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If you live in Florida and have questions about HOA’s or Condominiums this is the space for you. The information provided on this website does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice or otherwise create an attorney-client relationship.

Dear Condo Board...

The information provided on this website does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice or otherwise create an attorney-client relationship. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general educational purposes only. The submission of a question and the response is not legal advice. Always seek the advice and counsel of an attorney before taking any actions.

Can they do this in Florida?

Welcome to Florida! As an owner you have the right to speak at all board meetings on the agenda items at a board meeting. Keep in mind that the board may pass rules as to the amount of time, frequency and duration of comments. As to their hostility unfortunately being nice or even showing professionalism is not a requirement for board membership (but keep in mind electability matters for the next election.)

Great question and you need to have an attorney involved. Here is why. The association has the authority to acquire a unit and/or use common element for this purpose; however, this may result in a material alteration to common element which requires a vote of the owners. Moreover, the purchase of a unit may invoke provisions of the Declaration as to spending limitations for the board. The best thing I can tell you is to speak to an attorney so the board is prepared and follows the requirements of law. 

Great question and there are a couple ways to look at this. If an owner does not live in a unit and is claiming homestead that is fraud. You can report this to your county property appraiser. If an owner claims they have a guest but the board believes it is a renter then I suggest the board speak with their attorney. This can be addressed and the governing documents should be enforced. Sadly this is not uncommon for an owner to try to game the system.

Issues with my Property Manager.

Unfortunately, the board makes this decision (unless the governing documents provide otherwise). Remember the board is voted in to run the business of the association. The best option is to get on the board and make a change. You can do this at the next election or consider a recall of the board if you absolutely have more than 50% of the owners in agreement. A recall requires a majority in Florida!

Issues with my Board.

Owners have the right to videotape meetings in Florida. 718.112(2)(c) and 720.306(10). So, the answer is tell them the law and if they don’t respond then it’s time hire an attorney and potentially seek mediation or arbitration before filing a lawsuit if they absolutely don’t listen!

The world of ballots and proxies! For condominiums, you need to know that a quorum is not required for an election of directors rather 20% of the eligible votes must be cast for the election. I state this because the elections generally occur at the annual meeting. If the ballot is for an amendment or other vote of the owners than the ballot itself does not establish a quorum rather you need a limited proxy to do so. Keep in mind you have a ballot with limited proxy language incorporated!

Great question. The board should be working as a whole. No officer should have more power than any other officer unless your governing documents state otherwise. As a board member you wear two hats: you are a board member and you are a unit owner. As a unit owner you have the right to inspect records which include invoices so you may use your rights under Florida Statute 720.303(5) to request an inspection of records. Moreover as a unit owner you can petition to have an agenda item added for discussion with 20% of the total voting interests signing a petition for an agenda item as stated in Florida Statute 720.303(2)(d) – and each member of the association may speak for at 3 minutes about that agenda item added by petition. If the President won’t work with you as a board member, turn to your role as a unit owner and use the law to your favor!

Thanks for reaching out. Receivership is usually not cost efficient for owners but in some cases required. You stated you are in an HOA, as such, Florida Statute 720.3033 applies. This states that any association that entered in to a contract with a director or a company of that director (with a financial interest) then that contract must comply with law, be disclosed in meeting minutes, approved by an affirmative vote of ⅔ of the directors present, AND and the next regular or special meeting of the members the existence of the contract must be disclosed. Then upon motion of any member, the contract shall be brought up for a vote and may be canceled by a majority of members present. As long as the board complies with this then they are not in violation of the Florida law. 

Thanks for your question. I don’t have an official answer from DBPR but here is my professional opinion. The matters that arise from a violation of the Condominium Act are civil in nature for the most part.  Association boards are no different than other not-for-profit corporations and the remedy is again civil in nature unless a crime is committed. While the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes have been granted authority to manage arbitration, the jurisdiction and scope  is limited in what is in the Condominium Act. Therefore, if you want to see a broader scope, you would need the Florida legislature to make that change. 

Some HOA governing documents provide language that allows the association to pass on the cost for maintenance done by the association on the owner’s behalf. I would need to review the HOA governing documents to determine if the association could pass the cost of additional mowing to the owner of the parcel. I would suggest that you ask the HOA board to get a legal opinion about this issue.
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