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Subject: FL HOA - Is this an illegal vote?
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Author Messages
MaryM35
(Florida)

Posts:1


06/16/2020 5:04 PM  
We live in an HOA community in Florida that does not allow fences in easements. Over the years fences did get built on easements and three years ago, the Board issued a Clean Slate letter that grandfathered in the illegal fences but stated that going forward fences would not be allowed in easements. The current board decided that fences should be allowed in easements and proceeded to write an amendment to change the CCRs.

They drew up a proxy for the special meeting which they sent to each homeowner. The proxy they sent out was flawed. It did not follow Florida Statutes because the date of the meeting was not on the proxy. The amendment itself was not written per FL statutes - it had red ink for the additions instead of being underlined. On Sunday before the scheduled Tuesday meeting, we asked the board president to postpone the meeting due to these mistakes in the proxy but she refused. Instead she sent around an email asking people on the email list to insert the date of the meeting on the proxy.

We were holding 7 "no" proxies that became invalid because the homeowners had not inserted the date (how could they since we had their proxies already?). The emails that were sent out did not include the whole community just those on the email list. Then she invited the board's attorney to the meeting who proceeded to stonewall us about the mistakes in the proxy, acting as if it didn't matter, but saying the "no" proxies we were holding couldn't be counted (then said well maybe as "provisional" ballots). The vote carried by a substantial margin in favor of fences.

I feel that this meeting was handled improperly, but I also feel that we have no recourse to undo this vote. The reason we are so adamantly against fences in easements is that our CCRs state that the easements belonging to each house are part of the Common Area and so people will be putting fences technically in the Common Area, which is considered an encroachment.

Do any of you think there is anything we can do to annul this vote?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/16/2020 5:46 PM  
You could get your own attorney and duke it out with the HOA that way, but that won't happen overnight and it won't be cheap. I'm not saying don't do it, but maybe you can talk to neighbors who feel the same as you and then set out to talk to everyone else about revisiting the issue.

Take a look at your documents to see how it addresses changes to the CCRs - that's what your board should have done first. I understand about the law, but there's a chance the statute you're referring to only applies to HOAs established after a certain date - if your HOA precedes the effective date, it might not apply.

If people are unmoved by the legalese, there may be other practical issues they haven't thought about - here's an article on encroachment that may give you some ideas - https://www.hoaleader.com/public/641.cfm#:~:text=So%20if%20someone%20plants%20a,common%20area%2C%20it's%20an%20encroachment.

AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/16/2020 6:18 PM  
Posted By MaryM35 on 06/16/2020 5:04 PM
Do any of you think there is anything we can do to annul this vote?
Pursuant to Florida statute 720.311 (2), your group can make a demand for mediation. The statute gives the exact wording to be used in such a demand. See http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0720/0720.html
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/17/2020 8:01 AM  
Posted By MaryM35 on 06/16/2020 5:04 PM
We live in an HOA community in Florida that does not allow fences in easements. Over the years fences did get built on easements and three years ago, the Board issued a Clean Slate letter that grandfathered in the illegal fences but stated that going forward fences would not be allowed in easements. The current board decided that fences should be allowed in easements and proceeded to write an amendment to change the CCRs.

They drew up a proxy for the special meeting which they sent to each homeowner. The proxy they sent out was flawed. It did not follow Florida Statutes because the date of the meeting was not on the proxy. The amendment itself was not written per FL statutes - it had red ink for the additions instead of being underlined. On Sunday before the scheduled Tuesday meeting, we asked the board president to postpone the meeting due to these mistakes in the proxy but she refused. Instead she sent around an email asking people on the email list to insert the date of the meeting on the proxy.

We were holding 7 "no" proxies that became invalid because the homeowners had not inserted the date (how could they since we had their proxies already?). The emails that were sent out did not include the whole community just those on the email list. Then she invited the board's attorney to the meeting who proceeded to stonewall us about the mistakes in the proxy, acting as if it didn't matter, but saying the "no" proxies we were holding couldn't be counted (then said well maybe as "provisional" ballots). The vote carried by a substantial margin in favor of fences.

I feel that this meeting was handled improperly, but I also feel that we have no recourse to undo this vote. The reason we are so adamantly against fences in easements is that our CCRs state that the easements belonging to each house are part of the Common Area and so people will be putting fences technically in the Common Area, which is considered an encroachment.

Do any of you think there is anything we can do to annul this vote?




Would your 7 Proxies have mattered? If not, get over it.

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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > FL HOA - Is this an illegal vote?



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