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Subject: Can a non owner speak at a Florida HOA meeting is there a Fl statue permitting this
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PatriciaS15
(Florida)

Posts:1


04/10/2013 7:29 PM  
We have an owner that brings her live in boyfriend to HOA meetings. He interjects whenever he wants and speaks at these meetings I have told him that only member can speak. A board member said that florida statue states: Non owners can speak at our HOA meeting is he even permitted to attend?
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1343


04/10/2013 8:11 PM  
Florida statutes state the following in regards to speaking at meetings:

(6) RIGHT TO SPEAK.—Members and parcel owners have the right to attend all membership meetings and to speak at any meeting with reference to all items opened for discussion or included on the agenda. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the governing documents or any rules adopted by the board or by the membership, a member and a parcel owner have the right to speak for at least 3 minutes on any item, provided that the member or parcel owner submits a written request to speak prior to the meeting. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and other manner of member and parcel owner statements, which rules must be consistent with this subsection.

So I would say that technically the boyfriend is not allowed to speak at the meeting BUT I also think it would be reasonable if the parcel owner designated her boyfriend to speak for her, following appropriate rules though. I don't see issue with him speaking since he is a resident but I would object to him interrupting and maybe establish (and announce) a proper questioning procedure for the meetings.

PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


04/11/2013 5:55 AM  
As Kevin indicated the statutes do not give him the RIGHT to speak. But agree there is no harm if the proper rules are established so as not to abuse the BODs good will allowing this.
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2820


04/11/2013 7:23 AM  
note, there is a difference between the right to speak at point A of a meeting, and the right to speak at any time of a meeting. I may have the right to speak at the open mike portion of the council meeting, but I guarantee I will get tossed out if I rudely interrupt, interject, shout, or cause disorder/chaos during the rest of the meeting.

May he speak at the open discussion portion? Sure, why not, can't hurt, let him have his X minutes. Doodle on your notes while he rants.

Can he interrupt every two minutes with snide comments, input, etc.? Heck no. You have a business to run, control the meeting and run it.
JohnB26


Posts:0


04/11/2013 7:59 AM  
note, there is a difference between the right to speak at point A of a meeting, and the right to speak at any time of a meeting. I may have the right to speak at the open mike portion of the council meeting, but I guarantee I will get tossed out if I rudely interrupt, interject, shout, or cause disorder/chaos during the rest of the meeting.


EXACTLY
RobertB31
(Florida)

Posts:14


04/11/2013 12:21 PM  
We have run into this problem a few times and In Florida per are attorney only members and guest invited by the board may attend. I know it's a hard line to take with non-owners in the neighborhood but it has resulted in more productive meetings.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1343


04/11/2013 1:13 PM  
Some of the meetings I attended the HOA refused to acknowledge any non-member at the meetings - even parcel owners and those they required pay them a mandatory assessment. I saw everyone abide by the rules but the draconian measures of the board definitely left a negative impression in my mind.

I really think that had they allowed these other parcel owners to speak a lot of harm could have been avoided (the individual speaking was an attorney and were discussing some of the actions the board was taking). Instead of letting them speak the president banged his gavel and then later banned them from future meetings.

I say if you want to speak in the meeting behave yourself. Even live-in boyfriends. They are part of the neighborhood too. If someone is interrupting and causing a disturbance then that issue needs to be addressed quickly to avoid chaos and disorder. Taking it a step further, like my board, could also have the same effect.
CarolR11


Posts:0


04/11/2013 3:15 PM  
Our Board hasn't needed to keep non-owners out of our open meetings although we may.

Patricia, do actual owners interject whenever they wish during the business portion of your meetings? We permit owners to speak at both our open forums at the beginning & end of each such meeting. Our rules are written on the flip side of the agenda that each attendee picks up when they enter the meeting. If you had such rules, Patricia, the boyfriend could speak at the same periods of time as other owners. But he, like everyone else, may not interrupt your business.

As with others who've replied, I'd be OK with letting the boyfriend speak but only during the open forum periods.
CarolR11


Posts:0


04/11/2013 3:16 PM  
Our Board hasn't needed to keep non-owners out of our open meetings although we may.

Patricia, do actual owners interject whenever they wish during the business portion of your meetings? We permit owners to speak at both our open forums at the beginning & end of each such meeting. Our rules are written on the flip side of the agenda that each attendee picks up when they enter the meeting. If you had such rules, Patricia, the boyfriend could speak at the same periods of time as other owners. But he, like everyone else, may not interrupt your business.

As with others who've replied, I'd be OK with letting the boyfriend speak but only during the open forum periods.
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


04/11/2013 3:42 PM  
According to accepted parliamentary procedure (such as Roberts Rules) those who are not members of the assembly that is meeting (at a board meeting, it would be anyone who is not a board member) have no rights at all; no right to attend, no right to speak, no right to participate in debate, no right to make motions, no right to vote.

State laws and/or governing documents may make exceptions to this rule, such as the right of members of the organization (HOA) who are not board members, to attend or to speak.

Beyond that, no one else has the right to speak and may not speak (or even attend) unless invited to do so by the assembly that is meeting (such as the board) unless state law or the governing documents require it.

