Condo Line

What to do about blind hoarder?

Q. We have a hoarder in our condominium. She mostly remains in her unit because she is blind. She is a heavy smoker, has health problems, and rarely takes a bath. We have called the county health department and the fire department but they will not take action. We were able to have the Department of Child and Family Services send a person to help clean but that made little to no change to the hoarding. What else can we do as an association?

B.B., Tampa

While it does not work all the time, trying to contact a relative may be of help. . In one past situation, the board sent a letter saying that the unit would need to have the pipes plumbed or some other necessary repairs and the unit would need to be cleaned before the contractors could work. It may be necessary to have a couple of directors take a letter to the unit and read it to the owner. Her smoking may be a fire hazard. The matter should be discussed with the association attorney.

Q. Whenever our board has a meeting it lets our newly contracted management company make the ultimate decision. Perhaps this is because the directors are incompetent and inexperienced about how to handle problems. It seems to me that management is taking advantage of situation. Most of our owners are planning to change the board. What is the minimum number of members to build a new board, and what will be their responsibilities? Is the board the only entity that can revoke a contract with the management company?

Recall procedures are found in FS 718.112(2)(j). I would suggest that you seek guidance from an attorney if you take this route. Unless there is known fraud, improper use of funds or malfeasance, I do not think recall is the answer.

Responsibilities would be same as the current board has, and that is operations, maintenance and financial responsibilities in compliance with the statutes and the documents. The board may engage professionals to help in their decisions concerning these issues. While directors are not required to accomplish day-to-day work and can employ others to accomplish the needs, they retain total responsibility. Thus, it may appear that the manager is making the final decisions; my guess is that the board has faith in the manager and has approved his actions. Managers are trained and educated and most times have more experience than most directors. The questions you need to answer about the current board are: Is maintenance acceptable? Are finances properly spent and on budget? Are financial reports current and properly documented? Are rules and regulations properly enforced? I will not advise you how to break a contract, as that requires guidance from an attorney. I would suggest that you obtain a copy of the management contract and read the duties.Q. There are times when our board will use email to vote on issues since we have some directors who are snowbirds. They claim that certain issues will not wait until the next meeting. At the next board meeting, they will place the issue on the agenda and ratify the email vote. I understand that email votes are not legal. Can you verify my thinking?

L.A., Stuart

You are correct in that directors cannot vote by email. In your case, it appears that the board is trying to operate correctly by ratifying the vote at the next meeting. To correct this situation, the board can use a speaker phone to have the absent directors vote at a board meeting. To provide an excuse for this improper action, sometimes an emergency occurs that needs immediate action. If directors are absent, it may be necessary to receive their opinion on the issue. If it was a one-time action, I would not press the violation. If it is an event often happening, then you need to write the board a letter and express your concerns.

Write to Condo Line, Home, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33312, or e-mail Include name and city.

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