THE EMERGENCY IS OVER!

On June 27th, Florida was no longer considered to be in a State of Emergency.  Governor Desantis did not renew the emergency order.  So that means all of the emergency powers that Boards of Directors of condominiums and HOAs had during the COVID pandemic have expired.

The question is…….in practical terms — what does that really mean for owners living in condominums and hoas?  Other than re-opening all of your amenities, I am hoping for not much changes at all.  I’ve always said, an amazing thing happened over the pandemic.  We all learned how to have zoom meetings and participation at board and unit owner meetings was higher than ever before.  Just because the state of emergency is over doesn’t mean we should stop allowing unit owners the right to show up at meetings via zoom.

I have been asked if going forward we need to have a physical place for the board meeting — or can everyone simply continue to show up by zoom?  Well, as the law stands right now…….. there must be a physical place for the meeting.  Unit owners have a right to physically go to a meeting.  But when they get to that meeting, all of the Board members have the right to appear not in person, but by zoom.  The directors have that right, but under the current statute the unit owners do not.  That needs to be changed.

Many of you have canceled your elections for the past year.  What should you be doing now?  This is a little tougher to answer because the law is unclear.  Keep in mind that it generally takes over two months to notice the owners and send out the voting materials and have an election.  So, I can only tell you what I think would be reasonable:  If you did not have an annual meeting within the last year, and if your by laws say your annual meeting and election is at least 6 months away, I think you should immediately have an election now, and then again on the date provided in your bylaws.  Yes, you would have to do it twice.  There is nothing in the law that would allow Board members to serve a two year term with no election, even with the Pandemic in effect.   On the other hand, if you have not had an annual meeting within the last year and according to your bylaws your election is only 6 months or less away, no need to have two elections — that would be silly —just comply with the date in your bylaws going forward.

I think we can officially say that as far as Covid goes — the crisis is over and we’re back to the way things always were.  No more closing down pools, no more prohibiting guests, no more preventing deliveries, no more mandating masks, no more canceling annual meetings, no more canceling budget meetings.  Bottom line —- it’s back to business.

And I for one am thrilled.

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