Statutes, Codes & Definitions in General
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Q: What laws and documents affect condominiums?
A: Condominiums are affected by Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Code, the declaration of condominium, the articles of incorporation, the bylaws of the association, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the condo board.
Q: What section of the Florida Statutes applies to condominiums?
A: “In Florida, condominiums are creatures of statute and as such are subject to the control and regulation of the Legislature.” Century Village, Inc. v. Wellington Condominium Ass’n, 361 So. 2d 128, 133 (Fla. 1978). Florida condominium law is found in Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, known and cited as the “Condominium Act.” Chapter 718 consists of seven parts. Part I discusses the general provisions of condominium law. Part II discusses the developer’s rights and obligations. Part III discusses the association’s rights and obligations. Part IV discusses special types of condominiums. Part V discusses the regulation and disclosure prior to the sale of residential condominiums. Part VI discusses conversions to condominium, and Part VII discusses relief for distressed condominiums.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.101, et seq.
Q: What section of the Florida Administrative Code applies to condominiums?
A: The Condominium Act grants to the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes the authority to promulgate administrative rules intended to implement, enforce or interpret the Condominium Act. These rules are incorporated into the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) as part of Chapter 61B-15 through 61B-24, or in Chapters 61B-45 or 61B-50.
Q: What is the declaration of condominium?
A: The declaration of condominium is the document or the set of documents that actually creates the condominium. Condominiums are created when the declaration of condominium is recorded in the public records of the county where the land is located, executed and acknowledged with the requirements for a deed. All units described in the declaration as being located in or on the land then being submitted to condominium ownership shall come into existence. Section 718.104, Florida Statutes describes all that is required to be included in the declaration. The declaration includes within its definition any amendments which may be made to it, and all exhibits which are attached and incorporated by reference. The typical exhibits to the declaration include the document or documents creating the association, a copy of the bylaws, a survey of the land, a graphic description of the land, and a plot as demonstrated by building plans, floor plans, maps, surveys, or sketches.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.104.
Q: What are the articles of incorporation?
A: The articles of incorporation is the original document creating the association. The articles of incorporation may establish either a for-profit or not-for-profit-corporation to establish the condominium. Under most circumstances, the articles of incorporation establish a “corporation not-for-profit” under Chapter 617 of the Florida Statutes to govern the condominium.
Q: What are the “bylaws” of the condominium?
A: The bylaws of the association govern the operation of the association, which may include methods of adopting and amending administrative rules and regulations governing the use of common elements, the restrictions and regulations regarding the use, maintenance, and the appearance of the units and their use of the common elements, provisions for giving electronic notice for board, committee, annual, and special meetings. The bylaws may also contain other provisions that are not inconsistent with the Florida Condominium Act or with the declaration, as may be desired.
Source: 10 Fla. Jur 2d Condominiums, Etc. § 105
Q: What are the “rules and regulations” of the condominium?
A: The condominium association has the authority to pass reasonable rules and regulations that relate to the elements of the condominium that affect the owners as a whole, such as whether pets are allowed, the use of parking spaces and the weight of vehicles. Rules and regulations are created to promote the health, happiness, and peace of mind of the majority of the unit owners since they are living in close proximity and using common facilities. However, these rules may not be arbitrary or capricious. Additionally, compared to the restrictions within the declaration of the condominium, the rules and regulations do not have a strong presumption of validity and enforceability.
Source: See Unit Owners Ass’n of Buildamerica-1 v. Gillman, 292 S.E. 2d 378, 385 (Va. 1982); Juno By the Sea North Condominium Ass’n (The Towers), Inc. v. Manfredonia, 397 So. 2d 297, 298 (Fla. 4th DCA 1980). Hidden Harbour Estates, Inc. v. Norman, 309 So. 2d 180, 181-82 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975). Id. at n.45.
Q: What is a common element?
A: Common elements are the portions of the condominium property not included in the units, of which a condominium owner owns an undivided share. Common elements include condominium property that is not included within the units; easements of support within a unit that contributes to the support of a building; easements through units for conduits, ducts, plumbing; wiring and other facilities for the furnishing of utility services to units and the property and installation required for furnishing utilities and other services to more than unit or to the condominium property. However, in all cases, the declaration of condominium must be consulted for a precise definition of the common elements in that condominium.
Source: Fla. Stat. §§ 718.103(8), 718.103(11), and 718.108.