Richard DeBoest, Esq.
Q: We not long ago had a workshop that was attended by a quorum of the board of administrators, and about 50 per cent of the membership. This was a two-hour discussion about updating our covenants. If this is not an official board conference, are minutes still necessary? R.D., Fort Myers
A: Any time a quorum of the board is with each other, and they discuss association business, it is regarded a board assembly. Consequently, there must have been proper discover supplied of at least 48 hours posted on the house. Minutes must be held also but considering the fact that no votes were being taken the minutes would only reflect the fundamentals of when the meeting was called to get, the existence of a quorum, proof of detect, and the time of adjournment. Greatest follow would also be to set a sentence or two in the minutes about the intent of the meeting which could be anything like – governing doc evaluation workshop.
Q: Our board renewed our current management contract with out keeping a board conference and voting to renew the deal. When questioned about it, the board reported there is no requirement in the governing paperwork that the board ought to maintain a conference to vote on contracts. The president claimed she acquired permission to indicator the renewal by polling the directors by means of e mail. Is this good? K. P., Naples
A: No. This actual issue was the matter of a 2015 Condominium Arbitration determination. In that situation the arbitrator held that unless of course the governing paperwork granted the president the authority to enter into contracts by herself then the association can only act via the board and the only lawful way to decide the will of the administrators is as a result of a vote. The law supplies that the administrators may communicate as a result of e-mail but might not vote. For that reason, a adequately discovered board meeting should really have been held and a movement, 2nd and vote must have been built to authorize the president to signal the renewal deal.
Q: Our board of directors’ meetings are taped, and I fully grasp that the tapes have been either erased or re-made use of prior to our accepting the minutes for the prior board conference. Sometimes there is a discrepancy about the minutes as prepared but we do not have the tapes to validate this details. Should not the tapes be retained as a lawful report of make any difference for a period of seven a long time? P.B., Bonita Springs
A: It is up to the board’s discretion to establish a coverage to preserve the tape recordings for seven years or to only continue to keep them until the tape is re-made use of or the prepared minutes established. I think the most widespread exercise is to only hold the tape right until it is used for the next assembly and hence taped over or until finally the minutes have been transcribed. However, I do imagine some associations continue to keep the tapes for the full 7 a long time. In any case the Division of Condominiums has dominated that for any time period of time that the tape recording of the conference exists it is an official file and thus offered to an operator who would make a request to inspect and copy the official data, no matter of whether or not the written minutes have been transcribed. So, let’s say you tape the conference. The future board meeting is 30 days absent. The tape will be utilised to transcribe the minutes inside of the 30-day period of time and then the tape will be erased and utilized once again at the following assembly. All through that 30-day interval or right up until the minutes have been transcribed and the tape erased the tape is subject to an formal data ask for. As for the transcribed minutes not accurately reflecting what was on the tape it is vital to precisely transcribe the genuine enterprise done at the conference. As a result, all motions, seconds and votes, with every director’s vote specially determined really should be corrected. Nonetheless, the as the stating goes “the minutes are referred to as minutes, not hours, for a motive.” There is no authorized need to record and transcribe all the discussion and it is normally proposed you do not do so. But with that stated if you intend to attribute selected statements in the dialogue in the minutes to precise administrators, that information and facts really should be precise.
Q: We have an operator that is delinquent in the payment of assessments, and we are sending the file to selection for the placement of a lien on the device. The similar human being not long ago broken some of the widespread component residence with her vehicle. Can we also protected the value of the fix with the very same lien for assessments? T.H., Fort Myers
A: Perhaps. It is dependent on your governing documents. Chapter 718 for condominiums, 719 for cooperatives and 720 for home owner associations (HOAs), all give that the association has a lien to secure all unpaid assessments levied versus the house owners for frequent expenditures of the association. Nonetheless, a charge for the expense of maintenance for hurt from an owner is not an assessment and as a result beneath the statutes not topic to an evaluation lien. Nevertheless, some but not all governing paperwork will have a provision that gives for what is usually termed a common legislation lien for charges. The reason of this sort of a provision is to let the association to safe payment of unique rates incurred by the association in opposition to a one owner for charges incurred as a end result of the actions or inactions of the proprietor. If your governing documents comprise such a provision, then the charge can be collected through the lien approach. On the other hand, if your files do not have this sort of a provision the affiliation would have to sue for damages in courtroom and get hold of a individual income judgment in opposition to the owner. Thereafter, based on the how title to the device is held the judgment may possibly thereafter develop into a lien on the device. Also, if your governing files do not make it possible for for liens for prices you might want to take into account amending the documents to allow for for it.
Q: I received my quarterly dues statement, and it went up. There was no notice and no explanation. Is this legal? It does not look right. S.H., Naples
A: A neighborhood association by legislation is essential to adopt an once-a-year spending plan every 12 months. Except the governing paperwork supply if not the price range is adopted by the board of administrators. The funds need to be adopted at a appropriately seen board conference which all proprietors are entitled to go to. In condominiums and cooperatives the spending budget need to be adopted at a specific board assembly that has been observed to all entrepreneurs and posted at minimum fourteen days in progress. On top of that, a copy of the proposed spending plan have to be provided with the assembly notice. In an HOA, the controlling Statute, Chapter 720, does not require that the spending budget be adopted at a distinctive board conference with fourteen days’ discover, nor is a duplicate of the price range necessary to be involved with the notice. In an HOA, unless the governing documents deliver otherwise, the funds may be adopted at a frequent board assembly that only involves forty-eight hour posted discover. In any case the spending plan ought to replicate the volume of the boost and identify the supply of the boost. A specific detect of the improve and the precise purpose is not expected but should really be conveniently discernable by examining the funds. So, if the budget in your group was adopted at a adequately observed meeting the truth that you had been not supplied express notice of the enhance and the explanation, although probably evidence of lousy conversation with owners, would not invalidate the enhance.
Richard DeBoest, Esq., is Lover/Shareholder of the Legislation Firm Goede, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. Stop by www.gadclaw.com or to ask concerns about your troubles for long term columns, ship your inquiry to: [email protected]. The information offered herein is for informational applications only and should not be construed as legal guidance. The publication of this report does not create an legal professional-consumer romance between the reader and Goede, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Viewers must not act or chorus from performing dependent upon the facts contained in this article with no initially contacting an lawyer, if you have thoughts about any of the problems elevated herein. The selecting of an legal professional is a decision that need to not be based mostly exclusively on adverts or this column.