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What are typical condo or HOA board term limits?

Posted on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 @ 06:33 AM
I live in a condo located in Florida and I have a question about term limits for our board members. An owner was informed by a private attorney, that we can petition two years limits for board members, and have them retroactive if voted on by all 430 owners and won by majority. We had 51 owners sign this petition as stated above and summited the paperwork to the condo manager for a vote. It was reviewed by the condo attorney and was shot down because you can not retroactive board members who are already voted on the board. Is there a law/state statute somewhere that I can refer to in regards to this issue? The condo attorney did not give us any references to support her decision. Our present board has become a dictatorship

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With only 51 voting our of 430, seems you don't have a maority to vote on anything. Our documents state two year limits on a five member board. I don't understand what you mean by retroactive. How long do the board members serve at present? There must be some limit so others can run for office.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 6:57 AM by Bill

Not certain for your reasons to do what you are trying to but anyway. 
The term length for a Board Director could be anything but 1 or 2 years is too short to really become a productive Director. 4 to 5 years could be too long for a Director to remain motivated. 3 to 4 years would, in my estimation be about right. 
In addition you would want the terms for the Directors to be staggered. Assuming a Board of 6 Directors with terms of 3 years each, 2 Directors terms would expire every year. This way there will be only 2 freshman Directors every year and the Board's business should not be hampered by too many freshmen. 
Next is how many continuous terms any Director can serve. If you have an abundant number of qualified volunteers, not just do gooders or tree huggers, then the people will know who to elect. Unfortunately most HOAs don't have volunteers tripping over one another to become a Director. So I would leave the number of continuous terms open. 
Now to change any or all of this, you need to follow your current Bylaws or Covenants as to what it takes to change. Realize that to change any of this the Bylaws need to be changed.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 7:14 AM by Ron - NC

Florida condo associations are governed by Chapter 718 of the state statutes, click on this link.  
Click on the link below for the state election brochure for condos. Condo board term limits in FL is one year. The law also allows condos to adopt two-year limits.  

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 7:23 AM by Kay Borden

Be careful what you wish for. As a member of a smaller group (20 townhouses) it can be like pulling teeth come election time to get members volunteer.  
As well if you only have 51 people willing to sign a petition, or just a little over 10%, sounds like there may be a high degree of member apathy.  
Sadly, bad boards can spoil a community, but the same, I see more and more where most people going into these associations don't want to do work, are there to pay someone to do the maintenance, and we even have a hard time getting a quorum at an annual meeting. 

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 7:24 AM by Dave

Our 45 unit association has a novel problem. The board ignores elections and our current board stays on or appoints people at will. Unfortunately, not enough members seem upset. 
The members had voted for quarterly meetings, but we are only having one annual meeting, usually announced with less than a week's notice.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 7:43 AM by Leif Skoogfors

What do your bylaws state? Especially in regards to annual meetings? Ours for example states that at least two weeks written notice must be mailed to each unit owner etc.  
Many get into a power grab, or see the board as a nice way to get the improvements to their properties first, but most don't understand the fiduciary and legal consequences of their positions as well as their exposure from inappropriate actions. 
It also sounds like you are a small enough group that can easily organize (I know, easier said than done) and get control back, even if it is forcing strong bylaws and notice. 
My first suggestion is to make sure you have a copy of your bylaws, familiarize yourself with them inside and out, and you will find you have a lot more power or that you have a lot of work ahead

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 8:00 AM by Dave

At our HOA, they time they serve is infinite. There is one trustee who has served for 25 years and another for more than ten. There are never enough owners at our meetings to have a vote on any open trustee positions, so the existing trustees are allowed to fill those slots.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 8:15 AM by nan

like Kay said above, in FL director elections are every year by default. If the declaration provides otherwise the terms can run up to two years. If your declaration is silent on term limits for directors, and you want to get it changed, you'll have to amend your condo's declaration. Generally it takes 2/3 vote of all unit owners to change the declaration, but again, check your own declaration to make sure it's not something different (might be 3/4ths).  
As far as making it retroactive...no can do. That's just a general legal concept and wont be found in the statute. Whatever change you make to the governing docs, or rule that you pass, becomes effective from that day forward.  
Good Luck.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 8:24 AM by Brandon

Kay Borden, 
Could you please reference the exact statute which states there are term limits for board members? In looking over the condo statutes, I could not find one. 
Thank you!

