October 20, 2020
Print This PagePrint This Page

  *
Session:
Bill #:
Session:
Chamber: View Search Tips
Search Term:
Year: View Search Tips
Search Term:
       Florida Senate - 2009                                    SB 2604
       
       
       
       By Senator Gardiner
       
       
       
       
       9-00391A-09                                           20092604__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to residential properties; amending s.
    3         718.112, F.S.; requiring each newly elected director
    4         to certify to the secretary of the association that he
    5         or she has read the association's declarations of
    6         covenants and restrictions, articles of incorporation,
    7         bylaws, and current written policies and will work to
    8         uphold such documents and policies to the best of his
    9         or her ability; providing that a failure to timely
   10         file the statement automatically disqualifies the
   11         director from service on the association's board of
   12         directors; requiring the secretary of the association
   13         to retain a director's certification for inspection by
   14         the members for a specified period of years after a
   15         director's election; amending s. 720.303, F.S.;
   16         revising provisions relating to homeowners'
   17         association board meetings, inspection and copying of
   18         records, and reserve accounts of budgets; prohibiting
   19         a salary or compensation for certain association
   20         personnel; providing exceptions; amending s. 720.305,
   21         F.S.; authorizing fines assessed against members which
   22         exceed a certain amount to become a lien against a
   23         parcel; amending s. 720.306, F.S.; providing
   24         requirements for secret ballots; requiring newly
   25         elected members of a board of directors to make
   26         certain certifications in writing to the association;
   27         providing for disqualification for failure to make
   28         such certifications; requiring an association to
   29         retain certifications for a specified time; amending
   30         s. 720.401, F.S.; requiring that the disclosure
   31         summary to prospective parcel owners include
   32         additional provisions; amending s. 34.01, F.S.;
   33         correcting a cross-reference to conform to changes
   34         made by the act; amending s. 720.302, F.S.; correcting
   35         a cross-reference to conform to changes made by the
   36         act; establishing legislative intent; repealing s.
   37         720.311, F.S., relating to a procedure for dispute
   38         resolution in homeowners' associations; providing that
   39         dispute resolution cases pending on the date of repeal
   40         will continue under the repealed provisions; creating
   41         part IV of ch. 720, F.S., relating to dispute
   42         resolution; creating s. 720.501, F.S.; providing a
   43         short title; creating s. 720.502, F.S.; providing
   44         legislative findings; creating s. 720.503, F.S.;
   45         setting applicability of provisions for mediation and
   46         arbitration applicable to disputes in homeowners'
   47         associations; creating exceptions; providing
   48         applicability; tolling applicable statutes of
   49         limitations; creating s. 720.504, F.S.; requiring that
   50         the notice of dispute be delivered before referral to
   51         mediation or arbitration; creating s. 720.505, F.S.;
   52         creating a statutory notice form for referral to
   53         mediation; requiring delivery by certified mail or
   54         personal delivery; setting deadlines; requiring
   55         parties to share costs; requiring the selection of a
   56         mediator and times to meet; providing penalties for
   57         failure to mediate; creating s. 720.506, F.S.;
   58         creating an opt-out provision; creating s. 720.507,
   59         F.S.; creating a statutory notice form for referral to
   60         arbitration; requiring delivery by certified mail or
   61         personal delivery; setting deadlines; requiring
   62         parties to share costs; requiring the selection of an
   63         arbitrator and times to meet; providing penalties for
   64         failure to arbitrate; creating s. 720.508, F.S.;
   65         providing for rules of procedure; providing for
   66         confidentiality; creating s. 720.509, F.S.; setting
   67         qualifications for mediators and arbitrators; creating
   68         s. 720.510, F.S.; providing for enforcement of
   69         mediation agreements and arbitration awards; providing
   70         that any three or more condominium associations may
   71         form a self-insurance fund for certain purposes under
   72         certain conditions; requiring that the contract for
   73         participating in the fund disclose certain information
   74         and contain certain provisions; requiring that a
   75         disclosure be provided to an association before
   76         execution of such contract; requiring that such
   77         disclosure contain certain information; providing for
   78         the charging of contributions for participation in the
   79         fund; requiring that the majority of the governing
   80         board of the fund be participants in the fund;
   81         providing powers of the governing board; authorizing
   82         the fund to enter into certain contracts; requiring
   83         that the fund use a general lines agent meeting
   84         certain criteria when soliciting participation in the
   85         fund; prohibiting the fund from taking certain actions
   86         when selecting such agent; requiring that the fund be
   87         independently audited at specified intervals;
   88         authorizing the fund to accumulate funds or distribute
   89         excess funds to participants on a pro rata basis;
   90         providing for a deductible for participants in the
   91         fund; exempting such self-insurance funds from certain
   92         requirements, regulations, fees, taxes, and
   93         assessments; providing effective dates.
   94  
   95  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   96  
   97         Section 1. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section
   98  718.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   99         718.112 Bylaws.—
  100         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  101  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  102  the following:
  103         (d) Unit owner meetings.—
  104         1. There shall be an annual meeting of the unit owners held
  105  at the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the
  106  bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting shall be held
  107  within 45 miles of the condominium property. However, such
  108  distance requirement does not apply to an association governing
  109  a timeshare condominium. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a
  110  vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director's
  111  term shall be filled by electing a new board member, and the
  112  election shall be by secret ballot; however, if the number of
  113  vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, no
  114  election is required. The terms of all members of the board
  115  shall expire at the annual meeting and such board members may
  116  stand for reelection unless otherwise permitted by the bylaws.
  117  In the event that the bylaws permit staggered terms of no more
  118  than 2 years and upon approval of a majority of the total voting
  119  interests, the association board members may serve 2-year
  120  staggered terms. If no person is interested in or demonstrates
  121  an intention to run for the position of a board member whose
  122  term has expired according to the provisions of this
  123  subparagraph, such board member whose term has expired shall be
  124  automatically reappointed to the board of administration and
  125  need not stand for reelection. In a condominium association of
  126  more than 10 units, coowners of a unit may not serve as members
  127  of the board of directors at the same time. Any unit owner
  128  desiring to be a candidate for board membership shall comply
  129  with subparagraph 3. A person who has been suspended or removed
  130  by the division under this chapter, or who is delinquent in the
  131  payment of any fee or assessment as provided in paragraph (n),
  132  is not eligible for board membership. A person who has been
  133  convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States
  134  District or Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any
  135  offense in another jurisdiction that would be considered a
  136  felony if committed in this state, is not eligible for board
  137  membership unless such felon's civil rights have been restored
  138  for a period of no less than 5 years as of the date on which
  139  such person seeks election to the board. The validity of an
  140  action by the board is not affected if it is later determined
  141  that a member of the board is ineligible for board membership
  142  due to having been convicted of a felony.
  143         2. The bylaws shall provide the method of calling meetings
  144  of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice, which
  145  notice must include an agenda, shall be mailed, hand delivered,
  146  or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14
  147  days prior to the annual meeting and shall be posted in a
  148  conspicuous place on the condominium property at least 14
  149  continuous days preceding the annual meeting. Upon notice to the
  150  unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a
  151  specific location on the condominium property or association
  152  property upon which all notices of unit owner meetings shall be
  153  posted; however, if there is no condominium property or
  154  association property upon which notices can be posted, this
  155  requirement does not apply. In lieu of or in addition to the
  156  physical posting of notice of any meeting of the unit owners on
  157  the condominium property, the association may, by reasonable
  158  rule, adopt a procedure for conspicuously posting and repeatedly
  159  broadcasting the notice and the agenda on a closed-circuit cable
  160  television system serving the condominium association. However,
  161  if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted
  162  physically on the condominium property, the notice and agenda
  163  must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of
  164  each day that a posted notice is otherwise required under this
  165  section. When broadcast notice is provided, the notice and
  166  agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient
  167  continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to
  168  observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of
  169  the notice and the agenda. Unless a unit owner waives in writing
  170  the right to receive notice of the annual meeting, such notice
  171  shall be hand delivered, mailed, or electronically transmitted
  172  to each unit owner. Notice for meetings and notice for all other
  173  purposes shall be mailed to each unit owner at the address last
  174  furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand
  175  delivered to each unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by
  176  more than one person, the association shall provide notice, for
  177  meetings and all other purposes, to that one address which the
  178  developer initially identifies for that purpose and thereafter
  179  as one or more of the owners of the unit shall so advise the
  180  association in writing, or if no address is given or the owners
  181  of the unit do not agree, to the address provided on the deed of
  182  record. An officer of the association, or the manager or other
  183  person providing notice of the association meeting, shall
  184  provide an affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate
  185  of mailing, to be included in the official records of the
  186  association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand
  187  delivered, in accordance with this provision.
  188         3. The members of the board shall be elected by written
  189  ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall in no event be used in
  190  electing the board, either in general elections or elections to
  191  fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise,
  192  unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Not less than 60 days
  193  before a scheduled election, the association shall mail,
  194  deliver, or electronically transmit, whether by separate
  195  association mailing or included in another association mailing,
  196  delivery, or transmission, including regularly published
  197  newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a first
  198  notice of the date of the election along with a certification
  199  form provided by the division attesting that he or she has read
  200  and understands, to the best of his or her ability, the
  201  governing documents of the association and the provisions of
  202  this chapter and any applicable rules. Any unit owner or other
  203  eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must
  204  give written notice to the association not less than 40 days
  205  before a scheduled election. Together with the written notice
  206  and agenda as set forth in subparagraph 2., the association
  207  shall mail, deliver, or electronically transmit a second notice
  208  of the election to all unit owners entitled to vote therein,
  209  together with a ballot which shall list all candidates. Upon
  210  request of a candidate, the association shall include an
  211  information sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches,
  212  which must be furnished by the candidate not less than 35 days
  213  before the election, along with the signed certification form
  214  provided for in this subparagraph, to be included with the
  215  mailing, delivery, or transmission of the ballot, with the costs
  216  of mailing, delivery, or electronic transmission and copying to
  217  be borne by the association. The association is not liable for
  218  the contents of the information sheets prepared by the
  219  candidates. In order to reduce costs, the association may print
  220  or duplicate the information sheets on both sides of the paper.
  221  The division shall by rule establish voting procedures
  222  consistent with the provisions contained herein, including rules
  223  establishing procedures for giving notice by electronic
  224  transmission and rules providing for the secrecy of ballots.
  225  Elections shall be decided by a plurality of those ballots cast.
  226  There shall be no quorum requirement; however, at least 20
  227  percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to
  228  have a valid election of members of the board. No unit owner
  229  shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any
  230  such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided
  231  any unit owner who violates this provision may be fined by the
  232  association in accordance with s. 718.303. A unit owner who
  233  needs assistance in casting the ballot for the reasons stated in
  234  s. 101.051 may obtain assistance in casting the ballot. The
  235  regular election shall occur on the date of the annual meeting.
  236  The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to timeshare
  237  condominium associations. Notwithstanding the provisions of this
  238  subparagraph, an election is not required unless more candidates
  239  file notices of intent to run or are nominated than board
  240  vacancies exist.
  241         4. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter
  242  or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not
  243  limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), shall be
  244  made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and shall be
  245  subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable
  246  condominium documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking,
  247  except that unit owners may take action by written agreement,
  248  without meetings, on matters for which action by written
  249  agreement without meetings is expressly allowed by the
  250  applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute that provides
  251  for such action.
