Q: Recently the board of directors of my condominium association voted to terminate our management company’s contract and to hire a new management company. Many of the unit owners liked our former management company and are very upset at this change. Can the board of directors, without a vote of the unit owners, change the management company? This seems to be the type of decision that should require unit owner approval. M.O.
A: In all likelihood, the board of directors had the authority to make the decision to change management companies.The Florida Condominium Act provides that there are specific decisions that must be approved by a vote of the unit owners. These include decisions concerning waiving or reducing reserve funding or using reserves for nonscheduled purposes, voting to reduce the association’s financial reporting requirement, and the election of directors. Further, most changes to the condominium documents require unit owner approval as well as extraordinary actions such as purchasing real property. Other than these statutorily regulated votes, any other requirement to obtain the unit owners’ approval would be dictated by your condominium documents. Most condominium documents provide that unless otherwise specifically required by the documents or by law, the decisions of the association are made by the board of directors.
Therefore, it would be necessary to review your condominium documents to determine if there was any provision that required unit owner approval before a change in management company, which in my experience would be very unusual. I do occasionally see documents that require a vote before hiring a management company, or regulate what management contracts must contain. However, it is most likely that your board had the authority to select the management company for the association and to change management companies.
When an association is terminating any contract, the association should carefully review the language of that contract, specifically any provision regarding termination or the contract term. Many contracts contain specific requirements concerning the termination process including when termination is permitted without penalty, and how the notice of termination must be provided.
Q: Recently my condominium association amended its rules concerning pets. All pets must now be 35 pounds or less in weight. I have always had labradors as dogs and they, as a breed, always weigh more than 35 pounds at maturity. When my current dog dies, would I be permitted to have another large dog? In other words, would I be grandfathered? R.H.
A: It depends. As a general matter, if the restriction is changed through an amendment to the declaration of condominium there is no right to be grandfathered under the old rule when your current dog dies.
In the Florida…