Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Community Living: Almost anyone can serve as officer on board

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Almost anyone can serve as officer

Q: We had our annual meeting recently. Immediately after the members meeting, the new board met to elect the officers. While they elected the vice president, secretary and treasurer; no one wanted to be the president. They asked the manager to act as the president. She has agreed to run the meetings but the CEO of the management company would be appointed as president. This situation really has me concerned; can you help ease my mind?

A: You must file a report with the state each year with the officers for your association. The report is called an Annual Report and can be filed online at www.sunbiz.org. Keep in mind that the members elect the directors to operate and maintain the association. The directors elect the officers to do the day-to-day operations.

In your situation, which is the same for many boards, a manager is engaged to do the day-to-day business for the members and the board.

The directors are responsible and the officers only have duties. Thus almost anyone can serve as an officer and they do not need to be a director. Officers do not vote at board meetings but the directors vote.

Most officers are first a director and, at board of director meetings, they are present as a director and not officers. While they can present reports as an officer, they sit as directors.

Is it a condo? HOA? Check documents

Q: Last year I purchased a villa that I thought was in an HOA. When I purchased insurance, my coverage confused me in that it only covers the interior of my villa. I was surprised to find that the board has no funds for roofing repairs. I was told by the assessor that this is a condominium. I contacted our master insurance agent only to find we have a master policy that has catastrophic coverage for hurricanes. However, I cannot seem to find out about the replacement of the roof and who would pay. What are the rules?

A: First, to determine if you are in a condominium or HOA, you need to read your documents. The first section should be titled "Declaration" if you are a condominium and "Covenants" if you are an HOA. However some older documents have other names and this would require that you go to the Articles to see if they refer to FS 718 as the reference statute for condominiums. The difference between condominiums and HOA is strictly a title position, an ownership right to title. Look at your deed and see if it refers to an "undivided" percentage and that would indicate that you are in a condominium. If your deed does not refer to a percentage most chances you live in an HOA. The first section of your documents should indicate who is responsible for what property (the roof and other property). Attend board meetings and send letters to the board with your questions. If you have a manager, ask the manager about the budget and operations. There is a professional association, CAI, Community Association Institute that may help with educational material. One question to ask is about the reserves and how repairs will be paid. Seek out professionals that can direct you to answers.

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