Publication of false and misleading information
(1) Any person who, in reasonable reliance upon any material statement or information that is false or misleading and published by or under authority from the developer in advertising and promotional materials, including, but not limited to, a contract of purchase, the declaration of covenants, exhibits to a declaration of covenants, brochures, and newspaper advertising, pays anything of value toward the purchase of a parcel in a community located in this state has a cause of action to rescind the contract or collect damages from the developer for his or her loss before the closing of the transaction. After the closing of the transaction, the purchaser has a cause of action against the developer for damages under this section from the time of closing until 1 year after the date upon which the last of the events described in paragraphs (a) through (d) occurs:
(a) The closing of the transaction;
(b) The issuance by the applicable governmental authority of a certificate of occupancy or other evidence of sufficient completion of construction of the purchaser’s residence to allow lawful occupancy of the residence by the purchaser. In counties or municipalities in which certificates of occupancy or other evidences of completion sufficient to allow lawful occupancy are not customarily issued, for the purpose of this section, evidence of lawful occupancy shall be deemed to be given or issued upon the date that such lawful occupancy of the residence may be allowed under prevailing applicable laws, ordinances, or statutes;
(c) The completion by the developer of the common areas and such recreational facilities, whether or not the same are common areas, which the developer is obligated to complete or provide under the terms of the written contract, governing documents, or written agreement for purchase or lease of the parcel; or
(d) In the event there is not a written contract or agreement for sale or lease of the parcel, then the completion by the developer of the common areas and such recreational facilities, whether or not they are common areas, which the developer would be obligated to complete under any rule of law applicable to the developer’s obligation.
Under no circumstances may a cause of action created or recognized under this section survive for a period of more than 5 years after the closing of the transaction.
(2) In any action for relief under this section, the prevailing party may recover reasonable attorney’s fees. A developer may not expend association funds in the defense of any suit under this section.
History.—s. 28, ch. 2004-345; s. 24, ch. 2004-353; s. 136, ch. 2005-2.