2019 Florida Statutes
Bylaws of homeowners’ associations.
Bylaws of homeowners’ associations.
723.078 Bylaws of homeowners’ associations.—
(1) The directors of the association and the operation shall be governed by the bylaws.
(2) The bylaws shall provide and, if they do not, shall be deemed to include, the following provisions:
(a) Administration.—The form of administration of the association shall be described, providing for the titles of the officers and for a board of directors and specifying the powers, duties, manner of selection and removal, and compensation, if any, of officers and board members. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the board of directors shall be composed of five members. The board of directors shall elect a president, secretary, and treasurer who shall perform the duties of those offices customarily performed by officers of corporations, and these officers shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the board of directors. The board of directors may elect and designate other officers and grant them those duties it deems appropriate.
(b) Quorum; voting requirements; proxies.—
1. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, 30 percent of the total membership is required to constitute a quorum. Decisions shall be made by a majority of members represented at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
2. A member may not vote by general proxy but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division. Limited proxies and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum. Limited proxies may be used for votes taken to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws pursuant to this section, and any other matters for which this chapter requires or permits a vote of members, except that no proxy, limited or general, may be used in the election of board members. If a mobile home or subdivision lot is owned jointly, the owners of the mobile home or subdivision lot must be counted as one for the purpose of determining the number of votes required for a majority. Only one vote per mobile home or subdivision lot shall be counted. Any number greater than 50 percent of the total number of votes constitutes a majority. Notwithstanding this section, members may vote in person at member meetings or by secret ballot, including absentee ballots, as defined by the division.
3. A proxy is effective only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned meetings thereof. In no event shall any proxy be valid for a period longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given. Every proxy shall be revocable at any time at the pleasure of the member executing it.
4. A member of the board of directors or a committee may submit in writing his or her agreement or disagreement with any action taken at a meeting that the member did not attend. This agreement or disagreement may not be used as a vote for or against the action taken and may not be used for the purposes of creating a quorum.
(c) Board of directors’ and committee meetings.—
1. Meetings of the board of directors and meetings of its committees at which a quorum is present shall be open to all members. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the requirement that board meetings and committee meetings be open to the members does not apply to board or committee meetings held for the purpose of discussing personnel matters or meetings between the board or a committee and the association’s attorney, with respect to potential or pending litigation, where the meeting is held for the purpose of seeking or rendering legal advice, and where the contents of the discussion would otherwise be governed by the attorney-client privilege. Notice of meetings shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the park property at least 48 hours in advance, except in an emergency. Notice of any meeting in which assessments against members are to be considered for any reason shall specifically contain a statement that assessments will be considered and the nature of such assessments.
2. A board or committee member’s participation in a meeting via telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time telephonic, electronic, or video communication counts toward a quorum, and such member may vote as if physically present. A speaker shall be used so that the conversation of those board or committee members attending by telephone may be heard by the board or committee members attending in person, as well as by members present at a meeting.
3. Members of the board of directors may use e-mail as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on an association matter via e-mail.
4. The right to attend meetings of the board of directors and its committees includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items. The association may adopt reasonable written rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of members’ statements. Any item not included on the notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a majority plus one of the members of the board. Such emergency action shall be noticed and ratified at the next regular meeting of the board. Any member may tape record or videotape meetings of the board of directors and its committees, except meetings between the board of directors or its appointed homeowners’ committee and the park owner. The division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the tape recording and videotaping of the meeting.
5. Except as provided in paragraph (i), a vacancy occurring on the board of directors may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining directors, even though the remaining directors constitute less than a quorum; by the sole remaining director; if the vacancy is not so filled or if no director remains, by the members; or, on the application of any person, by the circuit court of the county in which the registered office of the corporation is located.
6. The term of a director elected or appointed to fill a vacancy expires at the next annual meeting at which directors are elected. A directorship to be filled by reason of an increase in the number of directors may be filled by the board of directors, but only for the term of office continuing until the next election of directors by the members.
7. A vacancy that will occur at a specific later date, by reason of a resignation effective at a later date, may be filled before the vacancy occurs. However, the new director may not take office until the vacancy occurs.
8.a. The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary relationship to the members.
b. A director and committee member shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation.
