Condo & H.O.A. Law

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - FRONT PAGE -

Q. We re­cently had an own­ers meet­ing to de­ter­mine whether our as­so­ci­a­tion should amend our dec­la­ra­tion to go from be­ing a non-rental as­so­ci­a­tion to one that per­mits rentals. There were ap­prox­i­mately 20 own­ers who at­tended the meet­ing via proxy. Since the 20 own­ers did not vote, is their si­lence con­sid­ered a “yes” or “no” vote in fa­vor of the amend­ment?

A. Proxy forms usu­ally state that they give a per­son the power to vote on their be­half. If the own­ers, for ex­am­ple, gave the sec­re­tary of the as­so­ci­a­tion the power to vote on their be­half, then the sec­re­tary could vote on be­half of those 20 own­ers. How­ever, if an owner is present and does not vote, the owner’s si­lence is con­sid­ered a “no” vote.

Q. We just re­ceived a no­tice with a new coupon book in our condo as­so­ci­a­tion stat­ing that our monthly as­sess­ments went up by $20 due to re­quired main­te­nance on our club­house. There was no board meet­ing or any­thing. May the board ar­bi­trar­ily raise the as­sess­ments?

A. It sounds like the board may have passed a spe­cial as­sess­ment for the needed re­pairs. In or­der for the board to prop­erly pass a spe­cial as­sess­ment in a condo as­so­ci­a­tion, the board must de­liver at least a 14-day no­tice to own­ers be­fore the board meet­ing at which the board votes to pass the spe­cial as­sess­ment. The no­tice that goes to the own­ers must state the es­ti­mated cost of the spe­cial as­sess­ment and the pur­pose of the spe­cial as­sess­ment.

Q. Does the law re­quire home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance in home­own­ers or con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tions?

A. No. But don’t stop read­ing here, since over the past sev­eral years the Florida leg­is­la­ture has made many changes to home­owner and con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tion law. A few years ago, home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance was re­quired, then it wasn’t. What about now? Are own­ers re­quired to have in­sur­ance on their houses or con­do­mini­ums? It de­pends. Whether or not home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance

is re­quired is de­pen­dent on your as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion of covenants, con­di­tions and re­stric­tions (HOA) or your as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion of con­do­minium (condo as­so­ci­a­tion). If your “dec­la­ra­tion” re­quires own­ers to have in­sur­ance, then you must have it.

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...

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