Penalties

It is very important for Board Members to know their Condo Docs and Florida Statutes to Avoid Penalties.

Florida Condominium Statutes

Florida Statute 718 provides regulations governing condominiums in the state of Florida.  It's extremely important that all board members have familiarity with this statute as well as the various other related statutes on the Governance and Links pages of this website.

Failure to adhere to Florida statutes can result in fines or penalties administered by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR), Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. In particular, the Division focuses on compliance with statutes involving:

  1. Elections,
  2. Annual Financial Reporting/Statements, and
  3. Member access to Official Records.
Click on the following link to view Florida Statute 718: Chapter 718 FL Statute

Penalties for Statute Violations

Florida's Administrative Code 61B-21.003(7) lists possible penalties that could be levied by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares & Mobile Homes for an Association's statute violations.  The Division defines three ranges of fine categories:

Violation

Penalty Range

Jupiter Bay Exposure

Maximum Allowed

Minor
$1 - $5 Per Unit
$359 - $1,795
$2,500
Major Category 1
$6 - $10 Per Unit
$2,154 - $3,590
$5,000
Major Category 2
$12 - $20 Per Unit
$4,308 - $7,180
$5,000

These fines cover a range of statute violations including those related to Board, Budget, Elections, Records, Reporting, etc.  Examples include:

  • Failure to properly notice and conduct board of administration or committee meetings (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to allow unit owners to attend board or committee meetings (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to timely notice budget meeting (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to provide a timely or substantive response to a written inquiry received by certified mail (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to maintain or annually update the question and answer sheet (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to provide access to records (Minor Violation).
  • Failure to include reserve schedule in the proposed budget (Major Category #1).
  • Failure to provide year-end financial statements in a timely manner (Major Category #1).
  • Failure to calculate reserve funds properly (Major Category #1).

This underscores the importance of Board members spending the necessary time to study and understand all of the various documents, statutes and administrative codes dealing with Florida condominiums.  Links to many of these documents are available via this website.  In particular, you may wish to reference the Links page.

Division's Right to Impose Penalties

According to Florida Statute 718.501(1)(d)6., The division may impose a civil penalty against a developer, bulk assignee, or bulk buyer, or association, or its assignee or agent, for any violation of this chapter or related rule. The division may impose a civil penalty individually against an officer or board member who willfully and knowingly violates a provision of this chapter, adopted rule, or a final order of the division; may order the removal of such individual as an officer or from the board of administration or as an officer of the association; and may prohibit such individual from serving as an officer or on the board of a community association for a period of time.

The division may seek the imposition of a civil penalty through the circuit court for any violation for which the division may issue a notice to show cause under paragraph (r), [which provides for a hearing]. The civil penalty shall be at least $500 but no more than $5,000 for each violation. The court may also award to the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees and, if the division prevails, may also award reasonable costs of investigation.

Per Statute 718.509(2), all moneys collected by the division from fees, fines, or penalties or from costs awarded to the division by a court or administrative final order shall be paid into the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund. The Legislature shall appropriate funds from this trust fund sufficient to carry out the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of law with respect to each category of business covered by the trust fund.

Penalties Listed in FL Statute 718

Violation of any Florida Statute can result in a penalty imposed by the Division.  Florida Statute 718 explicitly mentions the following violations:

  • 718.111(1)(a) – Any [association] officer, director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers to accept, or accepts anything or service of value or kickback is subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) [see above] and, if applicable, a criminal penalty as provided in paragraph (d). However, this paragraph does not prohibit an officer, director, or manager from accepting services or items received in connection with trade fairs or education programs.
  • 718111(12)(c)2. – Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys [the association's] accounting records that are required by this chapter to be maintained during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d) [see above].
  • 718.111(12)(f) – An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession or under his or her control to the incoming board within 5 days after the election. The division shall impose a civil penalty as set forth in s. 718.501(1)(d)6. [see above] against an outgoing board or committee member who willfully and knowingly fails to relinquish such records and property.
  • 7718.501(2)(a) – Each condominium association which operates more than two units shall pay to the division an annual fee in the amount of $4 for each residential unit in condominiums operated by the association. If the fee is not paid by March 1, the association shall be assessed a penalty of 10 percent of the amount due, and the association will not have standing to maintain or defend any action in the courts of this state until the amount due, plus any penalty, is paid.

Division of Condominiums Annual Report

As required by Chapter 718.501(1)(s), Florida Statutes, the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes publishes annual reports regarding:

  1. The number of training programs provided for condominium association board members and unit owners,
  2. The number of complaints received by type,
  3. The number and percent of complaints acknowledged in writing within 30 days,
  4. The number and percent of investigations acted upon within 90 days,
  5. The number of investigations that are in excess of the 90-day requirement, and
  6. Recommendations for making improvements in the Division's core business processes and legislative changes.
Click on the following link to view the 2018-2019 Report:
FL Condos Annual Report