Published September 2021
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I have a closing coming up. The day before the closing, the board is having a meeting to discuss a possible special assessment for a large project. The meeting has already been noticed to the owners. Since the special assessment has not been approved but likely will be, does this need to be disclosed in the estoppel? I don’t have any firm numbers yet, so I’m not sure what I should do. Thanks!
Paragraph e on the 2017 statutory estoppel form gives you a place to indicate a possible special assessment. I would disclose that one is being voted on, but the amount is unknown, or if you have an idea of the total special assessment, you could give a max figure.
I am told that Chapter 720 prohibits board members from voting via email. Yet, our board president uses this tactic regularly. Where is the 720 regulation that addresses board members’ voting actions?
Board members cannot vote via email. Section 720.303, Florida Statutes, states: (2) OARD MEETINGS.— (a) embers of the board of administration may use email as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on an association matter via email.
Also, Section 720.303(3) INUTES.—. . . A vote or abstention from voting on each matter voted upon for each director present at a board meeting must be recorded in the minutes.
Our board doesn’t regularly vote for monthly financial allocations from our budget; they approve a budget for the year. Then they allow any expenditures to be paid throughout the year without any additional votes from the board or community membership at board meetings. If there are new additions, the president takes a vote of board members via email or relies on board members to find monies within the existing approved budget. Then the new expenditure is automatically approved and paid out of budget funds without any vote. I know this is not correct; where can I see this in the statutes?
You won’t find a statute to answer this question. It is a matter of best business practices and accounting procedures. Once budget items are approved, there is no need to vote on paying the bills. As a best practice, someone on the board or other designated person should approve invoices and other expenses that are not routine, such as tree trimming or pump repair, just to make sure the work was done. You likely have built into your annual budget some miscellaneous or contingency funding for unexpected expenses.
A president allows board members to be committee chairpersons and board liaisons, which is contrary to our organizational structure. There is no accountability for board members controlling what their committees are doing in conducting business and expending monies. Is there any information in the statutes regarding these actions?
There is no law as to who may or may not be on a committee except for the fines (appeals) committee. If there is any direction about the creation and function of committees, it will likely be in your bylaws.
Our president is basically running our community; he decides when he will discuss certain topics/concerns with all board members or just a few of them. Others are not informed about these issues as he determines. Also, he doesn’t include information on the board agenda, so the board is not prepared for the meeting, and owners don’t know what topics they may comment on. Is there anything in the statutes to address this behavior?
The power is in the members. If they don’t like the way the president is running the association, the members should vote in new board members and have them elect another president. Unfortunately, most small communities without a CAM are run by one person—the only one willing to put forth the time and effort to get anything done.
Meetings for condominium and cooperative boards of directors are to have a notice posted 48 hours in advance with an agenda that has all agenda items specifically designated. Nothing new may be added to the agenda after it is posted, nor can agenda items be added during the meeting. Owners may comment on the agenda items only, with no open comments.
Is a committee required to post notice of a meeting in an HOA? The issue is the ARC committee. They updated the ARC guidelines, which basically is just a form letting owners know what they need to include in submissions for approval. One owner is objecting, saying that no notice of the meeting was posted. I did not think it was necessary for the ARC to notice meetings for something like this. I thought a notice was needed only when they made final decisions on applications, not on things like wording on a form.
Without looking at the specific wording in the declaration that establishes the ARC, it is hard for me to be too specific. My understanding of the HOA statute is if a committee, like an ARC Committee, is making a final decision, “yes,” they have to post a 48-hour notice. The ARC meeting has to follow the same meetings procedures as a board.