Whether you own a condominium unit or serve as a condo board director, you should have a strong grasp on the rules that govern key matters. Though each community is unique, there are many common elements associated with the successful operation of condominium complexes, regardless of their size or location. Some aspects of condominium governance are mandated by statute or state regulations. In other instances, boards have the ability to create their own rules.
To provide guidance on the subject, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation has produced a form detailing various provisions that can serve as an outline for board directors and administrators. Subjects that are covered within the current version include:
- Election of directors — The directors of a condominium board have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of unit owners. Under the terms listed on the governance form, unit owners must receive at least two notices that an election is occurring, with the first being sent no less than 60 days prior to the election.
- Meetings and notices — Unless an emergency situation requires an unscheduled meeting, the form calls for at least 48 hours’ notice to unit owners before the board, or any board committee, meets. This notice is to be posted conspicuously somewhere on association property.
- Rights of unit owners — Along with exclusive ownership of their given unit, someone who has purchased a condominium has the right to vote on board membership and to petition the association for changes to policies addressing common areas, upkeep rules and other matters. The text of the governance form calls for an item to be added to the board agenda if 20 percent of voting interests petition the board.
- Obligations of unit owners — Owners of units agree to follow the rules set forth by the board and are responsible for paying a set fee to cover their share of common expenses. Association personnel may have access to unit premises to maintain, repair or replace comment elements. When a homeowner enters into a contract to sell their unit, they must provide the prospective purchaser with a copy of the pertinent association governance document.
If you’re purchasing a condo unit, have been named to your community’s board or have concerns about ways the rules are being administered, speaking with a knowledgeable attorney will help you understand your options.
Norma Echarte & Associates in Miami provides comprehensive legal counsel to parties involved in condominium transactions and administration. For a consultation with a qualified South Florida attorney about your particular matter, please call 305-501-2844 or contact us online.