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Caroline York's Blog

By Caroline York Mortell | Agent in Saint Petersburg, FL

Condo association Board of Directors can change Rules & Regs without ownership vote.

You just purchased a condo in the State of Florida.  You had 3 days to review condo docs and cancel contract.  That made you think the Condo docs are very important and couldn't change without your vote.  Right?  Wrong!  Articles cannot be altered without a vote of the owners but Rules and Regulations only need majority vote of Board of directors.

At a Board meeting of my condo assoc I overheard a comment by a former board member that something could be handled more easily through the rules and regulations since no vote required. I decided to do a little research and found that FL Statute 718 allows Boards to make changes to Rules and Regulations without a vote by owners.  My investment depends on who is on the Board.  So does yours.

So I decided to share, a little at a time, the Florida statute that governs Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes with my readers.  If you have questions please remember I am a Realtor not an attorney.  I cannot address legal questions. 

"This publication is intended as an informal educational overview of condominium governance. In the event of a conflict, the provisions of Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, rules adopted by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the provisions of the condominium documents, and reasonable rules adopted by the condominium association's board of administration prevail over the contents of this publication.

Role of the Board of Directors--General

 1. The board of directors has a fiduciary duty to the unit owners and has the responsibility to act with the highest degree of good faith and to place the interests of the unit owners above the personal interests of the directors."

A fiduciary duty is a legal or ethical obligation between two or more regarding finances or property.
more to come. . .

Comments

By Debra Sidoti,  Sun Jul 31 2011, 11:24
What if you own a condo in Florida and you want to rent it out?
By Caroline York Mortell,  Mon Sep 5 2011, 15:02
Well, this is about a month late but this information would be in your Condominium documents. The Rules and Regulations would tell you how long you must own your property before you can lease it out or if it is flat out not allowed to be leased out. I had a seller that had purchased a condo in 2007 and tried to sell it in 2008 when the bottom fell out. She never checked to see if she could lease it. She couldn't. So she had purchased the property for $193,000. We listed it in 2008 for $109,000 and the last I heard she had stil not sold it. The other properties in the building are now being offered at $63,000. The condo fees are $304/mo. She could not rent her condo out and she could not return to Florida to use it. It sat empty. So, read your condo docs and see what you can and cannot do. This is the first thing I ask buyers - do you want to be able to lease it out in the future. Many immediately say no. However I ask them if a relative from up north were to become ill and need you to stay with them for several months or even longer who would be paying your mortgage and condo fees. If you need to lease it out for an emergency situation and your condo does not allow it to be leased try to see if the board will make an exception. Good luck.
By Ruth & Perry Mistry,  Mon Sep 5 2011, 15:04
Caroline, generally 3 days have been found to be too short to review
Condo documents.

Ruth
By Caroline York Mortell,  Mon Sep 5 2011, 19:00
Ruth, I agree. However that is how the Florida contracts read. So if a client needs additional time it should be included in the contract condo addendum. I also recommend that they have an accountant review the financial documents. In today's market the financial stability of the condo or homeowners association is of major concern.

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