“Can a Married Couple Both Serve on the Board?” – Naples Daily News

“Can a Married Couple Both Serve on the Board?” – Naples Daily News

Q: Can a husband and wife both serve on the same condominium board of directors? T.H.

A: Maybe. If the husband and wife are both co-owners of a unit (i.e., both names listed on the deed), a provision from the Florida Condominium Act addresses the issue raised in your question. This provision states that, in a residential condominium association of more than 10 units or in a residential condominium association that does not include timeshare units or timeshare interests, co-owners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of directors 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.

Q: The governing documents for my homeowners association contain conflicting language, including a reference in the declaration of covenants stating one position and another reference in the bylaws stating the exact opposite position. Which one is binding? V.L.

A: If there is a direct conflict between two provisions in different governing documents, the restriction contained within the declaration of covenants would supersede the restriction contained in the bylaws. The declaration of covenants is the governing document of highest authority. That being stated, it is recommended for your board to reach out to the association attorney to discuss amending the governing documents to remove the conflicting language.

Q: I serve on a condominium association board. The board received a signed petition from ten owners requesting we change the hours for the gym. Is the Board required to take any action regarding this petition? J.C.

A: It depends. The Florida Condominium Act contains a provision which states that if 20 percent of the voting interests petition the board to address an item of business, the board, within 60 days after receipt of the petition, shall place the item on the agenda at its next regular board meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. It should be noted that this provision only requires the board to “address” the item of business at a board meeting within the subject time period. This provision does not require the board to actually “approve” the request, only to “address” it. If your condominium contains fifty or fewer units, this statutory requirement will be triggered.

You also need to review the condominium documents to see if there is any language contained therein which addresses unit owner petitions. Also, the condominium documents will determine whether the gym hours are considered a rule which the board has the exclusive authority to amend, which is the case for the vast majority of condominiums based on my experience.

David G. Muller is a Board-Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. in Naples. Send questions to him by e-mail to dmuller@beckerlawyers.com.