SO NOW THAT THE LEGISLATURE DID NOTHING WHERE DO WE STAND?

By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Published March 28, 2022

 

(Re-Running a Column I wrote years ago, because boards need a refresher on where we are)

 

I always thought that the dry part of the Board Certification Course was teaching about budgets and reserves.  The material simply doesnít lend itself to any interesting side stories or provide much room for jokes or even amusing anecdotes.  However, the funny thing is that itís normally the part of the seminar that gets the most questions from the audience.  The questions keep coming about pooling vs. straight line reserves, what items get put into the reserve account, can the association switch from straight line to pooled reserves, is a unit owner vote required, can reserves be waived, and on and on and on.

 

There is one moment however that gives everyone a little bit of a jolt.  Itís when I tell them that if the Board of Directors wants reserves to be fully funded, the reserves will be fully funded, like it or not.  People get upset.  They know that the unit owners have the right to vote down any funding of reserves, so how then is it possible that the Board can force fully funded reserves down their throats?

 

If you look closely at the Florida Condominium Act, it is clear that the Act requires the Board to mail out the budget showing reserves as fully funded.  Iím paraphrasing, but the statute then goes on to say that the unit owners can vote to waive reserves completely or vote in favor of partially funded reserves.  However, the statute nowhere requires that when the Board sends out the budget, they must provide that opportunity to the unit owners by enclosing a proxy to waive or reduce the funding of the reserves.  Check it out, itís not there.

 

Sure, if the Board sends out a budget only showing the reserves as fully funded, the unit owners can get together and have a meeting, obtain a quorum and vote down the funding of a reserve account.  I simply have never seen that happen in my entire career.  If the Board doesnít send out the forms and/or set down a vote to waive the reserves, the unit owners have to accomplish this waiver on their own, and it isnít easy. Iím not condoning the actions of a Board that would simply impose its will on the community and force fully funded reserves on the owners.  I write to merely point out that if they want to, they can. 

 

Perhaps next year things will be different.  Donít hold your breath.

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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer

Eric Glazer graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community association law for three decades and is the owner of Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a five attorney law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

Eric is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development Law.

 

Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at 11:00 a.m. each Sunday on 850 WFTL.

   

See: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.

   

Eric is the first attorney in the State of Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium and HOA residents as eligible to serve on a Board of Directors and has now certified more than 20,000 Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the best interest of Florida community association members.



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