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Subject: Owners in Arrears Voting
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NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:134


02/13/2020 10:44 AM  
Our CC&Rs permit the Board to suspend the voting privileges of any owner behind in arrears in any amount to the association. On the annual election mailer, it is stated that those who are arrears in any amount to the association will not receive a ballot.


Since some owners may think this is harsh (I personally do not), how would you enforce this at an annual meeting to ensure this was done for both absentee and in person ballots? Would you ask the management company representative to explain the fairness of this provision in order to avoid the Board appearing harsh to someone owners who might not agree with this provision.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:476


02/13/2020 11:06 AM  
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 10:44 AM
Would you ask the management company representative to explain the fairness of this provision in order to avoid the Board appearing harsh to someone owners who might not agree with this provision.


Are you serious? I hope you're not a Board member.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2947


02/13/2020 11:08 AM  
I don't think it's harsh either - the board oversees how the money is spent and all homeowners are legally obligated to pay it so the association can provide services as indicated in the documents. If they're so concerned about losing their right to vote or run for a seat on the board, they need to keep their assessments up to date.

You've already explained this in your letter, but if someone objects to this at the meeting, it's the responsibility of the BOARD, not the property manager, to make it plainer. The property manager works at the direction of the board, which should be doing things according to their documents. This is in your documents which everyone agreed to comply with when they purchased their unit. They'll look ridiculous arguing this point, but they don't care about that, let them stew and then remind them (again) how the rules work. If they still fuss, you may have to ask them to leave or sit down and let the meeting proceed.

In our community, we use a sign-in sheet that only lists eligible homeowners, so if you're not listed, you're welcome to stay and listen, but won't receive a ballot. It's best to hand those out as people come in, have everyone turn them in at the appropriate time and then count in front of everyone (use people who aren't running for a spot).

For the absentee owners, we use proxies where they can assign it to someone who will show up and cast a vote on their behalf (they must bring the card, which must be signed and dated by the homeowner). The name is also checked against the eligible list. They can also authorize the Board president to cast the vote in their behalf. If they decide to show up anyway, the proxy will be cancelled and they can vote - provided they're listed on the sign-in sheet (which they must sign).

Before we call the meeting to order, we total the number of people who show up and the number of proxies received - if we have at least 10% of the homeowners represented, on with the annual meeting.
BobB31
(Florida)

Posts:167


02/13/2020 11:08 AM  
Our election inspectors appointed at the beginning of the meeting validate ballots and proxies against a list of qualified voters which is compiled the day of the meeting, with owners in arrears eliminated from the list.
All owners in arrears are notified in advance that failure to pay up will result in their votes being invalidated.
I disagree with not providing a ballot: the owner could pay up during the period between the mailout and the meeting, thus allowing them to vote.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2947


02/13/2020 11:10 AM  
That's why we don't run the sign-in sheet until the afternoon of the meeting, giving people time to bring their accounts up to date. Homeowners can also pay their assessments online, so we can update it quickly.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:540


02/13/2020 11:26 AM  
NpB,
You need to read your CC&Rs. Many will have a item that mentions All Members not in Good Standing or just Members in Good Standing.

Good standing is Current on Dues.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:134


02/13/2020 1:37 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 02/13/2020 11:06 AM
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 10:44 AM
Would you ask the management company representative to explain the fairness of this provision in order to avoid the Board appearing harsh to someone owners who might not agree with this provision.


Are you serious? I hope you're not a Board member.






I posit that most people do not read the CC&Rs before purchase and when one cites them, they get offended.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3545


02/13/2020 1:54 PM  
Posted By BobB31 on 02/13/2020 11:08 AM
Our election inspectors appointed at the beginning of the meeting validate ballots and proxies against a list of qualified voters which is compiled the day of the meeting, with owners in arrears eliminated from the list.
All owners in arrears are notified in advance that failure to pay up will result in their votes being invalidated.
I disagree with not providing a ballot: the owner could pay up during the period between the mailout and the meeting, thus allowing them to vote.

Voting rights in Florida have to be suspended in advance of the day of the election. I don't think you can run a list of delinquents on the day of the vote and just cross their names off the "eligible to vote" list.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:476


02/13/2020 2:10 PM  
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 1:37 PM
Posted By MarkW18 on 02/13/2020 11:06 AM
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 10:44 AM
Would you ask the management company representative to explain the fairness of this provision in order to avoid the Board appearing harsh to someone owners who might not agree with this provision.


Are you serious? I hope you're not a Board member.






I posit that most people do not read the CC&Rs before purchase and when one cites them, they get offended.



That wasn't my question. It was why you can't tell the homeowner they can't vote because they owe you money. You have to hide behind a management company because you can't stand having your neighbor mad at you?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:134


02/13/2020 2:19 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 02/13/2020 2:10 PM
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 1:37 PM
Posted By MarkW18 on 02/13/2020 11:06 AM
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 10:44 AM
Would you ask the management company representative to explain the fairness of this provision in order to avoid the Board appearing harsh to someone owners who might not agree with this provision.


