While it may seem to many unit owners that a director must also be a member of the association, this is not necessarily the case. This question is document driven. If the governing documents of a condominium association do not specifically require that a director also be a unit owner / member, then under Florida law it is not a requirement.
While not binding on a Florida court, DBPR arbitration decisions have held that since there were no specific qualifications for directors in the articles and bylaws to be a member of the association, it was not a requirement. Therefore, in Thomas and Ervin v. Tiffany Suites Condominium, Inc., Arb. Case No. 94-0518 (Summary Final Order, April 7, 1995), the arbitrator found that the only qualification to be a director, at that time, was to be a natural person, 18 years of age or older, as set forth in Section 617.0802, Florida Statutes.
The Condominium Act does identify several situations which prevent a person from being a director of a condominium association (e.g., they do not meet the qualifications to be a director). They are:
- Co-owners of a unit in a condominium with more than ten units are prohibited from serving on the board at the same time, unless they own more than one unit or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy;
- A director suspended or removed by the DBPR, if the suspension or removal is still in effect at the time of the deadline for submitting the notice of intent to be a candidate;
- Anyone who is delinquent in the payment of “any monetary obligation owed to the association”, at the time of the deadline for submitting the notice of intent to be a candidate;
- A person who has a criminal charge pending, as set forth in Section 718.111(1)(d), Florida Statutes, at the time of the deadline for submitting the notice of intent to be a candidate;
- A director who is charged with a felony theft or embezzlement of association funds or property and the criminal charge is still pending at the time of the deadline for submitting the notice of intent to be a candidate; and
- A person who was convicted of a felony in Florida or convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction that would be considered a felony in Florida, and who has not had his or her civil rights have been restored for a period of at least five years as of the date of the deadline for submitting the notice of intent to be a candidate.
If the above list of prohibitions does not apply, in addition to being at least 18 years of age or older, and there are no additional qualifications in the governing documents regarding a membership requirement, then a person who is not a unit owner / member may serve on the board of directors.