Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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This forum, by owners for owners, provides useful information for owners to view and discuss.

This blog does not belong nor represents the views of the Pavilon Condo Association

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Florida’s population grows, but not enough to overcome New York


A day after the New York Jets handed the Miami Dolphins a season-ending loss on the gridiron, New York beat Florida - again.
On Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that New York had narrowly held onto the title of third-most populous state in the nation.
Some demographers had predicted that rapidly growing Florida would overcome New York and slip into the third-place spot this year. But population estimates released Monday put the Empire State ahead of Florida by a mere 98,267 people.
That isn’t to say that Florida won’t eclipse New York soon -- in terms of population, anyway.
The Sunshine State (population 19.6 million) has been growing at 3.75 percent since 2010, according to the latest Census data.
New York grew 1.3 percent over the same time period.
“It’s quite clear that Florida, in terms of overall population, is going to overtake New York,” Ira Sheskin, who chairs the Department of Geography and Regional Studies the University of Miami. “It won’t take much longer.”
Experts say the disparity in growth is the result of domestic migration patterns.
Both states have received a steady stream of immigrants, said Stan Smith, of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida.
“But in terms of [domestic] migration, more people leave New York than move into New York,” Smith said.
Florida, meanwhile, has long been a haven for retirees, families and New Yorkers seeking an escape from the cold weather.
One benefit of Florida's current pace of growth could be additional representation in Congress, Smith said.
“The ranking itself doesn’t mean much, other than the likely shift in congressional seats following the 2020 census,” he said.
Population changes gave Florida two additional seats in 2010. New York lost two seats that year.
Monday’s Census Bureau release included only state-level population estimates.
The largest states were California (38.3 million) and Texas (26.5 million), according to the data.
Wyoming claimed the title of least-populous state with just 582,658 people.
Just two states experienced population declines: Maine and West Virginia.

Read more here:

Florida State - Election Monitor (Monitor de Elecciones)

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December 27, 2013

Board of Directors
Pavilion Condominium Association of Miami Beach
Attn: Mike Pintado – CAM
5601 Collins Ave – CU10
Miami Beach, FL 33140

RE: Notice of Receipt of Petition for Appointment of an election Monitor and Notice of Appointment of an Election Monitor

Dear Board of Directors:

You are hereby notified that I have received a Petition for Appointment of an Election Monitor (copy enclosed) which I have determined to be complete and sufficient.  Further, pursuant to the provisions of s. 718.5012(10), Florida Statutes and Rule 61B-23.00215, Florida Administrative Code, I have appointed Diana Zayas-Bazan to serve as election monitor, to attend and conduct the election of directors at your association’s annual meeting.  The election monitor will contact you in advance of the election date.  Please plan to provide the election monitor with a current list of qualified voters as well as all voting certificates on file.

Please be advised that according to Florida law, all costs associated with the election monitoring process shall be paid by the association.  The monitor may require the association to pre-pay all or part of the reasonable fees and costs.

In the event you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.


Bruce A. Campbell
Condominium Ombudsman

cc: Diana Zayas-Bazan
Enclosure: Petition for Appointment of Election Monitor

E S P A Ñ O L 
27 de Didiembre 2013

Junta Directiva
Pavilion Condominium Association of Miami Beach
A la atención de: Mike Pintado - CAM
5601 Collins Ave - 10 um
Miami Beach, FL 33140

RE: Aviso de recibo de la petición de nombramiento de un monitor de la elección y notificación de designación de un observador electoral

Estimada Junta Directiva:

Se le notifica que he recibido una petición de designación de un monitor de Elecciones (copia adjunta), que he determinado  ser completa y suficiente. Además, según con lo dispuesto en el s. 718.5012 (10), Estatutos de la Florida y la Regla 61B-23.00215, Código Administrativo de la Florida, he nombrado a Diana Zayas-Bazan para servir como monitora electoral, para asistir y llevar a cabo la elección de directores en la reunión anual de su asociación. La monitora electoral se pondrá en contacto con usted antes de la fecha de las elecciones. Por favor haga planes para proporcionar el observador electoral con una lista actualizada de los votantes calificados, así como todos los certificados de votación registrado en la asociación.

