By Keith F. Backer, Esq. / Published December 2020
Most readers are familiar with the requirement for condominium associations to maintain the official records of the association. A list of the documents which are required to be included among the official records is contained in the language of §718.111(12), Fla. Stat. A frequently overlooked document that is required to be included among the official records is referred to as “the current question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504.”
Section 718.504, Fla. Stat., is a part of the Condominium Act that applies to developers and requires that every developer of a residential condominium which contains more than 20 residential units, or which is part of a group of residential condominiums which will be served by property to be used in common by unit owners of more than 20 residential units, prepare a prospectus or offering circular and file it with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes (the “Division”) prior to entering into an enforceable contract of purchase and sale of any unit or lease of a unit for more than five years. That statute also provides that, in addition to the prospectus or offering circular, the developer is required to prepare and provide a document called “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” (FAQ). The Division created a form which is available on the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website that may be used for the purposes of creating the FAQ sheet.
The statute requires that the FAQ inform prospective purchasers regarding their voting rights and unit use restrictions, including restrictions on the leasing of a unit; indicate whether and in what amount the unit owners or the association is obligated to pay rent or land use fees for recreational or other commonly used facilities; state whether membership in a recreational facilities association is mandatory, and if so, identify the fees currently charged per unit type; and contain a statement identifying that amount of assessment which, pursuant to the budget, would be levied upon each unit type, exclusive of any special assessments, and identify the basis upon which assessments are levied, whether monthly, quarterly, or otherwise. The FAQ is also required to state and identify any court cases in which the association is currently a party of record in which the association may face liability in excess of $100,000.
While developers are required to create the FAQ, many unit-owner-controlled condominium associations do not realize that another section of the Condominium Act, §718.111(12)(d), requires that their association must also prepare a question and answer sheet such as the one described in §718.504, and must update it annually. The FAQ sheet is also among the materials that prospective unit owners are entitled to receive upon their request.
If your condominium association is among those whose FAQ sheet has not been annually updated, it is important that your association do so to remain in compliance with the Condominium Act. Your property manager and attorney may assist in preparing the FAQ so that it is in compliance with the statute.
Keith F. Backer, Esq.
Partner, Backer Aboud Poliakoff & Foelster
Keith F. Backer, Esq., is a partner of Backer Aboud Poliakoff & Foelster, a law firm serving community associations in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The Firm was founded by Mr. Backer, a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Condominium and Planned Development law with more than 35 years of legal experience in Florida. The law firm was created to provide community associations with the highest quality legal services with a degree of personal attention often difficult to obtain at larger firms. For more information on Backer Aboud Poliakoff and Foelster, call (800) 251-3562, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.bapflaw.com.