Amend the Declaration
  • Amend the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws (unless such documents state otherwise)
  • Recall board members
  • Adopt a substitute budget
  • Materially alter and/or substantially add to the association property
  • Terminate the condominium
  • Extend a developer guarantee
  • Waive financial reporting
  • Cancel certain contracts.

Note: Other unit owner votes may be required by the association documents. Condominium: Sections 718.110, 718.111(13), 718.112(2)(b)2., 718.112(2)(d)2., 718.112(2)(e)2., 718.112(2)(f)2.&3., 718.112(2)(h), 718.112(2)(j), 718.113(2)(a), 718.115(1)(d)1., 718.116(9)(a)2., and 718.117, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Sections 719.104(4), 719.104(6), 719.1055(1), 719.106(1)(b)2., 719.106(1)(e)2. & 3., 719.106(1)(f), 719.106(1)(h), and 719.106(1)(j)2. & 3., Florida Statutes

Annual Budget
Who adopts the condominium or cooperative association’s annual budget, unit owners or the board of directors?

The condominium and cooperative laws do not specify who must approve the budget.  Your governing documents should specify who must approve the budget. Condominium:  Section 718.112(2)(e), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.106(1)(e), Florida Statutes

Is there a limit to the amount a condominium or cooperative association may increase the budget each year?

If the board adopts an annual budget in which assessments exceed 115 percent of assessments for the previous fiscal year, 10 percent of all voting interests may petition for a unit owner meeting in order to adopt a substitute budget. Any determination of whether assessments exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year must exclude any authorized provision for reasonable reserves for repair or replacement of the condominium or cooperative property, anticipated expenses of the association which the board does not expect to be incurred on a regular or annual basis, or assessments for betterments to the condominium or cooperative property. Condominium: Sections 718.112(2)(e)2., Florida Statutes Cooperative: Sections 719.106(1)(e)2.-4., Florida Statutes

Reserves
Can the board use money from our reserve fund to pay for unexpected repairs to the condominium or cooperative property not covered by the reserve fund?

Reserve funds and any interest accruing must remain in the reserve account for authorized reserve expenditures, unless their use for other purposes is approved in advance by a vote of the majority of the voting interests present at a duly called meeting of the association. Condominium:  Section 718.112(2)(f)3., Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.106(1)(j)3., Florida Statutes

Assessments
What is the difference between a regular assessment and a special assessment?

Regular assessments are the fees collected from condominium or cooperative unit owners for payment of common expenses in accordance with the budget. Regular assessments may be collected not less frequently than quarterly. Special assessments are assessments levied against unit owners other than the assessments required by the annual budget. Notice of any meeting in which regular or special  assessments  against  unit  owners  are  to  be  considered  must specifically  state  that  assessments  will  be  considered  and  provide  the estimated cost and description of the purposes for such assessments. Condominium:  Sections 718.103(1) and (24) and 718.112(2)(g), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Sections 719.103(1) and (23) and 719.106(1)(g), Florida Statutes

How are special assessments approved?

The governing documents should specify whether the board or the unit owners may approve special assessments.  The condominium and cooperative laws do not address whether unit owners or the board must approve special assessments; however, they do provide minimum noticing requirements for meetings to consider special assessments. Condominium:  Sections 718.116(10) and 718.112(2)(c)1., Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Sections 719.108(9) and 719.106(1)(c), Florida Statutes

Can the condominium or cooperative association charge interest on assessment fees even if it is not provided for in the governing documents?

Yes. Assessments and installments on them that are not paid when due, bear interest at the rate provided in the association documents, from the due date until paid. If a rate is not provided in the declaration or cooperative documents, interest will accrue at the rate of 18 percent per year. Condominium:  Section 718.116(3), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.108(3), Florida Statutes

Can the association suspend a unit owner's voting rights because the unit owner is late in paying assessments?

Condominium and cooperative associations may suspend the right of a unit owner to vote, if the unit owner is more than 90 days delinquent and totals more than $1000 in any financial obligation due to the association. This action may be taken at a board meeting. Condominium:  Section 718.303(5), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.303(5), Florida Statutes

If I prevail in a legal action against the condominium or cooperative association, can I recover attorney’s fees and assessment fees that were levied by the association to fund its expenses of the litigation?

