Florida Condominium Website Law Updates

Florida Condominium Website Law Updates

On June 26, 2017 Governor Rick Scott approved HB 1237*, amending Florida Statutes 718, and requiring that an association with 150 units or more to have a website and post digital copies of official records on it.
*HB 1237 (2017) contains similar language to HB 653 (2017) regarding the website requirement.

UPDATE April 20, 2018:
On March 23, 2018, Governor Rick Scott approved SB 841 making additional changes to the website requirements added to FL Chapter 718 in 2017, which includes an extension of the deadline from July 1, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

WEBSITES FOR OFFICIAL RECORDS
718.111(12)(g), Florida Statutes
1. By January 1, 2019, an association managing a condominium(1) with 150 or more units which does not contain timeshare units shall post digital copies of the documents specified in subparagraph 2. on its website.
a. The association’s website must be:
I. An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or
II. A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records, and documents may be posted by the association.
b. The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association.
c. Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association must provide the unit owner with a username and password and access to the protected sections of the association’s website that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be electronically provided.
2.
3. A current copy of the following documents must be posted in digital format on the association’s website:
a. The recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and each amendment to each declaration.
b. The recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.
c. The articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and each amendment thereto. The copy posted pursuant to this sub-subparagraph must be a copy of the articles of incorporation filed with the Department of State.
d. The rules of the association.
e. A list of all executory contracts or documents to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility and, after bidding for the related materials, equipment, or services has closed, a list of bids received by the association within the past year. Summaries of bids for materials, equipment, or services which exceed $500 must be maintained on the website for 1 year. In lieu of summaries, complete copies of the bids may be posted.
f. The annual budget required by s. 718.112(2)(f) and any proposed budget to be considered at the annual meeting.
g. The financial report required by subsection (13) and any monthly income or expense statement to be considered at a meeting.
h. The certification of each director required by s. 718.112(2)(d)4.b.
i. All contracts or transactions between the association and any director, officer, corporation, firm, or association that is not an affiliated condominium association or any other entity in which an association director is also a director or officer and financially interested.
j. Any contract or document regarding a conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest as provided in ss. 468.436(2)(b)6. and 718.3027(3).
k. The notice of any unit owner meeting and the agenda for the meeting, as required by s. 718.112(2)(d)3., no later than 14 days before the meeting. The notice must be posted in plain view on the front page of the website, or on a separate subpage of the website labeled “Notices” which is conspicuously visible and linked from the front page. The association must also post on its website any document to be considered and voted on by the owners during the meeting or any document listed on the agenda at least 7 days before the meeting at which the document or the information within the document will be considered.
l. Notice of any board meeting, the agenda, and any other document required for the meeting as required by s. 718.112(2)(c), which must be posted no later than the date required for notice pursuant to s. 718.112(2)(c).
4.
5. The association shall ensure that the information and records described in paragraph (c), which are not allowed permitted to be accessible to unit owners, are not posted on the association’s website. If protected information or information restricted from being accessible to unit owners is included in documents that are required to be posted on the association’s website, the association shall ensure the information is redacted before posting the documents online. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the association or its agent is not liable for disclosing information that is protected or restricted pursuant to this paragraph unless such disclosure was made with a knowing or intentional disregard of the protected or restricted nature of such information.
6.
7. The failure of the association to post information required under subparagraph 2. is not in and of itself sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or its committees.

1. Florida definition of “Condominium”: A form of ownership of real property created pursuant to this chapter, which is comprised entirely of units that may be owned by one or more persons, and in which there is, appurtenant to each unit, an undivided share in common elements. 718.103 (11)

Translation and Advertisement

Translation and Advertisement

 

The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”

Coors put its slogan, “Turn It Loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer From Diarrhea.”

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick,” a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “Manure Stick.”

When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what’s inside, since many people can’t read.

Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I Saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I Saw the Potato” (la papa).

Pepsi’s “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave” in Chinese.

Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly In Leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly Naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos. Later they found out that in slang it means “big breasts”.

Bank Caixa Econmica Federal in Brazil offered in an advertisment “HOT MONEY” (in english), obviously unaware of the fact that hot money means “Stolen Money” in normal slang.

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokou kole”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.”The company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

Do It Yourself Websites. Don’t.

Do It Yourself Websites. Don’t.

Print vs. Web.

Working on the internet and designing for the internet is NOT the same as working on print material.

Copy, Copy, Copy.

For large areas of copy, use dark type on a light background and make sure there is enough contrast that your viewers eyes don’t get tired or have to squint. Also small type on the screen is very difficult to read. Keep paragraphs short and use bullet points where possible.

Confucius Was Right.

A picture really is worth a thousand words. So are videos. If you have a good quality video of your subject matter, many people are visual and auditory learners. Keep videos short and to the point. Use graphic imagery where possible. Give examples.

Are You Responsive?

