October 19, 2019
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       CS for CS for SB 714                             First Engrossed
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       2009714e1
       
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to condominiums; creating s. 627.714,
    3         F.S.; requiring that coverage under a unit owner’s
    4         policy for certain assessments include at least a
    5         minimum amount of loss assessment coverage; requiring
    6         that every property insurance policy to an individual
    7         unit owner contain a specified provision; amending s.
    8         633.0215, F.S.; providing an exemption for certain
    9         condominiums from installing a manual fire alarm
   10         system as required in the Life Safety Code if certain
   11         conditions are met; amending s. 718.111, F.S.;
   12         requiring that adequate property insurance be based
   13         upon the replacement cost of the property to be
   14         insured as determined by an independent appraisal or
   15         update of a prior appraisal; requiring that such
   16         replacement cost be determined at least once within a
   17         specified period; providing means by which an
   18         association may provide adequate property insurance;
   19         providing that certain property insurance policies or
   20         programs are not subject to review and approval by the
   21         Office of Insurance Regulation; prohibiting such
   22         coverage or program from existing beyond a specified
   23         date; authorizing an association to consider
   24         deductibles when determining an adequate amount of
   25         property insurance; providing that failure to maintain
   26         adequate property insurance constitutes a breach of
   27         fiduciary duty by the members of the board of
   28         directors of an association; revising the procedures
   29         for the board to establish the amount of deductibles;
   30         requiring that an association controlled by unit
   31         owners operating as a residential condominium use its
   32         best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate property
   33         insurance to protect the association and certain
   34         property; requiring that every property insurance
   35         policy issued or renewed on or after a specified date
   36         provide certain coverage; excluding certain items from
   37         such requirement; providing that excluded items and
   38         any insurance thereupon are the responsibility of the
   39         unit owner; requiring that condominium unit owner’s
   40         policies conform to certain provisions of state law;
   41         deleting provisions relating to certain hazard and
   42         casualty insurance policies; conforming provisions to
   43         changes made by the act; amending s. 718.112, F.S.;
   44         conforming cross-references; revising requirements for
   45         the reappointment of certain board members; revising
   46         board eligibility requirements; revising notice
   47         requirements for board candidates; establishing
   48         requirements for newly elected board members;
   49         extending the period during which condominium common
   50         areas do not have to be retrofitted with sprinkler
   51         systems; providing that certain directors and officers
   52         delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine, or regular
   53         or special assessments shall be deemed to have
   54         abandoned their office; repealing s. 553.509(2), F.S.,
   55         relating to the requirement that certain residential
   56         family dwellings have at least one public elevator
   57         that is capable of operating on an alternate power
   58         source for emergency purposes; providing an effective
   59         date.
   60  
   61  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   62  
   63         Section 1. Section 627.714, Florida Statutes, is created to
   64  read:
   65         627.714Residential condominium unit owner coverage; loss
   66  assessment coverage required; excess coverage provision
   67  required.—For policies issued or renewed on or after July 1,
   68  2009, coverage under a unit owner’s residential property policy
   69  shall include property loss assessment coverage of at least
   70  $2,000 for all assessments made as a result of the same direct
   71  loss to the property, regardless of the number of assessments,
   72  owned by all members of the association collectively when such
   73  loss is of the type of loss covered by the unit owner’s
   74  residential property insurance policy, to which a deductible
   75  shall apply of no more than $250 per direct property loss. If a
   76  deductible was or will be applied to other property loss
   77  sustained by the unit owner resulting from the same direct loss
   78  to the property, no deductible shall apply to the loss
   79  assessment coverage. Every individual unit owner’s residential
   80  property policy must contain a provision stating that the
   81  coverage afforded by such policy is excess coverage over the
   82  amount recoverable under any other policy covering the same
   83  property.