  252         5. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if
  253  allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute.
  254  If authorized by the bylaws, notice of meetings of the board of
  255  administration, unit owner meetings, except unit owner meetings
  256  called to recall board members under paragraph (j), and
  257  committee meetings may be given by electronic transmission to
  258  unit owners who consent to receive notice by electronic
  259  transmission.
  260         6. Unit owners shall have the right to participate in
  261  meetings of unit owners with reference to all designated agenda
  262  items. However, the association may adopt reasonable rules
  263  governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner
  264  participation.
  265         7. Any unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of
  266  the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the
  267  division.
  268         8. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy
  269  occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be
  270  filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining
  271  directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than
  272  a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative,
  273  a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case
  274  the election procedures must conform to the requirements of
  275  subparagraph 3. unless the association governs 10 units or less
  276  and has opted out of the statutory election process, in which
  277  case the bylaws of the association control. Unless otherwise
  278  provided in the bylaws, a board member appointed or elected
  279  under this section shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term
  280  of the seat being filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is
  281  governed by paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
  282         9. Within 30 days after being elected to the board of
  283  directors, a new director shall certify in writing to the
  284  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  285  association's declarations of covenants and restrictions,
  286  articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies,
  287  that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies
  288  to the best of his or her ability, and that he or she will
  289  faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
  290  association's members. Failure to timely file the statement
  291  automatically disqualifies the director from service on the
  292  association's board of directors. The secretary shall cause the
  293  association to retain a director's certification for inspection
  294  by the members for 5 years after a director's election. Failure
  295  to have such certification on file does not affect the validity
  296  of any appropriate action.
  297  
  298  Notwithstanding subparagraphs (b)2. and (d)3., an association of
  299  10 or fewer units may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of
  300  the total voting interests, provide for different voting and
  301  election procedures in its bylaws, which vote may be by a proxy
  302  specifically delineating the different voting and election
  303  procedures. The different voting and election procedures may
  304  provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general
  305  proxy.
  306         Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2), paragraphs (a)
  307  and (c) of subsection (5), paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (f), and
  308  (g) of subsection (6) of section 720.303, Florida Statutes, are
  309  amended, and subsection (12) is added to that section, to read:
  310         720.303 Association powers and duties; meetings of board;
  311  official records; budgets; financial reporting; association
  312  funds; recalls.—
  313         (2) BOARD MEETINGS.—
  314         (b) Members have the right to attend all meetings of the
  315  board and to speak on any matter placed on the agenda by
  316  petition of the voting interests for at least 3 minutes. The
  317  association may adopt written reasonable rules expanding the
  318  right of members to speak and governing the frequency, duration,
  319  and other manner of member statements, which rules must be
  320  consistent with this paragraph and may include a sign-up sheet
  321  for members wishing to speak. Notwithstanding any other law, the
  322  requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open
  323  to the members is inapplicable to meetings between the board or
  324  a committee to discuss proposed or pending litigation with and
  325  the association's attorney, or with respect to meetings of the
  326  board held for the purpose of discussing personnel matters are
  327  not required to be open to the members.
  328         (5) INSPECTION AND COPYING OF RECORDS.—The official records
  329  shall be maintained within the state and must be open to
  330  inspection and available for photocopying by members or their
  331  authorized agents at reasonable times and places within 10
  332  business days after receipt of a written request for access.
  333  This subsection may be complied with by having a copy of the
  334  official records available for inspection or copying in the
  335  community. If the association has a photocopy machine available
  336  where the records are maintained, it must provide parcel owners
  337  with copies on request during the inspection if the entire
  338  request is limited to no more than 25 pages.
  339         (a) The failure of an association to provide access to the
  340  records within 10 business days after receipt of a written
  341  request submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested,
  342  creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully
  343  failed to comply with this subsection.
  344         (c) The association may adopt reasonable written rules
  345  governing the frequency, time, location, notice, records to be
  346  inspected, and manner of inspections, but may not require impose
  347  a requirement that a parcel owner to demonstrate any proper
  348  purpose for the inspection, state any reason for the inspection,
  349  or limit a parcel owner's right to inspect records to less than
  350  one 8-hour business day per month. The association may impose
  351  fees to cover the costs of providing copies of the official
  352  records, including, without limitation, the costs of copying.
  353  The association may charge up to 50 cents per page for copies
  354  made on the association's photocopier. If the association does
  355  not have a photocopy machine available where the records are
  356  kept, or if the records requested to be copied exceed 25 pages
  357  in length, the association may have copies made by an outside
  358  vendor or association management company personnel and may
  359  charge the actual cost of copying, including any reasonable
  360  costs involving personnel fees and charges at an hourly rate for
  361  employee time to cover administrative costs to the association.
  362  The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of
  363  the recorded governing documents, to ensure their availability
  364  to members and prospective members. Notwithstanding the
  365  provisions of this paragraph, the following records are shall
  366  not be accessible to members or parcel owners:
  367         1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as
  368  described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work
  369  product privilege, including, but not limited to, any record
  370  prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the
  371  attorney's express direction which reflects a mental impression,
  372  conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney
  373  or the association and which was prepared exclusively for civil
  374  or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative
  375  proceedings or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent
  376  civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial
  377  administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the
  378  litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.
  379         2. Information obtained by an association in connection
  380  with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a
  381  parcel.
  382         3. Disciplinary, health, insurance, and personnel records,
  383  including payroll records, of the association's employees.
  384         4. Medical records of parcel owners or community residents.
  385         (6) BUDGETS.—
  386         (b) In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget
  387  may include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and
  388  deferred maintenance for which the association is responsible.
  389  If reserve accounts are not established pursuant to paragraph
  390  (d), funding of such reserves shall be limited to the extent
  391  that the governing documents do not limit increases in
  392  assessments, including reserves. If the budget of the
  393  association includes reserve accounts established pursuant to
  394  paragraph (d), such reserves shall be determined, maintained,
  395  and waived in the manner provided in this subsection. Once an
  396  association provides for reserve accounts pursuant to paragraph
  397  (d) in the budget, the association shall thereafter determine,
  398  maintain, and waive reserves in compliance with this subsection.
  399  The provisions of this section do not preclude the termination
  400  of a reserve account established pursuant to this paragraph upon
  401  approval of a majority of the voting interests of the
  402  association. Upon such approval, the terminating reserve account
  403  shall be removed from the budget.
  404         (c)1. If the budget of the association does not provide for
  405  reserve accounts pursuant to paragraph (d) governed by this
  406  subsection and the association is responsible for the repair and
  407  maintenance of capital improvements that may result in a special
  408  assessment if reserves are not provided, each financial report
  409  for the preceding fiscal year required by subsection (7) shall
  410  contain the following statement in conspicuous type: THE BUDGET
  411  OF THE ASSOCIATION DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR RESERVE ACCOUNTS FOR
  412  CAPITAL EXPENDITURES AND DEFERRED MAINTENANCE THAT MAY RESULT IN
  413  SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS. OWNERS MAY ELECT TO PROVIDE FOR RESERVE
  414  ACCOUNTS PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 720.303(6),
  415  FLORIDA STATUTES, UPON OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF NOT LESS THAN A
  416  MAJORITY OF THE TOTAL VOTING INTERESTS OF THE ASSOCIATION BY
  417  VOTE OF THE MEMBERS AT A MEETING OR BY WRITTEN CONSENT.
  418         2. If the budget of the association does provide for
  419  funding accounts for deferred expenditures, including, but not
  420  limited to, funds for capital expenditures and deferred
  421  maintenance, but such accounts are not created or established
  422  pursuant to paragraph (d), each financial report for the
  423  preceding fiscal year required under subsection (7) must also
  424  contain the following statement in conspicuous type: THE BUDGET
  425  OF THE ASSOCIATION DOES PROVIDE FOR LIMITED VOLUNTARY DEFERRED
  426  EXPENDITURE ACCOUNTS, INCLUDING CAPITAL EXPENDITURES AND
  427  DEFERRED MAINTENANCE, SUBJECT TO LIMITS ON FUNDING CONTAINED IN
  428  OUR GOVERNING DOCUMENTS. BECAUSE THE OWNERS HAVE NOT ELECTED TO
  429  PROVIDE FOR RESERVE ACCOUNTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 720.303(6),
  430  FLORIDA STATUTES, THESE FUNDS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE
  431  RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF SUCH FUNDS SET FORTH IN THAT STATUTE, NOR
  432  ARE RESERVES CALCULATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT STATUTE.
  433         (d) An association shall be deemed to have provided for
  434  reserve accounts if when reserve accounts have been initially
  435  established by the developer or if when the membership of the
  436  association affirmatively elects to provide for reserves. If
  437  reserve accounts are not initially provided for by the
  438  developer, the membership of the association may elect to do so
  439  upon the affirmative approval of not less than a majority of the
  440  total voting interests of the association. Such approval may be
  441  obtained attained by vote of the members at a duly called
  442  meeting of the membership or by the upon a written consent of
  443  executed by not less than a majority of the total voting
  444  interests in the community. The approval action of the
  445  membership shall state that reserve accounts shall be provided
  446  for in the budget and shall designate the components for which
  447  the reserve accounts are to be established. Upon approval by the
  448  membership, the board of directors shall include provide for the
  449  required reserve accounts for inclusion in the budget in the
  450  next fiscal year following the approval and in each year
  451  thereafter. Once established as provided in this subsection, the
  452  reserve accounts shall be funded or maintained or shall have
  453  their funding waived in the manner provided in paragraph (f).
  454         (f) After one or more Once a reserve account or reserve
  455  accounts are established, the membership of the association,
  456  upon a majority vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present,
  457  may provide for no reserves or less reserves than required by
  458  this section. If a meeting of the unit owners has been called to
  459  determine whether to waive or reduce the funding of reserves and
  460  no such result is achieved or a quorum is not present, the
  461  reserves as included in the budget shall go into effect. After
  462  the turnover, the developer may vote its voting interest to
  463  waive or reduce the funding of reserves. Any vote taken pursuant
  464  to this subsection to waive or reduce reserves is shall be
  465  applicable only to one budget year.
  466         (g) Funding formulas for reserves authorized by this
  467  section shall be based on either a separate analysis of each of
  468  the required assets or a pooled analysis of two or more of the
  469  required assets.
  470         1. If the association maintains separate reserve accounts
  471  for each of the required assets, the amount of the contribution
  472  to each reserve account is shall be the sum of the following two
  473  calculations:
  474         a. The total amount necessary, if any, to bring a negative
  475  component balance to zero.
  476         b. The total estimated deferred maintenance expense or
  477  estimated replacement cost of the reserve component less the
  478  estimated balance of the reserve component as of the beginning
  479  of the period for which the budget will be in effect. The
  480  remainder, if greater than zero, shall be divided by the
  481  estimated remaining useful life of the component.
  482  
  483  The formula may be adjusted each year for changes in estimates
  484  and deferred maintenance performed during the year and may
  485  include factors such as inflation and earnings on invested
  486  funds.
