Q: An issue has come up concerning my homeowners’ association board of directors and the adoption of our annual budget. Recently, the board noticed a board meeting for the adoption of the annual budget and only posted the notice as they do for normal board meetings. There was no mailing of information concerning the budget to the members in advance of this meeting. I understood that the notice of a budget meeting had to be mailed out to the membership in advance of the board holding that meeting. Is this correct, and if so, what notice is required? (M.K., via e mail)
A: For homeowners’ associations governed by Chapter 720, Florida Statutes, the Homeowners’ Association Act, the statute does not require the association to mail or otherwise provide any specific advance notice of the board meeting where the budget is to be adopted. However, that board meeting must still be noticed properly as a board meeting, which requires that notice be conspicuously posted in the community at least 48 hours in advance. Notice of a board meeting where a special assessment is to be considered must be mail delivered or electronically transmitted to the membership at least 14 days in advance, and the notice must be posted in the community for 14 days as well. However, this advance notice requirement is not required to adopt the annual budget.
However, while this is the minimum requirement of the statute, the governing documents for the homeowners’ association may require more notice than is generally required by the statute. Further, some association documents require members to vote to approve the budget under certain circumstances. As such, while you would need to verify that the governing documents do not provide otherwise.
Please note that the rule is different for condominium associations. For condominium associations, Section 718.112(2)(e) of the Florida Condominium Act states that the notice of the board meeting where the budget is to be considered must be mailed, hand-delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners at least 14 days in advance of such board meeting and the notice must include a copy of the proposed budget. Again, the condominium association would need to review its documents to confirm that they do not require more notice than the statute requires.
Q: My homeowners’ association has historically had problems in obtaining a quorum for our membership meetings. There has been discussion of attempting to approve an amendment to our governing documents to reduce the quorum requirement to a lower percentage. However, some have stated that Florida law requires a specific number for the quorum. Is a homeowners’ association able to reduce the quorum requirement? (R.J., via e-mail)
A: Chapter 720, Florida Statutes, the Homeowners’ Association Act, provides in Section 702.306(1)(a) of the Act, that the quorum for a membership meeting is 30 percent unless a lower number is provided for in the bylaws. Therefore, if the bylaws for your homeowners’ association are properly amended, the quorum can be reduced to less than 30 percent of the total voting interests in the association. It is not uncommon to see quorum requirements in homeowners’ association documents to be set at 10 or 15 percent of the membership.
For condominium associations, Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, the Florida Condominium Act, states that unless a lower number is provided for in the bylaws, the quorum is a majority of the voting interests in the condominium association.