Section 718.112, Florida Statutes 2001
(a) The operation of the association shall be governed by the articles of incorporation if the association is incorporated, and the bylaws of the association, which shall be included as exhibits to the recorded declaration. If one association operates more than one condominium, it shall not be necessary to rerecord the same articles of incorporation and bylaws as exhibits to each declaration after the first, provided that in each case where the articles and bylaws are not so recorded, the declaration expressly incorporates them by reference as exhibits and identifies the book and page of the public records where the first declaration to which they were attached is recorded.
(b) No amendment to the articles of incorporation or bylaws is valid unless recorded with identification on the first page thereof of the book and page of the public records where the declaration of each condominium operated by the association is recorded.
(2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.--The bylaws shall provide for the following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include the following:
1. The form of administration of the association shall be described indicating the title of the officers and board of administration and specifying the powers, duties, manner of selection and removal, and compensation, if any, of officers and boards. In the absence of such a provision, the board of administration shall be composed of five members, except in the case of a condominium which has five or fewer units, in which case in a not-for-profit corporation the board shall consist of not fewer than three members. In the absence of provisions to the contrary in the bylaws, the board of administration shall have a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall perform the duties of such officers customarily performed by officers of corporations. Unless prohibited in the bylaws, the board of administration may appoint other officers and grant them the duties it deems appropriate. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the officers shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the board of administration. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the members of the board shall serve without compensation.
2. When a unit owner files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days of receipt of the inquiry. The board's response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within 10 days of its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry as provided herein precludes the board from recovering attorney's fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry. The association may through its board of administration adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries, one of which may be that the association is only obligated to respond to one written inquiry per unit in any given 30-day period. In such a case, any additional inquiry or inquiries must be responded to in the subsequent 30-day period, or periods, as applicable.
(b) Quorum; voting requirements; proxies.--
1. Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members shall be a majority of the voting interests. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws, and except as provided in subparagraph (d)3., decisions shall be made by owners of a majority of the voting interests represented at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
2. Except as specifically otherwise provided herein, after January 1, 1992, unit owners may not vote by general proxy, but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division. Limited proxies and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Limited proxies shall be used for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves in accordance with subparagraph (f)2.; for votes taken to amend the declaration pursuant to s. 718.110; for votes taken to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws pursuant to this section; and for any other matter for which this chapter requires or permits a vote of the unit owners. Except as provided in paragraph (d), after January 1, 1992, no proxy, limited or general, shall be used in the election of board members. General proxies may be used for other matters for which limited proxies are not required, and may also be used in voting for nonsubstantive changes to items for which a limited proxy is required and given. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph, unit owners may vote in person at unit owner meetings. Nothing contained herein shall limit the use of general proxies or require the use of limited proxies for any agenda item or election at any meeting of a timeshare condominium association.
3. Any proxy given shall be effective only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned meetings thereof. In no event shall any proxy be valid for a period longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given. Every proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the unit owner executing it.
4. A member of the board of administration or a committee may submit in writing his or her agreement or disagreement with any action taken at a meeting that the member did not attend. This agreement or disagreement may not be used as a vote for or against the action taken and may not be used for the purposes of creating a quorum.
5. When any of the board or committee members meet by telephone conference, those board or committee members attending by telephone conference may be counted toward obtaining a quorum and may vote by telephone. A telephone speaker must be used so that the conversation of those board or committee members attending by telephone may be heard by the board or committee members attending in person as well as by any unit owners present at a meeting.
