Condo & H.O.A. Law
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...