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.