Community Living

In condo board meetings, it's all about the quorum

Q: What constitutes a meeting? Our condominium board has been using "task force meetings" and "roundtable discussions" to circumvent the requirement of posting the time and place of these meetings, which are closed to residents. It seems a facade to keep the residents out.

A: You can call it what you like — workshop, study group, discussion group — but here's the bottom line: Whenever and wherever a quorum of the board meets to discuss association business, that's a board meeting. Proper notice must be posted, it must be open to the members, and minutes must be taken.

The statutes for condominiums and homeowners associations are at FS 718.112 and FS 720.303.

If less than a quorum of directors is present, that is not a meeting, and the requirements do not apply.

She fears eviction

for being under 55

Q: I am buying a unit in a 55-plus community. I am 50 years old and plan to live there with my fiance, who is 56. I was told that if he dies or moves out, I will be evicted in three days. Can that be true?

A: Calm down. No one can evict you in three days.

The federal Adult Community Act says that in an age-restricted community such as yours, 80 percent of the units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years of age and older. I am sure that many of the units in your community are occupied by couples like you and your fiance: One of you is 55 or older, the other is younger.

Page 16324 of the Federal Register deals with "intent to comply" with the Adult Community Act. You intend to comply with it as you make your purchase — one of you is 55 or older — so you would likely fall under the provision that says that the other 20 percent of the units may be occupied by people under age 55.

There are some provisions with which the community must comply. One is to register with the Florida Commission on Human Relations ( at fchr.state.fl.us; see "55+ Communities"). The association must file a document saying it complies with the Federal Adult Community Act. Failure to file the report may make it unable to enforce the rules. In addition, the association must take a census every other year.

For a PDF copy of the Federal Register, Part IV, 24 CFR Part 100, go to www.talkwithcam.com and click on "Information." Every adult community should have a copy of this document for reference.

Delinquent owner is running for the board

Q: A unit owner whose maintenance is in arrears has decided to run for the board. Do the other owners have a right to know this before the election?

A: Normally I don't recommend that information about delinquent owners be made public by specifying names. I recommend that delinquent accounts be identified only by unit numbers or addresses.

In this case, however, I would

add a line to the information sheet that all candidates must fill out, indicating, "My monthly maintenance payments are up to date: yes/no." That way you're singling out no one in particular, and unit owners can consider this piece of information as they decide for whom to vote.

I would put pressure on the delinquent owner by filing a lien against his unit immediately and turning the matter over to an attorney to start foreclosure.

Some documents say a delinquent owner cannot hold a director's position. Check your bylaws to see if they say anything about delinquent directors.

Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him c/o Community Living, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Sorry, he can't take phone calls or provide personal replies by mail, but you can e-mail him at CAMquestions@cfl.rr.com. Please include your name and city. Visit him at talkwithcam.com.

In condo board meetings, it's all about the quorum 03/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2008 6:00am]

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