   84         Section 2. Subsection (13) is added to section 633.0215,
   85  Florida Statutes, to read:
   86         633.0215 Florida Fire Prevention Code.—
   87         (13) A condominium that is one or two stories in height and
   88  has an exterior means of egress corridor is exempt from
   89  installing a manual fire alarm system as required in s. 9.6 of
   90  the most recent edition of the Life Safety Code adopted in the
   91  Florida Fire Prevention Code.
   92         Section 3. Paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), (g), (j),
   93  and (n) of subsection (11) of section 718.111, Florida Statutes,
   94  are amended to read:
   95         718.111 The association.—
   96         (11) INSURANCE.—In order to protect the safety, health, and
   97  welfare of the people of the State of Florida and to ensure
   98  consistency in the provision of insurance coverage to
   99  condominiums and their unit owners, this subsection applies to
  100  every residential condominium in the state, regardless of the
  101  date of its declaration of condominium. It is the intent of the
  102  Legislature to encourage lower or stable insurance premiums for
  103  associations described in this subsection.
  104         (a) Adequate property hazard insurance, regardless of any
  105  requirement in the declaration of condominium for coverage by
  106  the association for full insurable value, replacement cost, or
  107  similar coverage, shall be based upon the replacement cost of
  108  the property to be insured as determined by an independent
  109  insurance appraisal or update of a prior appraisal. The
  110  replacement cost full insurable value shall be determined at
  111  least once every 36 months.
  112         1. An association or group of associations may provide
  113  adequate property hazard insurance through a self-insurance fund
  114  that complies with the requirements of ss. 624.460-624.488.
  115         2. The association may also provide adequate property
  116  hazard insurance coverage for a group of no fewer than three
  117  communities created and operating under this chapter, chapter
  118  719, chapter 720, or chapter 721 by obtaining and maintaining
  119  for such communities insurance coverage sufficient to cover an
  120  amount equal to the probable maximum loss for the communities
  121  for a 250-year windstorm event. Such probable maximum loss must
  122  be determined through the use of a competent model that has been
  123  accepted by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection
  124  Methodology. No policy or program providing such coverage shall
  125  be issued or renewed after July 1, 2008, unless it has been
  126  reviewed and approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation. The
  127  review and approval shall include approval of the policy and
  128  related forms pursuant to ss. 627.410 and 627.411, approval of
  129  the rates pursuant to s. 627.062, a determination that the loss
  130  model approved by the commission was accurately and
  131  appropriately applied to the insured structures to determine the
  132  250-year probable maximum loss, and a determination that
  133  complete and accurate disclosure of all material provisions is
  134  provided to condominium unit owners prior to execution of the
  135  agreement by a condominium association. A property insurance
  136  policy or program originally issued before January 1, 2000,
  137  which has provided uninterrupted property insurance coverage and
  138  provided coverage for a group of no fewer than three communities
  139  is not subject to review and approval by the Office of Insurance
  140  Regulation until renewed after July 1, 2009. Such coverage or
  141  program may not exist beyond July 1, 2010.
  142         3. When determining the adequate amount of property hazard
  143  insurance coverage, the association may consider deductibles as
  144  determined by this subsection.
  145         (b) If an association is a developer-controlled
  146  association, the association shall exercise its best efforts to
  147  obtain and maintain insurance as described in paragraph (a).
  148  Failure to obtain and maintain adequate property hazard
  149  insurance during any period of developer control constitutes a
  150  breach of fiduciary responsibility by the developer-appointed
  151  members of the board of directors of the association, unless the
  152  members can show that despite such failure, they have made their
  153  best efforts to maintain the required coverage.
  154         (c) Policies may include deductibles as determined by the
  155  board.
  156         1. The deductibles shall be consistent with industry
  157  standards and prevailing practice for communities of similar
  158  size and age, and having similar construction and facilities in
  159  the locale where the condominium property is situated.
  160         2. The deductibles may be based upon available funds,
  161  including reserve accounts, or predetermined assessment
  162  authority at the time the insurance is obtained.
  163         3. The board shall establish the amount of deductibles
  164  based upon the level of available funds and predetermined
  165  assessment authority at a meeting of the board. Such meeting
  166  shall be open to all unit owners in the manner set forth in s.
  167  718.112(2)(e). The notice of such meeting must state the
  168  proposed deductible and the available funds and the assessment
  169  authority relied upon by the board and estimate any potential
  170  assessment amount against each unit, if any. The meeting
  171  described in this paragraph may be held in conjunction with a
  172  meeting to consider the proposed budget or an amendment thereto.
