Sunday, January 21, 2018
Home and Garden

Community Living: Voting at workshops is illegal

Meeting in workshop illegal

A: Our HOA board has a monthly workshop prior to the monthly owners meeting. Much is accomplished at these meetings. Owners can attend but cannot talk at the meeting. They can address their problems or ask questions at the end of the meeting. This system works well but we are told that the board cannot make motions and vote at the workshop. We were told that Florida law requires that all voting must take place at the owners meeting. Is this true?

A: The HOA act section FS 720.303 and the condominium act section FS 718.112 say anytime a meeting of directors where a majority of directors are present and association business is discussed, the meeting is considered to be a board meeting. An agenda and proper notice is posted and the members are allowed three minutes to discuss agenda items. That in so many words says that the statutes do not allow workshops. As for the "monthly owners meeting," I think you mean board meeting. Your directors must read the statutes and determine the proper meeting protocol.

Meeting in a workshop is illegal. It indicates that your directors need to start asking questions from professionals that manage and operate associations and legal guidance.

One of the best sources of information is the Community Association Institute (CAI). Their web page is www.caionline.org. There are several CAI chapters in Florida. You can search a chapter in your area at www.flcaj.com.

President needs to know of problem

Q: I am on the board of our condominium. Recently, the president amended the minutes that were approved at the last meeting. The president took the approved minutes and added a motion with the indication that the board had approved the motion. I would appreciate your input and recommendation as to how the other directors and officers should handle this matter.

A: Minutes are to record the business conducted at a meeting. They really have little purpose in future years except if the association is sued. If a section of business not discussed and voted was added, then it may be a conflict if the association becomes involved in litigation. The directors must inform the president that the action taken was improper.

The president must be made aware of the possible unauthorized use of his or her officer's position in that the board can remove him or her as the president at any properly called board meeting. At the next board meeting the directors had choices of action to take. Either do nothing, which is highly improper and possibly a civil offense, or approve the action that the president took.

They can reprimand the president or vote to appoint a new president and remove all powers that the president had. The directors must take some action to approve the motion, alter the motion or vote out the motion.

In brief, minutes can be amended only at a board meeting but it takes a majority of directors voting for or against the motion.

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