Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, civil litigation, estate planning and commercial transactions.
Q: We live in a community of single family homes and villas, all run by 720 statutes as the master association. We also have a sub association of condominiums run by 718 statutes, that pays the master a monthly fee to use our amenities. The MHOA is looking to rewrite our documents. My question is, do the condo owners have a right to vote on the new documents, just because they pay us to use our amenities? Or do only the homes and villas directly under the 720 statutes vote on the changes?
A: As I do not have a copy of your association’s governing documents to review specifically, I can only respond to your question based on how most communities like yours are structured. Typically, when there is a master association coupled with sub-associations (regardless if the sub-associations are comprised of only condominium associations, only homeowners’ associations, or a combination of both), the right to vote to amend the master associations’ governing documents is vested in representatives from the individual sub-associations who vote on behalf of their respective sub-association. The representatives are usually the president of each sub-association. The voting is most often done one of two ways: (a) each sub-association has one vote, or (b) each sub-association’s vote is weighted based on the number of units in each association (i.e. if there are 300 units in one of the sub-association condominium buildings, then that sub-association’s vote is “worth” 300 votes). We recommend that you seek counsel from a qualified Florida Bar licensed attorney, so they can review your association’s governing documents and advise what type of voting structure your community has with respect to amending the governing documents.
Q: I have a rental property in a homeowner association community that requires a background check and credit report for all prospective tenants. If a prospective tenant has bad credit, or even a felony conviction, what right does the HOA have in refusing occupancy to this tenant?
-H.G., Vero Beach
A: As with the previous question, the answer lies in what rights your community’s governing documents specifically give to the association with respect to denying prospective tenants. If your community’s governing documents do not specifically recite reasons that the association can deny a prospective tenant, then the association would not have the right to deny a tenant on any grounds; however, if your community’s governing documents specifically list reasons for denial, then the association would be able to deny a prospective tenant in the event of a failure to meet any of the stated criteria. In order for you to have clarity as to what rights the association has to deny prospective tenants, we recommend that you seek counsel from a qualified Florida Bar licensed attorney so they can review your association’s governing documents.
Avi S. Tryson, Esq., is Partner of the Law Firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross. Ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.