  487         2. If the association maintains a pooled account of two or
  488  more of the required reserve assets, the amount of the
  489  contribution to the pooled reserve account as disclosed on the
  490  proposed budget may shall not be less than that required to
  491  ensure that the balance on hand at the beginning of the period
  492  for which the budget will go into effect plus the projected
  493  annual cash inflows over the remaining estimated useful life of
  494  all of the assets that make up the reserve pool are equal to or
  495  greater than the projected annual cash outflows over the
  496  remaining estimated useful lives of all of the assets that make
  497  up the reserve pool, based on the current reserve analysis. The
  498  projected annual cash inflows may include estimated earnings
  499  from investment of principal and accounts receivable minus the
  500  allowance for doubtful accounts. The reserve funding formula may
  501  shall not include any type of balloon payments.
  502         (12) COMPENSATION PROHIBITED.—A director, officer, or
  503  committee member of the association may not receive directly or
  504  indirectly any salary or compensation from the association for
  505  the performance of duties as a director, officer, or committee
  506  member and may not in any other way benefit financially from
  507  service to the association. This subsection does not preclude:
  508         (a) Participation by such person in a financial benefit
  509  accruing to all or a significant number of members as a result
  510  of actions lawfully taken by the board or a committee of which
  511  he or she is a member, including, but not limited to, routine
  512  maintenance, repair, or replacement of community assets.
  513         (b) Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by
  514  such person on behalf of the association, subject to approval in
  515  accordance with procedures established by the association's
  516  governing documents or, in the absence of such procedures, in
  517  accordance with an approval process established by the board.
  518         (c) Any recovery of insurance proceeds derived from a
  519  policy of insurance maintained by the association for the
  520  benefit of its members.
  521         (d) Any fee or compensation authorized in the governing
  522  documents.
  523         (e) Any fee or compensation authorized in advance by a vote
  524  of a majority of the voting interests voting in person or by
  525  proxy at a meeting of the members.
  526         Section 3. Subsection (2) of section 720.305, Florida
  527  Statutes, is amended to read:
  528         720.305 Obligations of members; remedies at law or in
  529  equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights.—
  530         (2) If the governing documents so provide, an association
  531  may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the rights of a
  532  member or a member's tenants, guests, or invitees, or both, to
  533  use common areas and facilities and may levy reasonable fines of
  534  up to, not to exceed $100 per violation, against any member or
  535  any tenant, guest, or invitee. A fine may be levied on the basis
  536  of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and
  537  opportunity for hearing, except that no such fine may shall
  538  exceed $1,000 in the aggregate unless otherwise provided in the
  539  governing documents. A fine of less than $1,000 may shall not
  540  become a lien against a parcel. In any action to recover a fine,
  541  the prevailing party is entitled to collect its reasonable
  542  attorney's fees and costs from the nonprevailing party as
  543  determined by the court.
  544         (a) A fine or suspension may not be imposed without notice
  545  of at least 14 days' notice days to the person sought to be
  546  fined or suspended and an opportunity for a hearing before a
  547  committee of at least three members appointed by the board who
  548  are not officers, directors, or employees of the association, or
  549  the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer,
  550  director, or employee. If the committee, by majority vote, does
  551  not approve a proposed fine or suspension, it may not be
  552  imposed.
  553         (b) The requirements of this subsection do not apply to the
  554  imposition of suspensions or fines upon any member because of
  555  the failure of the member to pay assessments or other charges
  556  when due if such action is authorized by the governing
  557  documents.
  558         (c) Suspension of common-area-use rights do shall not
  559  impair the right of an owner or tenant of a parcel to have
  560  vehicular and pedestrian ingress to and egress from the parcel,
  561  including, but not limited to, the right to park.
  562         Section 4. Subsections (8) and (9) of section 720.306,
  563  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  564         720.306 Meetings of members; voting and election
  565  procedures; amendments.—
  566         (8) PROXY VOTING.—The members have the right, unless
  567  otherwise provided in this subsection or in the governing
  568  documents, to vote in person or by proxy.
  569         (a) To be valid, a proxy must be dated, must state the
  570  date, time, and place of the meeting for which it was given, and
  571  must be signed by the authorized person who executed the proxy.
  572  A proxy is effective only for the specific meeting for which it
  573  was originally given, as the meeting may lawfully be adjourned
  574  and reconvened from time to time, and automatically expires 90
  575  days after the date of the meeting for which it was originally
  576  given. A proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the
  577  person who executes it. If the proxy form expressly so provides,
  578  any proxy holder may appoint, in writing, a substitute to act in
  579  his or her place.
  580         (b) If the governing documents permit voting by secret
  581  ballot by members who are not in attendance at a meeting of the
  582  members for the election of directors, such ballots shall be
  583  placed in an inner envelope with no identifying markings and
  584  mailed or delivered to the association in an outer envelope
  585  bearing identifying information reflecting the name of the
  586  member, the lot or parcel for which the vote is being cast, and
  587  the signature of the lot or parcel owner casting that ballot.
  588  After the eligibility of the member to vote and confirmation
  589  that no other ballot has been submitted for that lot or parcel,
  590  the inner envelope shall be removed from the outer envelope
  591  bearing the identification information, placed with the ballots
  592  which were personally cast, and opened when the ballots are
  593  counted. If more than one ballot is submitted for a lot or
  594  parcel, the ballots for that lot or parcel shall be
  595  disqualified. Any vote by ballot received after the closing of
  596  the balloting may not be considered.
  597         (9) ELECTIONS; BOARD MEMBER CERTIFICATION.—
  598         (a) Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance
  599  with the procedures set forth in the governing documents of the
  600  association. All members of the association are shall be
  601  eligible to serve on the board of directors, and a member may
  602  nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a
  603  meeting where the election is to be held or, if the election
  604  process allows voting by absentee ballot, in advance of the
  605  balloting. Except as otherwise provided in the governing
  606  documents, boards of directors must be elected by a plurality of
  607  the votes cast by eligible voters. Any election dispute between
  608  a member and an association must be submitted to mandatory
  609  binding arbitration with the division. Such proceedings shall be
  610  conducted in the manner provided by s. 718.1255 and the
  611  procedural rules adopted by the division.
  612         (b) Within 30 days after being elected to the board of
  613  directors, a new director shall certify in writing to the
  614  secretary of the association that he or she has read the
  615  association's declarations of covenants and restrictions,
  616  articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies
  617  and that he or she will work to uphold each to the best of his
  618  or her ability and will faithfully discharge his or her
  619  fiduciary responsibility to the association's members. Failure
  620  to timely file such statement shall automatically disqualify the
  621  director from service on the association's board of directors.
  622  The secretary shall cause the association to retain a director's
  623  certification for inspection by the members for 5 years after a
  624  director's election. Failure to have such certification on file
  625  does not affect the validity of any appropriate action.
  626         Section 5. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  627  720.401, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  628         720.401 Prospective purchasers subject to association
  629  membership requirement; disclosure required; covenants;
  630  assessments; contract cancellation.—
  631         (1)(a) A prospective parcel owner in a community must be
  632  presented a disclosure summary before executing the contract for
  633  sale. The disclosure summary must be in a form substantially
  634  similar to the following form:
  635  
  636                         DISCLOSURE SUMMARY                        
  637                                 FOR                               
  638                         (NAME OF COMMUNITY)                       
  639  
  640         1. AS A PURCHASER OF PROPERTY IN THIS COMMUNITY, YOU WILL
  641  BE OBLIGATED TO BE A MEMBER OF A HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION.
  642         2. THERE HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE RECORDED RESTRICTIVE
  643  COVENANTS GOVERNING THE USE AND OCCUPANCY OF PROPERTIES IN THIS
  644  COMMUNITY.
  645         3. YOU WILL BE OBLIGATED TO PAY ASSESSMENTS TO THE
  646  ASSOCIATION. ASSESSMENTS MAY BE SUBJECT TO PERIODIC CHANGE. IF
  647  APPLICABLE, THE CURRENT AMOUNT IS $_____ PER _____. YOU WILL
  648  ALSO BE OBLIGATED TO PAY ANY SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS IMPOSED BY THE
  649  ASSOCIATION. SUCH SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
  650  IF APPLICABLE, THE CURRENT AMOUNT IS $_____ PER _____.
  651         4. YOU MAY BE OBLIGATED TO PAY SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS TO THE
  652  RESPECTIVE MUNICIPALITY, COUNTY, OR SPECIAL DISTRICT. ALL
  653  ASSESSMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO PERIODIC CHANGE.
  654         5. YOUR FAILURE TO PAY SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS OR ASSESSMENTS
  655  LEVIED BY A MANDATORY HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION MAY COULD RESULT
  656  IN A LIEN ON YOUR PROPERTY.
  657         6. THERE MAY BE AN OBLIGATION TO PAY RENT OR LAND USE FEES
  658  FOR RECREATIONAL OR OTHER COMMONLY USED FACILITIES AS AN
  659  OBLIGATION OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION. IF
  660  APPLICABLE, THE CURRENT AMOUNT IS $_____ PER _____.
  661         7. IF THE ASSOCIATION IS STILL UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE
  662  DEVELOPER, THE DEVELOPER MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO AMEND THE
  663  RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE ASSOCIATION
  664  MEMBERSHIP OR THE APPROVAL OF THE PARCEL OWNERS.
  665         8. THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS DISCLOSURE FORM ARE
  666  ONLY SUMMARY IN NATURE, AND, AS A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER, YOU
  667  SHOULD REFER TO THE COVENANTS AND THE ASSOCIATION GOVERNING
  668  DOCUMENTS BEFORE PURCHASING PROPERTY.
  669         9. THESE DOCUMENTS ARE EITHER MATTERS OF PUBLIC RECORD AND
  670  CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE RECORD OFFICE IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE
  671  PROPERTY IS LOCATED, OR, IF ARE NOT RECORDED, AND CAN BE
  672  OBTAINED FROM THE DEVELOPER.
  673         10. THERE MAY BE AN OBLIGATION TO PAY ASSESSMENTS (TAXES OR
  674  FEES) TO A RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT FOR THE
  675  PURPOSE OF RETIRING BOND OBLIGATIONS USED TO CONSTRUCT
  676  INFRASTRUCTURE OR OTHER IMPROVEMENTS.
  677         11. YOU ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH THE PREVIOUS
  678  OWNER OF YOUR PROPERTY FOR ALL UNPAID ASSESSMENTS THAT CAME DUE
  679  UP TO THE TIME OF TRANSFER OF TITLE.
  680  
  681  DATE:                                                 PURCHASER:
  682  PURCHASER:
  683  
  684  The disclosure must be supplied by the developer, or by the
  685  parcel owner if the sale is by an owner that is not the
  686  developer. Any contract or agreement for sale shall refer to and
  687  incorporate the disclosure summary and shall include, in
  688  prominent language, a statement that the potential buyer should
  689  not execute the contract or agreement until he or she has they
  690  have received and read the disclosure summary required by this
  691  section.
