Condominium Verses Homeowner Associations
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Last updated: Thursday, November 8, 2007

 

For the State of Florida there are two (2) mandatory meetings required for both Condominium and Homeowner Associations. The Annual Meeting and the Annual Budget Meeting. Once a year the Members shall hold an Annual Member’ Meeting. And once a year the Board of Directors holds a Special Budget, Annual Budget or Budget Meeting.
Prior to the Budget Meeting, the Board of Directors must provide for a proposed budget to all members. The mailing procedures are outlined in the applicable Bylaws. For Homeowner Association, if the reserves were established after developer turnover, then the reserve funding must continue as schedule.

All Condominium Associations must fully fund  roof replacement, building paint, pavement resurfacing with an useful life of three (3) to thirty (30) years and anything which cost more than $10,000 like swimming pools, elevators and fencing etc…

Most Homeowner Associations require reserve funding for replacement cost. The reserves may be adjusted from year to year as our economy grows. Some Associations pay for a “reserve studies” performed by specialists. A paid professional doesn’t alleviate Board’s liability. It’s a wonder why a professional with experience, references and good credentials performing the study offers no guarantee. Ultimately the Board of Director’s are responsible for adequate reserves. Without a licensed engineer, the reserve study wouldn’t be very accurate anyway. Since property managers are out in the field everyday, they are well aware of the dollar amounts of these replacement costs. It’s a rare day when a property manager is not in the middle of a roof, building paint or asphalt resurface project.

Now that the reserves are adjusted and the anticipated income and expense is added, it’s time to send out the proposed budget. With the escalating insurance premiums, the homeowners may not like the increase in quarterly dues. We already know the how to protest the excessive budget’s for Condominium Associations (Condominium has Regulations, Where Homeowner Associations do not. Regarding Notice of Meeting to Consider Excessive Budget).

 

For Homeowners Associations, here are your only recourse:

  • 20% of the of the voting members would have to petition to hold another meeting requesting to be able to debate the proposed budget. 
  • If the 20% had been achieved, then the Board would have sixty (60) days to hold a Special Board Meeting.
  • A fourteen (14) day notice is required.
  • The appropriate line item to the agenda would be added.
  • Each member would have a minium of three (3) minutes to protest the matter.
  • The Board could require all members to fill out a request form and/or sign in sheet before being elgible to speak.

Other than addressing the petitioned item at the meeting, the Board has no obligation to take any action. See Florida Statute (d) below:
1.  Notices of all board meetings must be posted in a conspicuous place in the community at least 48 hours in advance of a meeting, except in an emergency. In the alternative, if notice is not posted in a conspicuous place in the community, notice of each board meeting must be mailed or delivered to each member at least 7 days before the meeting, except in an emergency. Notwithstanding this general notice requirement, for communities with more than 100 members, the bylaws may provide for a reasonable alternative to posting or mailing of notice for each board meeting, including publication of notice, provision of a schedule of board meetings, or the conspicuous posting and repeated broadcasting of the notice on a closed-circuit cable television system serving the homeowners’ association. However, if broadcast notice is used in lieu of a notice posted physically in the community, the notice must be broadcast at least four times every broadcast hour of each day that a posted notice is otherwise required. When broadcast notice is provided, the notice and agenda must be broadcast in a manner and for a sufficient continuous length of time so as to allow an average reader to observe the notice and read and comprehend the entire content of the notice and the agenda. The bylaws or amended bylaws may provide for giving notice by electronic transmission in a manner authorized by law for meetings of the board of directors, committee meetings requiring notice under this section, and annual and special meetings of the members; however, a member must consent in writing to receiving notice by electronic transmission.
2.  An assessment may not be levied at a board meeting unless the notice of the meeting includes a statement that assessments will be considered and the nature of the assessments. Written notice of any meeting at which special assessments will be considered or at which amendments to rules regarding parcel use will be considered must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and parcel owners and posted conspicuously on the property or broadcast on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14 days before the meeting.
3.  Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings, except that secret ballots may be used in the election of officers. This subsection also applies to the meetings of any committee or other similar body, when a final decision will be made regarding the expenditure of association funds, and to any body vested with the power to approve or disapprove architectural decisions with respect to a specific parcel of residential property owned by a member of the community.
(d)  If 20 percent of the total voting interests petition the board to address an item of business, the board shall at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting of the board, but not later than 60 days after the receipt of the petition, take the petitioned item up on an agenda. The board shall give all members notice of the meeting at which the petitioned item shall be addressed in accordance with the 14-day notice requirement pursuant to subparagraph (c)2. Each member shall have the right to speak for at least 3 minutes on each matter placed on the agenda by petition, provided that the member signs the sign-up sheet, if one is provided, or submits a written request to speak prior to the meeting. Other than addressing the petitioned item at the meeting, the board is not obligated to take any other action requested by the petition.

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