Published October 2023
Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.
In Florida, associations may be required to establish certain committees, such as an architectural review committee and a budget committee as outlined in the association’s documents. Other committees, such as social or landscaping committees, may also be formed at the discretion of the board of directors. The process for forming a committee typically involves the board of directors appointing committee members at a properly noticed board meeting and setting out the committee’s responsibilities and scope of authority in the association’s bylaws or rules and regulations.
The only committee that is required by Florida law is a rules enforcement committee, which is also often referred to as the fining, violation, or grievance committee. Associations that wish to levy fines and impose the suspension of use rights for violations must utilize such a committee to do so. This committee cannot be comprised of board members or spouses or relatives of board members in order to maintain its independence from the board.
Additionally, committees must comply with Florida meeting laws as governed by Chapter 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes, which requires open meetings and public records access for certain committee meetings and records.
Committees can be appointed by the board of directors and/or by the president of the association. The committees may have various functions, such as architectural review, budget review, or social activities and events. Typically, the responsibility for setting up a committee in an association falls on the board of directors or the management company.
However, the exact process for creating a committee may be outlined in the association’s bylaws or governing documents. It’s important for the board or management to communicate with unit owners about the purpose, mission, and goals of the committee and to invite interested owners and those that may have an expertise in this area to participate.
The Florida Statutes also set out certain requirements for the operation of committees. For example, committee meetings must be open to all unit owners, and notice of the meetings must be posted in a conspicuous place in the condominium at least 48 hours before the meeting.
Additionally, committee members must be appointed in accordance with the association’s bylaws and must comply with the association’s code of ethics or code of conduct. If the association has not adopted a code of ethics or code of conduct, it is recommended that the association contact their lawyer to do so.
Overall, the Florida Statutes provide guidelines and requirements for the operation of committees in Florida in order to ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness.
Florida association committees are subject to certain regulations and requirements, specifically the following:
Overall, Florida law grants association committees a limited role in the governance of an association. Their role is advisory, and their actions are subject to oversight by the board of directors.
Advantages of committees in associations are as follows:
Disadvantages of committees in associations are as follows:
Here are some examples of standing committees that are commonly recommended in associations:
Ad hoc Committee—Ad hoc committees in an association are temporary committees created to address specific issues or tasks that are not within the purview of a standing committee. Once the task is completed, the committee is disbanded.
Some examples of ad hoc committees in an association could include the following:
It’s important for associations to tailor their committees to their specific needs and interests.
Grievance Committee—Florida law requires that associations provide a grievance process for disputes between members and the association. The law does not specifically require homeowner associations to establish a grievance committee, but some associations may choose to form such a committee as part of their grievance process. It is recommended to review the association’s documents.
If an association does have a grievance committee, it must follow certain requirements, such as providing written notice to members about the committee’s existence, ensuring that the committee is made up of unbiased members, and giving members the opportunity to be heard at a hearing before the committee makes a decision.
To set up a committee in an association, follow these steps:
The Committee Chair’s Role—The committee chair in an association is responsible for leading and organizing committee meetings, developing agendas, ensuring that committee members fulfill their responsibilities, communicating with the board of directors, and reporting on committee activities and recommendations. The chair also ensures that committee decisions are consistent with the bylaws and rules of the association and that committee activities align with the association’s goals and objectives.
The Association Manager’s Role—The association manager’s responsibility regarding committees in an association typically includes coordinating with committees, providing administrative support, ensuring that committee actions comply with the association’s bylaws and rules, and
presenting committee recommendations to the association’s board of directors for consideration and action. The manager may also be responsible for scheduling committee meetings, obtaining and recording of the minutes, and managing communication between committees and the board of directors.
Board Member’s Liaison Role—The board liaison role in a committee involves acting as a liaison between the committee and the board. The liaison serves as a communication link, relaying information, and updates from the committee to the board and vice versa. They may also assist with ensuring that committee activities align with the overall goals and objectives of the board and help to facilitate decision-making and problem-solving between the two groups.
