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Q: What is considered a board meeting?
A: A condominium board meeting is defined as any gathering of the members of the board of directors, at which a quorum of the members is present, for the purpose of conducting association business. This could include a dinner where board members have gathered to discuss condominium matters and unit owners have the right to attend the meeting.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(c); F.A.C. 61B-23.001(1)(a).
Q: Can a unit owner attend a board meeting?
A: Meetings of the board shall be open to the unit owners. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c).
Q: Are there any board meetings which are closed to unit owners?
A: Yes. The unit owner’s right to attend a meeting of the board does not apply when the board and its attorney meet for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice for proposed or pending litigation. Also, board meetings are closed when personnel matters are discussed.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(3).
Q: What happens when, due to resignations or otherwise, not enough members of the board exist to constitute a quorum?
A: If an association fails to fill vacancies on the board sufficient to constitute a quorum in accordance with the bylaws, any unit owner may apply to the circuit court for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the association. A receiver will have the same powers and duties as the board and will serve until the vacancies are filled sufficient to constitute a quorum. However, at least 30 days prior to applying to the circuit court for a receiver, the unit owner must mail to the association, as well as post a notice of the intended action and give the association the opportunity to fill the vacancies. Each unit owner must also notified by certified mail or personal delivery. If the association fails to fill the vacancies and a receiver is appointed, the association will be responsible for the receiver’s salary, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.1124.
Q: Is the board required to provide unit owners with board meeting notices?
A: Notice of all board meetings along with the agenda shall be posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 48 hours prior to the meeting, except in an emergency. However, notice of some board meetings, such as one at which non-emergency special assessments or amendment to rules regarding unit use will be considered shall be mailed or delivered to the unit owners and posted not less than 14 days prior to the meeting.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c).
Q: How are committees formed and who has a right to participate in them? Do unit owners have the right to attend the committee meetings?
A: Committees are appointed by the board in order to take action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget or other matters deemed necessary by the board. A committee meeting involves a gathering of a group of board members, unit owners, or board members and unit owners, in which a quorum of members of that committee are present. Unit owners have the right to attend and observe committee meetings. However, the association bylaws may provide restrictions on certain committee meetings that do not take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the budget. A committee meeting with the association’s attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation is exempt from open meeting requirements.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c); F.A.C. 61B-23.001(1)(b) & (2).
Q: How is a vacancy on the board filled?
A: The association should follow the provisions in the bylaws of the association for filling vacancies on the board. If the bylaws fail to provide a method, any vacancy on the board caused by the expiration of a director’s term shall be filed by electing a new board member, made by a secret ballot. If there are any remaining vacancies after the election, then those vacancies will be filed by a majority affirmative vote of the newly elected directors, unless the bylaws provide otherwise. This vote still occurs even if the board does constitute a quorum or if the vote is made by the sole remaining director.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(d).
Q: What are the duties of the board of administration?
A: The board of administration administers the affairs of the association, sets policy, assures proper property maintenance, and may appoint committees to manage various affairs of the condominium.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.111(2)-(13); Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(a).
Q: What are the powers and responsibilities of the board of administration?
A: Essentially, the board of directors is the decision-making body for the condominium. Their powers are in essence, the powers of the association, which include the power to manage, maintain, and operate the condominium property. However, an individual member of the association has no authority to act for the community or for the board simply by virtue of being a member.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.111(3); Fla. Stat. § 718.111(1)(c).
Q: If a board forecloses on a unit for unpaid assessments, does the board have to give notice?
A: Yes. No foreclosure judgment may be entered until at least 30 days after the condominium association gives written notice to the unit owner of its intention to foreclose its lien to collect the unpaid assessments. If this notice is not given at least 30 days before the foreclosure action is filed, and if the unpaid assessments, including those coming due after the claim of the lien is recorded, are paid before the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure, the association shall not recover attorney’s fees or costs.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.116(6)(b).
Q: Do the officers and directors have a fiduciary relationship with unit owners?
A: Yes. Directors have a fiduciary relationship with the unit owners, and must use the highest degree of good faith in placing the interests of the unit owners above their own personal interests. This fiduciary relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence in favor of the association and its members. It requires the members of the board and licensed managers to act in good faith and in the best interests of the unit owners. It means that board members and managers must exercise due care and diligence when acting for the community.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.111(1)(d).
Q: When a board member is acting improperly, how does a unit owner remove him from the board?
A: Any member of the board may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by a vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests. Ten percent of the voting interest may give notice of the meeting, including the purpose of the meeting, as required for a meeting of unit owners. Notice may not be given electronically. A majority vote of all the voting interests can be obtained at a special meeting of the unit owners or by written agreement.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(j); F.A.C. 61B-23.0026; F.A.C. 61B-23.0027; F.A.C. 61B-23.0028.
Q: What is the proper method by which the board must inform the unit owners about the annual meeting?
A: The board must give written notice, including an agenda, by mail or delivered to each unit owner at least fourteen days before the annual meeting of the unit owners. The board must also post a notice of the meeting in a conspicuous place on the property at least fourteen continuous days before the meeting.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(d)(3).
Q: Is my association required to hold regular meetings on a monthly basis?
A: There is no statutory requirement for regular or a required number of meetings of the unit owners or the board of directors. However, the documents of the association should be reviewed for any such requirements. The Florida Condominium Act (Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes) requires every association to hold an annual meeting of the members and a member or board meeting to adopt the annual budget.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(d).
Q: What reserve accounts are condominiums required to maintain?
A: In addition to annual operating expenses, the proposed budget shall include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. These accounts shall include, but are not limited to, roof replacement, building painting, and pavement resurfacing, regardless of the amount of deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost, and for any other item for which the deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost exceeds $10,000.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(f)(2).
Q: Can the board use money from our reserve fund to pay for unexpected repairs to the common elements not covered by the reserve fund?
A: No, unless there is approval in advance. Reserve funds and any interest accruing shall remain in the reserve account for authorized reserve expenditures, unless their use for other purposes is approved in advance by a vote of the majority of the voting interests present at a duly called meeting of the association.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(f)(3).
Q: Does a board have to hire the company that prepares the lowest bid?
A: No. The association is not required to accept the lowest bid.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.3026(1).
Q: Must the association obtain competitive bids if the cost of repairs to the common elements exceeds 5 percent of the total annual budget?
A: Yes. If a contract for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment or for services requires payment exceeding 5 percent of the total annual budget of the association, the association must obtain competitive bids. However, contracts for attorney, accountant, architect, community association manager, timeshare management firm, engineering, and landscape architect services are not subject to the competitive bid requirement. Further, associations with less than 10 units may opt out of the bid requirements if two-thirds of the unit owners vote to do so.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.3026(1); Fla. Stat. § 718.3026(2).
Q: Must the association obtain competitive bids when hiring an attorney?
A: A board is not required to obtain competitive bids when hiring an attorney. Competitive bids are not required for contracts with employees of the association, attorney, accountant, architect, community association manager, timeshare management firm, engineering and landscape architect services.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.3026(2)(a).