A unit owner prevailing in an action between the association and the unit owner under section 718.303(1) or 719.303(1), Florida Statutes, in addition to recovering his or her reasonable attorney’s fees, may recover additional amounts as determined by the court [or arbitrator] to be necessary to reimburse the unit owner for his or her share of assessments levied by the association to fund its expenses of the litigation. Condominium:  Section 718.303(1), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.303(1), Florida Statutes

Does the condominium or cooperative association have to accept my check for late assessments?

Yes. An association must accept all payments for assessments, including those that are late.  Any delinquent payment received by the association must be applied first to any interest accrued, then to any administrative late fees, then to any costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in collection, and then to the delinquent assessment. Condominium: Section 718.116(3), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.108(3), Florida Statutes

Liens/Foreclosure
Does an association have to give notice to an owner before it forecloses on a unit for unpaid assessments?

Yes. No foreclosure judgment may be entered until at least 30 days after the condominium or cooperative association gives written notice to the unit owner of its intention to foreclose its lien to collect the unpaid assessments. If this notice is not given at least 30 days before the foreclosure action is filed, and if the unpaid assessments, including those coming due after the claim of the lien is recorded, are paid before the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure, the association will not recover attorney’s fees or costs. Condominium: Section 718.116(6)(b), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.108(4), Florida Statutes

Can the condominium or cooperative board put a lien on an owner’s unit if the owner doesn't pay a fine?

No. Condominium:  Section 718.303(3), F.S. Cooperative:  Section 719.303(3), F.S.

Other Financial Matters
Is it true the cost of bundled services for internet and cable television service is a common expense, whether or not I use the service?

These services are common expenses if the declaration so provides, or if the condominium or cooperative association contracts with a service provider. The cost for the services under a bulk rate contract may be allocated on a per-unit basis rather than a percentage basis, if the declaration provides for other than an equal sharing of common expenses.  Any contract must provide, and is deemed to provide if not expressly set forth, that any hearing impaired or legally blind unit owner who does not occupy a unit with a non-hearing impaired or sighted person, or any unit owner receiving supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act or food assistance administered by the Department of Children and Family Services may discontinue the cable or video portion of the service without incurring disconnect fees or subsequent service fees. Condominium:  Section 718.115(1)(d), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.107(1)(b), Florida Statutes

Is our board required to obtain competitive bids before hiring a lawyer?

No. Condominium or cooperative associations are not required to obtain competitive bids when hiring an attorney, for contracts with employees of the association, accountant, architect, community association manager, timeshare management firm, engineering, or landscape architect services. Condominium:  Section 718.3026(2), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.3026(2), Florida Statutes

Does the board have to hire the company that prepares the lowest bid?

No.  The condominium or cooperative association is not required to accept the lowest bid. Condominium:  Section 718.3026, Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.3026, Florida Statutes

Can the board charge condominium or cooperative unit owners to use the common elements or common areas?

The association may not charge a use fee against a unit owner for the use of the common elements, common areas, or association property, unless otherwise provided for in the condominium declaration or cooperative governing documents or by a majority vote of the association or unless the charges relate to expenses incurred by an owner having exclusive use of the common elements, common areas, or association property. Condominium: Section 718.111(4), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.104(5), Florida Statutes

Can the board of administration use association funds to purchase gifts for condominium or cooperative board members?

The purchase of gifts for board members from association funds is not a valid common expense, unless the condominium declaration, articles of incorporation or bylaws of the association or cooperative governing documents provide for such to be a common expense. Condominium:  Section 718.115(1)(a), Florida Statutes Cooperative:  Section 719.107(1)(a), Florida Statutes

Annual Fees
Why must a condominium or cooperative association pay an annual fee to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes?

The collection of annual association fees enables the Division to operate the condominium and cooperative programs within the Division. The Division investigates complaints, reviews and approves condominium and cooperative documents, provides copies of Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, publishes educational brochures, holds educational seminars, employs full-time attorneys to act as arbitrators to conduct mandatory nonbinding arbitration of disputes, provides customer service to the public, and maintains a toll-free telephone line to assist customers.  Cooperative and condominium associations must pay to the Division, on or before January of each year, an annual fee in the amount of $4 for each residential unit operated by the association. Condominium: Section 718.501, Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.501, Florida Statutes

Complaints
Where do I file a complaint against my condominium or cooperative association, or the developer?