2023 ___________ COMMITTEE
Liaison to the Board:
(Board Member name)
Date of Meeting:
Date of Next Meeting:
I. Action Items: Activities Completed:
II. Action Items In-Progress: Pending – Future Plans – Timeline to complete:
III. Estimated Costs: (proposal attached/signed by chair)
IV. Questions for the Board:
V. RECOMMENDATION SENT TO THE BOARD: (attached & dated)
I come to you again with a question. If five of my nine board members are “up north,” do they get to weigh in on issues that cost money? This is not an actual board meeting as no meetings occur in the summer. So can absent board members vote by email, telephone, or text on expenditures? Do they have any say? If not, then there is only one board member running the show during the summer.
When most board members are gone in the summer, they often appoint one or two board members or residents who stay on site to make routine maintenance decisions along with the CAM.
If the monies being spent are budgeted, then no meeting or vote should be required. The CAM usually communicates with absent board members about routine maintenance and costs. Board members will receive copies of bank statements and financials every month and likely a manager’s report, so they can know what is happening.
If the board is spending money that is not budgeted, then they need to have a board meeting and properly vote. But to move on with unexpected maintenance, as an alternative, items that need to be voted on (but aren’t—there was just a verbal consensus) could be ratified at a later meeting. This alternative is not a best practice, but there are some instances when a decision to spend money must be made and cannot wait.
Board members can talk via telephone, text, or email, but they cannot vote except at a properly noticed board meeting with minutes.
What you have is a procedural issue, and the next time the board meets they could create a policy for how business is handled in the summer and who is responsible for what tasks.
Board members who are not present at a meeting can attend the meeting by speakerphone (so those owners present can hear the full discussion) or video conferencing and may vote. They are noted as present in your minutes. Board members may never vote by email or text, and board members may never use proxies at board meetings.
Be sure to check out the CAM Matters shows on YouTube. There are several related to meetings.
Do you happen to have any CAM Matters shows about board meetings being available on Zoom? My board doesn’t want to offer Zoom for the snowbirds and those who work.
The board meeting minutes do not provide nearly the same amount of information for the owners who could not attend.
There are no guidelines or rules for Zoom membership meetings from the State. Some communities have continued them since COVID-19; others have not. They are hard to do for membership meetings since all voting should be on a limited proxy (for accurate record-keeping purposes).
The condominium and cooperative statutes do specifically permit board members to meet via electronic videoconferencing or a speakerphone. The use of the speakerphone or other audio is for the owners present at the meeting so they can hear the conversation of the board members. The statutes do not say anything about making videoconferencing available to absentee owners.
As a reminder, board meetings are not informational meetings for the owners. They are for the board to get its business accomplished as relates to maintenance operations, management, financial, and compliance issues.
Minutes should only reflect the business the board members addressed in the meeting. The minutes do not include discussion or owners’ comments. A vote for each board member present must be recorded in the minutes.
There should be no “open forum” for owners at the end of the meeting. Board members can gather concerns from owners via some other medium, but not at the board meeting.
I have several shows on my YouTube channel, CAM Matters, related to meetings.
I am a VP for a 501(c)(7) corporation here in our manufactured home community. The purpose stated in our articles of incorporation is to provide social and recreational opportunities to our residents. As a nonprofit, we sell tickets for our dances and events to cover the cost of bands, entertainers, show hosts, etc.
Recently our community owner/manager arbitrarily decided that no “clubs” may charge admission, accept donations, or sell limited memberships for any events. He has included our corporation in this mandate.
Can the community owner/manager legally stop us from charging admission to fund our mission?
I assume from your question your community is a mobile home lot tenancy community under Chapter 723, Florida Statutes. It sounds like the landlord has restricted the owner/renters’ right to peacefully assemble. I believe that is unconstitutional.
Look at Sections 723.051, 723.054, 723.055, 723.056 and see how you read it.
Also, if two-thirds of your owner/renters have organized the Chapter 723 homeowners’ association corporation and given notice to the landlord, I believe he is to include the homeowner corporation’s representatives in developing new rules for the park. Look at Sections 723.075-.0791 and see how you read it.
On another thought, why is your recreational organization a charitable nonprofit with the IRS when you could be a Florida Not for Profit Corporation under Chapter 617 and not have the strict federal regulations and reporting?