You might wonder why there isn't proper parking for residences. Well, having proper parking spaces is dictated by the community's governing documents. There are some communities that have additional spaces for a unit but are expressed in the deed and title for a specific unit and therefore cannot be split up from the unit ownership. In many communities parking spaces are defined as common elements which are assigned by the board and in other cases, these spaces are only used by the owners assigned to them.
Boards are now facing many challenges regarding their parking issues including:
There are many procedures boards can take to address this antiquated issue to solve parking problems. There could be amendments added to their declaration or rules and regulations to change and update these old, out-of-date systems.
Unfortunately, because no one thinks outside the box, there are many new communities that have the same parking problems. There are several brand-new communities that now have automated parking garages. The robot valet was supposed to eliminate any parking issues and increase security in order to make their tenants' lives much easier. The problem that has arisen involves errors involving both robots and human operators. There have been many owners who have spent hours just waiting for their cars to arrive. One of the worst times is during rush hour for getting vehicles to the owners in a timely manner. All in all, this has brought us right back around to the same issue, improving robotic parking by providing a garage with limited parking spaces!
The time frame for eligibility is usually 40 days before the annual meeting and election. If an owner turns in their candidate notice 50 days before and owes a fine during that time, they can still be on the ballot as long as the owner pays the fine by the 40-day deadline. If the fine remains after that time, it is considered a monetary obligation, making this person not a candidate for the board and their name will not appear on the ballot. This is a fact whether this person has challenged or disputed the fine.
12/4/2019 0 Comments
Unfortunately, very few community association boards effectively make use of their committees. What they are overlooking, committees are very useful for offering recommendations and for helping the board carry out their duties and responsibilities. Another big mistake, many boards do not take the time to even establish a committee or define the parameters for their work. With a little effort, a committee can assist in the operations of the association in an effective way if the board would only establish their committees.
Setting up a committee is the responsibility of the association's board of directors. The board is responsible for appointing the members of each committee during their board meetings. So if committees have not been formed, what then? The directors are supposed to provide instructions and set the parameters for the scope of the committees' responsibilities.
The board of directors should take advantage of their annual meeting by establishing the various committees, appoint members, and establish the areas to be overseen by each one. Each committee should have at least three members.
Board members can serve as members on the committees with the exception of the rules enforcement committee. There are many associations who prefer to have a board member on each committee along with 2 non-director volunteers. This allows the board to keep their directors up to date on the committee's work and the progress taking place.
Under Florida law, the only committee that is required for community associations is the rules enforcement committee. This committee is often known as the fining, violation, or grievance committee. In order for associations to impose fines and suspension of use for violations must have this committee in place. Under Florida law, the rules of enforcement committee cannot have board members, spouses, or relatives of board members in place. This ensures it is completely independent of the board.
Keep in mind, fines or suspensions can only be imposed after the association gives at least a 14-day written notice to the owner, occupant, licensee, or invitee in order to suspend them and they must be given the opportunity for a hearing before the rules enforcement committee.
During these hearings, the committee must hear and evaluate the violator's side of the alleged charges before ruling and setting a fine. The hearing should be closed to all members except for the alleged violator or the unit owner if the violator is their tenant. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee members must vote to either confirm or reject the fine or suspension set down by the board. It requires a majority vote to move forward in order to impose the fine or reject it.
The other committees that are usually in place are the budget committee and the architectural review committee. The budget committee helps the board by creating the annual budget and the architectural review committee is in charge of reviewing any request for construction, improvements, or alterations that will take place on association property or within a particular unit or exterior area of a lot.
5/4/2019 0 Comments
These provisions protect directors from personal liability for monetary damages to the association or for any statement, decision, vote, or failure to act while the director or officer was carrying out their legal duties. Under Florida law, there are exceptions to protections in association with documents that show a knowing violation of criminal law, transactions that the director received an improper personal benefit, through willful misconduct, recklessness or any act or omission which was committed in bad faith or with malicious aforethought. This also includes any acts of exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, property, or safety.
Under applicable state statutes and association documents, unless a director acts in a flagrant manner, they should be protected by the association and any and all legal actions taken against them will be covered under the association's D&O insurance. This usually includes their legal defense and could extend to damages that may have resulted from claims or through negligence.
As long as directors act in a proper and reasonable manner and only seek guidance from qualified professionals regarding their association's matters, their indemnity and insurance will protect them from liability. The fears of exposure to unreasonable lawsuits should not prevent a unit owner from serving as a director or officer for their community's association. Their fears are unjustified and they are always protected.
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