Q: My condominium association has one owner who is a malcontent. He is always objecting to everything the Board tries to do and his constant vocal complaining has caused the Board much stress. Two of the Directors resigned as a result of this disgruntled owner. Is this a proper basis for Directors to resign? Do you need to have a more legitimate reason to resign than this? T.C.
A: Directors have the right to resign from service on the Board for any reason. The Florida Not For Profit Corporation Act (Chapter 617, Florida Statutes) likely applies to your condominium association, as most condominium associations in Florida are established as not for profit corporations. The Florida Not For Profit Corporation Act requires resignations to be in writing and delivered to the corporation, but there is no requirement for the resignation to include a justification for the resignation. Service on a condominium association board (in addition to often being thankless as is apparently the case in your community) is a completely voluntary undertaking.
Q: One of the Directors of my homeowners association is out of control. He yells at owners at virtually every Board Meeting. He is also very condescending to his fellow Board Members. Despite this bad behavior he has been elected President for three consecutive years. Is there anything that can be done to get him removed from the Board or removed as President? O.P.
A: Most community association governing documents as well as applicable corporate statutes grant the Board the right to appoint and remove officers. Therefore, the rest of the Board likely has the right to vote to remove this individual as President at a duly noticed Board Meeting. Having this person removed as a Director is a more difficult task. If he is more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine or other monetary obligation the Homeowners Association Act states that he is “deemed to have abandoned” his seat on the Board. The only other alternative (assuming this individual is current in all monetary obligations) is to pursue a recall. In both condominiums and homeowners associations, recall of any member of the board, members of the board, or even the entire board, may be accomplished by a majority vote of the entire voting interests of the association. Typically, each unit or lot is allocated one voting interest. The fact that other directors have elected this person as President for three years in a row suggests they may not view the situation as dimly as you, or perhaps no one else wants to do the work that goes along with the job. You should consider running for the Board at the next election.
Attorney David G. Muller is a shareholder with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Naples (www.beckerlawyers.com). The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this column does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.
Editor’s Note: David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities. The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law. Attorney Muller responds to your community association questions. Send questions to Attorney Muller by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.