9. In discharging his or her duties, a director may rely on information, opinions, reports, or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, if prepared or presented by:
a. One or more officers or employees of the corporation who the director reasonably believes to be reliable and competent in the matters presented;
b. Legal counsel, public accountants, or other persons as to matters the director reasonably believes are within the persons’ professional or expert competence; or
c. A committee of the board of directors of which he or she is not a member if the director reasonably believes the committee merits confidence.
10. A director is not acting in good faith if he or she has knowledge concerning the matter in question that makes reliance otherwise permitted by subparagraph 9. unwarranted.
11. A director is not liable for any action taken as a director, or any failure to take any action, if he or she performed the duties of his or her office in compliance with this section.
(d) Member meetings.—Members shall meet at least once each calendar year, and the meeting shall be the annual meeting. All members of the board of directors shall be elected at the annual meeting unless the bylaws provide for staggered election terms or for their election at another meeting. The bylaws shall not restrict any member desiring to be a candidate for board membership from being nominated from the floor. All nominations from the floor must be made at a duly noticed meeting of the members held at least 30 days before the annual meeting. The bylaws shall provide the method for calling the meetings of the members, including annual meetings. The method shall provide at least 14 days’ written notice to each member in advance of the meeting and require the posting in a conspicuous place on the park property of a notice of the meeting at least 14 days prior to the meeting. The right to receive written notice of membership meetings may be waived in writing by a member. Unless waived, the notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed, hand delivered, or electronically transmitted to each member, and shall constitute notice. An officer of the association shall provide an affidavit affirming that the notices were mailed or hand delivered in accordance with the provisions of this section to each member at the address last furnished to the corporation. These meeting requirements do not prevent members from waiving notice of meetings or from acting by written agreement without meetings, if allowed by the bylaws.
(e) Minutes of meetings.—
1. Minutes of all meetings of members of an association, the board of directors, and a committee must be maintained in written form and approved by the members, board, or committee, as applicable. A vote or abstention from voting on each matter voted upon for each director present at a board meeting must be recorded in the minutes.
2. All approved minutes of meetings of members, committees, and the board of directors shall be kept in a businesslike manner and shall be available for inspection by members, or their authorized representatives, and board members at reasonable times. The association shall retain these minutes for a period of at least 7 years.
(f) Manner of sharing assessments.—The share or percentage of, and manner of sharing, assessments and expenses for each member shall be stated.
(g) Annual budget.—If the bylaws provide for adoption of an annual budget by the members, the board of directors shall mail a meeting notice and copies of the proposed annual budget of expenses to the members at least 30 days before the meeting at which the budget will be considered. If the bylaws provide that the budget may be adopted by the board of directors, the members shall be given written notice of the time and place at which the meeting of the board of directors to consider the budget will be held. The meeting shall be open to the members. If the bylaws do not provide for adoption of an annual budget, this paragraph shall not apply.
(h) Amendment of articles of incorporation and bylaws.—
1. The method by which the articles of incorporation and bylaws may be amended consistent with the provisions of this chapter shall be stated. If the bylaws fail to provide a method of amendment, the bylaws may be amended by the board of directors and approved by a majority of members at a meeting at which a quorum is present. No bylaw shall be revised or amended by reference to its title or number only.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if an amendment to the articles of incorporation or the bylaws is required by any action of any federal, state, or local governmental authority or agency, or any law, ordinance, or rule thereof, the board of directors may, by a majority vote of the board, at a duly noticed meeting of the board, amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws without a vote of the membership.
(i) Recall of board members.—Any member of the board of directors may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the vote of or agreement in writing by a majority of all members. A special meeting of the members to recall a member or members of the board of directors may be called by 10 percent of the members giving notice of the meeting as required for a meeting of members, and the notice shall state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in whole or in part for this purpose.
1. If the recall is approved by a majority of all members by a vote at a meeting, the recall is effective as provided in this paragraph. The board shall duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after the adjournment of the member meeting to recall one or more board members. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the recall, in which case such member or members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board within 5 full business days any and all records and property of the association in their possession, or shall proceed under subparagraph 3.
2. If the proposed recall is by an agreement in writing by a majority of all members, the agreement in writing or a copy thereof shall be served on the association by certified mail or by personal service in the manner authorized by chapter 48 and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The board of directors shall duly notice and hold a meeting of the board within 5 full business days after receipt of the agreement in writing. At the meeting, the board shall either certify the written agreement to recall members of the board, in which case such members shall be recalled effective immediately and shall turn over to the board, within 5 full business days, any and all records and property of the association in their possession, or shall proceed as described in subparagraph 3.