You may file a written complaint with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.  To request a complaint form, you may call 1.800.226.9101 (from within Florida only) or 850.488.1122, or download a printable copy from this page.  Please complete the form, listing all of your allegations, and include any documentation or backup information that you may have. 1. Mail your complaint to: Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes 2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1030 2. Or, e-mail your complaint to the Customer Contact Center at             http://www.myfloridalicense.com/contactus/. 3. Or, fax your complaint to 850.921.5446. Within 30 days after receipt of the complaint, the Division will notify you whether the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Division and whether additional information is needed. If appropriate, the Division will then conduct an investigation. In condominium associations where developer turnover has occurred, our division’s jurisdiction is limited to the investigation of complaints related to financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to association records.  All other complaints against a condominium association may be addressed by the arbitration or mediation process, or the courts.  You may access our Arbitration web page at http://myfloridalicense/dbpr/condos-timeshares-mobile-homes/final-order-indexes/. Condominium: Section 718.501(1) and (1)(m), Florida Statutes Cooperative: Section 719.501(1)and (1)(m), Florida Statutes

Publications
How can I get a copy of Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, The Condominium Act or Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, The Cooperative Act?

1. You can access Chapter 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, through the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes’ web page at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/condominiums-and-cooperatives/statutes-and-rules/ .

FAQ’s and answers are provided to the public for quick reference to commonly asked questions. They are not to be considered legal advice. If you are conducting legal research or your question arises as a result of litigation, you should consult with an attorney or refer to the latest edition of the Florida Statutes.

1. What is arbitration and how does it differ from mediation?

Effective 1992, Section 718.1255, Florida Statutes, required arbitration of certain condominium disputes as an alternative to court litigation and also authorized mediation of such disputes. Arbitration is an alternative to a court proceeding where a neutral third person, called an arbitrator, considers the facts and arguments presented by the parties and renders a decision. An arbitration proceeding may involve a hearing if there are disputed issues. If a hearing is held, each party is given an opportunity to present evidence through witnesses and exhibits. If there are no disputed issues, the arbitrator will generally decide the case based on the assertions in the petition for arbitration, the answer, and the applicable law. Mediation, on the other hand, means a process whereby a neutral third person, called a mediator, acts to encourage and facilitate the voluntary settlement of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem-solving and exploring settlement alternatives.

2. What is the cost of arbitration?

For condominium and cooperative disputes, a petition must be accompanied by a $50.00 filing fee.  You should also be aware that if you lose in arbitration you may have to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees and costs.

3. What if I'm not sure if the disagreement I have falls within the jurisdiction of the arbitration program?

The arbitration program’s jurisdiction is limited.  Therefore, any party who is in doubt as to whether a controversy falls within the jurisdiction of the arbitration program may file a request for expedited determination of jurisdiction by filing a completed DBPR form ARB 6000-004, REQUEST FOR EXPEDITED DETERMINATION OF JURISDICTION along with a completed  Mandatory Non-Binding Petition – DBPR Form ARB 6000-001  The $50.00 filing fee must accompany the request.

4. What forms are available for Non-Binding Arbitration?

All arbitration forms may be found at the Educational Materials Page for condominium arbitration.  The arbitration forms may also be obtained by writing: Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, Arbitration Section, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1030.

5. Where do I file an arbitration petition, answer or other pleadings?

Petitions, answers and other pleadings must be filed with the arbitration section at the following address: Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, Arbitration Section, Capital Commerce Center, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1030. Filings may also be made by facsimile at 850.487.0870.  However, it should be noted that any facsimile received after 5:00 p.m. local time will be considered to have been received the next business day.  It should also be noted, that a copy of any document filed with the arbitrator must be provided to the other party other party’s representative (if the party has an attorney or other representative) and the document must state that a copy has been provided to the other party or party’s representative.  If a case number has been assigned to the case, any document filed should include the case number.

