Florida ranks highest with the most Condo, Co-op and HOA Associations in the United States. The majority of Association Members do not know how current their Documents are, or the last time they were revised (if ever).
It is not legally necessary to update or amend condominium documents. However, most associations find it desirable to amend and update the documents from time to time, to assist in the operation of the association and to comply with current Florida Statutes and standards.
The first (original) documents for an Association are ordered to be drawn up by the developer/builder, and the attorney getting these instructions will typically use boilerplate templates for the task. This generally meets Florida Statutes and your Association’s Declaration of Documents are born.
Board Members & Management are usually the first to experience the worth and decisiveness of this Holy Grail when confronted by the Dark Side. This being said in jest, most Association Members know, or have experienced these frustrations first hand. Here are a few issues commonly not defined in their DOC’s:
- Late fees for Association Dues
- Penalty fees for non-compliance
- Having the Annual Budget start with the fiscal year
- Scheduling Annual Meeting within weeks of fiscal year
- Owner & Visitor parking of vehicles
- Recreational vehicles, storage vehicles and trailers
- Outside storage restrictions and penalties
- Owner or member Insurance requirements and naming the Association as additional insured.
Be prepared to work for updating, revision and review because it will take a 2/3rds or 75% Vote of the Association to enact this procedure, but the work will benefit all Members and add value to your Association.
A call to the Association’s Attorney is the first step to addressing the updating of the Documents to current State Statutes and adding specific addendums that will make operating your Association run smoother going forward. Generally this consultation is at no cost but gives the Board of Directors and Management guidance and the foresight of how to get the Association on board with the task and the costs involved.
The industry generally recommends having Association Documents updated to current Florida Statues and standards every five years. Associations evolve and develop their own character and specialty niche within their community over time and their DOC’s need to reflect their successfully established profile.