Recalling Condominium Association Board Members According to the Florida Statutes
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Condominium associations experience turnover within their board of administration every few years, on average. Every now and then, for various reasons, unit owners desire to recall a specific board member after he or she has been elected. Section 718.112(2)(j), Florida Statutes, provides for the rules and procedures that an association must follow to recall one of its board members. That section is contained within the required provisions of Florida’s Condominium Act, meaning that these rules and procedures for recall are deemed included within each association’s bylaws. This blog post discusses what every association should know about recalling board members, according to the Florida Statutes.
If, after the election of a new board, the unit owners become dissatisfied with one of the board members, a special meeting can be called for the purposes of a recall. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j). It only takes 10 percent of the voting interests of the unit owners to call that special meeting for recall. Id. That special meeting must be noticed and must expressly state that the purpose for the meeting is for a recall. Furthermore, the notice for this meeting cannot be transmitted electronically. Id. If the special meeting for recall is properly noticed, then any member of the board of administration can be recalled and removed from office with or without cause. Id. There must be a majority vote of the unit owners in favor of the recall, or an agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests, for the recall to be approved and considered valid. Id.
If the vote to recall is successful then the board shall hold a duly noticed board meeting within 5 business days after the unit owners’ special meeting where the board will either certify or not certify the recall. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)1. If the recall is certified then the member is recalled effective immediately and must return to the board all association records and property in his or her possession within 5 business days. Id. On the other hand, if the board decides not to certify the vote to recall then, within 5 business days of its decision, the board must file with the Division of Florida Condominiums a petition for arbitration. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)3. If the arbitrator certifies the recall then it is effective upon the arbitrator mailing his or her final order of arbitration to the association. Id.
If the board neglects its duty altogether and fails to hold a meeting within 5 business days of the unit owners’ special meeting to recall, then the recall is automatically deemed effective and the recalled board member must return all association records and property. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)4. Moreover, a representative of the unit owners may file, within 60 days, a petition challenging the board’s failure to act. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)5. The recalled board member may also file a petition with the Division of Florida Condominiums challenging the validity of the recall. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)7. That petition to challenge must be filed within 60 days after the recall is deemed certified and, at the arbitration, the association and the unit owner representative shall be named as respondents. Id.
Once a board member is recalled, there will be a vacancy on the board that must be filled. If a majority of the board members remain after the recall, then the vacancy may be filled by a vote of the remaining directors. Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j)6. If the recall results in a majority of the board members being recalled and removed, then the vacancies shall be filled according to the procedural rules adopted by the Division of Florida Condominiums. Id.