Are you a “Certified Board Member”?

August 17th, 2018

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

Florida’s Mandatory Condominium, Cooperative, and HOA Certification Requirements for Newly Elected Board Members

All Florida Condominium, Cooperative, and Homeowners Association’s (“HOA”) should be aware that Florida law requires mandatory certification of newly elected members of an Association’s Board of Directors within 90 days after becoming elected to the Board. Failure of a Board Member to meet the certification requirements results in the Board Member being suspended from the Board until the certification requirement is met.

Below is a summary of the two certification options (See Florida Statutes 718.112(2)(d)(4)(b); 719.106(1)(d)(1)(b); 720.3033(1)):

  1. Written Certification. The first certification option requires that the newly elected Director certify in writing to the secretary of the association within 90 days after being elected or appointed to a board, that he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium or declaration of covenants or proprietary lease (depending on whether condominium or HOA or cooperative, respectively), articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written rules and policies; that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members.
  2. Educational Certificate. In the alternative, within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered by an education provider approved by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes within one year before or 90 days after the date of election or appointment.

Whichever of the two certification options that the director provides will be valid for the uninterrupted tenure of the director on the board, so a director does not need to provide a new certification unless there is a break in the term of service as a director. It is very important that all newly elected directors comply with this new requirement because the law requires that a director who does not timely file the written certification or educational certificate must be suspended from the board until he or she complies with the requirement and the board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of suspension.

An association is required to retain each director’s written certification or educational certificate for inspection by the members for 5 years after the director’s election. Fortunately, the failure to have the written certification or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity of any board action.

If an association has any questions regarding these board member certification requirements or needs assistance or advice in complying with them, they should contact their attorney.

Board member certification courses not only meet the mandatory statutory requirements, but they also provide a lot of information for new board members to ensure the Association operates effectively and in compliance with Florida law.

Florida Statutes §§ 718.112(2)(d)(4)(b) (condominiums)

Florida Statutes 719.106(1)(d)(1)(b) (cooperatives)

720.3033(1) (homeowners association)

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