SOME YEAR-END OBSERVATIONS

By Eric Glazer, Esq. 

Published December 19, 2016 

 

This is a very interesting time of year in the condo and HOA world. Of course everyoneís thoughts turn to the holidays. We start thinking about Christmas, Chanukah, New Years and all of the days off we get to spend with friends and family. The problem is that this is typically the busiest time of year as well, and the most important time not to make any mistakes.

 

Many of you hold your annual meetings and budget meetings in December and January of each year. That means budget meetings have to be scheduled, annual meetings have to be scheduled, and lots of different mailings need to go out. Over the past few weeks, listed below are actual problems I have dealt with that can result in having to start the budget or election process all over again:

 

Budget Issues:

Failing to provide sufficient advanced notice of your annual meeting: The condo statute clearly provides that the budget must be mailed to the owners at least 14 days prior to the budget meeting. Make sure you donít blow the deadline.

 

Reserves Issues:

Remember that in a condo, the budget must show the reserves as fully funded. If the Board wants to give the owners the opportunity to waive or reduce the funding of reserves, a meeting must be scheduled before the budget meeting in order to count the votes or proxies necessary to waive the full funding of reserves. If the waiver occurs, at the budget meeting the board will adopt the budget that does not contain fully funded reserves. If the vote does not pass, fully funded reserves it is, like it or not. Remember to include the following language in your proxy in big bold type: WAIVING OF RESERVES, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OR ALLOWING ALTERNATIVE USES OF EXISTING RESERVES MAY RESULT IN UNIT OWNER LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT OF UNANTICIPATED SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS REGARDING THOSE ITEMS.

 

Election Issues:

Your annual meeting must take place in the month called for in your bylaws. Are you following that schedule?

  

Are you electing the right number of directors? Remember that if your documents call for a range of directors, like no less than x and no more than y, the number of directors is automatically set at 5.

     

Are you allowing everyone to vote? Remember that even if an owner is 90 days delinquent in payment of assessments, their right to vote can only be taken away from them if your governing documents allow for it or if your documents contain the ďas amended from time to time language. In addition, , the board must specifically vote to suspend the rights of an owner at a properly noticed meeting and the owner must be notified of the suspension in writing.

 

Slow down:

The year is almost over. You vacation is nearly here. Although itís tempting to think about anything but numbers and votes, now is the time to stay focused. And if youíre not sure about whatís required or how a problem should be tackled, thatís what we are here for.


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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 Associates, 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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