Tenga en cuenta que de acuerdo con la ley de Florida, todos los costos asociados con el proceso de supervisión de las elecciones deberán ser pagados por la asociación. El monitor puede requerir a la asociación pagar por adelantado la totalidad o parte de los honorarios y costos razonables.

En el caso de que usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en llamarme.

Gracias de antemano por su cooperación prevista.


Bruce A. Campbell
Condominio Ombudsman

cc: Diana Zayas-Bazan

Adjunto  Petición para nombrar al Monitor de Elección

                                                     Ver Original:

“Dunning Lists” Should Not Be Published By Associations For Late Assessments

Question: Is it legal for a condominium association publicly post the names and unit numbers of homeowners who are late on their assessment payments? M.V. (via e-mail) 
Answer: In my opinion, no. Chapter 559.72(14) of the Florida Statutes, known as the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, generally prohibits the publication of “dunning lists.”
However, the underlying documentation involving the delinquencies (such as account ledgers, records of payments, recorded liens, and the like) are part of the “official records” of the association, which any unit owner is entitled to inspect and copy.
In other words, unit owners have the right to get this information, but the association should not volunteer it, and certainly should not try to “shame” people into paying, as that will backfire.

Conflict of Interest?

By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published December 16, 2013

We all know that in both a condo and an HOA board members serve without compensation.  Suppose however that a member of the Board owns a business and that business wants to enter into a contract with the association?  For example, let's say the condominium needs a paint job.  The condo President is a general contractor and his company is qualified to do the work.  The President tells the other Board members that the association should hire his company to do the job because he will give them the best price, he will personally supervise the job, he will provide the standard warranties and his company is licensed, insured and will pull the proper permits.  Can the Board vote to hire the services of the company owned by the association President?  The answer is "Yes" but only if certain legal hurdles are accomplished first.

            Both Florida condominium and H.O.A. law would allow the association to enter into this agreement.  First however:

(a) The association shall comply with the requirements of s. 617.0832, meaning the contract and the relationship must be disclosed;
(b) The disclosure shall be entered into the written minutes of the meeting.
(c) Approval of the contract or other transaction shall require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the directors present.
(d) At the next regular or special meeting of the members, the existence of the contract or other transaction shall be disclosed to the members. Upon motion of any member, the contract or transaction shall be brought up for a vote and may be canceled by a majority vote of the members present. Should the members cancel the contract, the association shall only be liable for the reasonable value of goods and services provided up to the time of cancellation and shall not be liable for any termination fee, liquidated damages, or other form of penalty for such cancellation.

            I know that some of you may think it's simply a bad idea to hire the services of a company owned by one of the directors.  I can't say I agree. If the Board member's company is reputable, the association is getting a good deal and the statute is complied with, perhaps it can work out well for the association.  I would love to know if any of you had positive or negative experiences in this regard.

This blog does not belong nor represents the views of the Pavilon Condo Association
Este blog no pertenece ni representa la opinión del Pavilon Condo Association

Know your Florida Statutes-Ombudsman

718.5012 Ombudsman; powers and duties.The ombudsman shall have the powers that are necessary to carry out the duties of his or her office, including the following specific powers:

(1) To have access to and use of all files and records of the division.
(2) To employ professional and clerical staff as necessary for the efficient operation of the office.
(3) To prepare and issue reports and recommendations to the Governor, the department, the division, the Advisory Council on Condominiums, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of the division. The ombudsman shall make recommendations he or she deems appropriate for legislation relative to division procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions.
(4) To act as liaison between the division, unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties. The ombudsman shall develop policies and procedures to assist unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties to understand their rights and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and the condominium documents governing their respective association. The ombudsman shall coordinate and assist in the preparation and adoption of educational and reference material, and shall endeavor to coordinate with private or volunteer providers of these services, so that the availability of these resources is made known to the largest possible audience.
(5) To monitor and review procedures and disputes concerning condominium elections or meetings, including, but not limited to, recommending that the division pursue enforcement action in any manner where there is reasonable cause to believe that election misconduct has occurred.
(6) To make recommendations to the division for changes in rules and procedures for the filing, investigation, and resolution of complaints filed by unit owners, associations, and managers.
(7) To provide resources to assist members of boards of directors and officers of associations to carry out their powers and duties consistent with this chapter, division rules, and the condominium documents governing the association.
(8) To encourage and facilitate voluntary meetings with and between unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties when the meetings may assist in resolving a dispute within a community association before a person submits a dispute for a formal or administrative remedy. It is the intent of the Legislature that the ombudsman act as a neutral resource for both the rights and responsibilities of unit owners, associations, and board members.
(9) To assist with the resolution of disputes between unit owners and the association or between unit owners when the dispute is not within the jurisdiction of the division to resolve.