  692         Section 6. Effective July 1, 2010, subsection (1) of
  693  section 34.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  694         34.01 Jurisdiction of county court.—
  695         (1) County courts shall have original jurisdiction:
  696         (a) In all misdemeanor cases not cognizable by the circuit
  697  courts;
  698         (b) Of all violations of municipal and county ordinances;
  699         (c) Of all actions at law in which the matter in
  700  controversy does not exceed the sum of $15,000, exclusive of
  701  interest, costs, and attorney's fees, except those within the
  702  exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit courts; and
  703         (d) Of disputes occurring in the homeowners' associations
  704  as described in part IV of chapter 720 s. 720.311(2)(a), which
  705  shall be concurrent with jurisdiction of the circuit courts.
  706         Section 7. Effective July 1, 2010, subsection (2) of
  707  section 720.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  708         720.302 Purposes, scope, and application.—
  709         (2) The Legislature recognizes that it is not in the best
  710  interest of homeowners' associations or the individual
  711  association members thereof to create or impose a bureau or
  712  other agency of state government to regulate the affairs of
  713  homeowners' associations. However, in accordance with part IV of
  714  this chapter s. 720.311, the Legislature finds that homeowners'
  715  associations and their individual members will benefit from an
  716  expedited alternative process for resolution of election and
  717  recall disputes and presuit mediation of other disputes
  718  involving covenant enforcement in homeowner's associations and
  719  deed-restricted communities using the procedures provided in
  720  part IV of and authorizes the department to hear, administer,
  721  and determine these disputes as more fully set forth in this
  722  chapter. Further, the Legislature recognizes that certain
  723  contract rights have been created for the benefit of homeowners'
  724  associations and members thereof as well as deed-restricted
  725  communities before the effective date of this act and that part
  726  IV of this chapter is ss. 720.301-720.407 are not intended to
  727  impair such contract rights, including, but not limited to, the
  728  rights of the developer to complete the community as initially
  729  contemplated.
  730         Section 8. Effective July 1, 2010, section 720.311, Florida
  731  Statutes, is repealed.
  732         Section 9. Effective July 1, 2010, part IV of chapter 720,
  733  Florida Statutes, to be entitled “Dispute Resolution,”
  734  consisting of sections 720.501, 720.502, 720.503, 720.504,
  735  720.505, 720.506, 720.507, 720.508, 720.509, and 720.510, is
  736  created to read:
  737         720.501 Short title.—This part may be cited as the “Home
  738  Court Advantage Dispute Resolution Act.”
  739         720.502 Legislative findings.—The Legislature finds that
  740  alternative dispute resolution has made progress in reducing
  741  court dockets and trials and in offering a more efficient, cost
  742  effective option to litigation.
  743         720.503 Applicability of this part.—
  744         (1) Unless otherwise provided in this part, before a
  745  dispute described in this part between a homeowners' association
  746  and a parcel owner or owners, or a dispute between parcel owners
  747  within the same homeowners' association, may be filed in court,
  748  the dispute is subject to presuit mediation pursuant to s.
  749  720.505 or presuit arbitration pursuant to s. 720.507, at the
  750  option of the aggrieved party who initiates the first formal
  751  action of alternative dispute resolution under this part. The
  752  parties may mutually agree to participate in both presuit
  753  mediation and presuit arbitration prior to suit being filed by
  754  either party.
  755         (2) Unless otherwise provided in this part, the mediation
  756  and arbitration provisions of this part are limited to disputes
  757  between an association and a parcel owner or owners or between
  758  parcel owners regarding the use of or changes to the parcel or
  759  the common areas under the governing documents and other
  760  disputes involving violations of the recorded declaration of
  761  covenants or other governing documents, disputes arising
  762  concerning enforcement of the governing documents or any
  763  amendments thereto, and disputes involving access to the
  764  official records of the association. A dispute concerning title
  765  to any parcel or common area, interpretation or enforcement of
  766  any warranty, the levy of a fee or assessment, the collection of
  767  an assessment levied against a party, the eviction or other
  768  removal of a tenant from a parcel, alleged breaches of fiduciary
  769  duty by one or more directors, or any action to collect mortgage
  770  indebtedness or to foreclose on a mortgage shall not be subject
  771  to the provisions of this part.
  772         (3) All disputes arising after the effective date of this
  773  part involving the election of the board of directors for an
  774  association or the recall of any member of the board or officer
  775  of the association shall not be eligible for presuit mediation
  776  under s. 720.505, but shall be subject to the provisions
  777  concerning presuit arbitration under s. 720.507.
  778         (4) In any dispute subject to presuit mediation or presuit
  779  arbitration under this part for which emergency relief is
  780  required, a motion for temporary injunctive relief may be filed
  781  with the court without first complying with the presuit
  782  mediation or presuit arbitration requirements of this part.
  783  After any issues regarding emergency or temporary relief are
  784  resolved, the court may refer the parties to a mediation program
  785  administered by the courts or require mediation or arbitration
  786  under this part.
  787         (5) The mailing of a statutory notice of presuit mediation
  788  or presuit arbitration as provided in this part shall toll the
  789  applicable statute of limitations during the pendency of the
  790  mediation or arbitration and for a period of 30 days following
  791  the conclusion of either proceeding. The 30-day period shall
  792  start upon the filing of the mediator's notice of impasse or the
  793  arbitrator's written arbitration award. If the parties mutually
  794  agree to participate in both presuit mediation and presuit
  795  arbitration under this part, the tolling of the applicable
  796  statute of limitations for each such alternative dispute
  797  resolution proceeding shall be consecutive.
  798         720.504 Notice of dispute.—Prior to giving the statutory
  799  notice to proceed under presuit medication or presuit
  800  arbitration under this part, the aggrieved association or parcel
  801  owner shall first provide written notice of the dispute to the
  802  responding party in the manner provided by this section.
  803         (1) The notice of dispute shall be delivered to the
  804  responding party by certified mail, return receipt requested, or
  805  the notice of dispute may be hand delivered, and the person
  806  making delivery shall file with their notice of mediation either
  807  the proof of receipt of mailing or an affidavit stating the date
  808  and time of the delivery of the notice of dispute. If the notice
  809  is delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested, and
  810  the responding party fails or refuses to accept delivery, notice
  811  shall be considered properly delivered for purposes of this
  812  section on the date of the first attempted delivery.
  813         (2) The notice of dispute shall state with specificity the
  814  nature of the dispute, including the date, time, and location of
  815  each event that is the subject of the dispute and the action
  816  requested to resolve the dispute. The notice shall also include
  817  the text of any provision in the governing documents, including
  818  the rules and regulations, of the association which form the
  819  basis of the dispute.
  820         (3) Unless the parties otherwise agree in writing to a
  821  longer time period, the party receiving the notice of dispute
  822  shall have 10 days following the date of receipt of notice to
  823  resolve the dispute. If the alleged dispute has not been
  824  resolved within the 10-day period, the aggrieved party may
  825  proceed under this part at any time thereafter within the
  826  applicable statute of limitations.
  827         (4) A copy of the notice and the text of the provision in
  828  the governing documents, or the rules and regulations, of the
  829  association which are the basis of the dispute, along with proof
  830  of service of the notice of dispute and a copy of any written
  831  responses received from the responding party, shall be included
  832  as an exhibit to any demand for mediation or arbitration under
  833  this part.
  834         720.505Presuit mediation.—
  835         (1) Disputes between an association and a parcel owner or
  836  owners and between parcel owners must be submitted to presuit
  837  mediation before the dispute may be filed in court; or, at the
  838  election of the party initiating the presuit procedures, such
  839  dispute may be submitted to presuit arbitration pursuant to s.
  840  720.507 before the dispute may be filed in court. An aggrieved
  841  party who elects to use the presuit mediation procedure under
  842  this section shall serve on the responding party a written
  843  notice of presuit mediation in substantially the following form:
