Q&A: Jettisoning a Bad Board?

b>Q We are a group of majority unit owners in a condominium having problems removing  the board of managers – who are not complying with the bylaws. We, as the majority owners, have signed  a petition to vote them out. We did everything necessary in accordance with the  bylaws. However, a few members tried to influence the other board members to  refuse the resignations collectively. We also sent the board of managers  another petition to call for a special meeting for such action within a certain  period of time, according to the bylaws. Again, the board has ignored the  petition so far. The board has also tried to get the management company to be  on their side. The management company tried to get a lawyer, claimed as one of  the condominium, involved with this and tried to stop the removal of the board  of managers. We are only unit owners, and can't afford to get a lawyer to help  us. What advice do you have for us? How else should we proceed?  

 —Dissension in the HOA  

A “Florida condominium law provides for the administration of a condominium by a  board of directors. The situation you have described is a recall (a recall is a  way for owners to remove a director from the board),” says Jay Steven Levine, principal of the Jay Steven Levine Law Group, a  full-service community association and litigation law firm. “The law provides that a majority of condominium voting interests can vote or  agree in writing to remove a board member with cause or for no cause at all.  

 “Owners (at least 10 percent) can call for a special unit owners meeting in order  to consider and vote on the recall of one or more board members. If the recall is approved by a majority of all voting interests at such unit  owners meeting, then the recall vote is considered by the board at a properly  noticed board meeting where the board either certifies the recall or not. If the board certifies the recall, then the recall is effective immediately. If the board does not certify the recall then the board must file a petition for  arbitration with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile  Homes. The board member(s) sought to be recalled continue(s) to serve on the board  (unless he/she resigns). The Division arbitrator resolves the recallin accordance with F.A.C. 61B-23.0027. If no board meeting is held within five  full business days of the adjournment of the unit owners meeting then the  recall is deemed effective immediately upon the expiration of the last day of  the full five day business period.  

 “If the recall is by written agreement then the written agreement (the form is  available on the Division website) is served upon the board and the board must  call a meeting to determine whether to certify the recall within five full  business days after service on the board. If the board votes to certify the recall, then the recall is effective  immediately. If the recall is not certified or if a meeting is not held, then similar to  calling a unit member recall meeting a petition for arbitration is filed or, in  the case of a failure to duly notice and hold a Board meeting, the recall is  effective immediately. We find and prefer that recall by written agreement is a more efficient means of  recalling one or more board members.  

 “In your situation, depending upon the procedures followed by the group of  majority unit owners, a recall may have effectively occurred in which case the  recalled director(s) are considered recalled from the board.”  

 

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