Florida Homeowner Association Disputes - Pre-Suit Requirements
Statutory Offer of Pre-Suit Mediation - the DocumentA template of the document is found in the Fla. St. Ch. 720.311 at http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0720/SEC311.HTM&Title=->2008->Ch0720->Section%20311#0720.311
The MediatorsYou must include a minimum of five mediators in the Offer. Mediators can be found at www.floridamediators.org.
You must also include a brief description of your claims or issues that you seek resolution for.
Mailing the DocumentAlways send a copy by certified mail, return receipt requested and by regular mail. The Offer should be sent to the registered agent of the association. This information is available at www.sunbiz.org.
Waiting for a ReplyYou must wait twenty (20) days for the association to reply before taking further action. If the association agrees to mediate, mediation must be completed within ninety (90) days.
Things to Know- Any party who refuses to mediate is precluded from being awarded attorneys' fees should they prevail at trial
- Failure to submit the Statutory Offer of Pre-Suit Mediation before filing litigation is grounds for dismissal of your case
- This does not apply to Condominium Associations. The process is slightly different.
- Don't expect any help from state agencies as they currently do not regulate or enforce the statutes regulating homeowners associations.
- The prevailing party is entitled to be reimbursed for attorneys' fees and costs from the other party. A prevailing party IS THE DEFENDANT if you voluntarily dismiss your case or your case is dismissed by the judge.