(c) Board of administration meetings.--Meetings of the board of administration at which a quorum of the members is present shall be open to all unit owners. Any unit owner may tape record or videotape meetings of the board of administration. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items. The division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the tape recording and videotaping of the meeting. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements. Adequate notice of all meetings, which notice shall specifically incorporate an identification of agenda items, shall be posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 48 continuous hours preceding the meeting except in an emergency. Any item not included on the notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a majority plus one of the members of the board. Such emergency action shall be noticed and ratified at the next regular meeting of the board. However, written notice of any meeting at which nonemergency special assessments, or at which amendment to rules regarding unit use, will be considered shall be mailed or delivered to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the condominium property not less than 14 days prior to the meeting. Evidence of compliance with this 14-day notice shall be made by an affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed among the official records of the association. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a specific location on the condominium property or association property upon which all notices of board meetings shall be posted. If there is no condominium property or association property upon which notices can be posted, notices of board meetings shall be mailed or delivered at least 14 days before the meeting to the owner of each unit. Notice of any meeting in which regular assessments against unit owners are to be considered for any reason shall specifically contain a statement that assessments will be considered and the nature of any such assessments. Meetings of a committee to take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget are subject to the provisions of this paragraph. Meetings of a committee that does not take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget are subject to the provisions of this section, unless those meetings are exempted from this section by the bylaws of the association. Notwithstanding any other law, the requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open to the unit owners is inapplicable to meetings between the board or a committee and the association's attorney, with respect to proposed or pending litigation, when the meeting is held for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice.
(d) Unit owner meetings.--
1. There shall be an annual meeting of the unit owners. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, a vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director's term shall be filled by electing a new board member, and the election shall be by secret ballot; however, if the number of vacancies equals or exceeds the number of candidates, no election is required. If there is no provision in the bylaws for terms of the members of the board, the terms of all members of the board shall expire upon the election of their successors at the annual meeting. Any unit owner desiring to be a candidate for board membership shall comply with subparagraph 3. A person who has been convicted of any felony by any court of record in the United States and who has not had his or her right to vote restored pursuant to law in the jurisdiction of his or her residence is not eligible for board membership. The validity of an action by the board is not affected if it is later determined that a member of the board is ineligible for board membership due to having been convicted of a felony.
2. The bylaws shall provide the method of calling meetings of unit owners, including annual meetings. Written notice, which notice must include an agenda, shall be mailed or hand delivered to each unit owner at least 14 days prior to the annual meeting and shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days preceding the annual meeting. Upon notice to the unit owners, the board shall by duly adopted rule designate a specific location on the condominium property or association property upon which all notices of unit owner meetings shall be posted; however, if there is no condominium property or association property upon which notices can be posted, this requirement does not apply. Unless a unit owner waives in writing the right to receive notice of the annual meeting, such notice shall be hand delivered or mailed to each unit owner. Notice for meetings and notice for all other purposes shall be mailed to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand delivered to each unit owner. However, if a unit is owned by more than one person, the association shall provide notice, for meetings and all other purposes, to that one address which the developer initially identifies for that purpose and thereafter as one or more of the owners of the unit shall so advise the association in writing, or if no address is given or the owners of the unit do not agree, to the address provided on the deed of record. An officer of the association, or the manager or other person providing notice of the association meeting, shall provide an affidavit or United States Postal Service certificate of mailing, to be included in the official records of the association affirming that the notice was mailed or hand delivered, in accordance with this provision.
3. The members of the board shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall in no event be used in electing the board, either in general elections or elections to fill vacancies caused by recall, resignation, or otherwise, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Not less than 60 days before a scheduled election, the association shall mail or deliver, whether by separate association mailing or included in another association mailing or delivery including regularly published newsletters, to each unit owner entitled to a vote, a first notice of the date of the election. Any unit owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must give written notice to the association not less than 40 days before a scheduled election. Together with the written notice and agenda as set forth in subparagraph 2., the association shall mail or deliver a second notice of the election to all unit owners entitled to vote therein, together with a ballot which shall list all candidates. Upon request of a candidate, the association shall include an information sheet, no larger than 81/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be furnished by the candidate not less than 35 days before the election, to be included with the mailing of the ballot, with the costs of mailing or delivery and copying to be borne by the association. The association is not liable for the contents of the information sheets prepared by the candidates. In order to reduce costs, the association may print or duplicate the information sheets on both sides of the paper. The division shall by rule establish voting procedures consistent with the provisions contained herein, including rules providing for the secrecy of ballots. Elections shall be decided by a plurality of those ballots cast. There shall be no quorum requirement; however, at least 20 percent of the eligible voters must cast a ballot in order to have a valid election of members of the board. No unit owner shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid, provided any unit owner who violates this provision may be fined by the association in accordance with s. 718.303. A unit owner who needs assistance in casting the ballot for the reasons stated in s. 101.051 may obtain assistance in casting the ballot. The regular election shall occur on the date of the annual meeting. The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to timeshare condominium associations. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subparagraph, an election is not required unless more candidates file notices of intent to run or are nominated than board vacancies exist.
