Section 718.111, Florida Statutes 2003
718.111 The association.--
(1) CORPORATE ENTITY.--
(a) The operation of the condominium shall be by the association, which must be a Florida corporation for profit or a Florida corporation not for profit. However, any association which was in existence on January 1, 1977, need not be incorporated. The owners of units shall be shareholders or members of the association. The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners. It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as providing for or removing a requirement of a fiduciary relationship between any manager employed by the association and the unit owners. An officer, director, or manager may not solicit, offer to accept, or accept any thing or service of value for which consideration has not been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his or her immediate family, from any person providing or proposing to provide goods or services to the association. Any such officer, director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to accept, or accepts any thing or service of value is subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). However, this paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director, or manager from accepting services or items received in connection with trade fairs or education programs. An association may operate more than one condominium.
(b) A director of the association who is present at a meeting of its board at which action on any corporate matter is taken shall be presumed to have assented to the action taken unless he or she votes against such action or abstains from voting in respect thereto because of an asserted conflict of interest. Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings, except that officers may be elected by secret ballot. A vote or abstention for each member present shall be recorded in the minutes.
(c) A unit owner does not have any authority to act for the association by reason of being a unit owner.
(2) POWERS AND DUTIES.--The powers and duties of the association include those set forth in this section and, except as expressly limited or restricted in this chapter, those set forth in the declaration and bylaws and chapters 607 and 617, as applicable.
(3) POWER TO MANAGE CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY AND TO CONTRACT, SUE, AND BE SUED.--The association may contract, sue, or be sued with respect to the exercise or nonexercise of its powers. For these purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the condominium property. After control of the association is obtained by unit owners other than the developer, the association may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or hearings in its name on behalf of all unit owners concerning matters of common interest to most or all unit owners, including, but not limited to, the common elements; the roof and structural components of a building or other improvements; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving an improvement or a building; representations of the developer pertaining to any existing or proposed commonly used facilities; and protesting ad valorem taxes on commonly used facilities and on units; and may defend actions in eminent domain or bring inverse condemnation actions. If the association has the authority to maintain a class action, the association may be joined in an action as representative of that class with reference to litigation and disputes involving the matters for which the association could bring a class action. Nothing herein limits any statutory or common-law right of any individual unit owner or class of unit owners to bring any action without participation by the association which may otherwise be available.
(4) ASSESSMENTS; MANAGEMENT OF COMMON ELEMENTS.--The association has the power to make and collect assessments and to lease, maintain, repair, and replace the common elements or association property; however, the association may not charge a use fee against a unit owner for the use of common elements or association property unless otherwise provided for in the declaration of condominium or by a majority vote of the association or unless the charges relate to expenses incurred by an owner having exclusive use of the common elements or association property.
(5) RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.--The association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a unit or units.
(6) OPERATION OF CONDOMINIUMS CREATED PRIOR TO 1977.--Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, an association may operate two or more residential condominiums in which the initial condominium declaration was recorded prior to January 1, 1977, and may continue to so operate such condominiums as a single condominium for purposes of financial matters, including budgets, assessments, accounting, recordkeeping, and similar matters, if provision is made for such consolidated operation in the applicable declarations of each such condominium or in the bylaws. An association for such condominiums may also provide for consolidated financial operation as described in this section either by amending its declaration pursuant to s. 718.110(1)(a) or by amending its bylaws and having the amendment approved by not less than two-thirds of the total voting interests. Notwithstanding any provision in this chapter, common expenses for residential condominiums in such a project being operated by a single association may be assessed against all unit owners in such project pursuant to the proportions or percentages established therefor in the declarations as initially recorded or in the bylaws as initially adopted, subject, however, to the limitations of ss. 718.116 and 718.302.
(7) TITLE TO PROPERTY.--
(a) The association has the power to acquire title to property or otherwise hold, convey, lease, and mortgage association property for the use and benefit of its members. The power to acquire personal property shall be exercised by the board of administration. Except as otherwise permitted in subsections (8) and (9) and in s. 718.114, no association may acquire, convey, lease, or mortgage association real property except in the manner provided in the declaration, and if the declaration does not specify the procedure, then approval of 75 percent of the total voting interests shall be required.
(b) Subject to the provisions of s. 718.112(2)(m), the association, through its board, has the limited power to convey a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for the purposes of providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent domain proceedings.
(8) PURCHASE OF LEASES.--The association has the power to purchase any land or recreation lease upon the approval of such voting interest as is required by the declaration. If the declaration makes no provision for acquisition of the land or recreation lease, the vote required shall be that required to amend the declaration to permit the acquisition.
