It's That Time Of Year: Be Ready For Your Upcoming Condominium HOA Annual Meeting
By Christopher Carter Real Estate Broker Associate
December 20, 2023
Within the next couple of months, most Florida Condominium and Homeowners Associations will be holding their Required Annual Members Meetings.
In those meetings, some new Directors may be elected to the Board and owners could vote on specific business items that affect the ongoing Administrative, Operational and Financial Health of the Association.
Why are most annual meetings held in January or February? Because seasonal resident owners are here and Associations want as many owners participating as possible.
The keys to owning and living in a Florida Condominium Building or an HOA-Governed Community are education and participation, so it is important for all owners (Association members) to attend their annual meetings, either in person or via Zoom. It is also a good idea to attend a few Board Meetings throughout the year to stay current on Association Business. Yes, running a Residential Owners Association is a Business, not a Social Function.
In order to better participate and cast well-informed votes, owners need to have a basic working knowledge of how their Associations handle property maintenance, manage finances, and enforce resident rules. They should also realize that Florida's Condominium or Homeowners Association Act and the Association's own Governing Documents regulate its function and operation at all times.
For new owners, the upcoming annual meeting might be their first real exposure to Florida Owners Association Governance. Many never even had the Governing Docs explained to them when they bought into the building or community, so their first annual meeting might be a bit intimidating. To help new owners and those who have already been there awhile be more comfortable attending and understanding what goes on at their meetings, I put together a few articles that touch on the fundamentals of Florida Residential Owners Association Function.
Condominium and Homeowners Associations are regulated quite differently in Florida, though the fundamentals of good Association Administration still apply to both. Read about the primary difference in "Who Owns The Common Areas..." just below.
The following articles touch on topics that may be of particular interest to Florida Condominium and HOA Property Owners, whether they are full-time or seasonal residents, new or long-time owners.
To get some background and context on what you will see and hear at your upcoming Annual Members Meeting. Each title and/or photo links to the entire article in a new window. Read through a few of them at: https://thefloridarealestateblog.com/
Who Owns The Common Areas In Your Building Or Community?
It is interesting to note that Florida's Condominium Act uses the term common elements, while the Homeowners Association Act refers to Common Areas. This difference in language is a very important part of why Condominium and Homeowners Associations are regulated differently in Florida.
Association Board Or Management Company - Who's The Boss?
With Florida's Snowbird Season getting underway, many New Owners and Seasonal Residents are realizing they are not as familiar as they would like to be with how their Associations Function and are regulated. It is essential for everyone buying into (or already living in) a Florida Condominium Building or Community governed by a Residential Owners Association to fully understand the relationship between their Boards and their Management Companies.
Quorums, Voting Interests, Ballots And Proxies - Just The Basics
Voting in Florida Residential Owners Associations can be very confusing. Some topics can be decided by only a Board Vote, others must be decided through an owner (Association Member) Vote. Today we are discussing this article's headline terms, plus a bit of context on their use.
Condo Docs (Part 2) - Putting Them To Work For Your Association
This article discusses how a COA's 3 Recorded Governing Documents (Declaration, Articles, ByLaws) are applied to the daily operation and governance of a Florida Residential Condominium Association. Think of these next ones as practical quick references and scorecards for how a COA applies its Formal Recorded Governing Docs. (Yes, it includes a direct link to Part 1)
Does Your Management Company Work For The Board...Or The Owners?
Property Owners in Condo Buildings and HOA Communities always have questions about their Association's Function, Politics and Finances. This is one of those questions that initially appears to have a fairly straightforward answer, though becomes much more involved when you start considering how Florida Residential Owners Associations really function.
And one more of general interest for Florida condo dwellers:
Do I Need Flood Insurance If I Live On The 5th Floor?
Flood Insurance for Florida Condo Buildings and Associations is in addition to any Individual Residence Unit Insurance an owner may purchase. Flood Insurance is separate from any other coverage, NOT included in an Association's Hazard, Liability, or Windstorm Coverage. Floods are a completely separate risk, and Insurance Protection for them requires a separate policy.
That's probably enough to get you started. There are more Condo and HOA-Related Articles on the site, so click/scroll around to find others of interest. Florida COA and HOA Operation and Administration are quite different from "up north" Residential Owners Associations.
As mentioned above, the first annual meeting new owners attend is often their initial exposure to Association Function. Going in with a little background should help you feel more comfortable and ready to participate.
Editor's Note: Christopher Carter is NOT an attorney. He does not give legal advice. For interpretation and application to specific circumstances of anything you read in this article, you must speak with a Florida-Licensed attorney.
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