(10) Fifteen percent of the total voting interests in a condominium association, or six unit owners, whichever is greater, may petition the ombudsman to appoint an election monitor to attend the annual meeting of the unit owners and conduct the election of directors. The ombudsman shall appoint a division employee, a person or persons specializing in condominium election monitoring, or an attorney licensed to practice in this state as the election monitor. All costs associated with the election monitoring process shall be paid by the association. The division shall adopt a rule establishing procedures for the appointment of election monitors and the scope and extent of the monitor’s role in the election process.

This blog does not belong nor represents the views of the Pavilon Condo Association
Este blog no pertenece ni representa la opinión del Pavilon Condo Association


By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Chapter 468 of The Florida Statutes contains numerous provisions about how community association managers get disciplined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  This year, The Florida Legislature amended Florida law to allow community association managers to get disciplined if they violate  the Florida condominium, co-op or HOA statutes.  The Florida Supreme Court is due to hand down a decision which may consider some of the normal duties of a community association manager to be the unauthorized practice of law.  Two years ago, licensed managers almost lost their profession when there was an attempt to deregulate them, now there's an effort to regulate everything they do.  Hey managers!  You are on the radar. 

Why is it then that there is at least a perception that community association managers can do whatever they want with little or no fear of actually losing their license or even being suspended?
I have come in contact one way or another with thousands of community association managers over my career.  In very few circumstances have I felt that there was a clear case of discipline warranted against a community association manager.  The exceptions were when I proved at trial that the manager deliberately threw an election, or when it became clear that the manager stole cash payments from unit owners that should have gone into the association's bank account.  Failing to turn over the association's official records after being terminated is also something that deserves discipline.
So, what's your take?  Can community association managers get away with murder?  Or, is the probability of CAM discipline just about the same as the probability of discipline against the association attorney, board members or other vendors that work for the association? 


By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published December 2, 2013
Now that Thanksgiving is over, there's a race to get those Christmas decorations up.  It's no longer too early to start.  Twinkle the lights, plug-in the blow-ups, put up the signs, sprinkle the lawn with fake snow, place reindeer in the driveway and most of all, get in the holiday spirit.    Your house looks great!  Just one thing…….you've gone too far and your Board says it all has to come down.
Freedom of religious expression you say?  Well,  the law in Florida regarding religious displays in your condominium is clear.  It was passed a few years ago to combat boards who wanted owners to remove mezuzahs and crosses from their front door, because these Boards claimed that they wanted all doors in the community to look uniform. Then………….based on a law that first went  into effect in Illinois, the Florida Legislature passed a condo law that states:  An association may not refuse the request of a unit owner for a reasonable accommodation for the attachment on the mantel or frame of the door of the unit owner of a religious object not to exceed 3 inches wide, 6 inches high, and 1.5 inches deep.
If you look at the law carefully, it allows you to display a religious symbol on the frame or mantle of the door only; not on the actual door itself. Obviously, it also limits the size of what you can actually display.  That's all it allows.  A unit owner in a condo still does not have a right to put a big picture of Santa and his elves on their front door, only a small religious symbol on the door frame or mantle. 
That's more rights than HOA owners have though.  At the moment, there is no law under the HOA statute that gives owners in an HOA the same right to display religious symbols.  Owners living in an HOA need to look at their own declaration of covenants and rules and regulations to find out what they can and cannot do in their own community as far as holiday decorations go.  Be prepared to fill out forms and potentially appear before an architectural review committee. 

What's your take?  Should there be restrictions on displaying religious symbols in your condo or HOA?  Should exceptions be made during certain holidays?  Can the exceptions wind up swallowing the rule?  Any horror stories out there of owners being told to take down Santa or Rudolph?  Did you?  Are Scrooges alive and well in our Florida community associations or is the usual bickering put on hold during the holiday season?

Can my condo board face a fine for not letting me review official records?

