Question: I live in a homeowners’ association and recently submitted my intent to run for the board. However, my name was not included on the ballot that was mailed out to all of the owners. When I asked the association about it, the association said I was not eligible because I had an unpaid $100.00 fine from a year ago. I do not dispute that the fine is outstanding, because I disagree with the board’s action regarding the fine, I have not paid it. Can they use this to keep me from running for the board? (R.L. via e-mail)
Answer: Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, the Homeowners’ Association Act, states that a person who is delinquent in the payment of any “fee, fine, or other monetary obligation to the association on the day that he or she could last nominate himself or herself or be nominated for the board may not seek election to the board, and his or her name shall not be listed on the ballot.” Therefore, even if you are current in the payment of assessments to the association, if there is a properly imposed fine that is unpaid, pursuant to the statute, you would not be eligible to run for the board.
The statute goes on to provide that any board member who becomes more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine, or other monetary obligation is “deemed to have abandoned his or her seat on the board, creating a vacancy on the board to be filled according to law.”
Therefore, as you did in fact owe the association an unpaid fine, the association correctly excluded your name from the ballot.
Both the Florida Condominium Act, Chapter 718, and the Florida Cooperative Act, Chapter 719, contain similar language concerning eligibility to run for the board.