Q: Our homeowners association board of directors has two members who are not owners but are employees of the corporation that owns lots in the subdivision. The documents say you must be an owner to do so; also the statute agrees. There is no paperwork that gives that authority from the corporation that we know.
Is a corporation able to be on the board claiming they represent the builder-owner? Is this a conflict of interest; taking on a fiduciary responsibility while obviously doing the bidding of the corporation for its primary interests?
A: I am not sure what your documents say but there are no restrictions as you describe in the statutes. In fact, the statutes allow corporations to appoint people to represent them with matters concerning the association. Trustees and estate holders also have the same rights.
From your question, I do not believe there is a conflict of interest as the developer or corporation has the right to protect its interests. Your query raises the question of who is an owner. What do you do if the property is owned by a trust or joint owners?
In such situations, the board needs to have a “Voting Certificate” declaring who is the proper person to cast the vote for the unit/owner. The statutes also have very limited requirements to serve on the board. Ownership is not one of the requirements to serve as a director or officer. What do you do if there a husband and wife where one is the sole owner? Or, a home that is owned by adult children and their parents live exclusively in the home? Would you say that a person who does not live in the home would also be excluded?
If your documents do restrict serving on a board, then you must apply the right to persons that qualify as trustees or appointed representative. If you do not have a voting certificate on file for each unit, then have your attorney draft one and have each home declare the person to vote for that home.
Q: I live in a designated flood zone. My condominium association has decided not to pay flood insurance. They claim it is too expensive. I have a mortgage and need this insurance. What should I do? My insurance would be over $1,000.00 a year.
A: I assume that you mean the condominium board and not the members of the association voted to eliminate flood insurance. The cost of a required service is not a valid reason to eliminate that service. I consider flood insurance a necessary service. Check your documents to see if they contain information about required insurance.
In my opinion you have five choices: 1. Write the board and tell them that they need to protect the condominium and purchase flood insurance. 2. File a complaint with the Florida Condominium Division about the failure of the board to purchase flood insurance (to receive a complaint form call 850-488-1122). 3. File a complaint with the Ombudsman Department (850-922-7671). 4. Engage an attorney and have him write a letter to the board instructing them to purchase flood insurance. 5. Have the attorney sue the board.
Richard White is retiring at the end of the year and is not accepting new questions.