Florida law clearly provides condominium unit owners the right to review associations records, and condo boards that withhold such records could face a fine of up to $500.
And yet I often hear from readers who complain about not being able to access such records. Sometimes the complaints are unfounded because the owner making the complaint never officially requested to see the records, or made a records request to vague to comply with, such as "I want to see all bank records."
On the other hand, well-run boards are open to records requests and do what they can to accommodate owners in order to breed trust and faith in community operations. I know it sounds corny, but it's true.
In general, boards should make association records available within five working days after receipt of a written request from an owner, an attorney representing that owner. Official association records include accounting documents, insurance policies, bank statements and work contracts, and by law, should be maintained and available for review to owners for seven years.
Any condo owner who believes they are being illegally kept from reviewing records can file a complaint with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). 
What the law says: 
The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request shall create a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's willful failure to comply with this paragraph. The minimum damages shall be $50 per calendar day up to 10 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection of the association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records for inspection.

Nobody Wants To Be On Board of a Condominium Association

By Joseph Adams

Question: We own a unit in a small condominium association. There are 20 units and we have a board with three directors. However, there is a concern that at the next annual meeting the three directors who are currently serving will not seek re-election and no one else wants to serve on the board. What happens when no one wants to serve on the board of directors of a condominium association? D.K. (via e-mail)
Answer: Yours is not a unique problem. We see many associations have member apathy in voting in elections as well as a lack of interest in running for the board. As such, it is not uncommon to see individuals serve on the board of their condominium association for a number of years because no one else wishes to run. Your proposed scenario is rather extreme, in that you are asserting that there may come a point when no one wishes to serve on the board.
That being said, the Florida Condominium Act does address what happens under the circumstance when a condominium association cannot constitute a board of directors. Specifically, Section 718.1124, Florida Statutes discusses what happens when an association fails to fill vacant seats on the board of directors with sufficient individuals to constitute a quorum of the board. If an association fails to seat enough board members to constitute a quorum, any unit owner is entitled to petition the circuit court in the county where the condominium exists for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the association. Once the petition for the appointment of a receiver is filed, if the association does not fill the vacancies on the board within thirty days of filing the petition, the unit owner may proceed with a hearing on the petition in order for the court to appoint a receiver. Once a receiver is appointed, he or she has the authority to manage the affairs of the association. Further, once appointed, the association is responsible for paying the salary of the receiver and all related court costs and attorney’s fees. As such, having a receiver appointed can become very expensive for the association.
Given the seriousness of having the court appoint a receiver to oversee the affairs of the association, it is rather unusual for the situation to get that bad. However, your concerns are well founded, in that many associations have persistent trouble in obtaining volunteers who are willing to serve on their boards. The best solution is to seek to involve other unit owners in the operation of the association and educate them as to how important it is for all owners in the association to participate in the governance of the association to the benefit of everyone.

No Hispanics on new Miami Beach commission

Hispanics are out. So are incumbents. First-timers are now the majority.
When Miami Beach voters went to the polls this month, they elected a brand-new City Commission.
Multimillionaire Philip Levine won the mayorship in just one round of voting. His closest competitor was sitting Commissioner Michael Góngora.
In runoffs on Tuesday, retired community banker Joy Malakoff beat Matti Herrera Bower for the Group III seat in resounding fashion, with 60 percent of the vote. Bower, mayor for the last six years, ran for commission because she was term-limited from her current post.
Criminal defense attorney Michael Grieco bested incumbent Jorge Exposito for the Group II seat.
In a race that was wide open, Realtor Micky Steinberg defeated Elsa Urquiza for the Group I post.
All of the losers are Hispanic. None of the winners are. The outcome: no Hispanics are left on the dais.
This, in a city where 53 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic, according to the 2010 Census. City meetings are often bilingual, and the Beach’s press office makes sure to make information available in both Spanish and English.

Read more here:

Matt Damon Drops Price for Miami Beach Home

Oscar-wining actor Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso have cut the price of their Miami Beach mansion by more than $1 million, after putting the house on the market seven months ago.  

WPC News | Matt Damon's house for saleThe couple first listed the 12,705-square-foot home in April for $20 million, looking to make a $5 million profit. The property is located on upper North Bay Road with past and present neighbors including Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Calvin Klein, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  

Built in 1935, the mansion, known as Maravilla, has seven bedrooms, nine baths, and includes 170 feet of water frontage, according to the property's listing by celebrity real estate specialists "The Jills." 

