No­tice of meet­ings, charg­ing for passes to pool

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - CONDO & H.O.A. LAW - EMAIL: col­umn@Con­doLaw.com

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.

Q.

Many board mem­bers in our condo as­so­ci­a­tion meet in the of­fice to dis­cuss mat­ters. I thought when di­rec­tors meet that it must be at an of­fi­cial meet­ing where own­ers may at­tend. Am I right?

A.

When­ever a quo­rum (usu­ally a ma­jor­ity) of the board meets, such a meet­ing should be no­ticed for own­ers to at­tend, un­less the meet­ing con­cerns le­gal mat­ters with the as­so­ci­a­tion’s at­tor­ney present or when dis­cussing per­son­nel mat­ters. As­so­ci­a­tion busi­ness is sup­posed to be dis­cussed at open meet­ings, un­less as in­di­cated above. How­ever, the law does per­mit di­rec­tors to dis­cuss is­sues via email. This law ref­er­ences dis­cus­sions only be­cause vot­ing still must be done at the board meet­ings. Our condo as­so­ci­a­tion re­cently started charg­ing for guest passes to our pool to make sure non-res­i­dents do not use our pool. We al­ready pay for a re­cre­ation fee. Is this ad­di­tional guest pass fee le­gal?

A.

It is hard to give you an ac­cu­rate an­swer with­out re­view­ing your as­so­ci­a­tion’s gov­ern­ing doc­u­ments. Another is­sue is whether the re­cre­ation as­so­ci­a­tion is con­sid­ered a con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tion un­der Florida law that is bound by condo law. Nev­er­the­less, and of course gen­er­ally speak­ing, a condo as­so­ci­a­tion may not charge a use fee with­out ob­tain­ing ap­proval from the own­ers, or, if such au­thor­ity is pro­vided for in your gov­ern­ing doc­u­ments.

Q.

Our HOA board has not been fol­low­ing the elec­tion pro­ce­dures in our by­laws for years. When I con­front our board about this, the board states that since the as­so­ci­a­tion hasn’t been fol­low­ing the elec­tion por­tion of the by­laws for so many years, that the “new” way is grand­fa­thered and that the by­laws do not have to be fol­lowed with re­gards to elec­tions. Is this true?

A.

No.

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