  173         (d) An association controlled by unit owners operating as a
  174  residential condominium shall use its best efforts to obtain and
  175  maintain adequate property insurance to protect the association,
  176  the association property, the common elements, and the
  177  condominium property that is required to be insured by the
  178  association pursuant to this subsection.
  179         (f) Every property hazard insurance policy issued or
  180  renewed on or after January 1, 2009, for the purpose of
  181  protecting the condominium shall provide primary coverage for:
  182         1. All portions of the condominium property as originally
  183  installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance
  184  with the original plans and specifications.
  185         2. All alterations or additions made to the condominium
  186  property or association property pursuant to s. 718.113(2).
  187  3. The coverage shall exclude all personal property within the
  188  unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling
  189  coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water
  190  filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window
  191  treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and
  192  similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of
  193  the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the
  194  unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance
  195  thereupon shall be the responsibility of the unit owner.
  196         (g) A condominium unit owner’s policy shall conform to the
  197  requirements of s. 627.714. Every hazard insurance policy issued
  198  or renewed on or after January 1, 2009, to an individual unit
  199  owner must contain a provision stating that the coverage
  200  afforded by such policy is excess coverage over the amount
  201  recoverable under any other policy covering the same property.
  202  Such policies must include special assessment coverage of no
  203  less than $2,000 per occurrence. An insurance policy issued to
  204  an individual unit owner providing such coverage does not
  205  provide rights of subrogation against the condominium
  206  association operating the condominium in which such individual’s
  207  unit is located.
  208         1.All improvements or additions to the condominium
  209  property that benefit fewer than all unit owners shall be
  210  insured by the unit owner or owners having the use thereof, or
  211  may be insured by the association at the cost and expense of the
  212  unit owners having the use thereof.
  213         2.The association shall require each owner to provide
  214  evidence of a currently effective policy of hazard and liability
  215  insurance upon request, but not more than once per year. Upon
  216  the failure of an owner to provide a certificate of insurance
  217  issued by an insurer approved to write such insurance in this
  218  state within 30 days after the date on which a written request
  219  is delivered, the association may purchase a policy of insurance
  220  on behalf of an owner. The cost of such a policy, together with
  221  reconstruction costs undertaken by the association but which are
  222  the responsibility of the unit owner, may be collected in the
  223  manner provided for the collection of assessments in s. 718.116.
  224         1.3. All reconstruction work after a property casualty loss
  225  shall be undertaken by the association except as otherwise
  226  authorized in this section. A unit owner may undertake
  227  reconstruction work on portions of the unit with the prior
  228  written consent of the board of administration. However, such
  229  work may be conditioned upon the approval of the repair methods,
  230  the qualifications of the proposed contractor, or the contract
  231  that is used for that purpose. A unit owner shall obtain all
  232  required governmental permits and approvals prior to commencing
  233  reconstruction.
  234         2.4. Unit owners are responsible for the cost of
  235  reconstruction of any portions of the condominium property for
  236  which the unit owner is required to carry property casualty
  237  insurance, and any such reconstruction work undertaken by the
  238  association shall be chargeable to the unit owner and
  239  enforceable as an assessment pursuant to s. 718.116. The
  240  association must be an additional named insured and loss payee
  241  on all casualty insurance policies issued to unit owners in the
  242  condominium operated by the association.
  243         3.5. A multicondominium association may elect, by a
  244  majority vote of the collective members of the condominiums
  245  operated by the association, to operate such condominiums as a
  246  single condominium for purposes of insurance matters, including,
  247  but not limited to, the purchase of the property hazard
  248  insurance required by this section and the apportionment of
  249  deductibles and damages in excess of coverage. The election to
  250  aggregate the treatment of insurance premiums, deductibles, and
  251  excess damages constitutes an amendment to the declaration of
  252  all condominiums operated by the association, and the costs of
  253  insurance shall be stated in the association budget. The
  254  amendments shall be recorded as required by s. 718.110.
