A frequent item of discussion involves the imposition of a term limit on a member of a condominium association board of directors in Florida. Specifically, whether a maximum term limit may be imposed before a member must “sit out” before running again for the board.
Section 718.112(2)(d)(2) of the Florida Statutes provides that ‘the terms of all board members expire at the annual meeting, and such members may stand for reelection unless prohibited by the bylaws.’(emphasis added). Thus, if there is no prohibition in the bylaws of the association that limits the number of consecutive terms a board member may serve, it would follow that such members may be reelected for continuous terms without challenge. However, if the bylaws of the association provide for maximum consecutive terms, those provisions would likely govern the terms of board members. Depending on the governing documents of the association, the board member may be required to “sit out” the upcoming term and run for election at the next board member election he or she is eligible. The specific wording of the bylaw provision would be critical in determining the exact eligibility requirements.
While comparable language is not found in the Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes), election disputes are handled by the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. In this regard, arbitrators have upheld term limits contained in condominium association governing documents. Accordingly, provided that term limit language exists in an HOA’s governing documents, such a provision would likely be upheld if challenged through arbitration.
For more information on term limit restrictions and amending the relevant governing documents, contact a local Florida attorney experienced in condominium and homeowner association law.