6. How do I communicate with the arbitrator?

A party may communicate in writing with the arbitrator.  If a party wishes to speak to an arbitrator, the party may request in writing that a case management conference be held at which all parties are present.  If the arbitrator finds that a case management conference is merited, an order will be issued directing the parties to attend the conference.  However, no party or person interested in the arbitration proceeding or party representative may communicate with the arbitrator or member of the Department verbally or in writing in the absence of all other parties. Such a communication is called an ex parte communication.   Additionally, every document filed must contain a certificate of service, stating that a copy has been provided to the opposing parties and the date and method by which it was provided.   The purpose of this rule is to ensure that there are no contacts with the arbitrator without notice to the other party or the attorney for the other party.  The rule also ensures that each party has a complete record of all documents filed in the case.  Any communications or documents, by parties or nonparties, that do not comply with these requirements are subject to being stricken and not considered by the arbitrator.  Parties shall not attempt to engage in ex parte communication with the arbitrator by directly contacting the arbitrator or indirectly by contacting other employees of the Department in person, by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail.   The arbitrator functions as an impartial judge and, therefore, the arbitrator and arbitration staff are prohibited from providing the parties legal advice or other guidance.  If a party does not understand the arbitration process, the party should consult an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Florida.

7. I am not a party to the arbitration proceeding, but wish to file a communication with the arbitrator.

Only the parties or their representatives may file pleadings, motions or other communications with the arbitrator.  Anything filed by a non-party will be stricken and not considered by the arbitrator.

8. Do I need an attorney in order to participate in arbitration?

No. A party may be represented by an attorney, may represent him or herself, or may be represented by a qualified representative. If a party wants to be represented by a qualified representative, he or she must file with the arbitrator a completed DBPR form ARB 6000-002, QUALIFIED REPRESENTATIVE APPLICATION. Based on the information provided on the completed form, and based on the response to any inquiries made by the arbitrator concerning the applicant’s familiarity and understanding of the statute and rules applicable to the proceeding, the arbitrator will determine whether the prospective representative is authorized and qualified to appear in the arbitration proceeding and capable of representing the rights and interests of the party.

9. Where may I find more detailed information regarding the arbitration program?

More in depth information regarding the arbitration program may be found at    Arbitration News & Information web page.

10. I have questions regarding a homeowner’s association arbitration?

Information regarding the homeowner’s association arbitration program may be found at  Homeowners’ Associations Arbitration Webpage.

DISCLAIMER

INFORMATION ON THE ARBITRATION SECTION’S WEB PAGES IS BEING PROVIDED AS A GENERAL REFERENCE RESOURCE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO SERVE AS LEGAL ADVICE.  DEPARTMENT STAFF ARE NOT PERMITTED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE, ADVISE PERSONS AS TO WHETHER THEY SHOULD PURSUE LEGAL ACTION, OR INTERPRET THE RESOURCES PROVIDED ON THE ARBITRATION SECTION’S WEBPAGE.   IF AFTER REVIEWING THE RESOURCES ON THE ARBITRATION SECTION’S WEB PAGES, YOU STILL HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS OR A LEGAL ISSUE, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.   IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW OR WHERE TO FIND AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT THE FLORIDA BAR’S ATTORNEY REFERRAL SERVICE web page (Link to http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/48E76203493B82AD852567090070C9B9/ EC2322E512B83D1E85256B2F006CC812?OpenDocument ) or by calling   1-800-342-8011.

Recall of Board Members/Arbitration
What happens if a board chooses to not certify a recall?

At this point, the unit owners who voted at the recall meeting or who executed the agreement in writing will constitute one party under the petition for arbitration. The Division will appoint an arbitrator who will make the final decision as to the effectiveness of the recall. If the arbitrator certifies the recall, the recall will become effective upon the mailing of the final order of arbitration to the association. You may find our sample form for a written recall agreement helpful. Condominium: Section 718.112(2)(j)3., Florida Statutes, and Rules 61B-23.0027 and 61B-23.0028, Florida Administrative Code Cooperative: Section 719.106(1)(f)3., Florida Statutes, and Rules 61B-75.007 and 61B-75.008, Florida Administrative Code

CONDO FILING FAQS (proposed for 2019/2020)

Frequently asked questions and answers are provided to the public for quick reference to commonly asked questions. They are not to be considered legal advice. Contact the Bureau of Standards & Registration directly at 850.487.9832 if you have specific filing questions. Please note that if you are conducting legal research or your question arises as a result of litigation, you should consult with an attorney or refer to the latest edition of the Florida Statutes. For your convenience, we have grouped together questions with similar subject areas. Please choose one of the following subject areas:

WHAT ARE THE FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR A CONDOMINIUM?