The property sits on two lots, the first of which Mr. Damon purchased in April 2005 for $10.3 million. He bought the second lot eight months later for $4.2 million, the Real Estalker reports.  

The main house includes a wine cellar, theater and oversized living room with views of Biscayne Bay. The property also features a two-bedroom, two-bath guesthouse.  

The couple purchased a mansion in the Pacific Palisades earlier this year for $15 million, on the same street as best friend and "Good Will Hunting" co-writer Ben Affleck, according to the Real Estalker.  

Condominium Renters Able To Leave Early

By Joseph Adams on 
Question: Our condominium documents state that we can rent our units for a one month minimum. Some owners believe if they rent for one or two weeks in a month, and they do not rent for the rest of the month, they are complying with the documents. What is your opinion on this matter? J.G. (via e-mail)
Answer: Minimum lease term restrictions are common because many condominiums want to avoid having the “hotel-like” atmosphere that comes with short and frequent rentals. In fact, if a condominium permits rentals of less than thirty days more than three times per year, the condominium is considered a “place of public lodging”, and can be subject to various laws pertaining to “public accommodations”, including Chapter 509 of the Florida Statutes, which is often referred to as Florida’s “hotel/motel” law.
In your example, if the tenant only stays for two weeks, and no other tenants occupy the unit for the next two weeks, that scenario might be seen as even better than tenants being present for the full 30 day rental. However, some people believe that there is a significant difference between the types of use that a two week tenant makes of a unit as opposed to a monthly tenant.
I assume the belief is that a two week tenant is likely on vacation and will “live it up” all 14 days, and nights, while a monthly tenant may be more likely to act more like a resident, who keeps traditional hours and treats the property with care and respect.
Further, if the unit owner is allowed to resume occupancy for the remaining half of the lease, then the community is burdened with both a short-term rental and full occupancy for the entire 30 day period, albeit by the owner for the remaining lease term. But clearly in that case, the rental restriction is effectively rendered useless.
In my opinion, if an owner submits a proposed “monthly” lease, and the rent to be paid is clearly below market value, or there are other terms or information indicating the intent to actually lease for less than a month, the association (assuming it has lease approval rights) can disapprove that lease as a sham transaction. There may be valid reasons for a reduced rate, so some investigation may need to take place before an official disapproval is given. Proving the lease is a sham beforehand might be difficult. But we have had cases where it is discovered that the owner is advertising less than monthly rentals on vacation websites. In some cases, “weekly” and even “daily” rental rates are posted. That makes it easier for the association to disapprove an apparent sham lease term.
Finally, I believe it is reasonable and consistent with your rental restriction to adopt a restriction that nobody, not even owners, can occupy a unit if the tenants leave before the lease ends. Legal counsel should be consulted as to whether this can be accomplished through a board-made rule, or whether a document amendment is required. You certainly cannot stop any tenant from leaving early, but you can restrict the use of the unit consistent with the restrictions in the declaration of condominium.


By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published November 18, 2013

It's that time of year again --- number crunching time.  Time to figure out if everyone is going to be paying a little more next year in their monthly or quarterly assessments.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

1.         In a condo -- when the budget is mailed to the owners, the budget must show the reserves as fully funded.  If the Board is going to give the owners the right to waive the funding of full reserves, the Board can also show what the budget would look like with partial funding of reserves or a complete waiver of reserves.  But in any event, everyone must be shown a budget with fully funded reserves.  Notice that I said "IF" the Board is going to give the owners the right to waive full funding of reserves.  There is nothing in the statute that requires the Board to give the owners this choice.  So, for all intents and purposes, if a Board wants fully funded reserves, they get them.  Sure, the owners would have a right to call a meeting and vote them down later, but I have never seen that happen.
2.         In case you haven't heard, there is a foreclosure crisis here in Florida .  That means you should include a line item in your budget for "bad debt."  This is a figure that equals the amount of money you are not likely to receive from the unit owners in assessments, because their homes are in some form of collection.  It gets added back into your budget, so that at the end of the year, you actually collect all of the money necessary to pay the association's bills.  If you don't include a line item for bad debt, there is a likelihood that at the end of the year, you will run short and have to pass a dreaded special assessment.

