Condominium pool cannot be converted to saltwater without vote by owners approving such a change
Michael Bogen devotes his legal practice to representing hundreds of condominium and homeowner associations. Bogen, who is admitted to practice law in Florida, Washington, D.C., and Nevada, also is admitted before the United States District Court in the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. He is assistant executive director of the Condo Council, which provides education to over 1,000 association members.
EMAIL: column@Condo Law.com Realtor Designations: GRI, member of the Master Brokers Forum of Broward County, Platinum Producer How long in real estate? 11 years What professional accomplishment makes you the most proud? After three years of serving on the Grievance Committee for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors, I was asked to sit on the Professional Standards Committee. This committee mediates or holds hearings on arbitrations between Realtor Other than an annual meeting, there are no owners meeting. The only types of meetings that are held are board meetings. Aren’t a certain amount of “owners” meetings required throughout the year? Not under Florida law, which only requires one “owners” meeting – the “Annual Meeting” – per year. Your association’s governing documents may require a certain number of owners meetings every year; however, itwould be uncommon. For those who do not know the difference between a “board” meeting and an “owners” meeting, a “board” meeting is where the board votes on a matter and an “owners” meeting is where members and members of the public working with Realtors. I am pleased to have accomplished that goal. What separates you from other Realtors? My customer service, work ethic and strict attention to detail are unparalleled. Which neighborhoods/areas are your specialties? Lighthouse Point and East Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton. Describe your working style: I take the time to learn my customers’ real estate goals, and then I work to achieve the owners vote on a matter. If owners are concerned about certain items on an agenda for a board meeting, owners should attend the board meetings as owners must be afforded at least three minutes to speak on agenda items. Owners may attend all board meetings except those involving the board meeting with the association’s attorney concerning threatened or pending litigation and also the discussion of personnel matters. Our association’s board decided to convert our swimming pool into a saltwater swimming pool. Are the owners’ votes required? that goal for them. What advice do you have for buyers? This is a very competitive market: Be prepared with your finances before you start looking for a home. Submit strong offers supported by lender approval or proof of funds for cash offers. What advice do you have for sellers? It’s important to price your home properly from the beginning otherwise your listing may not get the attention it deserves. If you’re in a condo association, the question is whether the conversion of the pool into a saltwater pool is considered a “material alteration”? Typically, a material alteration occurs when the appearance or function of a part of the common elements is altered. For example, a condo building is changed from white to yellow. Other examples are when a lobby floor is changed from tile to wood, or when a part of the parking lot is changed into a car-wash area for owners. The state agency that oversees condominium associations, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, has held that alterations many of us would consider minor or immaterial are actually major or Are you involved with any charitable organizations? Food for the Poor CALL (954) 304-4424 • EMAIL julie@juliemah food.com • VISIT JulieMahfood.com material changes. Therefore, it would be my opinion for the association to have an owner vote on the conversion of the pool to a saltwater pool rather than only have the board make such a decision. If you’re in a homeowners’ association, then you would have to review your governing documents as the governing documents from each association would provide guidance as to what type of vote is required. The president of our association sold her unit andmoved 10 minutes away. May she still be president? GARRETT A. FOSTER DEBORAH DOCHERTY TRACY KOLODY ARIEL GONZALEZ TANYA PLATH 954-425-1642 954-425-1029 954-425-1695 954-425-1053 954-425-1517 This question requires the review of the association’s governing documents to give an accurate answer. However, generally, board members must be unit owners in order to serve as directors. Usually, the association’s bylaws will require that the president also be a director on the board. In this example, if the president is required to be a director, and in order to be a director a person must be a unit owner in the condo association, then such a person would not be able to be president because such a person would be required to be a director, which would be impermissible because she sold her unit and is no longer an owner..