Declaration of Condominium
This is the document that creates or declares the property as a condominium. It contains the rights and responsibilities language--who maintains what, who owns what, who insures what--as well as the legal description of the property governed by the association.
It will include definitions of terms; easement rights; detailed information on assessments; maintenance repair and replacement obligations; procedural requirements for and limitations on alterations and improvements; board of directors authority regarding processing of sales and rentals; and its own amendment provision. It may also contain use restrictions, termination provisions, and information on amenities, parking spaces, storage and so on.
This is the procedural manual that governs the association's operations, including the number of directors, quorum requirements for meetings, notice requirements, powers and duties of directors, duties of the officers, and the like. Because the Condominium Act contains a great deal of procedural regulations of condominium operations, and because the act can be changed annually by the legislature, conflicts may exist between the original bylaws and the current law. In those cases, the law will supercede the bylaws' language, and is deemed to be incorporated automatically into the bylaws. It is not necessary to amend the bylaws every time the law changes, as the changes apply regardless.
Articles of Incorporation
This document creates the association with the Florida Division of Corporations, as required by Florida law. It is a simple document, stating the date of incorporation, name and purpose of the association, initial officers and directors, indemnification of the board, and an amendment provision.
Condominium Act Florida Statutes Chapter 718 (2011)