3.         In an HOA - reserves must be included in your budget if the developer placed them in the budget while the developer maintained control of the community, if the owners previously voted for reserves, or if the Board simply wants reserve funding in the budget.  If done solely by a board vote, the board cannot exceed any limitations on the amount of the budget as reflected in the governing documents, if any.
4.         If your association has a huge surplus at the end of the year, it is not automatically allowable to transfer that surplus into a reserve account. Suppose the owners have voted against the funding of reserves?  Those monies should either be returned to the owners or credited against next year's future assessments.

5.         Despite the fact that your association is a not for profit Florida corporation, you are still required to file a federal tax return.   I am amazed at how many associations have not filed returns for years on end.

6.         Remember to give proper notice of the budget meeting to the owners.  14 day advance notice for a condominium.  In a HOA - notice is determined by your governing documents.
7.         As I said, reserves can be waived by the owners.  However, if not waived properly at a meeting of the owners, the budget with fully funded reserves goes into effect - LIKE IT OR NOT.

Often times, the budget meeting unfortunately turns into a shouting match.  It really shouldn't.  The Board's job is to simply pass a budget that ensures he bills get paid as they come due.  Nothing more, nothing less.

So, I wish for all you this year significant decreases in your assessments, smaller bills for your windstorm insurance, 100% collection of assessments from your owners and to be litigation free.  Well maybe not litigation free……..

REMEMBER: Board Meetings must be held in the Sunshine

Meetings of the board at which a quorum of the directors is present and discussing association business constitutes a board meeting and must be open to all owners. There is no getting around this; if there are enough directors sitting by the pool discussing association business to constitute a quorum, it is a de facto board meeting that should have been properly noticed in advance so owners could join in or listen to the discussion.

There is no exception for "executive sessions", brief chats or emails that substitute for a discussion that should more properly take place during a board meeting that is open to the members. Asking your association counsel to sit in on a board meeting does not, in and of itself, make it a closed meeting. Your counsel must be present to discuss proposed or pending litigation to warrant closing the meeting to the owners and even then the closed meeting must still be properly noticed to the members as a closed discussion with counsel regarding litigation issues.

Florida law requires associations to post notice of all regular board meetings at least 48 continuous hours preceding the meeting except in an emergency.

Association Board Should Not Risk Funds

Posted in Fiduciary Duty of Board of DirectorsReader Q&A
Question: Last year, our board purchased stocks and bonds with association funds. The securities were sold earlier this year at a loss. The homeowners have been asking the board who is responsible, but have not received an answer. Finally, the board informed the homeowners that the stock broker was making up the loss, and since a confidentiality agreement was entered into with him, no additional information would be forthcoming. Is it legal to withhold this information? D.P. (via e-mail)
Answer: It is possible that governing documents could give the board the express, legal authority to invest association funds in stocks and bonds. But such authority is unusual. Most community association bylaws provide that association funds shall be held in a bank, with FDIC or similar insurance to cover all funds. But you should look to the provisions of your governing documents to confirm the limits of the board’s investment authority.
To meet its fiduciary duty, the board must handle association funds in the same way that a reasonably prudent person would handle the funds of another. While there may be an argument that inflation alone might justify taking some risk with principal, my advice is that an association board should not invest association funds in any manner that puts the principal funds at risk. Of course, any bylaw provision should also be followed.
As for the ability of the members to review documents that might explain what happened here, I am not aware of any provisions of the Florida Homeowners’ Association or Florida Condominium Act that would apply to preclude members from inspecting those documents. With the exception of any documents that may be subject to an attorney-client privilege, I doubt the relevant documents fit into any of the statutorily created exceptions to the general rule that members can inspect all official records of the association.
As for the alleged confidentiality agreement with the broker, absent a court order establishing that the terms of the settlement are confidential, it is my view that legal settlement agreements are not confidential as to the members of the association. When I prepare agreements involving  associations that include a confidentiality provision, I will typically include a reference to the association’s statutory obligation to allow members to inspect records, so that the other party understands that the association does not have the legal authority to guarantee complete confidentiality. Your association’s counsel would need to review this issue in terms of how compliance with the HOA law must impact the validity of the settlement agreement, or create a potential breach thereof.