3. If the board determines not to certify the written agreement to recall members of the board, or does not certify the recall by a vote at a meeting, the board shall, within 5 full business days after the board meeting, file with the division a petition for binding arbitration pursuant to the procedures of s. 723.1255. For purposes of this paragraph, the members who voted at the meeting or who executed the agreement in writing shall constitute one party under the petition for arbitration. If the arbitrator certifies the recall of a member of the board, the recall shall be effective upon mailing of the final order of arbitration to the association. If the association fails to comply with the order of the arbitrator, the division may take action under s. 723.006. A member so recalled shall deliver to the board any and all records and property of the association in the member’s possession within 5 full business days after the effective date of the recall.
4. If the board fails to duly notice and hold a board meeting within 5 full business days after service of an agreement in writing or within 5 full business days after the adjournment of the members’ recall meeting, the recall shall be deemed effective and the board members so recalled shall immediately turn over to the board all records and property of the association.
5. If the board fails to duly notice and hold the required meeting or fails to file the required petition, the member’s representative may file a petition pursuant to s. 723.1255 challenging the board’s failure to act. The petition must be filed within 60 days after expiration of the applicable 5-full-business-day period. The review of a petition under this subparagraph is limited to the sufficiency of service on the board and the facial validity of the written agreement or ballots filed.
6. If a vacancy occurs on the board as a result of a recall and less than a majority of the board members are removed, the vacancy may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter. If vacancies occur on the board as a result of a recall and a majority or more of the board members are removed, the vacancies shall be filled in accordance with procedural rules to be adopted by the division, which rules need not be consistent with this chapter. The rules must provide procedures governing the conduct of the recall election as well as the operation of the association during the period after a recall but before the recall election.
7. A board member who has been recalled may file a petition pursuant to s. 723.1255 challenging the validity of the recall. The petition must be filed within 60 days after the recall is deemed certified. The association and the member’s representative shall be named as the respondents.
8. The division may not accept for filing a recall petition, whether or not filed pursuant to this subsection, and regardless of whether the recall was certified, when there are 60 or fewer days until the scheduled reelection of the board member sought to be recalled or when 60 or fewer days have not elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be recalled.
(3) The bylaws may provide the following:
(a) A method of adopting and of amending administrative rules and regulations governing the details of the operation and use of the park property.
(b) Restrictions on, and requirements respecting, the use and maintenance of mobile homes located within the park, and the use of the park property, which restrictions and requirements are not inconsistent with the articles of incorporation.
(c) Other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter or with other documents governing the park property or mobile homes located therein.
(d) The board of directors may, in any event, propose a budget to the members at a meeting of members or in writing, and, if the budget or proposed budget is approved by the members at the meeting or by a majority of their whole number in writing, that budget shall be adopted.
(e) The manner of collecting from the members their shares of the expenses for maintenance of the park property shall be stated. Assessments shall be made against members not less frequently than quarterly, in amounts no less than are required to provide funds in advance for payments of all of the anticipated current operating expenses and for all of the unpaid operating expense previously incurred.
(4) No amendment may change the proportion or percentage by which members share in the assessments and expenses as initially established unless all the members affected by such change approve the amendment.
(5) Upon purchase of the mobile home park, the association organized under this chapter may convert to a condominium, cooperative, or subdivision. The directors shall have the authority to amend and restate the articles of incorporation and bylaws in order to comply with the requirements of chapter 718, chapter 719, or other applicable sections of the Florida Statutes.
(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 723.075(1), upon purchase of the park by the association, and conversion of the association to a condominium, cooperative, or subdivision, the mobile home owners who were members of the association prior to the conversion and who no longer meet the requirements for membership, as established by the amended or restated articles of incorporation and bylaws, shall no longer be members of the converted association. Mobile home owners, as defined in this chapter, who no longer are eligible for membership in the converted association may form an association pursuant to s. 723.075.
History.—s. 1, ch. 84-80; s. 61, ch. 85-62; s. 14, ch. 92-148; s. 9, ch. 2015-90; s. 5, ch. 2016-169.