  844  
  845                STATUTORY NOTICE OF PRESUIT MEDIATION              
  846  
  847         THE ALLEGED AGGRIEVED PARTY, ____________________,
  848         HEREBY DEMANDS THAT ____________________, AS THE
  849         RESPONDING PARTY, ENGAGE IN MANDATORY PRESUIT
  850         MEDIATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOLLOWING DISPUTE(S)
  851         WITH YOU, WHICH BY STATUTE ARE OF A TYPE THAT ARE
  852         SUBJECT TO PRESUIT MEDIATION:
  853  
  854         ATTACHED IS A COPY OF THE PRIOR NOTICE OF VIOLATION
  855         WHICH DETAILS THE SPECIFIC NATURE OF THE DISPUTE(S) TO
  856         BE MEDIATED AND THE AUTHORITY SUPPORTING A FINDING OF
  857         A VIOLATION AS TO EACH DISPUTE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
  858         LIMITED TO, THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNING
  859         DOCUMENTS OF THE ASSOCIATION BELIEVED TO APPLY TO THE
  860         DISPUTE BETWEEN THE PARTIES, AND A COPY OF THE NOTICE
  861         YOU RECEIVED OR REFUSED AND COPIES OF ANY WRITTEN
  862         RESPONSE(S) RECEIVED FROM YOU ABOUT THIS DISPUTE.
  863  
  864         PURSUANT TO PART IV OF CHAPTER 720, FLORIDA STATUTES,
  865         THIS DEMAND TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE THROUGH PRESUIT
  866         MEDIATION IS REQUIRED BEFORE A LAWSUIT CAN BE FILED
  867         CONCERNING THE DISPUTE. PURSUANT TO FLORIDA STATUTES,
  868         THE PARTIES ARE REQUIRED TO ENGAGE IN PRESUIT
  869         MEDIATION WITH A NEUTRAL THIRD-PARTY MEDIATOR IN ORDER
  870         TO ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE WITHOUT COURT
  871         ACTION, AND THE AGGRIEVED PARTY DEMANDS THAT YOU
  872         PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROCESS. UNLESS YOU RESPOND TO
  873         THIS NOTICE BY FILING WITH THE AGGRIEVED PARTY A
  874         NOTICE OF OPTING OUT AND DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION UNDER
  875         S. 720.506, FLORIDA STATUTES, YOUR FAILURE TO
  876         PARTICIPATE IN THE MEDIATION PROCESS MAY RESULT IN A
  877         LAWSUIT BEING FILED IN COURT AGAINST YOU WITHOUT
  878         FURTHER NOTICE.
  879  
  880         THE PROCESS OF MEDIATION INVOLVES A SUPERVISED
  881         NEGOTIATION PROCESS IN WHICH A TRAINED, NEUTRAL THIRD
  882         PARTY MEDIATOR MEETS WITH BOTH PARTIES AND ASSISTS
  883         THEM IN EXPLORING POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESOLVING
  884         PART OR ALL OF THE DISPUTE. BY AGREEING TO PARTICIPATE
  885         IN PRESUIT MEDIATION, YOU ARE NOT BOUND IN ANY WAY TO
  886         CHANGE YOUR POSITION. FURTHERMORE, THE MEDIATOR HAS NO
  887         AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS IN THIS MATTER OR TO
  888         DETERMINE WHO IS RIGHT OR WRONG AND MERELY ACTS AS A
  889         FACILITATOR TO ENSURE THAT EACH PARTY UNDERSTANDS THE
  890         POSITION OF THE OTHER PARTY AND THAT ALL OPTIONS FOR
  891         REASONABLE SETTLEMENT ARE FULLY EXPLORED.
  892  
  893         IF AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED, IT SHALL BE REDUCED TO
  894         WRITING AND BECOME A BINDING AND ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT
  895         BETWEEN THE PARTIES. A RESOLUTION OF ONE OR MORE
  896         DISPUTES IN THIS FASHION AVOIDS THE NEED TO LITIGATE
  897         THESE ISSUES IN COURT. THE FAILURE TO REACH AN
  898         AGREEMENT, OR THE FAILURE OF A PARTY TO PARTICIPATE IN
  899         THE PROCESS, RESULTS IN THE MEDIATOR DECLARING AN
  900         IMPASSE IN THE MEDIATION, AFTER WHICH THE AGGRIEVED
  901         PARTY MAY PROCEED TO FILE A LAWSUIT ON ALL
  902         OUTSTANDING, UNSETTLED DISPUTES. IF YOU HAVE FAILED OR
  903         REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ENTIRE MEDIATION
  904         PROCESS, YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER
  905         ATTORNEY'S FEES IF YOU PREVAIL IN A SUBSEQUENT COURT
  906         PROCEEDING INVOLVING THE SAME DISPUTE.
  907  
  908         THE AGGRIEVED PARTY HAS SELECTED FROM A LIST OF
  909         ELIGIBLE, QUALIFIED MEDIATORS AT LEAST FIVE CERTIFIED
  910         MEDIATORS WHO THE AGGRIEVED PARTY BELIEVES TO BE
  911         NEUTRAL AND QUALIFIED TO MEDIATE THE DISPUTE. YOU HAVE
  912         THE RIGHT TO SELECT ANY ONE OF THESE MEDIATORS. THE
  913         FACT THAT ONE PARTY MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH ONE OR MORE
  914         OF THE LISTED MEDIATORS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE
  915         MEDIATOR CANNOT ACT AS A NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL
  916         FACILITATOR. THE NAMES OF THE MEDIATORS THAT THE
  917         AGGRIEVED PARTY HEREBY SUBMITS TO YOU FROM WHOM YOU
  918         MAY CHOOSE ONE, AND THEIR CURRENT ADDRESSES, TELEPHONE
  919         NUMBERS, AND HOURLY RATES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
  920  
  921         (LIST THE NAMES, ADDRESSES, TELEPHONE NUMBERS, AND
  922         HOURLY RATES OF THE MEDIATORS. OTHER PERTINENT
  923         INFORMATION ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF THE MEDIATORS MAY
  924         BE INCLUDED AS AN ATTACHMENT.)
  925  
  926         YOU MAY CONTACT THE OFFICES OF THESE MEDIATORS TO
  927         CONFIRM THAT EACH OF THE ABOVE-LISTED MEDIATORS WILL
  928         BE NEUTRAL AND WILL NOT SHOW ANY FAVORITISM TOWARD
  929         EITHER PARTY. UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED TO BY THE
  930         PARTIES, PART IV OF CHAPTER 720, FLORIDA STATUTES,
  931         REQUIRES THAT THE PARTIES SHARE THE COSTS OF PRESUIT
  932         MEDIATION EQUALLY, INCLUDING THE FEE CHARGED BY THE
  933         MEDIATOR. AN AVERAGE MEDIATION MAY REQUIRE 3 TO 4
  934         HOURS OF THE MEDIATOR'S TIME, INCLUDING SOME
  935         PREPARATION TIME, AND THE PARTIES WOULD NEED TO
  936         EQUALLY SHARE THE MEDIATOR'S FEES AS WELL AS BE
  937         RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF THEIR OWN ATTORNEY'S FEES IF
  938         THEY CHOOSE TO EMPLOY AN ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH
  939         THE MEDIATION. HOWEVER, USE OF AN ATTORNEY IS NOT
  940         REQUIRED AND IS AT THE OPTION OF EACH PARTY. THE
  941         MEDIATORS MAY REQUIRE THE ADVANCE PAYMENT OF SOME OR
  942         ALL OF THE ANTICIPATED FEES. THE AGGRIEVED PARTY
  943         HEREBY AGREES TO PAY OR PREPAY ONE-HALF OF THE
  944         SELECTED MEDIATOR'S ESTIMATED FEES AND TO FORWARD THIS
  945         AMOUNT OR SUCH OTHER REASONABLE ADVANCE DEPOSITS AS
  946         THE MEDIATOR REQUIRES FOR THIS PURPOSE UPON THE
  947         SELECTION OF THE MEDIATOR. ANY FUNDS DEPOSITED WILL BE
  948         RETURNED TO YOU IF THESE FUNDS ARE IN EXCESS OF YOUR
  949         SHARE OF THE MEDIATOR FEES INCURRED.
  950  
  951         TO BEGIN YOUR PARTICIPATION IN PRESUIT MEDIATION TO
  952         TRY TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE WITH YOU AND AVOID FURTHER
  953         LEGAL ACTION, PLEASE SIGN BELOW AND CLEARLY INDICATE
  954         WHICH MEDIATOR IS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU FROM THE FIVE
  955         MEDIATORS LISTED BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY ABOVE.
  956  
  957         YOU MUST RESPOND IN WRITING TO THIS STATUTORY NOTICE
  958         OF PRESUIT MEDIATION WITHIN 20 DAYS. IN YOUR RESPONSE
  959         YOU MUST PROVIDE A LISTING OF AT LEAST THREE DATES AND
  960         TIMES IN WHICH YOU ARE AVAILABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
  961         MEDIATION THAT ARE WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE POSTMARKED
  962         DATE OF THE MAILING OF THIS NOTICE OF PRESUIT
  963         MEDIATION OR WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE
  964         SERVED WITH A COPY OF THIS NOTICE. THE AGGRIEVED PARTY
  965         WILL THEN ASK THE MEDIATOR TO SCHEDULE A MUTUALLY
  966         CONVENIENT TIME AND PLACE FOR THE MEDIATION CONFERENCE
  967         TO BE HELD. IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE A LIST OF AVAILABLE
  968         DATES AND TIMES, THE MEDIATOR IS AUTHORIZED TO
  969         SCHEDULE A MEDIATION CONFERENCE WITHOUT TAKING YOUR
  970         SCHEDULE AND CONVENIENCE INTO CONSIDERATION. IN NO
  971         EVENT SHALL THE MEDIATION CONFERENCE BE LATER THAN 90
  972         DAYS AFTER THE NOTICE OF PRESUIT MEDIATION WAS FIRST
  973         SERVED UNLESS ALL PARTIES MUTUALLY AGREE OTHERWISE. IN
  974         THE EVENT THAT YOU FAIL TO RESPOND WITHIN 20 DAYS
  975         AFTER THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE, FAIL TO PROVIDE THE
  976         MEDIATOR WITH DATES AND TIMES IN WHICH YOU ARE
  977         AVAILABLE FOR THE MEDIATION CONFERENCE, FAIL TO AGREE
  978         TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE MEDIATORS THAT THE AGGRIEVED
  979         PARTY HAS LISTED, FAIL TO PAY OR PREPAY TO THE
  980         MEDIATOR ONE-HALF OF THE COSTS INVOLVED, OR FAIL TO
  981         APPEAR AND PARTICIPATE AT THE SCHEDULED MEDIATION, THE
  982         AGGRIEVED PARTY WILL BE AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED WITH THE
  983         FILING OF A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU WITHOUT FURTHER
  984         NOTICE. IN ANY SUBSEQUENT COURT ACTION, THE AGGRIEVED
  985         PARTY MAY SEEK AN AWARD OF REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES
  986         AND COSTS INCURRED IN ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN MEDIATION.
  987  
  988         PLEASE GIVE THIS MATTER YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. BY
  989         LAW, YOUR RESPONSE MUST BE MAILED BY CERTIFIED, FIRST
  990         CLASS MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, TO THE AGGRIEVED
  991         PARTY LISTED ABOVE AT THE ADDRESS SHOWN ON THIS NOTICE
  992         AND POSTMARKED NO MORE THAN 20 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF
  993         THE POSTMARKED DATE FOR THIS NOTICE OR WITHIN 20 DAYS
  994         AFTER THE DATE UPON WHICH YOU WERE SERVED WITH A COPY
  995         OF THIS NOTICE.
  996  
  997         ________________________
  998         SIGNATURE OF AGGRIEVED PARTY
  999  
 1000         ______________________
 1001         PRINTED NAME OF AGGRIEVED PARTY
 1002  
 1003         RESPONDING PARTY: YOUR SIGNATURE BELOW INDICATES YOUR
 1004         ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT TO MEDIATE.
 1005  
 1006                        AGREEMENT TO MEDIATE                       
 1007  
 1008         THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY AGREES TO PARTICIPATE IN
 1009         PRESUIT MEDIATION AND AGREES TO ATTEND A MEDIATION
 1010         CONDUCTED BY THE FOLLOWING MEDIATOR(S) LISTED BELOW AS
 1011         ACCEPTABLE TO MEDIATE THIS DISPUTE:
 1012  
 1013         (LIST ONE ACCEPTABLE MEDIATOR FROM THOSE LISTED BY THE
 1014         AGGRIEVED PARTY.)
 1015  
 1016         THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY REPRESENTS THAT HE OR SHE CAN
 1017         ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN THE PRESUIT MEDIATION AT THE
 1018         FOLLOWING DATES AND TIMES:
 1019  
 1020         (LIST AT LEAST THREE AVAILABLE DATES AND TIMES WITHIN
 1021         THE 90-DAY TIME LIMIT DESCRIBED ABOVE.)
 1022  
 1023         I/WE FURTHER AGREE TO PAY OR PREPAY ONE-HALF OF THE
 1024         MEDIATOR'S FEES AND TO FORWARD SUCH ADVANCE DEPOSITS
 1025         AS THE MEDIATOR MAY REQUIRE FOR THIS PURPOSE.
 1026  
 1027         ______________________________
 1028         SIGNATURE OF RESPONDING PARTY #1
 1029         ______________________________
 1030         TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION
 1031  
 1032         ______________________________
 1033         SIGNATURE AND TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION OF
 1034         RESPONDING PARTY #2, IF APPLICABLE. IF THE PROPERTY IS
 1035         OWNED BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON, ALL OWNERS MUST SIGN,
 1036         OR A PERSON MAY SIGN WHO IS ACTING UNDER AUTHORITY OF
 1037         A VALID POWER OF ATTORNEY GRANTED BY AN OWNER.
 1038  
 1039         (2)(a) Service of the notice of presuit mediation shall be
 1040  effected either by personal service, as provided in chapter 48,
 1041  or by certified mail, return receipt requested, in a letter in
 1042  substantial conformity with the form provided in subsection (1),
 1043  with an additional copy being sent by regular first-class mail,
 1044  to the address of the responding party as it last appears on the
 1045  books and records of the association or, if not available, then
 1046  as it last appears in the official records of the county
 1047  property appraiser where the parcel in dispute is located. The
 1048  responding party has either 20 days after the postmarked date of
 1049  the mailing of the statutory notice or 20 days after the date
 1050  the responding party is served with a copy of the notice to
 1051  serve a written response to the aggrieved party. The response
 1052  shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested,
 1053  with an additional copy being sent by regular first-class mail,
 1054  to the address shown on the statutory notice. The date of the
 1055  postmark on the envelope for the response shall constitute the
 1056  date that the response is served. Once the parties have agreed
 1057  on a mediator, the mediator may schedule or reschedule the
 1058  mediation for a date and time mutually convenient to the parties
 1059  within 90 days after the date of service of the statutory
 1060  notice. After such 90-day period, the mediator may reschedule
 1061  the mediation only upon the mutual written agreement of all the
 1062  parties.
