STAYING ALIVE

By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Published December 14, 2020

 

So unfortunately we seem to be ending the year with the Covid numbers just creeping up --- and that vaccine just canít get here fast enough. Iím getting calls and e-mails every day, every hour, from communities that are simply scared to have their meetings in person Ė even if itís the annual meeting or the budget meeting ---- and I tell them at this point ----- as long as Florida is still under a State of Emergency by the Governor, the emergency powers statutes are still in play, and if youíre nervous about having gatherings of people in a room --- donít do it. Cancel the meetings entirely or utilize technology. If itís your annual meeting, allow owners the ability to drop off their ballots before the meeting, allow owners to vote just prior to the meeting by having the ballots and envelopes available, but thatís it. Tell the owners they can see the rest of the meeting by ZOOMING in or tuning in on whatever video platform you choose to use from home. And if youíre not utilizing this technology in your community yet--- you should start and youíre already behind the 8 ball --- but itís never too late.
 

The State of Emergency is expected to expire the first week in January Ė but there is no doubt in my mind that by then, being right after Christmas, the Covid numbers will probably be even worse, and the state of emergency will no doubt be extended another 60 days or longer. So for the foreseeable future Ė zoom, zoom, zoom.
 

You should know that I know of no arbitration case or lawsuit that has provided any guidance on what is allowed and what isnít. So in the absence of guidance, other than the emergency powers statute itself Ė here is a good rule of thumb. Err on the side of staying alive. Remember that Florida law provides that directors can be individually liable they act in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
 

Take precautions to keep yourselves, your families and your owners safe. Worse comes to worse, maybe an arbitrator will say you need to do a meeting over. In the grand scheme of things ---- so what?
 

And when this is all over --- and it will be sooner than later ------keeping zooming and keep using technology, because it is keeping people involved in their community affairs like never before. Sometimes good things we can learn from tragic events.


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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer Eric Glazer graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community association law for more than 2

decades and is the owner of Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa.

 

Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.

   

See: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.

   

He is the first attorney in the State of Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000 Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the best interest of Florida community association members.


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