How To Run A Condo Association Meeting in Florida
If you own a condominium, you may wind up serving on the board of your condo association. It is via the condo association that most of the business of your living space will be conducted, and as such, it is important to understand how meetings should be conducted. If protocol is not observed, you and the board or association may wind up embroiled in a lawsuit you will find hard to win.
DO: Provide all relevant information before the meeting begins. The most efficient meetings occur when all the participants have access to the important information beforehand, rather than having to familiarize participants with everything at the beginning of a meeting. Many condo associations ask their president or property manager to put together a packet of sorts with information such as financial statements, any complaint forms from the previous months, and a written copy of the last meeting’s minutes, to address any lingering issues. This is required by Florida law.
DO: Have an agenda. While it may seem to be common sense, many condo associations do not have a written agenda for their meetings. Without one, there is no coherent plan for how the meeting will go or how many minutes ought to be spent on specific items.
DO: Provide adequate notice. By Florida law, notice of an impending board meeting must be posted on condominium property, with all the agenda items listed prominently, for at least “48 continuous hours” before a meeting can take place. Failure to provide adequate notice can lead to punitive consequences.
DO NOT: Attempt to close meetings to unit owners. In Florida, the meetings of the condo association are open to all unit owners, whether they attend in person or by telephone (or, in this day and age, by Skype or other electronic means). If a unit owner is present via telephone or other technology, they may not generally vote on matters on the agenda, but their presence still counts toward the quorum.
DO: Consider utilizing Robert’s Rules of Order. This system of meeting administration has been around since the 19th century, and has a proven track record of ensuring meetings go smoothly. Robert’s Rules can streamline condo board meetings because they are good at explaining complex rules in simple English.
DO NOT: Allow too much deviation from the agenda. While under Florida law, unit owners may in theory discuss matters not on the meeting agenda (it is not explicitly forbidden in the statute), too much off-topic discussion can derail a meeting. If a unit owner has an issue to address, a meeting with the property manager is the best option to deal with such questions.
DO: Hire an attorney if a dispute arises. While a good working relationship with one’s condo board members can alleviate many disagreements, it can be extremely important to have competent counsel on your side if a dispute arises that cannot be handled in-house. If you require an experienced Fort Lauderdale condominium dispute attorney, the lawyers at the law offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. are happy to use their years of knowledge to help you with your case. Contact the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. for legal advice at 954-963-5900 or leave a message online.