My original question before I had the credit card debacle was: I live onthe southwest side of Naples, Florida. Recently, our BOD posted a 48 hournotice on 10/26 and noticed that they would be "discussion of a smokingban." We are a 36 unit Association with 5 directors. There were twodirectors present and the meeting was held in the management office about 20-25miles away. To my knowledge there were about 6 unit owners present on site.On November 3, the BOD posted Notice (on site) of Budget Discussion with"open item" for discussion (whatever that means) and the meeting was againoff site. On November 9th unit owners received from the management company aNotice/Agenda that a meeting would be held on November 23rd (with budgetattached) and a vote to approve the budget was in order. There was nomention of vote to be taken about on a "smoking ban."On December 15, 2011, the board sent a letter to unit owners stating "TheAssociation is prohibiting smoking of any kind in the common areas and thelimited common areas which are includes all lanais, stairwells, entryways,and walkways from the garages to the buildings. This rule is beingadopted to promote a healthy, safe environment for all of our residents andguests. This rule has been adopted and is effective immediately upon receipt ofthis written communication. Each owner shall be responsible, goingforward, to make sure that this specific language becomes part of any rentallease or renewal of any existing leases. Owners are responsible to notify anycurrent lessee that this rule is now in place."My concern here is that I believe that a 14 day notice should have beensent to all unit owners of this "smoking ban." Those unit owners who havesigned rental agreements as well as yearly leases and approved by the board;and who are allowed to smoke either inside or outside on the lanai; what dothey do now? There has been no effort to institute a grandfather clausefor those renters/lessee who signed long before the board mandated thesmoking ban.Long ago, very long ago I was at the forefront of banning smoking onbusses and trains to and from Boston. It was as you might know a nasty fightbecause smokers felt they had rights and that someone like me had no right todeny them their right to choose to smoke.Be that as it may .. my only concern here is that the board should havegiven a 14 day notice to owners and further, they should have made thissmoking ban an amendment to our documents to avoid any lawsuit against theassociation.This is the question I wish JustAnswer could help me with.Thank you for your time.Adele
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. Please note that for legal reasons my answers are only intended to be general/educational information rather than specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, then you must consult with a local attorney in your jurisdiction. The applicable law states in part: Adequate notice of all meetings, which notice shall specifically incorporate an identification of agenda items, shall be posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 48 continuous hours preceding the meeting except in an emergency. Any item not included on the notice may be taken up on an emergency basis by at least a majority plus one of the members of the board. Such emergency action shall be noticed and ratified at the next regular meeting of the board. However, written notice of any meeting at which nonemergency special assessments, or at which amendment to rules regarding unit use, will be considered shall be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the condominium property not less than 14 days prior to the meeting. So, the general rule is that 48 hours is enough notice. If nonemergency special assessments are at issue, or amendments to use of the unit, then 14 days notice is required. The issue is whether the smoking ban affects use of the unit. Based on what you wrote, it does not ... it affect use of common areas. Therefore, I think that 48 hours is enough notice. As for renters, their leases are automatically subservient to the condo declaration and bylaws ... even when the declaration or bylaws are amended. Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our discussion). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
Licensed to Practice Law
Thank you for your response to my question. As a resident in Naples, Florida living in a Condominium I believe that 48 hour notice for Discussion Only on a Smoking Ban and never once notify the unit owners that a vote will be taken on a smoking ban and then receive a newsletter that states that the board in fact did vote to impose a ban. There is something inherently wrong with the way this was handled. Your thoughts?
Hi again.If the notice indicated that there would be no vote, and merely a discussion, then I agree that it was handled poorly. However, if the notice indicated that a smoking ban would be discussed, and did not imply that there would be no vote, then I think that it must be assumed that there would be a vote on the smoking ban. So, I suppose it depends on what the notice actually said.
Good Morning VAMD:Thank you for your reply. I reviewed the Agenda for October 26 2011 and under New Business was listed "Discussion of Smoking Ban on property." Following this meeting there was two meetings held in November and there was no mention of a vote being taken to Ban Smoking in the Common Areas, Limited Common Areas, hallways, stairwells, balconies, Lanai's, walkways between garages, in front and back of garages.
Hi again.It does seem odd that the new ban wasn't mentioned in the subsequent meetings, though I suppose it's not a requirement. But, as you mentioned earlier, I'd agree that it could have been handled better.
Dear VAMD:Thank you for your e-mail. As they say ... I'm still amongst the aborigines and haven't forgotten you and Just Answer or the information that you have imparted to me. I do have a question tho ... I noted your law practice is elsewhere but not in Florida. I know that you have commiserated with someone about Florida Law or simply was able to look it up yourself. I still believe that when the BOD posted an agenda on October, 26 meeting where under New Business they noted a discussion will take place on a smoking ban in the community. Of 34 unit owners only 5/6 individuals were on site that included 2 BOD. Following two meetings in November which were adequately posted there was never any mention of any vote on the subject matter of a smoking ban. Further, I have indicated to the property manager and to the BOD that at the Annual March meeting of Unit Owners ... this issue should be brought up at that time. Be that as it may ... I do have an issue with Maintenance of Landscape ... I believe I know the answer but I just need to refer to my Documents. The BOD and the property manager tell us that SOD REPLACEMENT cannot be done at this time until after season! They are wrong. I'll contact you.Thanks for your interest.Adele
Hi again.Yes, feel free to contact me again.
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