  255         (j) Any portion of the condominium property required to be
  256  insured by the association against property casualty loss
  257  pursuant to paragraph (f) which is damaged by casualty shall be
  258  reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the
  259  association as a common expense. All property hazard insurance
  260  deductibles, uninsured losses, and other damages in excess of
  261  property hazard insurance coverage under the property hazard
  262  insurance policies maintained by the association are a common
  263  expense of the condominium, except that:
  264         1. A unit owner is responsible for the costs of repair or
  265  replacement of any portion of the condominium property not paid
  266  by insurance proceeds, if such damage is caused by intentional
  267  conduct, negligence, or failure to comply with the terms of the
  268  declaration or the rules of the association by a unit owner, the
  269  members of his or her family, unit occupants, tenants, guests,
  270  or invitees, without compromise of the subrogation rights of any
  271  insurer as set forth in paragraph (g).
  272         2. The provisions of subparagraph 1. regarding the
  273  financial responsibility of a unit owner for the costs of
  274  repairing or replacing other portions of the condominium
  275  property also apply to the costs of repair or replacement of
  276  personal property of other unit owners or the association, as
  277  well as other property, whether real or personal, which the unit
  278  owners are required to insure under paragraph (g).
  279         3. To the extent the cost of repair or reconstruction for
  280  which the unit owner is responsible under this paragraph is
  281  reimbursed to the association by insurance proceeds, and, to the
  282  extent the association has collected the cost of such repair or
  283  reconstruction from the unit owner, the association shall
  284  reimburse the unit owner without the waiver of any rights of
  285  subrogation.
  286         4. The association is not obligated to pay for repair or
  287  reconstruction or repairs of property casualty losses as a
  288  common expense if the property casualty losses were known or
  289  should have been known to a unit owner and were not reported to
  290  the association until after the insurance claim of the
  291  association for that property casualty was settled or resolved
  292  with finality, or denied on the basis that it was untimely
  293  filed.
  294         (n) The association is not obligated to pay for any
  295  reconstruction or repair expenses due to property casualty loss
  296  to any improvements installed by a current or former owner of
  297  the unit or by the developer if the improvement benefits only
  298  the unit for which it was installed and is not part of the
  299  standard improvements installed by the developer on all units as
  300  part of original construction, whether or not such improvement
  301  is located within the unit. This paragraph does not relieve any
  302  party of its obligations regarding recovery due under any
  303  insurance implemented specifically for any such improvements.
  304         Section 4. Paragraphs (b), (d), (l), and (n) of subsection
  305  (2) of section 718.112, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  306         718.112 Bylaws.—
  307         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  308  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  309  the following:
  310         (b) Quorum; voting requirements; proxies.—
  311         1. Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the
  312  percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum
  313  at a meeting of the members shall be a majority of the voting
  314  interests. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the
  315  declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws, and except as
  316  provided in sub-subparagraph subparagraph (d)3.a., decisions
  317  shall be made by owners of a majority of the voting interests
  318  represented at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
  319         2. Except as specifically otherwise provided herein, after
  320  January 1, 1992, unit owners may not vote by general proxy, but
  321  may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a
  322  limited proxy form adopted by the division. No voting interest
  323  or consent right allocated to a unit owned by the association
  324  shall be exercised or considered for any purpose, whether for a
  325  quorum, an election, or otherwise. Limited proxies and general
  326  proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Limited proxies shall
  327  be used for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves in
  328  accordance with subparagraph (f)2.; for votes taken to waive the
  329  financial reporting requirements of s. 718.111(13); for votes
  330  taken to amend the declaration pursuant to s. 718.110; for votes
  331  taken to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws pursuant
  332  to this section; and for any other matter for which this chapter
  333  requires or permits a vote of the unit owners. Except as
  334  provided in paragraph (d), after January 1, 1992, no proxy,
  335  limited or general, shall be used in the election of board
  336  members. General proxies may be used for other matters for which
  337  limited proxies are not required, and may also be used in voting
  338  for nonsubstantive changes to items for which a limited proxy is
  339  required and given. Notwithstanding the provisions of this
  340  subparagraph, unit owners may vote in person at unit owner
  341  meetings. Nothing contained herein shall limit the use of
  342  general proxies or require the use of limited proxies for any
  343  agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare
  344  condominium association.
