Labor Day has come and gone, several tropical systems are swirling in the Atlantic (you may recall that all of Florida was in panic mode awaiting Irma this time last year) and our snowbirds will be returning before we know it. Seems like a good time to discuss some of the changes made to Chapter 719 by Florida’s legislature earlier this year–all of which became effective on July 1, 2018:
- Florida Statutes Section 719.104(2)(a) was revised to provide that the book or books containing the minutes of all meetings of the association, of its board of directors, and of its unit owners now apparently must be retained forever as the provision that stated “which minutes shall be retained for a period of not less than 7 years” has now been deleted. That same deletion occurred in the paragraph relating to the retention of the association’s accounting records which now must also apparently be retained forever.
- Section 719.104(2)(a) was also revised to include “electronic records” relating to voting as part of the documents related to voting by unit owners that must be maintained for a period of 1 year after the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates.
- Section 719.104(2)(b) now clarifies that the association has 10 working days (rather than 5 working days) after its board or designee received a written request to inspect or copy official records to make those records available.
- Co-owners of a unit in a cooperative with more than 10 units can no longer serve as board members at the same time unless those co-owners own more than one unit or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy. This revision to Section 719.106(1)(a)1 follows a similar revision to Florida’s condominium association statutes that occurred several years ago.
- Section 719.106(1)(c) was amended to allow for board members to use email as a “means of communication” with other board members but board members may not cast a vote on an association matter by email. I have a feeling that this amendment may create all kinds of issues–not the least of which will be whether or not these email communications might in some cases become part of the “official records” of the association. I’m also concerned that these email communications between board members may end up becoming the “real” board meetings and will be very interested in seeing whether this provision creates new headaches for board members and managers of resident owned communities in our state.
Stay tuned and I’ll be posting Part II of the 2018 revisions to Florida’s Cooperative Association Laws later this month.