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.
HOA & Condo Blog
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.
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.