The 2013 legislative session saw relatively little activity involving Florida’s Condominium Act. Nevertheless, laws have changed, and that’s always important. Here is a brief summary of some of the statutory amendments.
The Condominium Act identifies property that must be insured by the association and property that is the responsibility of each unit owner. Unfortunately, the statute was not clear in distinguishing insurance obligations from regular maintenance and repair obligations. As a result, unit owners often believed that their association had an obligation to repair property (usually air conditioning units) because it was covered by the association’s insurance.
The 2013 amendment clarifies that the association is responsible for property covered by the association’s insurance policy if it was damaged by an insurable event, as opposed to regular wear and tear.
Condominium associations have annual financial reporting requirements. The type of financial statement an association must prepare depends on its total annual revenues. The 2013 amendment made the following changes to the statutory revenue thresholds used to determine an association’s financial reporting requirement:
- Report of Cash Receipts and Expenditures: total annual revenues are less than $150,000 (was $100,000)
- Compiled Financial Statement: total annual revenues are $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000 (was $100,000 – $200,000)
- Reviewed Financial Statement: total annual revenues are $300,000 or more, but less than $500,000 (was $200,000 – $400,000)
- Audited Financial Statement: total annual revenues are $500,000 or more (was $400,000)
Associations operating fewer than 50 units, regardless of annual revenues, must prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures. Under the old law, this requirement applied to associations operating fewer than 75 units.
Unit owners have a right to inspect and copy the association’s official records. Associations are now required to let unit owners make electronic copies of these records with portable devices, including smartphones, tablets, portable scanners or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs.
The Condominium Act prohibits associations from disclosing unit owners’ personally identifying information. However, associations are now allowed to publish and distribute to unit owners a directory containing the name, address and telephone number of each unit owner. Unit owners can exclude their telephone number from the directory by making a written request to the association.
Condominiums covered by Florida’s Elevator Safety Act were exempt from having to comply with Elevator Safety Code updates until either July 1, 2015 or until the elevator is replaced or requires major modification, whichever occurs first. The 2013 amendment removed the July 1, 2015 deadline. Accordingly, covered condominiums will not have to comply with all updated provisions of the Elevator Safety Code until their elevators require major modification or are replaced.
Some of the other 2013 amendments address board member terms, suspensions from using common elements and board member recalls. It is important for those serving on their condominium board to become familiar with all of the 2013 statutory amendments.
To learn more about your obligations as a board member, take our affiliate’s recently updated online course Condominium Operations: A Primer for Board Members, which has been approved by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.
If you would like to discuss how Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk can serve you and your association, please contact us. Clients of Setnor Byer’s Condominium Program enjoy access to various risk management services, such as Setnor Byer’s Risk Management Group and Unit Owners’ Report Line, as well as our affiliate’s Board Member Education Certification,
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