4. Any approval by unit owners called for by this chapter or the applicable declaration or bylaws, including, but not limited to, the approval requirement in s. 718.111(8), shall be made at a duly noticed meeting of unit owners and shall be subject to all requirements of this chapter or the applicable condominium documents relating to unit owner decisionmaking, except that unit owners may take action by written agreement, without meetings, on matters for which action by written agreement without meetings is expressly allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute that provides for such action.
5. Unit owners may waive notice of specific meetings if allowed by the applicable bylaws or declaration or any statute.
6. Unit owners shall have the right to participate in meetings of unit owners with reference to all designated agenda items. However, the association may adopt reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner participation.
7. Any unit owner may tape record or videotape a meeting of the unit owners subject to reasonable rules adopted by the division.
8. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, any vacancy occurring on the board before the expiration of a term may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors constitute less than a quorum, or by the sole remaining director. In the alternative, a board may hold an election to fill the vacancy, in which case the election procedures must conform to the requirements of subparagraph 3. unless the association has opted out of the statutory election process, in which case the bylaws of the association control. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a board member appointed or elected under this section shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the seat being filled. Filling vacancies created by recall is governed by paragraph (j) and rules adopted by the division.
Notwithstanding subparagraphs (b)2. and (d)3., an association may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests, provide for different voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which vote may be by a proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election procedures. The different voting and election procedures may provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy.
(e) Budget meeting.--
1. Any meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be considered by the board or unit owners shall be open to all unit owners. At least 14 days prior to such a meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, a notice of such meeting and a copy of the proposed annual budget. An officer or manager of the association, or other person providing notice of such meeting, shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with such notice requirement, and such affidavit shall be filed among the official records of the association.
2.a. If a board adopts in any fiscal year an annual budget which requires assessments against unit owners which exceed 115 percent of assessments for the preceding fiscal year, the board shall conduct a special meeting of the unit owners to consider a substitute budget if the board receives, within 21 days after adoption of the annual budget, a written request for a special meeting from at least 10 percent of all voting interests. The special meeting shall be conducted within 60 days after adoption of the annual budget. At least 14 days prior to such special meeting, the board shall hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association, a notice of the meeting. An officer or manager of the association, or other person providing notice of such meeting shall execute an affidavit evidencing compliance with this notice requirement, and such affidavit shall be filed among the official records of the association. Unit owners may consider and adopt a substitute budget at the special meeting. A substitute budget is adopted if approved by a majority of all voting interests unless the bylaws require adoption by a greater percentage of voting interests. If there is not a quorum at the special meeting or a substitute budget is not adopted, the annual budget previously adopted by the board shall take effect as scheduled.
b. Any determination of whether assessments exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year shall exclude any authorized provision for reasonable reserves for repair or replacement of the condominium property, anticipated expenses of the association which the board does not expect to be incurred on a regular or annual basis, or assessments for betterments to the condominium property.
c. If the developer controls the board, assessments shall not exceed 115 percent of assessments for the prior fiscal year unless approved by a majority of all voting interests.