Are you serious? I hope you're not a Board member.






I posit that most people do not read the CC&Rs before purchase and when one cites them, they get offended.



That wasn't my question. It was why you can't tell the homeowner they can't vote because they owe you money. You have to hide behind a management company because you can't stand having your neighbor mad at you?





I go back to my original statement about how so many people are emotional and get easily offended.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2032


02/13/2020 2:32 PM  
If you cannot stand and speak honestly to the issue - you should not be on the Board.

This one is easy - "We have a rule, here is the reference, I will read the rule, we are following the rule, are there further questions?"
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:476


02/13/2020 2:42 PM  
This was your original "question" Since some owners may think this is harsh (I personally do not), how would you enforce this at an annual meeting to ensure this was done for both absentee and in person ballots?

If you're a male, IMHO, grow a pair.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:476


02/13/2020 2:45 PM  
On second thought, since they didn't get a ballot, what's the issue?

If you get challenged, please stand behind the PM while they bail you out.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9121


02/13/2020 2:46 PM  
NpB

One of the things we pay our MC for is to be the "heavy". Write the nasty letters, verify if one is up to date, etc.

Our MC has had to call people aside and tell them they are not eligible to vote.
AugustinD


Posts:2574


02/13/2020 2:50 PM  
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 2:19 PM
I go back to my original statement about how so many people are emotional and get easily offended.
What about the feelings of those owners who are offended at the costs and trouble to the association that the delinquent owners cause? A board has to be automaton like on this point, giving proper notice of the delinquency and suspension of voting rights, all in private and not in public. I think there is no avoiding bad feelings from some.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9121


02/13/2020 2:57 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 02/13/2020 2:50 PM
Posted By NpB on 02/13/2020 2:19 PM
I go back to my original statement about how so many people are emotional and get easily offended.
What about the feelings of those owners who are offended at the costs and trouble to the association that the delinquent owners cause? A board has to be automaton like on this point, giving proper notice of the delinquency and suspension of voting rights, all in private and not in public. I think there is no avoiding bad feelings from some.




Well said.
BobB31
(Florida)

Posts:167


02/13/2020 3:25 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 02/13/2020 1:54 PM
Posted By BobB31 on 02/13/2020 11:08 AM
Our election inspectors appointed at the beginning of the meeting validate ballots and proxies against a list of qualified voters which is compiled the day of the meeting, with owners in arrears eliminated from the list.
All owners in arrears are notified in advance that failure to pay up will result in their votes being invalidated.
I disagree with not providing a ballot: the owner could pay up during the period between the mailout and the meeting, thus allowing them to vote.

Voting rights in Florida have to be suspended in advance of the day of the election. I don't think you can run a list of delinquents on the day of the vote and just cross their names off the "eligible to vote" list.



OK, that's news to me. How far in advance?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3545


02/13/2020 5:54 PM  
Posted By BobB31 on 02/13/2020 3:25 PM
OK, that's news to me. How far in advance?

For an HOA, FS 720.305(4) starts with,

"An association may suspend the voting rights of a parcel or member for the nonpayment of any fee, fine, or other monetary obligation due to the association that is more than 90 days delinquent."

FS 720.305(5) goes on to say,

"All suspensions imposed pursuant to subsection (3) or subsection (4) must be approved at a properly noticed board meeting. Upon approval, the association must notify the parcel owner and, if applicable, the parcel’s occupant, licensee, or invitee by mail or hand delivery."

There's no set time limit but voting rights have to be suspended at a properly noticed board meeting and the owner notified of the suspension.

I suppose the board could suspend voting rights at a separate, properly noticed board meeting immediately preceding the election meeting on the same day if those owners whose rights were suspended were there in attendance and available to be served notice of suspension by hand.

In a FS 718 condo association, the requirements are similar.
BobB31
(Florida)

Posts:167


02/14/2020 12:39 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 02/13/2020 5:54 PM
Posted By BobB31 on 02/13/2020 3:25 PM
OK, that's news to me. How far in advance?

For an HOA, FS 720.305(4) starts with,

"An association may suspend the voting rights of a parcel or member for the nonpayment of any fee, fine, or other monetary obligation due to the association that is more than 90 days delinquent."

FS 720.305(5) goes on to say,

"All suspensions imposed pursuant to subsection (3) or subsection (4) must be approved at a properly noticed board meeting. Upon approval, the association must notify the parcel owner and, if applicable, the parcel’s occupant, licensee, or invitee by mail or hand delivery."

There's no set time limit but voting rights have to be suspended at a properly noticed board meeting and the owner notified of the suspension.

I suppose the board could suspend voting rights at a separate, properly noticed board meeting immediately preceding the election meeting on the same day if those owners whose rights were suspended were there in attendance and available to be served notice of suspension by hand.

In a FS 718 condo association, the requirements are similar.



Thanks. We were fortunate to not have any suspensions this year. Our board collection policy needs revision.
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