Q: I live in a homeowner’s association in Boca Raton. The
association is managed by a management company and the homeowners
deal with its owner. Recently, I asked the owner of the management
company for the names of the individuals who were on the board of
directors. I also asked him for the names of the officers of the
association. The manager told me that everything goes through him
and I did not need to know the names of the board members. Then I
asked the manager the date of the next board meeting. The manager
told me that if there are any problems, I should address them to
him. As a homeowner, do I have a right to know the names of the
board members of the association?
A: Based on your letter, I would be very suspicious if the
manager of the association did not give you the names of all of the
board members of your association. Whether you live in a
homeowner’s association or condominium, you have a right to know
the names and addresses of the board members. The first thing I
would recommend for you to do is to go to the State of Florida
website and locate the last annual report that was filed for the
association. The annual report will list the board members and the
officers of the association. The website address is www.sunbiz.org.
If you learn the names of the board members from the State of
Florida website, you should contact the board members and let them
know the manager would not provide you with the information you
requested. If you are unable to find out the names of the board
members, you need to send the manager a certified letter, return
receipt requested, demanding the names and address of the board
members. Most importantly, you may want to consider speaking to
other owners or neighbors in the association to determine if they
are happy with the performance of the management company.
Q: I live in an association where the developer is still in
control. In January, our quarterly fees were increased. Several of
the owners asked the developer to see financial documents and
copies of the association bank account. The developer’s
representative told me that they would not give me a copy of the
association bank account. I was told that the association funds
were being held in the developer’s bank account and it was private.
Can you tell me whether the developer can keep the association
funds in his account?
A: No developer in control of an association shall commingle
any association funds with his or her funds or with the funds of
any other association. You should contact the developer and inform
him that he is in violation of Florida law by commingling
association funds with his funds. You should also seek advice from
an attorney to determine your legal options.
Q: I was recently elected to the board of our condominium.
An owner asked me whether he could put up shutters and whether the
board would have any objection if the color of the shutters were
silver. Does the board have the responsibility or right to
determine the type of shutters the owners should have?
A: Each board of administration shall adopt hurricane
shutter specifications for each building within each condominium
operated by the association, which shall include color, style, and
other factors deemed relevant by the board.
Mark Bogen has been practicing law for 24 years. He specializes in
condo and homeowner association law and authored the book “What
Every Condo Owner Should Know.” Bogen, a former adjunct professor
of business law, has recently started the “Bogen List,” which aims
to protect associations from scams.