(f) Annual budget.--
1. The proposed annual budget of common expenses shall be detailed and shall show the amounts budgeted by accounts and expense classifications, including, if applicable, but not limited to, those expenses listed in s. 718.504(21). A multicondominium association shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for each condominium the association operates and shall adopt a separate budget of common expenses for the association. In addition, if the association maintains limited common elements with the cost to be shared only by those entitled to use the limited common elements as provided for in s. 718.113(1), the budget or a schedule attached thereto shall show amounts budgeted therefor. If, after turnover of control of the association to the unit owners, any of the expenses listed in s. 718.504(21) are not applicable, they need not be listed.
2. In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget shall include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. These accounts shall include, but are not limited to, roof replacement, building painting, and pavement resurfacing, regardless of the amount of deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost, and for any other item for which the deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost exceeds $10,000. The amount to be reserved shall be computed by means of a formula which is based upon estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of each reserve item. The association may adjust replacement reserve assessments annually to take into account any changes in estimates or extension of the useful life of a reserve item caused by deferred maintenance. This subsection does not apply to an adopted budget in which the members of an association have determined, by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association, to provide no reserves or less reserves than required by this subsection. However, prior to turnover of control of an association by a developer to unit owners other than a developer pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer may vote to waive the reserves or reduce the funding of reserves for the first 2 fiscal years of the association's operation, beginning with the fiscal year in which the initial declaration is recorded, after which time reserves may be waived or reduced only upon the vote of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of the association. If a meeting of the unit owners has been called to determine whether to waive or reduce the funding of reserves, and no such result is achieved or a quorum is not attained, the reserves as included in the budget shall go into effect. After the turnover, the developer may vote its voting interest to waive or reduce the funding of reserves.
3. Reserve funds and any interest accruing thereon shall remain in the reserve account or accounts, and shall be used only for authorized reserve expenditures unless their use for other purposes is approved in advance by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association. Prior to turnover of control of an association by a developer to unit owners other than the developer pursuant to s. 718.301, the developer-controlled association shall not vote to use reserves for purposes other than that for which they were intended without the approval of a majority of all nondeveloper voting interests, voting in person or by limited proxy at a duly called meeting of the association.
4. In a multicondominium association, the only voting interests which are eligible to vote on questions that involve waiving or reducing the funding of reserves, or using existing reserve funds for purposes other than purposes for which the reserves were intended, are the voting interests of the units subject to assessment to fund the reserves in question.
(g) Assessments.--The manner of collecting from the unit owners their shares of the common expenses shall be stated in the bylaws. Assessments shall be made against units not less frequently than quarterly in an amount which is not less than that required to provide funds in advance for payment of all of the anticipated current operating expenses and for all of the unpaid operating expenses previously incurred. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the right of an association to accelerate assessments of an owner delinquent in payment of common expenses. Accelerated assessments shall be due and payable on the date the claim of lien is filed. Such accelerated assessments shall include the amounts due for the remainder of the budget year in which the claim of lien was filed.
(h) Amendment of bylaws.--
1. The method by which the bylaws may be amended consistent with the provisions of this chapter shall be stated. If the bylaws fail to provide a method of amendment, the bylaws may be amended if the amendment is approved by the owners of not less than two-thirds of the voting interests.
2. No bylaw shall be revised or amended by reference to its title or number only. Proposals to amend existing bylaws shall contain the full text of the bylaws to be amended; new words shall be inserted in the text underlined, and words to be deleted shall be lined through with hyphens. However, if the proposed change is so extensive that this procedure would hinder, rather than assist, the understanding of the proposed amendment, it is not necessary to use underlining and hyphens as indicators of words added or deleted, but, instead, a notation must be inserted immediately preceding the proposed amendment in substantially the following language: "Substantial rewording of bylaw. See bylaw _____ for present text."
3. Nonmaterial errors or omissions in the bylaw process will not invalidate an otherwise properly promulgated amendment.
(i) Transfer fees.--No charge shall be made by the association or any body thereof in connection with the sale, mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit unless the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles, or bylaws. Any such fee may be preset, but in no event may such fee exceed $100 per applicant other than husband/wife or parent/dependent child, which are considered one applicant. However, if the lease or sublease is a renewal of a lease or sublease with the same lessee or sublessee, no charge shall be made. The foregoing notwithstanding, an association may, if the authority to do so appears in the declaration or bylaws, require that a prospective lessee place a security deposit, in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of 1 month's rent, into an escrow account maintained by the association. The security deposit shall protect against damages to the common elements or association property. Payment of interest, claims against the deposit, refunds, and disputes under this paragraph shall be handled in the same fashion as provided in part II of chapter 83.
