Unit Owners Rights, Responsibilities & Restrictions
55. What are my rights as a unit owner of a condominium?
56. As a unit owner, do I have the right to attend a budget meeting?
57. As a unit owner, why are my rights restricted as to the use of my individual unit and the common elements?
Unit Owner Meetings/Notices
Proxies/General & Limited
Unit Owner Voting Rights
62. I thought that as a unit owner and a member of my association I had the right to vote. Why is it that most of the decisions of the association are made by the board of directors?
63. What decisions of the association require a unit owner vote?
55. What are my rights as a unit owner of a condominium? Generally, you have exclusive ownership of your condominium unit. You also have membership in the association and full voting rights as provided in your declaration of condominium. You have the right to use the common elements and association property without paying a use fee. A use fee may be required if the declaration of condominium so provides or unit owners by a majority vote of the association approve such a fee. You have the right to expect the association to maintain the common elements. You also have the right to view the official records subject to the association’s adopted rules.
56. As a unit owner, do I have the right to attend a budget meeting? As a unit owner, you should receive at least 14 days advance notice of the budget meeting along with a copy of the proposed annual budget either by mail or personal delivery.
57. As a unit owner, why are my rights restricted as to the use of my individual unit and the common elements? Restrictions on the use of both the individual unit and the common elements help to preserve the best interest of all unit owners. Your association documents should detail any restrictions such as types of window coverings, pets, leasing, parking and the number of unit occupants.
58. What is the proper method by which the board must inform the unit owners about the annual meeting? The board must give written notice, including an agenda, by mail or delivered to each unit owner at least 14 days before the annual meeting of the unit owners. The board must also post a notice of the meeting in a conspicuous place on the property at least 14 continuous days before the meeting.
59. Is my association required to hold regular meetings on a monthly basis? Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, require every association to hold an annual meeting of the members and a member or board meeting to adopt the annual budget. There is no Chapter 718 or 719, Florida Statutes, requirement for regular or a required number of meetings of the unit owners or the board of directors. However, the documents of the association should be reviewed for any such requirements.
60. What is the difference between a general proxy and a limited proxy, and when are they used? A general proxy allows a proxy holder to vote however he or she sees fit on any matter that may be undertaken at a specific unit owner meeting in the absence of the voting interest. General proxies may be used for matters for which limited proxies are not required. A limited proxy lists certain issues that a proxy holder may cast a vote for on behalf of a voting interest, and also instructs the proxy holder on how to vote on those issues. Limited proxies must be used for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves, votes taken to waive financial statement requirements, amend the declaration, articles of incorporation or bylaws, and for any other matter for which a vote of the unit owners is required. A proxy form may grant a proxy holder both general and limited powers. Limited and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. The division has available Sample Limited Proxy Forms, known as BPR form 33-033.
61. Can a unit owner mail in a vote or vote by proxy in the election of the board of administration? The members of the board shall be elected by written ballot or voting machine. Proxies shall not be used in electing the board of directors; however, an association may, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests, provide for different voting and election procedures in its bylaws. The different voting and election procedures may provide for elections to be conducted by limited or general proxy.
62. I thought that as a unit owner and a member of my association I had the right to vote. Why is it that most of the decisions of the association are made by the board of directors? Every unit owner has the full voting rights appertaining to his or her unit as provided by the documents of the association. The powers and duties of the association include those set forth in Chapters 718 and 719, Florida Statutes, those set forth in the association documents, and Chapters 607 and 617, Florida Statutes, corporations for profit and corporations not for profit acts, as applicable. Further, the association documents shall specify the powers and duties of the officers and the board of administration. The Condominium and Cooperative Acts require unit owner approval of many issues. To waive or reduce the funding of reserves, use reserve funds for any other purpose, and to amend association documents are some of the issues that require unit owner approval. Also, the association members must elect members of the board of administration.
63. What decisions of the association require a unit owner vote? Unit owner decisions are required for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves; use reserves for other purposes; elect directors by ballot; amend the declaration; amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws; recall board members; adopt a substitute budget; materially alter and/or substantially add to the association property; terminate the condominium; extend a developer guarantee; convey title to property; waive financial reporting; and cancel certain contracts. Other unit owner votes may be required by the association documents.
The above information is from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation and represents general legal advice. Since the law is continually changing, some provisions may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case. Please Contact Us by using the Quick Contact form, calling us at (904) 823-3333 or (386) 366-4848, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.