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Subject: Florida HOA Annual Meeting Attendance
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GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 9:23 AM  
Is there any Florida statute that would precludes a non-owner from attending a meeting that is invited by a board member. Assume the member is invited by a board member.
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 9:56 AM  
Assume the HOA is a condo: governed by FS718
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 9:57 AM  
Correction: Assume the guest (not member) is invited by the board.
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 9:57 AM  
Correction: Assume the guest (not member) is invited by the board.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6735


11/18/2019 10:47 AM  
Are you talking about a board meeting? Whether board meeting or members meeting, your own bylaws probably say that only members (Owners) may attend meetings of the board or of Members.

No board member has the authority to invite a guest. The board as a whole could decide to invite a guest. This usually is, for example, the Association's insurance agent explaining the policy, the HOA attorney, etc.
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 10:50 AM  
Assume the guest is there to quietly take notes / observe and that there is nothing in th bylaws indicating that a guest can not come.
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 10:52 AM  
Assume the HOA declaration wording is permissive (i.e. owners have the right to attend) and that it does not limit with word like "only".
GatorbackG
(Florida)

Posts:8


11/18/2019 10:54 AM  
The question seeks to find any verbiage in Florida statutes (not HOA rules) that somehow limits who can attend HOA meetings and HOA annual meetings.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8911


11/18/2019 10:56 AM  
Funny story. One HOA I was a member of had their Annual Meeting. There was a lot of change going on concerning the BOD so there were some lively discussions. One person had a lot of questions. When finally asked where he lived he said he was the guest of the owner whose house he would close on in a week. He was not even an owner.

Personally I would not have an issue with an owner bringing a guest to our Annual Meeting. The guest can observe only. They cannot speak. I doubt anyone would realize someone was a guest.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1531


11/18/2019 11:04 AM  
Uh ... if docs say owners may attend, it means owners may attend.

The entire purpose of that component of the docs is to specify who can attend - so, to me it means only owners may attend.

The Board may invite guest speakers, legal representation, etc.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2776


11/18/2019 11:14 AM  
As Kerry said, read your bylaws – generally HOA meetings are reserved for HOA members (homeowners) only – this isn’t a public meeting, unlike a meeting of, say, a school’s PTA. If you want to know what the statutes say, you should be able to go online to the state of Florida’s website, point and click your way to the statutes (every state has the current stuff posted online these days) and then use the search button to find the HOA statutes.

That said, not everything in HOA land will be addressed by local or state law, and recent laws may only apply to HOAs created on or after a certain date – that may or may not be your community, so pay attention to the effective dates.

As for this situation, I wouldn't have a problem as long as he/she kept quiet, as John stated. But I wonder why the secrecy First, you said this guest was invited by a board member and then the board did it - which is it? If the entire board invited the guest, it's probably ok, but the way you added information on subsequent posts makes me wonder if someone (you?) want to invite a guest without telling anyone. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem, but why keep this quiet? And why can't the person doing the inviting take his/her own notes during the meeting?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3383


11/18/2019 1:01 PM  
Posted By GatorbackG on 11/18/2019 10:54 AM
The question seeks to find any verbiage in Florida statutes (not HOA rules) that somehow limits who can attend HOA meetings and HOA annual meetings.

The simple answer is "No", the statutes do not limit who can attend board and/or members meetings.

I think at a board meeting, the directors can choose to allow an outsider to attend by a majority vote of the directors. At a members meeting, I think the members can choose whether or not to allow an outsider to attend also by majority vote of the members.

The reverse is also true. If the board as a whole votes to not allow an outsider to attend a board meeting then the person may not attend, and if the membership as a whole votes not to allow an outsider at their meeting then that outsider may not attend.

Essentially, those whose meeting it is get to decide for themselves who may attend.

Robert's Rules says,
"Every deliberative assembly has the right to decide who may be present during its session; and when the assembly, either by a rule or by a vote, decides that a certain person shall not remain in the room, it is the duty of the chairman to enforce the rule of order, using whatever force is necessary to eject the party."

That's extreme, but if a meeting is conducted according to Robert's Rules then there's nothing in any statute that I've seen that contradicts that. And one member of the deliberative assembly (i.e. one board member at a board meeting, or one homeowner at a members meeting) does not speak for the assembly.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1531


11/18/2019 1:18 PM  
Geno,

Not sure RR overrides docs that say members may attend. This is pretty clear to me. Members.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3383


11/18/2019 2:53 PM  
RR wouldn't overrule anything since it's low-man on the totem pole when it comes to the hierarchy of documents. But "members may attend" doesn't say a thing about non-members. If it said, "only members may attend" then that would be different.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1531


11/18/2019 3:48 PM  
Hmmmm ... gotta disagree on this one.

That quote means to me that members may attend ... the absence of “only” does not, to me, change the meaning.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6735


11/18/2019 4:10 PM  
I agree with GeorgeS.

But I'm very curious why the director wants someone at the meeting to quietly "take notes." Is there no one taking meeting minutes? A property mgr. or sec'y, or? What will this stranger do with these "notes?"

Are you that director, Gatorback?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3383


11/19/2019 10:18 PM  
We can agree to disagree. And for all I know, you guys might be right. "inclusio unius est exclusio alterius" and all that.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3921


11/20/2019 9:14 AM  
Posted By GatorbackG on 11/18/2019 10:50 AM
Assume the guest is there to quietly take notes / observe and that there is nothing in th bylaws indicating that a guest can not come.


If someone is there for the sole purpose of taking notes, I can see where people might get a bit frazzled if it's never been done before.

If that person has some negative history with some members, red flag goes up a bit higher.

If one particular board member is spearheading note-taker participation and there's been a bit of discontent in the neighborhood, up a bit higher than that.

While I've never seen rules against it anywhere, I think it's more important to be able to explain - why now - and if appropriate, why this person.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3383


11/20/2019 2:04 PM  
Any homeowner (or condo unit owner) in Florida may (heh, that word again!) record any meeting. I use a small portable voice recorder but a smartphone also works well. I've been recording our meetings for a couple of years.
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:114


11/21/2019 6:33 AM  
I hate to jump into this, but ... I've managed communities (in FL) that did allow non-owners to attend board meetings and I've managed those that didn't (that's a decision for the board to make). Since, the OP's question directly addresses the association's "annual meeting" that meeting by definition is a MEMBERS meeting and regardless of whether or not non-owners (non-members) can attend board meetings, they certainly should NOT be attending a members meeting.


Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Florida HOA Annual Meeting Attendance



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