Prior to offering any units in a residential condominium, the developer must submit condominium documents to the Division for review and approval, together with the proper forms and filing fees. Additionally, the developer must establish an escrow account with an escrow agent for the purpose of protecting the funds of purchasers if construction of the condominium is not yet completed.

Cite: Sections 718.202, 718.503, 718.504 & Rules 61B-15.011, 61B-15.007, 61B-17.001, 61B-17.002. Other statute sections and rules may apply, depending on the type of condominium being proposed.

WHAT ARE THE FILING FEES FOR AN INITIAL CONDOMINIUM FILING?

Upon the initial filing of condominium documents, the developer shall pay a filing fee of $20 for each residential unit that may be offered as a part of the proposed condominium. In a Mixed-Use condominium, the filing fee applies only to the residential units; the filing fee is not charged on the non-residential or commercial units..

Cite: Section 718.502(3) FS.

WHAT IS THE APPROVAL PROCESS FOR A CONDOMINIUM FILING?

Within 45 days after receipt by the Division’s Tallahassee office of the initial condominium filing, the Division will notify the developer in writing of either approval or specified deficiencies. The developer is required to respond to the deficiency notice within 45 days of receipt of the deficiency notice. The Division will then respond within 30 days after receipt of the developer’s response to any deficiency notice. This process recurs until the filing is approved, withdrawn, or rejected.

Cite: Rules 61B-17.001, 61B-17.002, 61B-17.005 FAC.

WHEN CAN A DEVELOPER BEGIN OFFERING CONDOMINIUM UNITS FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC?

Until a developer of a residential condominium or mixed-use condominium files with the Division one copy of each of the documents and items required to be furnished to a buyer or lessee by sections 718.503 and 718.504, if applicable, together with the $20-per-residential-unit filing fee, a contract for sale of a unit or lease of a unit for more than 5 years shall be voidable by the purchaser or lessee prior to the closing of his or her purchase or lease of a unit.

Cite: Section 718.502(1), (2) FS & Rule 61B-17.001(1) FAC.

WHEN CAN A DEVELOPER BEGIN CLOSING ON CONTRACTS FOR CONDOMINIUM UNITS?

A developer may not close on any contract for sale or for a lease period of more than 5 years until the Division notifies the developer that the filing is proper (accepted for filing purposes), delivers all documents required by section 718.503(1)(b) FS, to the prospective buyer, and records the declaration creating the condominium.

Cite: Section 718.502(1), (2) FS & Rule 61B-17.005 FAC.

CAN THE DEVELOPER ACCEPT RESERVATIONS ON A CONDOMINIUM PRIOR TO FILING THE CONDOMINIUM DOCUMENTS WITH THE DIVISION?

Yes. A developer may accept deposits for reservations of units upon the approval of a fully executed escrow agreement and proposed reservation agreement form properly filed with the Division, together with evidence of a developer’s ownership, leasehold or contractual interest in the land upon which the condominium is to be developed.  A filing fee of $250 applies to reservation programs.

Cite: Sections 718.202(6) & 718.502(2) FS, as well as 61B-17.001(1)(b) FAC.

WHAT IF THERE IS A CHANGE TO THE APPROVED CONDOMINIUM FILING?

Any change to an approved condominium filing must be filed as an amendment with the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.  The amendment shall be deemed effective upon written approval by the Division.  Upon filing the amendment, other than an amendment adding a phase to the condominium, the developer must pay a filing fee of $100. If phases/units are being added to an approved condominium filing, a filing fee of $20 per residential unit is also required, in addition to the $100 amendment filing fee.

Cite: Section 718.110 FS & Rule 61B-17.006 FAC, among others, depending on the type of amendment contemplated.  However, the amendment process may not be used to change the condominium type after approval by the Division; a complete refiling must be submitted to the Division for review and approval. Example: Changing an approved standard filing to a phase filing.

Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Boyd McAdams, Director
Division of Florida Condominiums,
Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791

Telephone: 850.488.1122
Facsimile: 850.921.5446