Except in the case of an emergency, or unless otherwise specified in the bylaws, the board could not obtain a loan or line of credit in an amount that exceeds 10 percent of the association’s current year budget. After the declaration of condominium is recorded and until such time as the association has been created, all common expenses shall be paid by the developer. Assessments must be levied based on the adopted budget or authorized special assessment and accelerated assessments are due and payable after a claim of lien has been filed.
Effective January 1, 2008, the current arbitration program for recall disputes is removed from the division and replaced with a program to be operated by the condominium ombudsman. A recall of the board would be effective immediately, and the board may submit rebuttal arguments to the Ombudsman within 5 business days of service of the agreement. The Ombudsman must certify or not certify the recall within 10 business days after receipt of the written agreement. If the Ombudsman does not certify the agreement, the Ombudsman shall notify the member or members of the board and the board president of the reasons for not doing so, and the unit owners will have an additional 5 business days to correct the deficiency. The board members would then have an additional 5 business days to submit rebuttal argument and supporting evidence.
The requirement that the bylaws include a provision for mandatory nonbinding arbitration as
provided in s. 718.1255, F.S, is repealed.
Section 26. Amends s. 718.113(1), F.S., to provide that maintenance of limited common elements must either be performed by the unit owners entitled to exclusive use of the limited common elements or assessed against those unit owners if the association performs the maintenance.
Requires the board to restate hurricane shutter specifications at each annual meeting, and specifies that the board may, subject to unit owner approval, install, maintain, repair or replace hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection that complies with the applicable building code.
The board would be required to have the condominium buildings inspected every 5 years by a professional engineer or architect for the purpose of determining whether the building is structurally and electrically safe. Detailed reporting requirements would be required of the engineer or architect and would become an official record of the association.
Section 718.113(7), F.S., is created to prohibit the board from adopting any rule impairing any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or s. 3 of Article I of the Florida Constitution, including, but not limited to, the free exercise of religion. The bill expressly prohibits rules that fail to accommodate reasonable religious practices or the attachment of religiously mandated objects to the front-door area of a condominium unit.
Section 27. The bill limits the association to contracting for basic cable TV service when such service is to be charged as a common expense.
Section 28. Section 718.1123, F.S., is created to provide unit owners protection against abuse. Any complaint of abuse filed with the division must immediately be investigated, and where the division has reasonable cause to believe that abuse has occurred against a unit owner, the division must institute enforcement proceedings. Abuse is broadly defined as any willful act or threatened act by a member of the board or any member of a committee or subcommittee appointed by the board, any employee, volunteer, or agent purporting to act on behalf of the board, or any officer, director, employee, or agent of any management company acting on behalf of a condominium association who denies or is likely to deny a protection afforded to the unit owner or dweller under applicable state and federal laws, administrative rules, and the governing documents of the condominium association.