Laws Governing Board of Administration Meetings for Condominium Associations Under the Florida Statutes
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Florida’s condominium associations have been delegated authority by the Florida legislature to create and enforce their own bylaws so long as they do not conflict with the Florida Statutes. There are some provisions, however, that associations have no say in and those provisions must be included in their bylaws. These are found in Section 718.112, Florida Statutes. This blog post focuses on a few of those required provisions concerning board of administration meetings.
When a condo board has its meetings, and a quorum of the members is present, those meetings must be open to all unit owners. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c). Moreover, unit owners may tape record and videotape those board meetings, and they have the right to speak at such meetings on all designated agenda items. Id. The association does have the right to adopt reasonable rules governing the recording of such meetings and the frequency, duration and manner of unit owner statements, but the board cannot forbid such actions by the unit owners. Id.
Board meetings must also be adequately noticed, specifically identifying all agenda items, and the notice must be posted conspicuously on the property at least 48 continuous hours before the meeting. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c)1. If at least 20 percent of the voting interests petition the board to address a certain item, the board must place that item on the agenda of the next regular board meeting or at a special meeting not later than 60 days after receipt of the petition. Id. Any item not included on the meeting’s notice and agenda can be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a majority plus one of the board members, but that emergency action must then be noticed and ratified at the next regular board meeting. Id. For any meeting where regular or special assessments will be discussed, the notice must specifically state that assessments will be considered and provide the nature, estimated cost, and description of the purposes for such assessments. Id.
For board meetings where nonemergency special assessments or amendments to the rules regarding unit use will be considered, written notice must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to unit owners and posted conspicuously on the property at least 14 days before the meeting. Id. The person providing the 14-day notice must also provide evidence of compliance by executing an affidavit stating as much, and that affidavit must be filed with the official records of the association. Id. The association, in addition to, or in lieu of, physically posting the notice can adopt a procedure for repeatedly broadcasting the meeting’s notice and agenda on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the condo association. Id. If the broadcast is in lieu of physically posting the notice on the property, the notice and agenda must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that the notice is required. Id.
Committee meetings that are for the purposes of taking final action on behalf of the board or for making recommendations to the board regarding the budget are subject to these requirements as well. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c)2. Committee meetings conducted for other reasons are also subject to these requirements unless the association’s bylaws specifically exempt those other committee meetings from these statutory requirements. Id. There are two exceptions to the requirement that board meetings and committee meetings are to be open to unit owners. The first are meetings with the association’s attorney that involve the seeking or rendering of legal advice on proposed or pending litigation. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c)3a. The second are meetings held for the purposes of discussing personnel matters. Id. While the Florida Statutes and Florida case law do not specifically define what constitutes “personnel matters,” that definition would probably be construed as limited in scope in light of the overall public policy of having these board and committee meetings open to unit owners.