  345         3. Any proxy given shall be effective only for the specific
  346  meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned
  347  meetings thereof. In no event shall any proxy be valid for a
  348  period longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting
  349  for which it was given. Every proxy is revocable at any time at
  350  the pleasure of the unit owner executing it.
  351         4. A member of the board of administration or a committee
  352  may submit in writing his or her agreement or disagreement with
  353  any action taken at a meeting that the member did not attend.
  354  This agreement or disagreement may not be used as a vote for or
  355  against the action taken and may not be used for the purposes of
  356  creating a quorum.
  357         5. When any of the board or committee members meet by
  358  telephone conference, those board or committee members attending
  359  by telephone conference may be counted toward obtaining a quorum
  360  and may vote by telephone. A telephone speaker must be used so
  361  that the conversation of those board or committee members
  362  attending by telephone may be heard by the board or committee
  363  members attending in person as well as by any unit owners
  364  present at a meeting.
  365         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  366         1. There shall be an annual meeting of the unit owners held
  367  at the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  368  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  369  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  370  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  371  a timeshare condominium. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a
  372  vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director’s
  373  term shall be filled by electing a new board member, and the
  374  election shall be by secret ballot; however, if the number of
  375  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, no
  376  election is required. Except in a timeshare condominium, the
  377  terms of all members of the board shall expire at the annual
  378  meeting and such board members may stand for reelection unless
  379  otherwise permitted by the bylaws. In the event that the bylaws
  380  permit staggered terms of no more than 2 years and upon approval
  381  of a majority of the total voting interests, the association
  382  board members may serve 2-year staggered terms. If the number no
  383  person is interested in or demonstrates an intention to run for
  384  the position of a board members member whose terms have term has
  385  expired according to the provisions of this subparagraph exceeds
  386  the number of eligible members showing interest in or
  387  demonstrating an intention to run for the vacant positions, each
  388  such board member whose term has expired shall become eligible
  389  for reappointment be automatically reappointed to the board of
  390  administration and need not stand for reelection. In a
  391  condominium association of more than 10 units or in a
  392  condominium association that does not include timeshare units,
  393  coowners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of
  394  directors at the same time unless they own more than one unit
  395  and are not co-occupants of a unit. Any unit owner desiring to
  396  be a candidate for board membership shall comply with sub
  397  subparagraph subparagraph 3.a. A person who has been suspended
  398  or removed by the division under this chapter, or who is
  399  delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine, or special or
  400  regular assessment as provided in paragraph (n), is not eligible
  401  for board membership. A person who has been convicted of any
  402  felony in this state or in a United States District or
  403  Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any offense in
  404  another jurisdiction that would be considered a felony if
  405  committed in this state, is not eligible for board membership
  406  unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored for a period
  407  of no less than 5 years as of the date on which such person
  408  seeks election to the board. The validity of an action by the
  409  board is not affected if it is later determined that a member of
  410  the board is ineligible for board membership due to having been
  411  convicted of a felony.
  412         2. The bylaws shall provide the method of calling meetings
  413  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice, which
  414  notice must include an agenda, shall be mailed, hand delivered,
  415  or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14
  416  days prior to the annual meeting and shall be posted in a
  417  conspicuous place on the condominium property at least 14
  418  continuous days preceding the annual meeting. Upon notice to the
  419  unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a
  420  specific location on the condominium property or association
  421  property upon which all notices of unit owner meetings shall be
  422  posted; however, if there is no condominium property or
  423  association property upon which notices can be posted, this
  424  requirement does not apply. In lieu of or in addition to the
  425  physical posting of notice of any meeting of the unit owners on
  426  the condominium property, the association may, by reasonable
  427  rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly
  428  broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable
  429  television system serving the condominium association. However,
  430  if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted
  431  physically on the condominium property, the notice and agenda
  432  must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of
  433  each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this
  434  section. When broadcast notice is provided, the notice and
  435  agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient
  436  continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to
  437  observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of
  438  the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner waives in writing
  439  the right to receive notice of the annual meeting, such notice
  440  shall be hand delivered, mailed, or electronically transmitted
  441  to each unit owner. Notice for meetings and notice for all other
  442  purposes shall be mailed to each unit owner at the address last
  443  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand
  444  delivered to each unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by
  445  more than one person, the association shall provide notice, for
  446  meetings and all other purposes, to that one address which the
  447  developer initially identifies for that purpose and thereafter
  448  as one or more of the owners of the unit shall so advise the
  449  association in writing, or if no address is given or the owners
  450  of the unit do not agree, to the address provided on the deed of
  451  record. An officer of the association, or the manager or other
  452  person providing notice of the association meeting, shall
  453  provide an affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate
  454  of mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  455  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  456  delivered, in accordance with this provision.