Take into consideration that your presentation will be viewed on different screen sizes and devices. Laptops, tablets, and phones need to be configured differently. Web designers now use software that is configurable for all devices. These type of websites are known as “responsive”.

Can You See Me Now?

When designing a website, take into account what is “above the fold”. This term is used in newspapers. The most important material or eye-catcher is above the fold of the newspaper when it is stacked so the reader will want to pick up the paper and read through it. This term has been picked up by web designers as well. It is what first appears on your screen to catch your audiences attention.

Linking Up.

If you are going to incorporate large amounts of research material or copy use links from the homepage to manipulate where you want you reader to go. Do not make the home page copy heavy. The home page is like a “teaser” and table of contents.

Haha. Stupid.

If your audience is mainly laypeople, keep your copy simple and to the point (KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid). Make sure your words are explanatory.

If you can incorporate non-clinical copy and/or humor, do so.

Scower The Web.

Look for other sites that may be similar to your field of endeavor. What do you like or dislike about them? Do they look professional or home-made?

Doing It Yourself.

If you are trying to use a template web hosting site, make sure you read the instructions on inserting graphics and photos. When utilizing photographic imagery, make sure the images are at the correct size for the web. If a picture appears “jagged” then its resolution is not high enough. Conversely, if a photo’s resolution is too high, it will slow the website down, thereby losing your audience. Make sure you or your webmaster is knowledgable on the subject.

Final Thought.

Even if you think you are capable of doing it yourself, don’t.

Use a qualified webmaster. Everyone has a specialty. Stick to yours.

16 Points to Consider When Hiring a Graphic Designer

16 Points to Consider When Hiring a Graphic Designer

Got Ego?

Not yours… the designer’s.

Most doctors have lousy handwriting. All politicians promise you the world. Many designers are divas.

Great designers check their ego at the door. It’s not about them, it’s about you and making you look good. If a designer insists on telling you what they have accomplished instead of asking what YOU are trying to accomplish, then move on.

Too Many Designers, Not Enough Time.

Don’t overdo the review process. Find three designers that you feel comfortable with to quote your work. Anything more is just overkill and it will drive you crazy.

Review Designers’ Portfolios.

Does the portfolio jive with your needs and taste? Has the designer worked in your industry? Does he/she claim to be all things to all people or have a niche? Be wary of designers who insist they can work in any arena. It’s difficult for me to believe someone whose work is 90% comprised of construction industry design materials can effectively create a perfume campaign for Britney Spears’ “Deseo” scent.

Expect A Lot of Questions.

When reviewing designers, if they don’t ask a lot of questions, RUN! Fast. A great designer needs to ask a lot of questions in order to thoroughly familiarize himself with your company, your product or service, and especially, you.

Be Specific About Your Needs.

Plan your project ahead of time. Look at designs/campaigns you like. Do your homework before looking at designers.

Work Out a Timeline On Your Project.

Then add an additional 30% because inevitably specifications will change, your boss will be out of town and won’t pick up her cell, someone will send you the wrong copy, and on and on.

There is Never Enough Time to Do It Right, But Always Enough Time to Do It Over.

See above. Is the designer overbooked? Will he/she spend the appropriate time and energy on you and your project?

Get It In Writing.

See above one more time.

And if the specifications change, get it in writing again.

Don’t Hire Overseas.

Sure it’s cheaper, but do you really want the headaches of cultural misunderstandings and 10 hour time differences? You need a designer that not only speaks English, but understand the nuances of your market and demographic. Let companies outsource their complaint departments overseas.

How Schooled Is The Designer?

There are some excellent designers out there that are “technically challenged.” Find out what hardware and software they are using. Are the programs the latest and greatest versions? Are they compatible with yours?

Vetting Your Designer.

Get references. Get the references’ names and employers. Call those references. And don’t just use emails – they can be faked. Of course, so can telephone calls, but it is a much more difficult process. And don’t be shy about asking what they liked and disliked about the designer.

Fast – Cheap – Quality. Pick Two.

Personally I prefer fast and quality over cheap. It’s an old saying but it goes a long way.

And related to last one…

Don’t Go With The Lowest Bidder.

You get what you pay for. Come on, you know it’s true and you’re going to kick yourself later.

Typos Galore.

No, that is not someone’s porn name.

Does the designer’s portfolio and/or email correspondence have a lot of typos? Again. RUN. FAST! This is not a person who takes pride in what they do. If there are typos in their own personal work, what do you think is going to happen to yours?

Are You Hiring a Designer or a “Wrist”?

There are untold amounts of people out there who may have good technical skills, but don’t have a creative bone in their bodies. These are referred to as “wrists.” They can draw, paint, use Photoshop, or InDesign, but can’t come up with fresh, unique approaches and basically just spit back what they are told. A great designer will talk with you about your demographics, market analyses, ask you questions, and push the barriers and give you that extra effort.

And finally,

Trust Your Gut.

If is looks like a fish, and smells like a fish…