Legislative Changes for Condominium Associations
Effective July 1, 2017
By Dania S. Fernandez, Esq
Dania S. Fernandez & Associates, P.A.
Below you will find some important legislative changes effective July, 1, 2017 for all Condominium Associations.
Criminal Penalties imposed for the following acts:
- An officer, director, or manager cannot offer to accept, or accept a kickback, for his or her benefit or that of his or her family.
- Forgery of a ballot envelope or voting certificate used in an election.
- The theft or embezzlement of funds of a condominium association.
- The destruction of or the refusal to allow inspection or copying of an official record.
- Bids for materials, equipment or services are an official record.
- The renter of a unit has the right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules.
New Website Requirement for Associations:
- By July 1, 2018, an association with 150 or more units shall post digital copies of some of its official records on its website.
- The association’s website requirements:
- Must be wholly owned and operated by the association.
- Must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public.
- Accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association.
- Must provide access to the following documents and posted:
- The recorded Declaration and any amendments.
- The recorded Bylaws and any amendments.
- The recorded Articles of Incorporation and any amendments. The Articles posted must be the Articles filed with the Department of State.
- The Rules and Regulations.
- Management agreements, lease or other contracts.
- Summary of bids must be maintained on the website for 1 year.
- The annual budget and any proposed budget.
- Board member certification of each director.
- Any contract or document regarding a conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest.
- Any Unit Owner notice of meetings and their agenda no later than 14 days before the meeting.
- Notices must be posted on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and linked from the front page.
- Any document to be considered and voted on by the owners at least 7 days before the meeting.
- Do not post protected information.
- An association that operates fewer than 50 units must prepare a financial statement based on its total annual revenues.
- An association shall provide an annual report to the department containing the names of the financial institutions with which it maintains accounts, and a copy of such report may be obtained from the department upon written request of any association member.
- No debit cards are to be used by an association and its officers, directors, employees, and agents.
- Board members may serve 2-year terms if permitted by the bylaws or articles of incorporation.
- A board member may not serve more than four consecutive 2-year terms, unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total voting interests of the association or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.
Conflicts of Interest:
- An association may not hire an attorney who represents the management company of the association.
- A board member, manager, or management company may not purchase a unit at an association lien foreclosure or take title by deed in lieu of foreclosure.
- An association may not employ or contract vendors owned by or with any person who has a financial relationship with a board member or officer, or a relative.
- The following are signs of a conflict of interest:
- A director or officer, or a relative, enters a contract for goods and services with the association.
- A director or an officer, or a relative, holds an interest in a corporation, limited liability corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or other business entity that conducts business with the association or proposes to enter a contract or other transaction with the association.
- Any conflict of interest must be disclosed to the Board and noted on the contracts and any documents related to the proposed service.
Suspension of Voting Rights:
- Voting rights may only be suspended if the delinquent amount is more than $1,000 and more than 90 days’ delinquent.
- Proof of such monetary obligation must be provided to the unit owner or member 30 days before such suspension can take effect.
Maximum amount of the estoppel certificate fee is the following:
- If the owner is not delinquent, then max estoppel fee is $250
- If owner is delinquent an additional $150 can be charged. A total of $400 max for a delinquent owner.
- If a rush request is made an additional $100 can be charged. A total of $500 for the delinquent owner and $350 for the non-delinquent owner.
Request made due to a sale of a property:
- If the sale does not occur, a refund may be requested of the estoppel fee. The request for a refund must be in writing and no later than 30 days after the closing date. The refund must be given within 30 days of the written request.
Additional important points:
- Association must respond to an estoppel request within 10 days of the request.
- Estoppel must be provided by regular mail, hand delivery or email on the date the estoppel is issued not later.
- The Association website must have a designation of whom to contact either a person or entity (Management) with a street or email address to whom request can be made.
- An Association waives the right to collect any moneys owed more than the amount stated in the estoppel from anyone who relied in good faith on the estoppel.
- An estoppel certificate that is hand delivered or sent via email has a 30-day effective period. If sent by regular mail it has a 35-day effective period.
The Estoppel Certificate must contain the following information:
- The date of issuance
- Name(s) of the unit owners(s) as shown in the official records of the association
- Unit designation and address
- Parking or garage space number as shown in the official records of the association
- If account is delinquent, the Attorney’s name and contact information. No fee may be charged if this information.
- Fee amount for the preparation of the Estoppel and delivery
- Name of person requesting certificate.
- Assessment information as provided by the statue. There is a list of disclosures that need to be included in the estoppel form.
Download PDF Document