As a homeowner and member of a condo association or homeowners’ association in Florida, you have the right to access a wide range of financial, voting, contractual and other records of the Association under Florida Statutes 718 and 720. Typically, you will need to follow the rules for accessing the records as set out by your Association, but those rules must be reasonable.
Here are some of the most important documents you may look at:
- Minutes of board or member meetings for the last seven years.
- Audit records, tax returns, accounting statements, and financial reports depending on whether you own a condo or single family home.
- If your Association has performed work on the building, you are entitled to inspect the bids and any contracts pertaining to the work.
- All applicable insurance policies and any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the Association is a party (for example, third-party vendors on the property).
- All receipts and expenditures of the Association, which it must keep “accurate, detailed, and itemized” by law.
The Florida Statutes give you these rights. Do not let your Association hide anything. Some Associations are notorious for fraud and corruption. If you suspect your Association is up to no good, are concerned about a special assessment, or simply want to know where your money is going, take charge! If you have questions or are suspect of the board, contact an attorney.
As a condominium owner living in a community controlled by an association, you may sometimes feel frustration or even anger at the way the board of directors or management company treats you. Associations are powerful, often operate arbitrarily, and may act beyond their rights to harass and threaten residents. However, that does not mean you are helpless or do not have rights of your own. Read on for five of the most important statutory rights that many condo owners do not know they have. There are many more that are not part of this article. If you feel any of your rights have been violated, you should contact an attorney immediately.
- You have the right to at least 48 hours notice of board and committee meetings. The notice must be posted in an obvious place on the association’s property. However, if there is a valid emergency, the board or committee may meet without notice.
- You are permitted to attend all board and committee meetings. This includes the right to speak about items that are designated on the agenda and tape record or videotape the meeting. There is an exception for meetings with the association’s attorney in very specific circumstances.
- If the board is considering a special assessment or changes to rules affecting condominium use, notice must be given at least 14 days before the meeting. This is to ensure all residents have the opportunity to respond regarding any such proposed change. Notice must be by mail, electronically, or personal delivery, and must also be posted on the property. Continue Reading