Q. I am on the board of a building with its own board of directors. We have other buildings with their own boards but we all are members of a master association. One director from each building serves on the master board. The quorum requirements for the master board is that one member of each building be present to conduct business. There is a movement to amend the quorum to 75 percent because many master meetings do not have quorum and business cannot be conducted. We are concerned that rules, regulations, or amendments could be approved and we are not represented at the meeting. Are we paranoid about deleterious changes that could affect our rights when we are not present? What can be done to protect our rights?
Proper actions by boards to conduct meetings include the creation of a meeting package with the agenda. That package should include information to be discussed at the meeting and distributed to the directors a few days before the meeting. The distribution should be between three to five days to allow the directors to study and plan for the meeting. In the case of a master board meeting as you define, the designated attending director will have time to appoint another person to represent the board. If your board cannot present a director to attend, you should know what action is going to be discussed and suffer the decisions made.
Q. With the ongoing crisis facing many condominiums and homeowner associations concerning bank foreclosures and the banks taking so long to finalize the process, what is the defense of having the other owners pay all the fees to operate the associations? How can a bank start a foreclosure and in some situations take years, if ever to finalize the foreclosure? The other members must pay their fees for the freeloaders. The banks share the blame for this crisis and yet they are the ones being bailed out while others are paying. It seems to me that the laws need to be changed to force banks to foreclose faster. Where are all the attorneys and other professionals who should be lobbying to correct this wrong? What do you think can be done to ease the financial burden on those that pay for the slack?
The national problem is to get the welfare programs reduced and the people self-sustaining and back to work.
While I have no power to solve that, I do have a suggestion for associations with foreclosure problems. Legislative changes are not necessary because associations have very strong collection action already in their power. The board needs to lien and foreclose on delinquent accounts immediately. . Using attorney guidance, liens should be filed within 60 days of late payment and foreclosure action should begin as soon as possible. This would mean that final judgment could possibly be completed within six months thereabout. Once the association has title, it can rent, sell the home or possibly deed the bank title. In any case, the home should begin to generate funds to pay the fees.
Q. A few years back you wrote in your column that in order to retain a 55 and older community, the following items had to be provided for the residents: transportation, blood pressure readings and kitchen facilities. I brought this up at a board meeting and they shot me down. I would appreciate you supplying me with information on this matter.
I never wrote that an adult community had to provide those needs. The reason that adult communities are legal is to provide an exemption from age discrimination laws. They are never required to provide services or special needs to qualify as an adult community.
Here are the elementary requirements: A census must be taken every other year with one member from each home signing an affidavit and showing proof of age (55 or older) and that no one in the home is under 18 years of age. In Florida, the board must register every other year that it complies with the Federal Adult Community Act. There are some other requirements, but those are the basics. Some communities have services and aids listed in their documents but those were added by the developer.