FL HOA Boards cannot avoid election

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

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A FL HOA Election Arbitrator recently ruled in favor of a homeowner seeking election to the Board.

Lana Turner provided written intent to stand for election to the Board of Butler Farms Homeowners Association. The terms of three board members were expiring. However, the three incumbents failed to file their official notice of cadidacy.

Florida statute stipulate that no election is required when the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of vacancies.

However, on the date of the annual meeting, the board and manager erroneously declared that, because there was no quorum, no election could be held, keeping the board intact with no changes.

Ms. Turner disputed the HOA’s claim, and filed a complaint with the Division of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). After a few months of back and forth motions, Arbitrator Leah A. Simms ruled that the HOA board’s actions violated Florida Statute.

Simms ordered that Turner be seated on the HOA board, and that the three incumbents immediately step down from the board. Turner is entitled to appoint two additional members to fill remaining vacancies on the board.

Had the three incumbents officially declared their candidacies, the Board would have been required to hold an election, since there would have been 4 candidates to fill 3 vacancies.

You can read the details here:

Turner v. Butler Farms HOA

http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLArbButlerFarms.pdf

 

 

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