There were even changes this year to the laws involving condominium records.

For example, Florida Statute 718.111(12) is being amended to state that the association’s accounting records must include, but are not limited to:

All invoices, transaction receipts, or deposit slips that substantiate any receipt or expenditure of funds by the association.

  1. A copy of all building permits.
  2. A copy of all satisfactorily completed board member educational certificates.

 If the association is still doing things the old fashioned way and making deposits by filling out a deposit slip and going inside to see the teller, that deposit receipt issued by that teller is now an official record of the association and unit owners are entitled to see it.

In addition, as I say when I teach the Board Certification class, that Certificate I give you at the conclusion of the class is an official record of the association.  Unit owners have the right to ask for a copy.

Asking to View the Official Records

A common complaint by unit owners over the years is that when they ask to see the records, they are eventually pointed to dozens of cardboard boxes or filing cabinets and told to search through them because the records they want are somewhere in there.  Sending an owner on a fishing expedition is no longer allowed.

The new law states that:

The official records must be maintained in an organized manner that facilitates inspection of the records by a unit owner. In the event that the official records are lost, destroyed, or otherwise unavailable, the obligation to maintain the official records includes a good faith obligation to obtain and recover those records as is reasonably possible.

The obligation to obtain and recover records is a major change to the law.  Unit owners cannot simply be told that a record is lost — so that they now turn around and get lost.  If a unit owner has been told that a record is lost, the unit owner should routinely follow up and ask what efforts are being made to obtain and recover the records.

Why It’s Great Having a Website

Here is a fantastic new law involving records:

If the requested records are posted on an association’s website, or are available for download through an application on a mobile device, the association may fulfill its obligations under this paragraph by directing to the website or the application all persons authorized to request access.

Awesome.  It’s now perfectly OK to say “The records are on the website — go there if you want to see them.”   This will create less traffic in the office and less arguments between management and owners.  The important thing to remember is that this only works if the website is routinely updated with the association’s records.  This is so important.

There are still so many new laws that have passed that we have not blogged about yet.  Keep your eye out every Monday morning.  We promise to keep the information coming.

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