(9) PURCHASE OF UNITS.--The association has the power, unless prohibited by the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws of the association, to purchase units in the condominium and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, and convey them. There shall be no limitation on the association's right to purchase a unit at a foreclosure sale resulting from the association's foreclosure of its lien for unpaid assessments, or to take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
(10) EASEMENTS.--Unless prohibited by the declaration, the board of administration has the authority, without the joinder of any unit owner, to grant, modify, or move any easement if the easement constitutes part of or crosses the common elements or association property. This subsection does not authorize the board of administration to modify, move, or vacate any easement created in whole or in part for the use or benefit of anyone other than the unit owners, or crossing the property of anyone other than the unit owners, without the consent or approval of those other persons having the use or benefit of the easement, as required by law or by the instrument creating the easement. Nothing in this subsection affects the minimum requirements of s. 718.104(4)(n) or the powers enumerated in subsection (3).
(11) INSURANCE.--In order to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the people of the State of Florida and to ensure consistency in the provision of insurance coverage to condominiums and their unit owners, paragraphs (b) and (c) are deemed to apply to every condominium in the state, regardless of the date of its declaration of condominium. It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage lower or stable insurance premiums for associations described in this section. Therefore, the Legislature requires a report to be prepared by the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Department of Financial Services for publication 18 months from the effective date of this act, evaluating premium increases or decreases for associations, unit owner premium increases or decreases, recommended changes to better define common areas, or any other information the Office of Insurance Regulation deems appropriate.
(a) A unit-owner controlled association shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate insurance to protect the association, the association property, the common elements, and the condominium property required to be insured by the association pursuant to paragraph (b). If the association is developer controlled, the association shall exercise due diligence to obtain and maintain such insurance. Failure to obtain and maintain adequate insurance during any period of developer control shall constitute a breach of fiduciary responsibility by the developer-appointed members of the board of directors of the association, unless said members can show that despite such failure, they have exercised due diligence. The declaration of condominium as originally recorded, or amended pursuant to procedures provided therein, may require that condominium property consisting of freestanding buildings where there is no more than one building in or on such unit need not be insured by the association if the declaration requires the unit owner to obtain adequate insurance for the condominium property. An association may also obtain and maintain liability insurance for directors and officers, insurance for the benefit of association employees, and flood insurance for common elements, association property, and units. Adequate insurance, regardless of any requirement in the declaration of condominium for coverage by the association for "full insurable value," "replacement cost," or the like, may include reasonable deductibles as determined by the board. An association or group of associations may self-insure against claims against the association, the association property, and the condominium property required to be insured by an association, upon compliance with ss. 624.460-624.488. A copy of each policy of insurance in effect shall be made available for inspection by unit owners at reasonable times.
(b) Every hazard insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2004, to protect the condominium shall provide primary coverage for:
1. All portions of the condominium property located outside the units;
2. The condominium property located inside the units as such property was initially installed, or replacements thereof of like kind and quality and in accordance with the original plans and specifications or, if the original plans and specifications are not available, as they existed at the time the unit was initially conveyed; and
3. All portions of the condominium property for which the declaration of condominium requires coverage by the association.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, the terms "condominium property," "building," "improvements," "insurable improvements," "common elements," "association property," or any other term found in the declaration of condominium which defines the scope of property or casualty insurance that a condominium association must obtain shall exclude all floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, air conditioner or heating equipment, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of a unit and serve only one unit and all air conditioning compressors that service only an individual unit, whether or not located within the unit boundaries. The foregoing is intended to establish the property or casualty insuring responsibilities of the association and those of the individual unit owner and do not serve to broaden or extend the perils of coverage afforded by any insurance contract provided to the individual unit owner. Beginning January 1, 2004, the association shall have the authority to amend the declaration of condominium, without regard to any requirement for mortgagee approval of amendments affecting insurance requirements, to conform the declaration of condominium to the coverage requirements of this section.
(c) Every hazard insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2004, to an individual unit owner shall provide that the coverage afforded by such policy is excess over the amount recoverable under any other policy covering the same property. Each insurance policy issued to an individual unit owner providing such coverage shall be without rights of subrogation against the condominium association that operates the condominium in which such unit owner's unit is located. All real or personal property located within the boundaries of the unit owner's unit which is excluded from the coverage to be provided by the association as set forth in paragraph (b) shall be insured by the individual unit owner.
(d) The association shall obtain and maintain adequate insurance or fidelity bonding of all persons who control or disburse funds of the association. The insurance policy or fidelity bond must cover the maximum funds that will be in the custody of the association or its management agent at any one time. As used in this paragraph, the term "persons who control or disburse funds of the association" includes, but is not limited to, those individuals authorized to sign checks and the president, secretary, and treasurer of the association. The association shall bear the cost of bonding.
(12) OFFICIAL RECORDS.--
(a) From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, when applicable, which shall constitute the official records of the association:
1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and of each amendment to each declaration.
3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and of each amendment to the bylaws.
4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and of each amendment thereto.
5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
6. A book or books which contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, of the board of directors, and of unit owners, which minutes shall be retained for a period of not less than 7 years.