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 8:28 AM by mary

I think some people are being sloppy with wording and causing confusion. "Term limits" refers to a cap, a maximum number of years or terms that someone can be elected (or serve). If you're just talking about how long someone serves once elected, that's just the length of the term.  
So if elections for a director are every year, that's a 1-year term. If your bylaws state that a director can only serve for 3 years total, that would be a term limit.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 10:42 AM by Aaron B

In reference to the original article, let me explain our situation a little further, we have 7 board of directors every year we vote on directors to serve a 2 year term. It is split, 2 directors are up for election the one year and the other 5 are the next serving 2 year terms. The is a dictatorship on the board and some owners want to stop it. Other people try to get on the board but it is always controled by a 4 to 3 vote. If someone dies or quits, the board appoints their friends on the board. These board members also control the emails, to send out propaganda letters about other people who would like to run. New canidates keep coming up short on the votes sometimes by only 20. There are 200 residents that simply don't vote. The question is, does anybody know if there is a law/statue which the board attorney states is illegal to knock board members off retroactivly (immediatly)? This applies if you have already served more than a 4 year term limit, they would be kicked off immediatly if this law passes. There was nothing on paper from the board attorney indicating a statue/ law which forbids basically getting rid of the entire board in this manner. The petition states that once elected to the board can only stay on for 2 terms(4 years), then you have to sit 1(2year) term out.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 12:53 PM by greg

Again. Biggest question - What do your bylaws state regarding elections? 
Most bylaws I have seen allow for the appointment of members as replacements in the case someone steps down, dies, etc., but the board itself and its members are elected by a vote of the unit owners at an annual meeting at some prescribed frequency (ours is every two years). 
Anyone is allowed to run for election and can submit their names in writing to the board, and those names and any correspondence need to be included with the meeting announcement as well as included on the proxy ballots. 
I would suggest in the future all correspondence to the board should be sent via certified mail, as well as demand in at the next election all proxy votes be presented and made available to be examined. 
You should be able to add a term limit clause to the bylaws, but these limits are only forward reaching. Does not mean that someone who has say served 10 years in the past could be excluded from the next election if say the limit was set at 4 years, but they would be allowed to serve out there current term (i.e. you cannot retroactively remove an elected member) 
I would suggest making good friends with your neighbors, especially WELL BEFORE the next annual election, and for all of those 200 members who do not vote, GET THEIR PROXY. There is no reason you should not be able to show up at that meeting with 50 or more votes in hand. 
People may be lazy and not have time for these meetings (speaking of which I have a 2+ hour annual meeting tomorrow... Joy!) but a great many of the neighbors, if they like you, trust you, and think you are of their same views, will have no problem assigning their vote to you so you can try and improve things, while they watch Wheel of Fortune, Keeping up with the Kardashians or what have you. 
Their is great power in the proxy. 
Better yet. If you have a like minded group of 4 or 5 people... divide up the units, each grab proxies and have a coup!

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 2:01 PM by David

In our FL condo, we have term limits: maximum three (3) years for Board members but only 2 consecutive years for President. After that, former board members are ineligible for a period of just one (1) year, (Term limits are waived if there are not enough candidates to replace the board members who had reached their term limit. Not seen it yet).  
Associations need new blood. Many potential candidates don’t want to run against entrenched board members. In my opinion, that’s why associations need term limits to allow new blood. I have seen too many Presidents “for life”. (One left after eight years. He resigned only when hospitalized after the fourth time. He died three months later). He was an incompetent president but had groupies among the BOD meeting attendees). 
This reminds me of a recent article published in the Washington Post about an association going bankrupt after spending $400,000 in a four years litigation with an owner (He won). Yet the president is still serving as president and many owners still support him. 
With term limits, at least a change of president would have taken place two years ago. 
But there are always some seeing continuity+experience benefits in “no term limits”. Go figure. 

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 4:02 PM by RS-FL

No term limits in my condo per se.  
Terms are 3 yrs.

posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 5:27 PM by john_mastro@hotmail.com

You need to check your CC&R to find out what is the minimum number of signatures required for a valid petition and if you don't need to use a special form to collect them. 
The board needs to vote on the validity of your request and, if valid, start the process of an amendment vote. 
Check the % of required majority. Is it of "units" (430) or "voting owners" (let say 150)? 
If it's 66 2/3 of 430 units voting Yes to your amendment, it means that you need at least 75 to 80% of "units". Very hard to Impossible to get so much participation. 
You should start with an amendment to change the required number of votes from "units" to "voting unit owners" (participating in a vote) otherwise, for each future vote you will be hostage of the ever increasing number of non-participating owners. 
In any event, any positive vote can not be enforcable retroactively.

posted @ Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:02 AM by RS-FL

Sounds like the real issue is the board has become a "dictatorship" and you are thinking the only way to stop it is to set term limits. You will need a large percentage of votes to amend docs to establish term limits. Perhaps you should explore how to remove a board member and see if that could work better for you. Check your docs to see how that approach works.  
No term limits at my condo. None in state law. Wish there were. Seems like the only time there is a change is when a personality conflict appears among board members and they work to replace one of their own via a coup.

posted @ Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:00 AM by RPB Maine

This blog post is very informative and worth reading. keep sharing such nice blog posts. 

posted @ Tuesday, July 02, 2013 11:47 PM by katelouise1085

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posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:10 PM by Joe Delagdo

My condo has staggered terms and 2 year term limits. We have a unit owned by a corporation, the two business partners maintain an ongoing presence on the board by alternating. Does the term limit apply to the corporation as the owner of the unit, to the unit or to the indivudial partners? Thanks!

posted @ Friday, April 25, 2014 6:14 PM by Lourdes Sori

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