Allowing non-members of the HOA to speak at, or even attend, board meetings is a courtesy, not a right, and to be done properly, should be by invitation (done by a vote of the board), not merely by the president (unless the president is authorized to do so by a vote of the board).

But then, who does things properly (by the book)?
IanK1
(Florida)

Posts:7


06/22/2019 4:19 AM  
My concern is more specific; that is, can the Association's attorney attend a Board Meeting without being invited; likewise, who can invite the Association's attorney to attend a Board meeting...the President, or any Board member?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


06/22/2019 9:10 AM  
A BOD may invite anybody they care to invite.

IanK1
(Florida)

Posts:7


07/03/2019 4:31 AM  
I guess I'm not being specific enough. Let me try again.
CAN THE BOARD PRESIDENT ALONE, WITHOUT OTHER BOARD MEMBER'S KNOWLEDGE/VOTE, INVITE
THE ASSOCIATION'S ATTORNEY TO A MONTHLY OPEN BOARD MEETING?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8396


07/03/2019 4:47 AM  
Is that the answer you want to hear when you clarify?

Former HOA President
IanK1
(Florida)

Posts:7


07/03/2019 5:10 AM  
Not being familiar with Alabama's statute governing HOA's which is probably different
from the Florida statute and, not knowing your knowledge of Florida law, in your opinion, CAN A FLORIDA HOA BOARD PRESIDENT, WITHOUT THE BOARD'S KNOWLEDGE, AND WITHOUT THE BOARD TAKING A VOTE, CAN THE BOARD PRESIDENT ALONE INVITE THE ASSOCIATION'S ATTORNEY TO A MONTHLY OPEN BOARD MEETING? YES...or...NO? If so, do you know where this authority is stated? I find nothing in Florida law or our Association Governing Documents that give special privilege to the Association's attorney to attend open Board Meeting, nor can I find any words in Florida law or our Association Governing Documents that give the Board President unilateral authority to invite the Association's attorney to an open Board Meeting without the Board voting/making the invite. Also, our Association Governing
Documents state "only Association Members/parcel owners" can attend Board Meeting. The Association's
attorney is NOT and owner/parcel owner.

AugustinD


Posts:1886


07/03/2019 8:42 AM  
The Board President does not have this authority. Though President's abusing their authority happens often, either because the other board members are not doing their job and let the President 'do all the work,' or because the President does not care to follow the rules that state the Board, and not the President, is vested with decision-making on behalf of the HOA.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3572


07/03/2019 9:45 AM  
Posted By IanK1 on 07/03/2019 4:31 AM
I guess I'm not being specific enough. Let me try again.
CAN THE BOARD PRESIDENT ALONE, WITHOUT OTHER BOARD MEMBER'S KNOWLEDGE/VOTE, INVITE
THE ASSOCIATION'S ATTORNEY TO A MONTHLY OPEN BOARD MEETING?



1. Many HOAs delegate the responsibility to communicate with the HOA attorney to the Pres. The delegation can be formal (with a vote by the BOD) or informal (just the way things get done around here).
2. It makes sense to have a single point of contact between a member of the BOD and the HOA attorney. Things can get clunky if every conversation needs to involve a vote of the BOD members.
3. My big question is - Has the BOD approved such expenditures by including the cost of the lawyer's attendance at the BOD meetings in the HOA budget? If yes, that could be seen as acceptance of the Pres' actions by the other BOD members. If no, that would IMO be out of bounds.
4. If the HOA lawyer perceives the Pres as the designated point of contact, then the HOA lawyer has every right to accept the invitation and get paid by the HOA for his time.

So, in your shoes, I would focus on the financial part of the relationship - You as a homeowner are entitled to know if HOA money is being spent on non-BOD approved activity or in amounts that exceed the HOA budget. There shouldn't be any loosey-goosey decision making in that area.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JZ2
(Florida)

Posts:43


07/03/2019 12:34 PM  
Unless the Board of Directors has voted to grant the President that power, all decisions relative to the expenditure of Association funds -- including funds that would be spent on the Association's attorney attending a meeting --- are the Board's alone.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2621


07/03/2019 1:04 PM  
Good answer, NpS!

Not everything in HOA pad will be addressed in state law or even your documents. You said the board president invited the association attorney to the meeting without the knowledge of the rest of the board. Since attorneys charge for their time (which includes travel time to and from the meeting) do you really to consult the law before someone asks (1) why is he/she here? (2) are we (the association) being charged for this? Then you ask the president why he/she didn't discuss this with the rest of the board first so a vote could be taken to ask him/her to come. If the president can't explain this or refuses to, the rest of the board need to consider removing him\her from that position - and instruct the attorney to charge the president for that visit and send him\her home.

You didn't say how many people are on your board, but it seems to me the president is only one vote and if the rest of you are honked off about this,you need to speak up instead of wringing your hands. Surely everyone's enough to discuss this like adults

Oh, as to your original question, non members soon have an automatic right to attend a private meeting, which is what a HOA meeting is. In my community, it hasn't been a problem. Sometimes tenants attend the resident forum to ask questions and leave after that. Otherwise, other folk don't show up unless the board invites them regardless of who's there, no one is allowed to speak once the business portion begins. Everyone's told this at the beginning of the meeting, so you can establish a rule to this effect



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