“Director Term Limit Law Development,” Naples Daily News

“Director Term Limit Law Development,” Naples Daily News

Q:     Have there been any developments regarding the term limit law for condominium directors?  In prior columns you mentioned that there was some confusion as to when it will impact existing director terms. H.H.

A:     Yes, there is a recent development regarding this issue.  Condominium association term limits were first added to the statutes in 2018 but have been the subject of considerable debate regarding their applicability to board members whose term of service began before the statute was enacted. A new law, which became effective on July 1, 2021, finally clarifies that when calculating board term limits, the service start date will be on or after July 1, 2018.

Q:     Three weeks ago, I submitted an application to purchase a home in a community that is subject to a homeowners’ association.  I haven’t heard back from the board yet as to whether my application has been approved or denied.  The closing is coming up soon and I am worried that the board dragging its feet could cause the closing date to be delayed.  Is the board required to act on a sales application within a certain time period?  J.I.

A:    It depends on what the governing documents for the homeowners’ association say. The right of a homeowners’ association to review and approve a sales application must be contained in the governing documents.  Most homeowners associations with this authority are required to act, through the board, within a certain number of days after receiving a complete application, often 20 or 30 days after receipt.  The Florida Homeowners Association Act, Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, does not, however, specifically address this issue.

Q:     I serve on the board of my condominium association.  There are five directors total but only two of the directors, the president and the vice-president, are authorized to communicate directly with the association attorney.  I have several legal issues that I would like to discuss with the association attorney but the attorney won’t take my calls as I’m not an authorized contact.  Is there anything I can do? R.C.

A:     My law firm, like most law firms who practice community association law, requests from each community association client a list of “authorized contacts,” so that we know which association representatives we are authorized to communicate with.  For some association clients the entire board is listed as an authorized contact, although this is the minority approach in my experience.  For other association clients there is only one or two authorized contacts assigned.  There are several reasons why a board may not want the entire board to serve as an authorized contact, including a desire to keep expenditures on legal fees down, and to avoid bringing the corporation’s counsel into internal political disagreements or addressing legal inquiries that are not supported by the board.  The decision is ultimately up to each board.

As for what you can do, as a director you can ask your board to either designate you as an authorized contact or you can ask your board to require the legal issues you would like addressed communicated to the association attorney through one of the two existing authorized contacts.  You could make a motion at a board meeting to seek these approvals.

To read the original Naples Daily News article, please click here.

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