 1063         (b) The parties shall share the costs of presuit mediation
 1064  equally, including the fee charged by the mediator, if any,
 1065  unless the parties agree otherwise, and the mediator may require
 1066  advance payment of his or her reasonable fees and costs. Each
 1067  party shall be responsible for that party's own attorney's fees
 1068  if a party chooses to be represented by an attorney at the
 1069  mediation.
 1070         (c) The party responding to the aggrieved party may provide
 1071  a notice of opting out under s. 720.506 and demand arbitration
 1072  or may sign the agreement to mediate included in the notice of
 1073  presuit mediation. A responding party signing the agreement to
 1074  mediate must clearly indicate the name of the mediator who is
 1075  acceptable from the five names provided by the aggrieved party
 1076  and must provide a list of dates and times in which the
 1077  responding party is available to participate in the mediation
 1078  within 90 days after the date the responding party was served,
 1079  either by process server or by certified mail, with the
 1080  statutory notice of presuit mediation.
 1081         (d) The mediator who has been selected and agreed to
 1082  mediate must schedule the mediation conference at a mutually
 1083  convenient time and place within that 90-day period; but, if the
 1084  responding party does not provide a list of available dates and
 1085  times, the mediator is authorized to schedule a mediation
 1086  conference without taking the responding party's schedule and
 1087  convenience into consideration. Within 10 days after the
 1088  designation of the mediator, the mediator shall coordinate with
 1089  the parties and notify the parties in writing of the date, time,
 1090  and place of the mediation conference.
 1091         (e) The mediation conference must be held on the scheduled
 1092  date and may be rescheduled if a rescheduled date is approved by
 1093  the mediator. However, in no event shall the mediation be held
 1094  later than 90 days after the notice of presuit mediation was
 1095  first served, unless all parties mutually agree in writing
 1096  otherwise. If the presuit mediation is not completed within the
 1097  required time limits, the mediator shall declare an impasse
 1098  unless the mediation date is extended by mutual written
 1099  agreement by all parties and approved by the mediator.
 1100         (f) If the responding party fails to respond within 30 days
 1101  after the date of service of the statutory notice of presuit
 1102  mediation, fails to agree to at least one of the mediators
 1103  listed by the aggrieved party in the notice, fails to pay or
 1104  prepay to the mediator one-half of the costs of the mediator, or
 1105  fails to appear and participate at the scheduled mediation, the
 1106  aggrieved party shall be authorized to proceed with the filing
 1107  of a lawsuit without further notice.
 1108         (g)1. The failure of any party to respond to the statutory
 1109  notice of presuit mediation within 20 days, the failure to agree
 1110  upon a mediator, the failure to provide a listing of dates and
 1111  times in which the responding party is available to participate
 1112  in the mediation within 90 days after the date the responding
 1113  party was served with the statutory notice of presuit mediation,
 1114  the failure to make payment of fees and costs within the time
 1115  established by the mediator, or the failure to appear for a
 1116  scheduled mediation session without the approval of the
 1117  mediator, shall in each instance constitute a failure or refusal
 1118  to participate in the mediation process and shall operate as an
 1119  impasse in the presuit mediation by such party, entitling the
 1120  other party to file a lawsuit in court and to seek an award of
 1121  the costs and attorney's fees associated with the mediation.
 1122         2. Persons who fail or refuse to participate in the entire
 1123  mediation process may not recover attorney's fees and costs in
 1124  subsequent litigation relating to the same dispute between the
 1125  same parties. If any presuit mediation session cannot be
 1126  scheduled and conducted within 90 days after the offer to
 1127  participate in mediation was filed, through no fault of either
 1128  party, then an impasse shall be deemed to have occurred unless
 1129  the parties mutually agree in writing to extend this deadline.
 1130  In the event of such impasse, each party shall be responsible
 1131  for its own costs and attorney's fees and one-half of any
 1132  mediator fees and filing fees, and either party may file a
 1133  lawsuit in court regarding the dispute.
 1134         720.506 Opt-out of presuit mediation.—A party served with a
 1135  notice of presuit mediation under s. 720.505 may opt out of
 1136  presuit mediation and demand that the dispute proceed under
 1137  nonbinding arbitration as follows:
 1138         (1) In lieu of a response to the notice of presuit
 1139  mediation as required under s. 720.505, the responding party may
 1140  serve upon the aggrieved party, in the same manner as the
 1141  response to a notice for presuit mediation under s. 720.505, a
 1142  notice of opting out of mediation and demand that the dispute
 1143  instead proceed to presuit arbitration under s. 720.507.
 1144         (2) The aggrieved party shall be relieved from having to
 1145  satisfy the requirements of s. 720.504 as a condition precedent
 1146  to filing the demand for presuit arbitration.
 1147         (3) Except as otherwise provided in this part, the choice
 1148  of which presuit alternative dispute resolution procedure is
 1149  used shall be at the election of the aggrieved party who first
 1150  initiated such proceeding after complying with the provisions of
 1151  s. 720.504.
 1152         720.507Presuit arbitration.—
 1153         (1) Disputes between an association and a parcel owner or
 1154  owners and disputes between parcel owners are subject to a
 1155  demand for presuit arbitration pursuant to this section before
 1156  the dispute may be filed in court. A party who elects to use the
 1157  presuit arbitration procedure under this part shall serve on the
 1158  responding party a written notice of presuit arbitration in
 1159  substantially the following form:
 1160  
 1161               STATUTORY NOTICE OF PRESUIT ARBITRATION             
 1162  
 1163         THE ALLEGED AGGRIEVED PARTY, ____________________,
 1164         HEREBY DEMANDS THAT ____________________, AS THE
 1165         RESPONDING PARTY, ENGAGE IN MANDATORY PRESUIT
 1166         ARBITRATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOLLOWING
 1167         DISPUTE(S) WITH YOU, WHICH BY STATUTE ARE OF A TYPE
 1168         THAT ARE SUBJECT TO PRESUIT ARBITRATION:
 1169  
 1170         (LIST SPECIFIC NATURE OF THE DISPUTE OR DISPUTES TO BE
 1171         ARBITRATED AND THE AUTHORITY SUPPORTING A FINDING OF A
 1172         VIOLATION AS TO EACH DISPUTE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
 1173         LIMITED TO, ALL APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNING
 1174         DOCUMENTS BELIEVED TO APPLY TO THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE
 1175         PARTIES.)
 1176  
 1177         PURSUANT TO PART IV OF CHAPTER 720, FLORIDA STATUTES,
 1178         THIS DEMAND TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE THROUGH PRESUIT
 1179         ARBITRATION IS REQUIRED BEFORE A LAWSUIT CAN BE FILED
 1180         CONCERNING THE DISPUTE. PURSUANT TO FLORIDA STATUTES,
 1181         THE PARTIES ARE REQUIRED TO ENGAGE IN PRESUIT
 1182         ARBITRATION WITH A NEUTRAL THIRD-PARTY ARBITRATOR IN
 1183         ORDER TO ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE WITHOUT COURT
 1184         ACTION, AND THE AGGRIEVED PARTY DEMANDS THAT YOU
 1185         PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROCESS. IF YOU FAIL TO
 1186         PARTICIPATE IN THE ARBITRATION PROCESS, A LAWSUIT MAY
 1187         BE BROUGHT AGAINST YOU IN COURT WITHOUT FURTHER
 1188         WARNING.
 1189  
 1190         THE PROCESS OF ARBITRATION INVOLVES A NEUTRAL THIRD
 1191         PERSON WHO CONSIDERS THE LAW AND FACTS PRESENTED BY
 1192         THE PARTIES AND RENDERS A WRITTEN DECISION CALLED AN
 1193         “ARBITRATION AWARD.” PURSUANT TO S. 720.507, FLORIDA
 1194         STATUTES, THE ARBITRATION AWARD SHALL BE FINAL UNLESS
 1195         A LAWSUIT IS FILED IN A COURT OF COMPETENT
 1196         JURISDICTION FOR THE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN WHICH THE
 1197         PARCEL(S) GOVERNED BY THE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION
 1198         IS/ARE LOCATED WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE
 1199         ARBITRATION AWARD.
 1200  
 1201         IF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IS REACHED BEFORE THE
 1202         ARBITRATION AWARD, IT SHALL BE REDUCED TO WRITING AND
 1203         BECOME A BINDING AND ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT OF THE
 1204         PARTIES. A RESOLUTION OF ONE OR MORE DISPUTES IN THIS
 1205         FASHION AVOIDS THE NEED TO ARBITRATE THESE ISSUES OR
 1206         TO LITIGATE THESE ISSUES IN COURT AND SHALL BE THE
 1207         SAME AS A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN THE
 1208         PARTIES UNDER S. 720.505, FLORIDA STATUTES. THE
 1209         FAILURE OF A PARTY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ARBITRATION
 1210         PROCESS MAY RESULT IN THE ARBITRATOR ISSUING AN
 1211         ARBITRATION AWARD BY DEFAULT IN THE ARBITRATION. IF
 1212         YOU HAVE FAILED OR REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
 1213         ENTIRE ARBITRATION PROCESS, YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED
 1214         TO RECOVER ATTORNEY'S FEES, EVEN IF YOU PREVAIL IN A
 1215         SUBSEQUENT COURT PROCEEDING INVOLVING THE SAME DISPUTE
 1216         BETWEEN THE SAME PARTIES.
 1217  
 1218         THE AGGRIEVED PARTY HAS SELECTED AT LEAST FIVE
 1219         ARBITRATORS WHO THE AGGRIEVED PARTY BELIEVES TO BE
 1220         NEUTRAL AND QUALIFIED TO ARBITRATE THE DISPUTE. YOU
 1221         HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELECT ANY ONE OF THE ARBITRATORS.
 1222         THE FACT THAT ONE PARTY MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH ONE OR
 1223         MORE OF THE LISTED ARBITRATORS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE
 1224         ARBITRATOR CANNOT ACT AS A NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL
 1225         ARBITRATOR. ANY ARBITRATOR WHO CANNOT ACT IN THIS
 1226         CAPACITY IS REQUIRED ETHICALLY TO DECLINE TO ACCEPT
 1227         ENGAGEMENT. THE NAMES OF THE FIVE ARBITRATORS THAT THE
 1228         AGGRIEVED PARTY HAS CHOSEN FROM WHICH YOU MAY SELECT
 1229         ONE, AND THEIR CURRENT ADDRESSES, TELEPHONE NUMBERS,
 1230         AND HOURLY RATES, ARE AS FOLLOWS:
 1231  
 1232         (LIST THE NAMES, ADDRESSES, TELEPHONE NUMBERS, AND
 1233         HOURLY RATES OF AT LEAST FIVE ARBITRATORS.
 1234  
 1235         YOU MAY CONTACT THE OFFICES OF THESE ARBITRATORS TO
 1236         CONFIRM THAT THE LISTED ARBITRATORS WILL BE NEUTRAL
 1237         AND WILL NOT SHOW ANY FAVORITISM TOWARD EITHER PARTY.
 1238  
 1239         UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES, PART IV OF
 1240         CHAPTER 720, FLORIDA STATUTES, REQUIRES THAT THE
 1241         PARTIES SHARE THE COSTS OF PRESUIT ARBITRATION
 1242         EQUALLY, INCLUDING THE FEE CHARGED BY THE ARBITRATOR.
 1243         THE PARTIES SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN
 1244         ATTORNEY'S FEES IF THEY CHOOSE TO EMPLOY AN ATTORNEY
 1245         IN CONNECTION WITH THE ARBITRATION. HOWEVER, USE OF AN
 1246         ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT YOU FOR THE ARBITRATION IS NOT
 1247         REQUIRED. THE ARBITRATOR SELECTED MAY REQUIRE THE
 1248         ADVANCE PAYMENT OF SOME OR ALL OF THE ANTICIPATED
 1249         FEES. THE AGGRIEVED PARTY HEREBY AGREES TO PAY OR
 1250         PREPAY ONE-HALF OF THE SELECTED ARBITRATOR'S ESTIMATED
 1251         FEES AND TO FORWARD THIS AMOUNT OR SUCH OTHER
 1252         REASONABLE ADVANCE DEPOSITS AS THE ARBITRATOR WHO IS
 1253         SELECTED REQUIRES FOR THIS PURPOSE. ANY FUNDS
 1254         DEPOSITED WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU IF THESE FUNDS ARE
 1255         IN EXCESS OF YOUR SHARE OF THE FEES INCURRED.
 1256  
 1257         PLEASE SIGN THE AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE BELOW AND
 1258         CLEARLY INDICATE THE NAME OF THE ARBITRATOR WHO IS
 1259         ACCEPTABLE TO YOU FROM THE NAMES LISTED BY THE
 1260         AGGRIEVED PARTY.
 1261  
 1262         YOU MUST RESPOND IN WRITING TO THIS STATUTORY NOTICE
 1263         WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER THE DATE THAT THE NOTICE OF
 1264         PRESUIT ARBITRATION WAS EITHER PERSONALLY SERVED ON
 1265         YOU OR 20 DAYS AFTER THE POSTMARKED DATE THAT THIS
 1266         NOTICE OF PRESUIT ARBITRATION WAS SENT TO YOU BY
 1267         CERTIFIED MAIL. YOU MUST ALSO PROVIDE A LIST OF AT
 1268         LEAST THREE DATES AND TIMES IN WHICH YOU ARE AVAILABLE
 1269         TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ARBITRATION THAT ARE WITHIN 90
 1270         DAYS AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE PERSONALLY SERVED OR
 1271         WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE POSTMARKED DATE OF THE
 1272         CERTIFIED MAILING OF THIS STATUTORY NOTICE OF PRESUIT
 1273         ARBITRATION. A COPY OF THIS NOTICE AND YOUR RESPONSE
 1274         WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY TO THE
 1275         ARBITRATOR SELECTED, AND THE ARBITRATOR WILL SCHEDULE
 1276         A MUTUALLY CONVENIENT TIME AND PLACE FOR THE
 1277         ARBITRATION CONFERENCE TO BE HELD. IF YOU DO NOT
 1278         PROVIDE A LIST OF AVAILABLE DATES AND TIMES, THE
 1279         ARBITRATOR IS AUTHORIZED TO SCHEDULE AN ARBITRATION
 1280         CONFERENCE WITHOUT TAKING YOUR SCHEDULE AND
 1281         CONVENIENCE INTO CONSIDERATION. THE ARBITRATION
 1282         CONFERENCE MUST BE HELD ON THE SCHEDULED DATE, OR ANY
 1283         RESCHEDULED DATE APPROVED BY THE ARBITRATOR. IN NO
 1284         EVENT SHALL THE ARBITRATION CONFERENCE BE LATER THAN
 1285         90 DAYS AFTER NOTICE OF THE PRESUIT ARBITRATION WAS
 1286         FIRST SERVED, UNLESS ALL PARTIES MUTUALLY AGREE IN
 1287         WRITING OTHERWISE. IF THE ARBITRATION IS NOT COMPLETED
 1288         WITHIN THE REQUIRED TIME LIMITS, THE ARBITRATOR SHALL
 1289         ISSUE AN ARBITRATION AWARD, UNLESS THE HEARING IS
 1290         EXTENDED BY MUTUAL WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES
 1291         AND APPROVED BY THE ARBITRATOR. IN THE EVENT THAT YOU
 1292         FAIL TO RESPOND WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE
 1293         SERVED WITH A COPY OF THIS NOTICE, FAIL TO PROVIDE THE
 1294         ARBITRATOR WITH DATES AND TIMES IN WHICH YOU ARE
 1295         AVAILABLE FOR THE ARBITRATION CONFERENCE, FAIL TO
 1296         AGREE EITHER TO ONE OF THE ARBITRATORS THAT THE
 1297         AGGRIEVED PARTY HAS NAMED, FAIL TO PAY OR PREPAY TO
 1298         THE ARBITRATOR ONE-HALF OF THE COSTS INVOLVED AS
 1299         REQUIRED, OR FAIL TO APPEAR AND PARTICIPATE AT THE
 1300         SCHEDULED ARBITRATION CONFERENCE, THE AGGRIEVED PARTY
 1301         MAY REQUEST THE ARBITRATOR TO ISSUE AN ARBITRATION
 1302         AWARD. IN THE SUBSEQUENT COURT ACTION, THE AGGRIEVED
 1303         PARTY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER AN AWARD OF
 1304         REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS, INCLUDING ANY
 1305         FEES PAID TO THE ARBITRATOR, INCURRED IN OBTAINING AN
 1306         ARBITRATION AWARD PURSUANT TO S. 720.507, FLORIDA
 1307         STATUTES.
 1308  
 1309         PLEASE GIVE THIS MATTER YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. BY
 1310         LAW, YOUR RESPONSE MUST BE POSTMARKED AND MAILED BY
 1311         CERTIFIED, FIRST-CLASS MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED,
 1312         TO THE ADDRESS SHOWN ON THIS NOTICE OF PRESUIT
 1313         ARBITRATION.
 1314  
 1315         _________________________
 1316         Signature of aggrieved party
 1317  
 1318         ______________________
 1319         PRINTED NAME OF AGGRIEVED PARTY
 1320  
 1321         RESPONDING PARTY: YOUR SIGNATURE BELOW INDICATES YOUR
 1322         ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE.
 1323  
 1324                       AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE                      
 1325  
 1326         THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY AGREES TO PARTICIPATE IN
 1327         PRESUIT ARBITRATION AND AGREES TO ATTEND AN
 1328         ARBITRATION CONDUCTED BY THE FOLLOWING ARBITRATOR
 1329         LISTED BELOW AS SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO
 1330         ARBITRATE THIS DISPUTE:
 1331  
 1332         (IN YOUR RESPONSE, SELECT THE NAME OF ONE ARBITRATOR
 1333         THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU FROM THOSE ARBITRATORS
 1334         LISTED BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY.)
 1335  
 1336         THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY REPRESENTS THAT HE OR SHE IS
 1337         AVAILABLE AND ABLE TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN THE
 1338         PRESUIT ARBITRATION CONFERENCE AT THE FOLLOWING DATES
 1339         AND TIMES:
 1340  
 1341         (LIST ALL AVAILABLE DATES AND TIMES, OF WHICH THERE
 1342         MUST BE AT LEAST THREE, WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE DATE
 1343         ON WHICH YOU WERE SERVED, EITHER BY PROCESS SERVER OR
 1344         BY CERTIFIED MAIL, WITH THE NOTICE OF PRESUIT
 1345         ARBITRATION.)
 1346  
 1347         I/WE FURTHER AGREE TO PAY OR PREPAY ONE-HALF OF THE
 1348         ARBITRATOR'S FEES AND TO FORWARD SUCH ADVANCE DEPOSITS
 1349         AS THE ARBITRATOR MAY REQUIRE FOR THIS PURPOSE.
 1350  
 1351         ______________________________
 1352         SIGNATURE OF RESPONDING PARTY #1
 1353         ______________________________
 1354         TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION
 1355  
 1356         ______________________________
 1357         SIGNATURE AND TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION OF
 1358         RESPONDING PARTY #2, IF APPLICABLE. IF THE PROPERTY IS
 1359         OWNED BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON, ALL OWNERS MUST SIGN,
 1360         OR A PERSON MAY SIGN WHO IS ACTING UNDER AUTHORITY OF
 1361         A VALID POWER OF ATTORNEY GRANTED BY AN OWNER.
 1362  
 1363         (2)(a) Service of the statutory notice of presuit
 1364  arbitration shall be effected either by personal service, as
 1365  provided in chapter 48, or by certified mail, return receipt
 1366  requested, in a letter in substantial conformity with the form
 1367  provided in subsection (1), with an additional copy being sent
 1368  by regular first-class mail, to the address of the responding
 1369  party as it last appears on the books and records of the
 1370  association, or if not available, the last address as it appears
 1371  on the official records of the county property appraiser for the
 1372  county in which the property is situated that is subject to the
 1373  association documents. The responding party has 20 days after
 1374  the postmarked date of the certified mailing of the statutory
 1375  notice of presuit arbitration or 20 days after the date the
 1376  responding party is personally served with the statutory notice
 1377  of presuit arbitration to serve a written response to the
 1378  aggrieved party. The response shall be served by certified mail,
 1379  return receipt requested, with an additional copy being sent by
 1380  regular first-class mail, to the address shown on the statutory
 1381  notice of presuit arbitration. The postmarked date on the
 1382  envelope of the response shall constitute the date the response
 1383  was served.
 1384         (b) The parties shall share the costs of presuit
 1385  arbitration equally, including the fee charged by the
 1386  arbitrator, if any, unless the parties agree otherwise, and the
 1387  arbitrator may require advance payment of his or her reasonable
 1388  fees and costs. Each party shall be responsible for all of their
 1389  own attorney's fees if a party chooses to be represented by an
 1390  attorney for the arbitration proceedings.
 1391         (c)1. The party responding to the aggrieved party must sign
 1392  the agreement to arbitrate included in the notice of presuit
 1393  arbitration and clearly indicate the name of the arbitrator who
 1394  is acceptable of those arbitrators listed by the aggrieved
 1395  party. The responding party must provide a list of at least
 1396  three dates and times in which the responding party is available
 1397  to participate in the arbitration conference within 90 days
 1398  after the date the responding party was served with the
 1399  statutory notice of presuit arbitration.
 1400         2. The arbitrator must schedule the arbitration conference
 1401  at a mutually convenient time and place, but if the responding
 1402  party does not provide a list of available dates and times, the
 1403  arbitrator is authorized to schedule an arbitration conference
 1404  without taking the responding party's schedule and convenience
 1405  into consideration. Within 10 days after the designation of the
 1406  arbitrator, the arbitrator shall notify the parties in writing
 1407  of the date, time, and place of the arbitration conference.
 1408         3. The arbitration conference must be held on the scheduled
 1409  date and may be rescheduled if approved by the arbitrator.
 1410  However, in no event shall the arbitration hearing be later than
 1411  90 days after the notice of presuit arbitration was first
 1412  served, unless all parties mutually agree in writing otherwise.