7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers designated by unit owners for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and numbers provided by unit owners to receive notice by electronic transmission shall be removed from association records when consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked. However, the association is not liable for an erroneous disclosure of the electronic mail address or the number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.
8. All current insurance policies of the association and condominiums operated by the association.
9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.
11. Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each condominium which the association operates. All accounting records shall be maintained for a period of not less than 7 years. The accounting records shall include, but are not limited to:
a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.
b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid upon the account, and the balance due.
c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium.
d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed shall also be considered official records and shall be maintained for a period of 1 year.
12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners, which shall be maintained for a period of 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates.
13. All rental records, when the association is acting as agent for the rental of condominium units.
14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described by s. 718.504.
15. All other records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.
(b) The official records of the association shall be maintained within the state. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 5 working days after receipt of written request by the board or its designee. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property or association property.
(c) The official records of the association are open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the association member. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request shall create a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's willful failure to comply with this paragraph. The minimum damages shall be $50 per calendar day up to 10 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection of the association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records for inspection. The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet provided for in s. 718.504 and year-end financial information required in this section on the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the same. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the following records shall not be accessible to unit owners:
1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502; and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including any record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney's express direction; which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.
2. Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.
3. Medical records of unit owners.
(d) The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually.
(e) The association or its authorized agent shall not be required to provide a prospective purchaser or lienholder with information about the condominium or the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent shall be entitled to charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for its time in providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, provided that such fee shall not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney's fees incurred by the association in connection with the association's response.
(13) FINANCIAL REPORTING.--Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws, the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the preparation and completion of, a financial report for the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial report is completed by the association or received from the third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver to each unit owner, a copy of the financial report or a notice that a copy of the financial report will be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge, upon receipt of a written request from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by all associations and shall adopt rules addressing financial reporting requirements for multicondominium associations. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the number of members and annual revenues of an association. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows:
(a) An association that meets the criteria of this paragraph shall prepare or cause to be prepared a complete set of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The financial statements shall be based upon the association's total annual revenues, as follows:
1. An association with total annual revenues of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements.
2. An association with total annual revenues of at least $200,000, but less than $400,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements.
3. An association with total annual revenues of $400,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.
(b)1. An association with total annual revenues of less than $100,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures.
2. An association which operates less than 50 units, regardless of the association's annual revenues, shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial statements required by paragraph (a).
3. A report of cash receipts and disbursements must disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services, expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures, deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the association maintains reserves.
(c) An association may prepare or cause to be prepared, without a meeting of or approval by the unit owners:
1. Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures;
2. Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare compiled financial statements; or
3. Audited financial statements if the association is required to prepare reviewed financial statements.
(d) If approved by a majority of the voting interests present at a properly called meeting of the association, an association may prepare or cause to be prepared:
1. A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;
2. A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial statement; or
3. A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu of an audited financial statement.
Such meeting and approval must occur prior to the end of the fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which the vote is taken. With respect to an association to which the developer has not turned over control of the association, all unit owners, including the developer, may vote on issues related to the preparation of financial reports for the first 2 fiscal years of the association's operation, beginning with the fiscal year in which the declaration is recorded. Thereafter, all unit owners except the developer may vote on such issues until control is turned over to the association by the developer.
(14) COMMINGLING.--All funds collected by an association shall be maintained separately in the association's name. For investment purposes only, reserve funds may be commingled with operating funds of the association. Commingled operating and reserve funds shall be accounted for separately, and a commingled account shall not, at any time, be less than the amount identified as reserve funds. This subsection does not prohibit a multicondominium association from commingling the operating funds of separate condominiums or the reserve funds of separate condominiums. Furthermore, for investment purposes only, a multicondominium association may commingle the operating funds of separate condominiums with the reserve funds of separate condominiums. A manager or business entity required to be licensed or registered under s. 468.432, or an agent, employee, officer, or director of an association, shall not commingle any association funds with his or her funds or with the funds of any other condominium association or the funds of a community association as defined in s. 468.431.
History.--s. 1, ch. 76-222; s. 2, ch. 78-340; ss. 2, 3, 5, ch. 79-314; s. 1, ch. 80-323; s. 1, ch. 81-225; s. 1, ch. 82-199; s. 5, ch. 84-368; s. 5, ch. 86-175; s. 2, ch. 87-46; s. 4, ch. 87-117; s. 6, ch. 90-151; s. 4, ch. 91-103; ss. 3, 5, ch. 91-426; s. 2, ch. 92-49; s. 1, ch. 94-77; s. 231, ch. 94-218; s. 2, ch. 94-336; s. 35, ch. 95-274; s. 854, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 98-322; s. 74, ch. 99-3; s. 52, ch. 2000-302; s. 20, ch. 2001-64; s. 8, ch. 2002-27; s. 4, ch. 2003-14.