Amendments to the Florida Condominium Act enacted in 2018 provide that association board members may not serve more than eight consecutive years, unless they are elected by more than two-thirds of the voting membership or there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the board vacancies at the time of the election.
The initial guidance from the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation was unclear, but last summer it concluded that years of board service prior to the date that the law went into effect in July of 2018 did not count towards the eight years of consecutive service precluded by the new law.
Essentially, this means that only condo association board members who serve eight consecutive years starting in or after July 2018 will be disqualified from additional service unless the specific exemptions are met. This clarification by the Division of Condominiums has helped to allay concerns by association boards with long-term members from prior to 2018, as those directors will have at least five more years of eligible service.
While some communities thrive under long-term board members, our firm’s other South Florida community association attorneys and I recommend that all those residing in communities with associations view board membership in the same vein as a civic duty. An effective board is essential for the financial and administrative wellbeing of associations, so all eligible unit owners should consider running for the board of directors as their contribution back to their community.
In no way are the responsibilities of serving as a director too complex and demanding for the capabilities and skillsets of most association unit owners. What it requires is their time and dedication, but not to the point where it becomes too daunting for the average owner.
Aside from the guidance of highly experienced association legal counsel, board members can also make ample use of authoritative online resources that offer the most vital information for associations. The Community Associations Institute, which is the largest organization representing community associations in the world, offers a great deal of helpful articles and guides at www.caionline.org. Also, this blog is one of the leading sources for information for community associations in the state, and we encourage association directors, members and property managers to enter their email address in the subscription box on the right to automatically receive all our future articles.