Q: My homeowners’ association is attempting to amend our governing documents. At the membership meeting where the vote was to occur, the board announced that not enough of the members had participated and the board was continuing the meeting to allow more members to vote. Is that allowed? (K.R., via e-mail)
A: Maybe. Chapter 720, the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, states that a proxy is only effective for the specific meeting for which it was originally given. However, the meeting may be lawfully adjourned and reconvened from time to time up to ninety (90) days from the original date of the meeting. Therefore, if the board determined that there were insufficient participation, the association can usually continue the meeting for up to ninety (90) days.
The provisions of your governing documents may also come into play and could contain limitations on or specific procedures for adjournment. For this reason, I believe it is appropriate to ask the association’s legal counsel to review appropriate adjournment procedures in advance and advise the association of the proper steps to take at the meeting. This would help avoid later legal challenges to the validity of the amendments.
If at the initial membership meeting the association properly announces the date, time and location of the reconvened meeting, the case law in Florida states it is not necessary for the association to send out additional notice of the reconvened meeting. Section 720.306(7) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act says essentially the same thing. However, as a practical matter, it may need to send out additional notices in order to obtain additional member participation.
Q: We have different opinions on the architectural review committee here at our homeowners’ association. Some say that they are required by law to post their agenda within 48 hours since the architectural review committee reviews and approves applications on behalf of the board and is bound by the same laws. Some say that the committee isn’t the board of directors, so it doesn’t have that requirement. Who is right? Also, where can I find your previous newspaper articles? (P.D., via e-mail)
A: Notices of your architectural review committee meetings must be posted in a conspicuous place in the community at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting, unless your community has more 100 members and your association’s bylaws provide reasonable alternative means of providing notice to those members using one of the options set forth in the statute.
Section 720.303(2)(c)1 of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act requires notice be posted for all board meetings at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting, except in an emergency. Similarly, Section 720.303(2)(a) of the Act requires notice be posted at least 48 hours in advance for meetings of committees empowered to approve or disapprove architectural decisions with respect to a specific parcel of residential property owned by a member of the community.
In response to your second question, past editions of this column may viewed at https://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/author/joadams/.