Thursday, March 31, 2016

Turner v Bulter Farms - Getting A New Board When There Is No Quorum For An Election

A couple of years ago the Florida Legislature passed a bill which allowed homeowner associations to forego elections if there were only enough candidates to fill vacant spots.  While I was not sure how the change to Fla. Stat. 720.306(9)(a) would affect elections, weighing the pros and cons of the law, I have to say it has been very beneficial based on a ruling recently by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation ("DBPR") in the arbitration case of Laura Turner v. Butler Farms Homeowners Association, Inc., DBPR Arb. Case No. 2015-02-8216.

Ms. Turner was the only person to submit her name for candidacy to the Board of Directors for the association.  When there was no quorum at the annual meeting, the three incumbent directors announced they would remain in office.  Ms. Turner petitioned DBPR for arbitration of an election dispute and the arbitrator, Leah A. Sims, ruled Ms. Turner was the only board member since the incumbents terms had expired and none of the incumbents had not submitted their names as candidates. 

I think this is a great ruling and congratulate Ms. Turner for taking the initiative to arbitrate the matter.  So many homeowners give up because they feel the fight is useless and they will never be able to remove board members who have been entrenched in the board long term.

5 comments:

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  4. Thank you Attorney Stage for your defense of homeowners and the resources you provide. The Condo and HOA mechanisms are inherently flawed. People should not have to give up basic rights to associations with dictatorial rights to buy a home. Little choice since municipalities are practically forcing developers to establish associations.

    The mechanism & complexities are not fair for the directors or homeowners.
    If municipalities encourage the double taxation/feudal governing bodies that are associations, then municipalities and States should provide low cost training, rule interpretation, check and balances including mediation and oversight services. Need to contact our legislators to change and improve the mechanisms.

    For HOAS, Can understand associations to manage common area properties and the general appearance/maintenance of the community, But we should not be forced to give up our individual property rights for most decisions re our own properties if conforms to municipal/state/fed rules.
    To satisfy different people - since some want uniformity - then need a mix of community types. But right now, if want newer construction ( since yr 2000), it is almost impossible to buy a home without buying into an intrusive association. And that is not fair. Really need choice since some of us don't want intrusive association powers. Most want to make sure that declarations are changed to require more notification to and input from homeowners before board makes decisions. Need to make sure Boards do not become bullies or discriminate against homeowners with whom they differ. We shouldn't have to hire high priced attorneys to enjoy our properties. The mechanisms needs revisions and protections. States/ municipalities need to help.

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