 1413  If the arbitration hearing is not completed within the required
 1414  time limits, the arbitrator may issue an arbitration award
 1415  unless the time for the hearing is extended as provided herein.
 1416  If the responding party fails to respond within 20 days after
 1417  the date of statutory notice of presuit arbitration, fails to
 1418  agree to at least one of the arbitrators that have been listed
 1419  by the aggrieved party in the presuit notice of arbitration,
 1420  fails to pay or prepay to the arbitrator one-half of the costs
 1421  involved, or fails to appear and participate at the scheduled
 1422  arbitration, the aggrieved party is authorized to proceed with a
 1423  request that the arbitrator issue an arbitration award.
 1424         (d)1. The failure of any party to respond to the statutory
 1425  notice of presuit arbitration within 20 days, the failure to
 1426  either select one of the five arbitrators listed by the
 1427  aggrieved party, the failure to provide a listing of dates and
 1428  times in which the responding party is available to participate
 1429  in the arbitration conference within 90 days after the date of
 1430  the responding party being served with the statutory notice of
 1431  presuit arbitration, the failure to make payment of fees and
 1432  costs as required within the time established by the arbitrator,
 1433  or the failure to appear for an arbitration conference without
 1434  the approval of the arbitrator, shall entitle the other party to
 1435  request the arbitrator to enter an arbitration award, including
 1436  an award of the reasonable costs and attorney's fees associated
 1437  with the arbitration.
 1438         2. Persons who fail or refuse to participate in the entire
 1439  arbitration process may not recover attorney's fees and costs in
 1440  any subsequent litigation proceeding relating to the same
 1441  dispute involving the same parties.
 1442         (3)(a) In an arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator may not
 1443  consider any unsuccessful mediation of the dispute.
 1444         (b) An arbitrator in a proceeding initiated pursuant to the
 1445  provisions of this part may shorten the time for discovery or
 1446  otherwise limit discovery in a manner consistent with the policy
 1447  goals of this part to reduce the time and expense of litigating
 1448  homeowners' association disputes initiated pursuant to this
 1449  chapter and promoting an expeditious alternative dispute
 1450  resolution procedure for parties to such actions.
 1451         (4) At the request of any party to the arbitration, the
 1452  arbitrator may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses
 1453  and the production of books, records, documents, and other
 1454  evidence, and any party on whose behalf a subpoena is issued may
 1455  apply to the court for orders compelling such attendance and
 1456  production. Subpoenas shall be served and are enforceable in the
 1457  manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
 1458  Discovery may, at the discretion of the arbitrator, be permitted
 1459  in the manner provided by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
 1460         (5) The final arbitration award shall be sent to the
 1461  parties in writing no later than 30 days after the date of the
 1462  arbitration hearing, absent extraordinary circumstances
 1463  necessitating a later filing the reasons for which shall be
 1464  stated in the final award if filed more than 30 days after the
 1465  date of the final session of the arbitration conference. An
 1466  agreed arbitration award is final in those disputes in which the
 1467  parties have mutually agreed to be bound. An arbitration award
 1468  decided by the arbitrator is final unless a lawsuit seeking a
 1469  trial de novo is filed in a court of competent jurisdiction
 1470  within 30 days after the date of the arbitration award. The
 1471  right to file for a trial de novo entitles the parties to file a
 1472  complaint in the appropriate trial court for a judicial
 1473  resolution of the dispute. The prevailing party in an
 1474  arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the
 1475  arbitration and reasonable attorney's fees in an amount
 1476  determined by the arbitrator.
 1477         (6) The party filing a motion for a trial de novo shall be
 1478  assessed the other party's arbitration costs, court costs, and
 1479  other reasonable costs, including attorney's fees, investigation
 1480  expenses, and expenses for expert or other testimony or evidence
 1481  incurred after the arbitration hearing, if the judgment upon the
 1482  trial de novo is not more favorable than the final arbitration
 1483  award.
 1484         720.508 Rules of procedure.—
 1485         (1) Presuit mediation and presuit arbitration proceedings
 1486  under this part must be conducted in accordance with the
 1487  applicable Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and rules governing
 1488  mediations and arbitrations under chapter 44, except that this
 1489  part shall be controlling to the extent of any conflict with
 1490  other applicable rules or statutes. The arbitrator may shorten
 1491  any applicable time period and otherwise limit the scope of
 1492  discovery on request of the parties or within the discretion of
 1493  the arbitrator exercised consistent with the purpose and
 1494  objective of reducing the expense and expeditiously concluding
 1495  proceedings under this part.
 1496         (2) Presuit mediation proceedings under s. 720.505 are
 1497  privileged and confidential to the same extent as court-ordered
 1498  mediation under chapter 44. An arbitrator or judge may not
 1499  consider any information or evidence arising from the presuit
 1500  mediation proceeding except in a proceeding to impose sanctions
 1501  for failure to attend a presuit mediation session or to enforce
 1502  a mediated settlement agreement.
 1503         (3) Persons who are not parties to the dispute may not
 1504  attend the presuit mediation conference without consent of all
 1505  parties, with the exception of counsel for the parties and a
 1506  corporate representative designated by the association. Presuit
 1507  mediations under this part are not a board meeting for purposes
 1508  of notice and participation set forth in this chapter.
 1509         (4) Attendance at a mediation conference by the board of
 1510  directors shall not require notice or participation by nonboard
 1511  members as otherwise required by this chapter for meetings of
 1512  the board.
 1513         (5) Settlement agreements resulting from a mediation or
 1514  arbitration proceeding do not have precedential value in
 1515  proceedings involving parties other than those participating in
 1516  the mediation or arbitration.
 1517         (6) Arbitration awards by an arbitrator shall have
 1518  precedential value in other proceedings involving the same
 1519  association or with respect to the same parcel owner.
 1520         720.509Mediators and arbitrators; qualifications and
 1521  registration.—A person is authorized to conduct mediation or
 1522  arbitration under this part if he or she has been certified as a
 1523  circuit court civil mediator under the requirements adopted
 1524  pursuant to s. 44.106, is a member in good standing with The
 1525  Florida Bar, and otherwise meets all other requirements imposed
 1526  by chapter 44.
 1527         720.510 Enforcement of mediation agreement or arbitration
 1528  award.—
 1529         (1) A mediation settlement may be enforced through the
 1530  county or circuit court, as applicable, and any costs and
 1531  attorney's fees incurred in the enforcement of a settlement
 1532  agreement reached at mediation shall be awarded to the
 1533  prevailing party in any enforcement action.
 1534         (2) Any party to an arbitration proceeding may enforce an
 1535  arbitration award by filing a petition in a court of competent
 1536  jurisdiction in which the homeowners' association is located.
 1537  The prevailing party in such proceeding shall be awarded
 1538  reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in such
 1539  proceeding.
 1540         (3) If a complaint is filed seeking a trial de novo, the
 1541  arbitration award shall be stayed and a petition to enforce the
 1542  award may not be granted. Such award, however, shall be
 1543  admissible in the court proceeding seeking a trial de novo.
 1544         Section 10. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of
 1545  law, any three or more condominium associations may form a self
 1546  insurance fund for the purposes of pooling and spreading the
 1547  liabilities of its participant associations arising from the
 1548  deductible provisions of the commercial lines residential
 1549  property insurance policies of the participants applicable to
 1550  hurricane losses, if:
 1551         (a) Such fund is a not-for-profit corporation pursuant to
 1552  chapter 617, Florida Statutes.
 1553         (b) The fund is implemented through contracts among the
 1554  participating associations, or through contracts between the
 1555  participating associations and another legal entity established
 1556  for and limited to establishing and implementing the program.
 1557         (c)The liability of the fund for claims is limited to
 1558  funds available for the payment of claims.
 1559         (d) The contract provided to a participating association
 1560  clearly discloses the obligations of the participants in the
 1561  fund and the obligations of the fund, including the limited
 1562  liability of the fund as defined in paragraph (c). The contract
 1563  must specify a reasonable date for the payment of claims which
 1564  provides the fund with adequate time to verify and account for
 1565  all claims for a given year so that claims payments can be
 1566  properly calculated after consideration of the funds available.
 1567  Before execution of the contract, the association or its
 1568  representative must be provided a separate disclosure form
 1569  specifying the limited liability of the fund and all
 1570  administrative fees and estimated expenses, and provide examples
 1571  of the manner in which available funds will be allocated among
 1572  claimants if claims exceed the funds available for the payment
 1573  thereof. Such disclosure must be signed by a representative of
 1574  the participating association before or at the time of execution
 1575  of the contract.
 1576         (e) The contributions charged for participating in the fund
 1577  are established by the fund and calculated as a percentage of
 1578  the participant's hurricane deductible dollar amount. The fund
 1579  may determine the method and timing of payment of contributions.
 1580         (f) All members of the governing board of the fund are
 1581  participating associations in the fund, and the governing body
 1582  has all powers necessary to establish and administer the fund as
 1583  authorized by the participants in the fund. All decisions of the
 1584  fund shall be based upon a vote of the majority of the board.
 1585  The board may contract with individual professionals to
 1586  administer the fund.
 1587         (g) The fund uses and contracts with knowledgeable persons
 1588  or business entities to administer and service the fund,
 1589  including marketing, policy, contract administration, claims
 1590  administration, accounting services, and legal services.
 1591         (h) The fund uses a properly licensed general lines
 1592  insurance agent who is a Florida resident for solicitation of
 1593  participation in the fund and does not prevent, impede, or
 1594  restrict any applicant or participant in the fund from
 1595  maintaining or selecting an agent of choice. The fund may not
 1596  favor one or more agents over another agent. The organizational
 1597  documents, the contract, and notices of disclosure must be filed
 1598  with the Office of Insurance Regulation not less than 45 days
 1599  prior to solicitation by the fund.
 1600         (i) The fund is audited by an independent auditor no less
 1601  frequently than every 2 years.
 1602         (2) The fund may accumulate funds or periodically
 1603  distribute excess funds to its participants on a pro rata basis,
 1604  reflecting loss experience of individual participants and
 1605  proportionate contributions paid by participants.
 1606         (3) Participants in the fund must have a deductible no
 1607  greater than as provided in s. 627.701(8), Florida Statutes.
 1608  Self-insurance funds or pools established pursuant to this
 1609  section are not subject to licensure requirements or regulation
 1610  pursuant to the Florida Insurance Code, except for part IX of
 1611  chapter 626, Florida Statutes, which may be enforced by the
 1612  Office of Insurance Regulation or the Department of Financial
 1613  Services, as applicable, and are not subject to any fees, taxes,
 1614  or assessments related to the writing or transaction of
 1615  insurance in this state.
 1616         Section 11. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
 1617  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2009.

Site Map
Session:   Bills ·   Calendars ·   Bound Journals ·   Citator ·   Search ·   Appropriations ·   Redistricting ·   Bill Information Reports
Committee Publications
Historical Information
Statutes:   Introduction ·   View Statutes ·   Search Statutes
Flsenate.gov
Disclaimer: The information on this system is unverified. The journals or printed bills of the respective chambers should be consulted for official purposes.    Copyright © 2000-2020 State of Florida.     Privacy Statement     Contact Us     Get Acrobat Reader