Board Harmony Columns Legal

Qualifications and vacancies for board members

BY PETER SACHS – THE ASSOCIATION BARRISTER

Questions often arise as to the eligibility of directors serving on the board of directors of condominium and homeowners associations. According to the statutes governing not-for-profit corporations, a director must be 18 years of age or older but need not be a resident of the State of Florida or a member of the corporation unless the articles of incorporation or the bylaws so require.

The statutes specifically regulating condominium associations have further restrictions regulating the eligibility of directors. A person who has been suspended or removed by the Division of Condominiums, Time Shares and Mobile Homes is not eligible to be a director. Additionally, a person who is delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation due to the association is not eligible to be a candidate and may not be listed on the ballot. Further, a person who has been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have not been restored for at least five years is not eligible for directorship. Finally, where a seated director becomes more than 90 days delinquent in the payment of any monetary obligation owed to the association, such director shall be deemed to have abandoned office, creating a vacancy to be filled by the remaining members of the board.

Historically, homeowners associations have not had similar restrictions on eligibility of directors. However, in the last several years, Chapter 720, Fla. Stat., has been amended several times to make it more consistent with the Condominium Act. As such, currently, the same eligibility requirements as listed above exist for directors in a homeowners association as exist for a condominium association.

As such, when conducting elections, it is important to make sure that all candidates are eligible to serve on the board of directors for both a condominium and a homeowners association.

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Peter S. Sachs is the managing director with Sachs Sax Caplan in Boca Raton, Fla.

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