(j) Recall of board members.--Subject to the provisions of s. 718.301, any member of the board of administration may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests. A special meeting of the unit owners to recall a member or members of the board of administration may be called by 10 percent of the voting interests giving notice of the meeting as required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall state the purpose of the meeting.
1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting interests by a vote at a meeting, the recall will be effective as provided herein. The board shall duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days of the adjournment of the unit owner meeting to recall one or more board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the recall, in which case such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full business days any and all records and property of the association in their possession, or shall proceed as set forth in subparagraph 3.
2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by a majority of all voting interests, the agreement in writing or a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of administration shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, in which case such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full business days any and all records and property of the association in their possession, or proceed as described in subparagraph 3.
3. If the board determines not to certify the written agreement to recall a member or members of the board, or does not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, the board shall, within 5 full business days after the meeting, file with the division a petition for arbitration pursuant to the procedures in s. 718.1255. For the purposes of this section, the unit owners who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in writing shall constitute one party under the petition for arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall as to any member or members of the board, the recall will be effective upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the association. If the association fails to comply with the order of the arbitrator, the division may take action pursuant to s. 718.501. Any member or members so recalled shall deliver to the board any and all records of the association in their possession within 5 full business days of the effective date of the recall.
4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days of service of an agreement in writing or within 5 full business days of the adjournment of the unit owner recall meeting, the recall shall be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall immediately turn over to the board any and all records and property of the association.
5. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a recall and less than a majority of the board members are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this subsection. If vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with this subsection. The rules must provide procedures governing the conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the association during the period after a recall but prior to the recall election.
(k) Arbitration.--There shall be a provision for mandatory nonbinding arbitration as provided for in s. 718.1255.
(l) Certificate of compliance.--There shall be a provision that a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by the association's board as evidence of compliance of the condominium units to the applicable fire and life safety code.
(m) Common elements; limited power to convey.--
1. With respect to condominiums created on or after October 1, 1994, the bylaws shall include a provision granting the association a limited power to convey a portion of the common elements to a condemning authority for the purpose of providing utility easements, right-of-way expansion, or other public purposes, whether negotiated or as a result of eminent domain proceedings.
2. In any case where the bylaws are silent as to the association's power to convey common elements as described in subparagraph 1., the bylaws shall be deemed to include the provision described in subparagraph 1.
(3) OPTIONAL PROVISIONS.--The bylaws may provide for the following:
(a) A method of adopting and amending administrative rules and regulations governing the details of the operation and use of the common elements.
(b) Restrictions on and requirements for the use, maintenance, and appearance of the units and the use of the common elements.
(c) Other provisions which are not inconsistent with this chapter or with the declaration, as may be desired.
History.--s. 1, ch. 76-222; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 5, ch. 77-221; ss. 3, 4, ch. 77-222; s. 1, ch. 78-340; s. 6, ch. 79-314; s. 2, ch. 80-323; s. 2, ch. 81-225; s. 1, ch. 82-113; s. 4, ch. 82-199; s. 6, ch. 84-368; s. 6, ch. 86-175; s. 2, ch. 88-148; s. 7, ch. 90-151; s. 5, ch. 91-103; ss. 5, 6, ch. 91-426; s. 3, ch. 92-49; s. 3, ch. 94-336; s. 7, ch. 94-350; s. 36, ch. 95-274; s. 2, ch. 96-396; s. 32, ch. 97-93; s. 1773, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 97-301; s. 2, ch. 98-195; s. 3, ch. 98-322; s. 53, ch. 2000-302; s. 21, ch. 2001-64.