Header graphic for print
Florida Condo & HOA Legal Blog News & Updates on Condo & HOA Laws & Legislation in the State of Florida

Category Archives: Governing Documents

Subscribe to Governing Documents RSS Feed

Eligibility to Run for Condominium Board Depends on Governing Documents

Posted in Association Documents, Board Eligibility, Governing Documents

Question:  The wife of an owner (only the husband is on the deed) is running for the Board of our condominium association.  Is she eligible to run for the Board?  I thought you had to be an owner under Florida Law to serve on a condominium association Board?  D.A. via e-mail Answer:  Florida law does… Continue Reading

Can My Condominium Association Remove Palm Trees?

Posted in Association Documents, Common Areas, Governing Documents, Landscaping, Material Alteration

Question: Our condo board wants to remove 44 mature Foxtail palms that shade the courtyards of our 22 coach home buildings. They claim their roots threaten the sidewalk pavers, but there are low cost solutions to address that concern.  The board also raises a concern regarding the palm fronds touching the roofs, but that is… Continue Reading

Fining Procedures Confound Condominium & Cooperative Boards in Florida

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Reader Q&A, Rules & Regulations, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies, Uncategorized

Question: Our association tried to fine an owner who violated our rules, but decided the process was too complicated. Can you provide a step-by-step outline of how fines are issued and collected? (M.G. by e-mail) Answer: Fines can be imposed against condominium and cooperative unit owners, occupants, licensees and invitees. The law for homeowners’ associations… Continue Reading

At Your Service: Condo Call-In with Donna DiMaggio Berger of Becker & Poliakoff

Posted in Elections, Fire Sprinklers, Governing Documents, Legislation, Voting, Water Sprinklers

Florida Legislators have filed bills which could give Condo and Homeowner Association boards a double-take. If passed, a volunteer board member could face criminal penalties if Association records are stonewalled, or if there are fraudulent elections. Might residents avoid trouble by choosing to stay off condo boards? Learn more on the Topical Currents “At Your… Continue Reading

Florida HOA Board Must Follow Correct Rule Procedures

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Rules & Regulations

Question: Our homeowners’ association documents say that the board can adopt rules, but don’t spell out how to do it. What procedures that must be followed? Can the board adopt a rule at a regular meeting and then enforce it the next day without providing any special notice to the members? (R.L. by e-mail) Answer:… Continue Reading

Condominium Associations Should List Their Attorney as the Registered Agent

Posted in Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors, Governing Documents, Liability, Reader Q&A

Question: I am the President of my condominium association.  I just found out that the association was sued by a disgruntled owner.  Unfortunately, I just recently learned that the association has been “defaulted” in the lawsuit because we failed to answer the lawsuit by the deadline.  Apparently the process server served a member of the… Continue Reading

Does Electronic Voting For Community Associations Really Work? How Do You Implement It?

Posted in Elections, Governing Documents, Meetings, Voting

Question:  I heard that the law in Florida recently changed and that owners in community associations can now vote electronically. What is required to implement electronic voting in my community?  And does it really work?  A.A. via e-mail Answer: You heard correctly. During the 2015 Legislative Session, a new law was passed authorizing condominiums, cooperatives… Continue Reading

Florida Association Boards Can Adopt Rules for Records Requests

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Official Records

Question: In a recent column, you said that an owner wanting to inspect association records has to make a written request. Does a request by e-mail satisfy the law? (B.H. by e-mail) Answer: While the Florida Condominium, Cooperative, and Homeowners’ Association Acts all require that owners submit “written” requests to inspect records, there is no… Continue Reading

President Can’t Buck the Association Board in Florida HOAs

Posted in Association Documents, Elections, Governing Documents, Meetings

Question: I am one of five directors on my homeowners’ association’s board. After this year’s annual meeting, we elected new officers. The person voted in as president says that he can make any decision he chooses, and does not need a vote from the board. For example, he has said that he can terminate our… Continue Reading

Can a Candidate Withdraw From a Condominium Election and Then Change Their Mind?

Posted in Elections, Governing Documents, Voting

Question:  The bylaws of our condominium association specify that the board of Directors shall be comprised of not less than five nor more than seven members.  Six members filed their applications for candidacy by the required deadline (40 days before the annual meeting).  One of the members subsequently sent an email requesting that their application… Continue Reading

Assessments and Combined Lots in Florida HOAs

Posted in Assessment Collection, Association Documents, Governing Documents, taxation

Question: I live in a homeowners’ association community. Recently, one of our owners purchased the vacant lot next to their home. The owner has now combined the properties into one parcel with the taxing authorities and is now demanding that the association only charge them assessments for one lot, instead of two. Is this appropriate?… Continue Reading

Florida Associations Should Consider Amending Rental Provisions Now—CALL Alert for January 13, 2017

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Legislation, Rental

As we start the New Year and the 2017 legislative session, community associations should be reviewing their current rental provisions and deciding whether to propose any amendments to address minimum rental terms. If your association has a problem with short term rentals in the community and would like to adopt amendments to the governing documents… Continue Reading

Are Social Event Expenses a Proper Expense for Florida Condominium Associations?

Posted in Association Documents, Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Governing Documents, Reader Q&A

Question: My condominium association holds an annual holiday party at a nearby restaurant. The association pays for everything, including the banquet hall, food and refreshments, by using common funds. Is this a proper common expense? J.A. Answer: Maybe. Your condominium association’s governing documents likely include a definition of “common expenses.” If this definition specifically includes… Continue Reading

Florida Fire Sprinkler Law Still Causing Confusion in Condominiums

Posted in Fire Sprinklers, Governing Documents

Question: Do you have any new updates regarding the fire sprinkler requirements and whether condominium associations should vote to opt out of fire sprinklers? (J.L. by email) Answer: There is still a substantial amount of confusion regarding the requirement for condominiums to retrofit with fire sprinklers and the application of the “opt out” procedure set… Continue Reading

Owners Must Follow Procedure to Petition the HOA Board for Agenda Items

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Rules & Regulations, Voting

Question: I live in a homeowners association and have e-mailed our board president a number of times concerning items that I feel should be discussed by our board. While the president has politely acknowledged my e-mails, none of my suggested topics have been brought up. Does the board at least have to consider my issues?… Continue Reading

HOA Documents and The “Florida Sober Home Bill”

Posted in Association Documents, Disability, Governing Documents, Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications

Question: The issue of “sober houses” and other types of group homes has arisen in our community. We would like to know if we can amend our homeowners’ association documents to prohibit such uses? (S.W. by e-mail) Answer: In 2016, the Florida Legislature adopted the “Florida Sober Home Bill,” which creates a new certification for… Continue Reading

Florida HOAs Should Regularly Review Architectural Review Board Guidelines

Posted in Governing Documents

Question:  I live in a homeowners association and serve as chairman of the architectural review board (ARB). An owner recently submitted an application to repaint the exterior of his home a bright yellow color. The home is currently painted light brown. Our ARB rejected the application because we feel that the proposed bright color is… Continue Reading

Did My Association Legally Adjourn a Membership Meeting to a Later Date?

Posted in Governing Documents, Meetings, Operations, Voting

Question: My condominium association was set to have a big vote on some controversial amendments to the governing documents a few weeks ago. The proposed amendments include leasing changes that are onerous to investors and changes to the pet rules that seem totally unnecessary. I am strongly against these amendments, as are many other owners…. Continue Reading