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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  JA Mentor
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May the president of a Broward County condominium

Customer Question

May the president of a Broward County condominium association block the eminently qualified board elected treasurer from performing his duties in order to control power? And is the president allowed to act as both president and treasurer at the same time?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

A president of a condominium association has no specific power or authority beyond the ability to chair meetings and organize the agenda. His vote does not count more than other board members, and he has no authority to unilaterally make decisions UNLESS the HOA documents give him that authority or the board has voted and granted extra authority. All officers have an obligation to act in the best interests of the community, so a president who is not doing his job, or who is not allowing other officers to do THEIR jobs, can be removed. The remaining board members should read the by-laws to see what the procedure for board member removal is (Fl. Stat., Section 718.112 requires that bylaws include this provision).

The statute also says that, unless the bylaws say otherwise, the condo board shall be comprised of 5 members: president, secretary, and treasurer. The statute doesn't specifically prohibit one person from carrying out multiple functions, but the entire board would have to agree. One person can't arbitrarily decide which position or positions he gets to hold. There needs to be a vote.

Any member of the community could bring a lawsuit against the president for violating his obligations to the community, but the first step will probably be to see what the board documents say about removing that person. Even if he has a problem with the treasurer, he should be looking into the steps for removal himself and following appropriate procedure, not simply making it impossible for the treasurer to do his job. It's not in the best interests of the community for one person who craves power to ignore the bylaws or wishes of other board members and control everything.

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