  457         3.a. The members of the board shall be elected by written
  458  ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall in no event be used in
  459  electing the board, either in general elections or elections to
  460  fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise,
  461  unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Not less than 60 days
  462  before a scheduled election, the association shall mail,
  463  deliver, or electronically transmit, whether by separate
  464  association mailing or included in another association mailing,
  465  delivery, or transmission, including regularly published
  466  newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a first
  467  notice of the date of the election along with a certification
  468  form provided by the division attesting that he or she has read
  469  and understands, to the best of his or her ability, the
  470  governing documents of the association and the provisions of
  471  this chapter and any applicable rules. Any unit owner or other
  472  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  473  give written notice of intent to be a candidate to the
  474  association not less than 40 days before a scheduled election.
  475  Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in
  476  subparagraph 2., the association shall mail, deliver, or
  477  electronically transmit a second notice of the election to all
  478  unit owners entitled to vote therein, together with a ballot
  479  which shall list all candidates. Upon request of a candidate,
  480  the association shall include an information sheet, no larger
  481  than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be furnished by the
  482  candidate not less than 35 days before the election, shall along
  483  with the signed certification form provided for in this
  484  subparagraph, to be included with the mailing, delivery, or
  485  transmission of the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery,
  486  or electronic transmission and copying to be borne by the
  487  association. The association is not liable for the contents of
  488  the information sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to
  489  reduce costs, the association may print or duplicate the
  490  information sheets on both sides of the paper. The division
  491  shall by rule establish voting procedures consistent with the
  492  provisions contained herein, including rules establishing
  493  procedures for giving notice by electronic transmission and
  494  rules providing for the secrecy of ballots. Elections shall be
  495  decided by a plurality of those ballots cast. There shall be no
  496  quorum requirement; however, at least 20 percent of the eligible
  497  voters must cast a ballot in order to have a valid election of
  498  members of the board. No unit owner shall permit any other
  499  person to vote his or her ballot, and any such ballots
  500  improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided any unit owner
  501  who violates this provision may be fined by the association in
  502  accordance with s. 718.303. A unit owner who needs assistance in
  503  casting the ballot for the reasons stated in s. 101.051 may
  504  obtain assistance in casting the ballot. The regular election
  505  shall occur on the date of the annual meeting. The provisions of
  506  this sub-subparagraph subparagraph shall not apply to timeshare
  507  condominium associations. Notwithstanding the provisions of this
  508  sub-subparagraph subparagraph, an election is not required
  509  unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or are
  510  nominated than board vacancies exist.
  511         b.Within 90 days after being elected to the board, each
  512  newly elected director shall certify in writing to the secretary
  513  of the association that he or she has read the association’s
  514  declarations of covenants and restrictions, articles of
  515  incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
  516  she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
  517  of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
  518  discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  519  association’s members. In lieu of this written certification,
  520  the newly elected director may submit a certificate of
  521  satisfactory completion of the educational curriculum
  522  administered by a division-approved condominium education
  523  provider. Failure to timely file the written certification or
  524  educational certificate automatically disqualifies the director
  525  from service on the board. The secretary shall cause the
  526  association to retain a director’s written certification or
  527  educational certificate for inspection by the members for 5
  528  years after a director’s election. Failure to have such written
  529  certification or educational certificate on file does not affect
  530  the validity of any appropriate action.
  531         4. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  532  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  533  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), shall be
  534  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and shall be
  535  subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable
  536  condominium documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking,
  537  except that unit owners may take action by written agreement,
  538  without meetings, on matters for which action by written
  539  agreement without meetings is expressly allowed by the
  540  applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute that provides
  541  for such action.
  542         5. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  543  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute.
