Every week I get calls from homeowners and condo owners that feel that they are being harassed by a specific board member or that the board member has lied or done something dishonest. This week the call came from an individual living in a cooperative association or “co-op”. These types of associations usually have far fewer members than condo associations or homeowners’ associations and as a result they are usually run more informally. Nevertheless they are still governed by Florida Law. The process of seeking to have a board member removed from office is referred to in the statutes as recall.
Essentially any owner may seek the removal of a board member, all you have to do is get 10 percent of your fellow owners to agree to call a special meeting of all owners with voting rights. Assuming you call the meeting properly, you then need to have a majority of the owners with voting rights agree with you by taking a vote. The board then has 5 business days to either certify the recall, or file a petition for arbitration. If the board agrees and certifies the recall then the recall shall be effective immediately and the board member shall have 5 business days to turn over any association records and property of the association in that member’s possession.
Florida Statute Section 719.106 specifies the mandatory provisions that the bylaws or other cooperative documents must provide for and, if they don’t the governing documents shall be deemed to include the provisions of this powerful law.
Subsection (1)(f) provides the following with regard to recall of board members:
(f) Recall of board members.–Subject to the provisions of s. 719.301, any member of the board of administration may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests. A special meeting of the voting interests to recall any member of the board of administration may be called by 10 percent of the unit owners giving notice of the meeting as required for a meeting of unit owners, and the notice shall state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic transmission may not be used as a method of giving notice of a meeting called in whole or in part for this purpose.
Before seeking the recall of a board member it is important that you discuss the matter with a Florida Attorney that aims in representing unit owners. While the statute says “with or without cause” you still want to make sure that you have a good faith basis to seek the recall. Remember you all have to live together. The Law Offices of Herb M. Milgrim, P.A. fights for condo owners rights. We are always available to provide you with a free case evaluation. We can’t provide you with legal advice until you formally retain us but we can help you to make an informed decision about seeking legal representation.