Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
The Condominium Ombudsman - Powers and Duties
Created by an act of the Legislature in 2004, the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman was established to be a resource for unit owners, board members, condominium associations and others. The Ombudsman’s duties are described in Section 718.5012 Florida Statutes, as follows:
(1)To prepare and issue reports and recommendations to the Governor, the department, the division, the Advisory Council on Condominiums, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of the division. The ombudsman shall make recommendations he or she deems appropriate for legislation relative to division procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions.
(2)To act as liaison between the division, unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties. The ombudsman shall develop policies and procedures to assist unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties to understand their rights and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and the condominium documents governing their respective association. The ombudsman shall coordinate and assist in the preparation and adoption of educational and reference material, and shall endeavor to coordinate with private or volunteer providers of these services, so that the availability of these resources is made known to the largest possible audience.
(3)To monitor and review procedures and disputes concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe that election misconduct has occurred.
(4)To make recommendations to the division for changes in rules and procedures for the filing, investigation, and resolution of complaints filed by unit owners, associations, and managers.
(5)To provide resources to assist members of boards of directors and officers of associations to carry out their powers and duties consistent with this chapter, division rules, and the condominium documents governing the association.
(6)To encourage and facilitate voluntary meetings with and between unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties when the meetings may assist in resolving a dispute within a community association before a person submits a dispute for a formal or administrative remedy. It is the intent of the Legislature that the ombudsman act as a neutral resource for both the rights and responsibilities of unit owners, associations, and board members.
(7)Fifteen percent of the total voting interests in a condominium association, or six unit owners, whichever is greater, may petition the ombudsman to appoint an election monitor to attend the annual meeting of the unit owners and conduct the election of directors. The ombudsman shall appoint a division employee, a person or persons specializing in condominium election monitoring, or an attorney licensed to practice in this state as the election monitor. All costs associated with the election monitoring process shall be paid by the association. The division shall adopt a rule establishing procedures for the appointment of election monitors and the scope and extent of the monitor's role in the election process.