  544  If authorized by the bylaws, notice of meetings of the board of
  545  administration, unit owner meetings, except unit owner meetings
  546  called to recall board members under paragraph (j), and
  547  committee meetings may be given by electronic transmission to
  548  unit owners who consent to receive notice by electronic
  549  transmission.
  550         6. Unit owners shall have the right to participate in
  551  meetings of unit owners with reference to all designated agenda
  552  items. However, the association may adopt reasonable rules
  553  governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner
  554  participation.
  555         7. Any unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  556  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  557  division.
  558         8. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  559  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  560  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  561  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  562  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  563  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  564  the election procedures must conform to the requirements of sub
  565  subparagraph subparagraph 3.a. unless the association governs 10
  566  units or fewer less and has opted out of the statutory election
  567  process, in which case the bylaws of the association control.
  568  Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a board member
  569  appointed or elected under this section shall fill the vacancy
  570  for the unexpired term of the seat being filled. Filling
  571  vacancies created by recall is governed by paragraph (j) and
  572  rules adopted by the division.
  573  
  574  Notwithstanding subparagraph subparagraphs (b)2. and sub
  575  subparagraph (d)3.a., an association of 10 or fewer units may,
  576  by the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting
  577  interests, provide for different voting and election procedures
  578  in its bylaws, which vote may be by a proxy specifically
  579  delineating the different voting and election procedures. The
  580  different voting and election procedures may provide for
  581  elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy.
  582         (l) Certificate of compliance.—There shall be a provision
  583  that a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical
  584  contractor or electrician may be accepted by the association’s
  585  board as evidence of compliance of the condominium units with
  586  the applicable fire and life safety code. Notwithstanding the
  587  provisions of chapter 633 or of any other code, statute,
  588  ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or any
  589  interpretation of the foregoing, an association, condominium, or
  590  unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the common elements or
  591  units of a residential condominium with a fire sprinkler system
  592  or other engineered lifesafety system in a building that has
  593  been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental
  594  entity, if the unit owners have voted to forego such
  595  retrofitting and engineered lifesafety system by the affirmative
  596  vote of two-thirds of all voting interests in the affected
  597  condominium. However, a condominium association may not vote to
  598  forego the retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system of common
  599  areas in a high-rise building. For purposes of this subsection,
  600  the term “high-rise building” means a building that is greater
  601  than 75 feet in height where the building height is measured
  602  from the lowest level of fire department access to the floor of
  603  the highest occupiable story. For purposes of this subsection,
  604  the term “common areas” means any enclosed hallway, corridor,
  605  lobby, stairwell, or entryway. In no event shall the local
  606  authority having jurisdiction require completion of retrofitting
  607  of common areas with a sprinkler system before the end of 2025
  608  2014.
  609         1. A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by limited
  610  proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called membership
  611  meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and
  612  shall be effective upon the recording of a certificate attesting
  613  to such vote in the public records of the county where the
  614  condominium is located. The association shall mail, hand
  615  deliver, or electronically transmit to each unit owner written
  616  notice at least 14 days prior to such membership meeting in
  617  which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required fire
  618  sprinkler system is to take place. Within 30 days after the
  619  association’s opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out
  620  vote shall be mailed, hand delivered, or electronically
  621  transmitted to all unit owners. Evidence of compliance with this
  622  30-day notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the
  623  person providing the notice and filed among the official records
  624  of the association. After such notice is provided to each owner,
  625  a copy of such notice shall be provided by the current owner to
  626  a new owner prior to closing and shall be provided by a unit
  627  owner to a renter prior to signing a lease.
  628         2. As part of the information collected annually from
  629  condominiums, the division shall require condominium
  630  associations to report the membership vote and recording of a
  631  certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been
  632  undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall
  633  annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the
  634  Department of Financial Services the number of condominiums that
  635  have elected to forego retrofitting.
  636         (n) Director or officer delinquencies.—A director or
  637  officer more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any fee,
  638  fine, or regular or special assessments shall be deemed to have
  639  abandoned the office, creating a vacancy in the office to be
  640  filled according to law.
  641         Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 553.509, Florida
  642  Statutes, is repealed.
  643         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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