Q- Recalled Director:
Our documents allow the members to recall a bad director. What is not in the documents is the restriction on the same person from becoming a candidate at the next election. It makes sense that if a director was bad; they would not be wanted on future boards. But who knows how the next election outcome. Would you clearly this issue? RD- St. Petersburg
A - Yes, it would be possible for an individual to volunteer to be a candidate in a future election. Just because a few owners were able to recall the director does not take away his right to be a candidate in future elections. If there was cause and he is elected, then you need to address the problem with the members that voted for him. Part of the problem with elections today is that too many members do not know the issues and just vote because they like the name or he was first on the list, even more the candidate says the things that people want to hear and get elected. When the members cast their vote and do not know the issues, then they get what they deserve. If there is a candidate that you do not like, then it is up to you being volunteer your time to see that he is not elected.
Q- Inactive Board:
We live in a HOA where we have not had any meetings for years. Years past, our bulletin board where meetings were posted was removed. The board will not respond to any calls or letters. The same board has been fixed for over ten years with the same management company and still they will not have meetings. In your column you say that the quorum for a meeting has been changed by the HOA act to 30%. Does this hold true for other regular meetings? You also write that the board is responsible for the business affairs. What are the business affairs? JA- Miami
A - Unfortunately there is no state agency to help homeowner associations (HOA). You must take the necessary actions to correct the issues with your neighbors and yourself or engage an attorney. That may mean legal action or simply becoming active. The first thing you need to do is obtain a copy of your HOA documents. I would check the state site for corporations to see if your association is active or was it abandoned. Contact the manager and ask for a meeting to discuss the board and meetings. There are several things that the board is responsible for to properly operate. They need to keep minutes of all meetings, prepare a budget each year, prepare financial reports, file IRS taxes, each year file a corporate report to the state, and a host of other duties and reports. All of these are available to the members for review with proper notice (a letter, maybe certified) by the members to the board. You should have a copy of FS 720, the HOA Act. You can download it from the state site: www.leg.state.fl.us. The statute and your documents spell out the duties of the board, meetings, and operations. The business affairs that we discuss in simple terms are the financial management, rules and document enforcements, and property management. Your association should be a corporation and thus operated as a business.
Q- Indecent Exposure:
I recently moved into a condominium. A neighbor across from my unit sits on her terrace without her top. I reported the matter to the manager who replied nothing can be done about it. Meanwhile I have to keep my shades closed all the time. Who can I report this matter to? SB- Miami Beach
A - There are lots of jokes that can come from your situation. It is a serious problem and we will skip the humor. It may be a violation of local public nudity laws. I would send the board a letter to complain about the problem. If the board does not take action, then call the county or city and find out the local laws on public exposure. It may require a call to the police. It is my hope that the woman does not know that she is exposed to observers. If she does, then you have a problem in that she is an exhibitionist. When faced with this problem as a manager in the past, I have corrected the problem by either calling the police, contacting a family member, or just direct contact with the perpetrator.