Nonresidential Condominium Bill Becomes Law

by Bilzin Sumberg

Last week Governor Rick Scott signed into law SB 440, which became Chapter 2014-14 of Florida Laws. This bill removes the requirements imposed on residential condominiums under the Florida Condominium Act regarding elections and meetings, and makes it easier to structure a phased commercial development as a condominium.

The changes are summarized below:

A. Proxies. The Act did not permit general or limited proxies to be used in voting for the board of directors. CS/CS SB 440 now permits proxies to be utilized in voting for the board in a nonresidential condominium. In addition, in other voting actions by unit owners, regarding waiving or reducing reserves, waiving financial reporting requirements or amending the declaration or the articles or by-laws of the condominium association, general proxies can be used by unit owners in a nonresidential condominium. Under prior law, unit owners could only express their vote on these other matters by a voting ballot or by a limited proxy.

B. Election of Directors

1. The existing limitation on directors to a one or two year term (depending on the by-laws) has been lifted for nonresidential condominiums. Directors in such condominiums may serve for an unlimited number of terms or years.

2. If there is more than a single owner of a unit, all owners can serve simultaneously on the board of directors in a nonresidential condominium. Prohibitions on multiple owners of a single unit serving concurrently remain in residential condominiums.

3. The limitation on the manner of election, only by ballot or voting machine, no longer applies in a nonresidential condominium.

4. The "loyalty oath" required for any board member, a certification that the member is familiar with the condominium documents and will uphold the documents and discharge his or her duty as a fiduciary, is omitted for directors in a nonresidential condominium.

C. Arbitration/Mediation. The Act contains a provision requiring arbitration or mediation for disputes. The arbitration or mediation is handled by the state agency overseeing only residential condominiums, the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. However, no distinction was made between residential and nonresidential condominiums in the alternate dispute resolution provisions. Therefore, a dispute in a nonresidential condominium would have to be arbitrated or mediated before the Division, but the Division had no jurisdiction to conduct such arbitration or mediation. This Catch-22 has been remedied by excluding nonresidential condominiums from the arbitration and mediation requirements.

D. Hurricane Protection. The Act has elaborate provisions relating to the installation of hurricane shutters, impact glass or other hurricane protection. While this may make sense in a residential development, it makes little sense in a shopping center. Nonresidential condominiums are now excluded from the operation of these provisions.

E. Phased Development. Many projects are built in phases. The Act provides protection for owners purchasing in early phases by requiring that future phases must adhere to certain limitations on the manner of development. These limitations prevent a developer from being able to change the character of the development by building a different product in future phases. As an example, a purchaser in a low density condominium community could not be saddled with high-rise structures in future phases. While this generally worked well for residential developments, it put a straitjacket on commercial projects which may contain different types of uses in different phases. Almost all of the phased restrictions have been lifted for nonresidential condominiums.

The above changes will facilitate the development of more commercial condominiums which, up to now, had a very difficult time complying with some of the operating requirements of the Act.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Bilzin Sumberg | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.