Q: How much notice to the members is required when the board is adopting the annual budget? (B.R., via e-mail)
A: For a condominium association, budget meetings must be noticed at least 14 days in advance for the benefit of the members. Notice is to be posted on the condominium or association property, and also mailed, hand delivered, or electronically transmitted (to those unit owners who consented in writing to receive electronic notice) to each owner, along with a copy of the proposed budget.
For associations managing a condominium with 150 or more units, the notice of the budget meeting and the proposed budget must also be posted on the association’s website or be made available through an application (app) that can be downloaded on a mobile device. Effective July 1, 2021, the board must also adopt the annual budget at least 14 days prior to the start of the condominium association’s fiscal year.
By comparison, homeowners’ associations are required to post notice of the board meeting at which the annual budget will be considered at least 48 hours in advance. There is no requirement for homeowners’ associations to send the members the proposed budget in advance of the budget meeting, but homeowners’ associations are required to provide each member with a copy of the annual budget, or a written notice that a copy of the annual budget is available upon request at no charge, within 10 business days of the board adopting the annual budget.
The governing documents for both condominium and homeowners’ associations may impose stricter requirements than the minimum standards of state law.
Q: Is a director disqualified from board service if he or she has history of an arrest for a misdemeanor? (F.J., via e-mail)
A: No. The Florida Condominium Act and the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act each provide specific and limited disqualifications on eligibility to run for or serve on the board of directors.
Relevant here, the statutes state that a person who has been convicted of any felony in Florida or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or who has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a felony if committed in Florida, is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored for at least five years as of the date such person seeks election to the Board.
If this person was only arrested and not convicted, even for a felony, they are not disqualified, Misdemeanor arrests or convictions are not a statutory basis for disqualification.
Q: Can my condominium association prevent me from using the recreation facilities for being behind on paying my assessments? (C.G., via e-mail)
A: Under the Florida Condominium Act, if a unit owner is delinquent for more than 90 days in paying any monetary obligation due to the association, the association may suspend the right of a unit owner to use the common elements, common facilities, or any other association property until the monetary obligation is paid. However, the suspension does not apply to limited common elements used by the unit (such a lanai, assigned parking space, or storage unit), or to the common elements that must be used to access the unit, utility services for the unit, unassigned parking spaces, or elevators.
An owner that is more than 90 days delinquent paying more than $1,000.00 can also have his or her right to vote suspended by the association. However, proof of the obligation must be provided to the unit owner 30 days before the voting suspension takes effect.
Joseph E. Adams is a Board Certified Specialist in Condominium and Planned Development Law, and an Office Managing Shareholder with Becker & Poliakoff. Please send your community association legal questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Past editions of the Q&A may be viewed at floridacondohoalawblog.com.