Meeting Agendas & Notice Requirements for Orlando HOAs, Condos, and Co-ops
Increasing participation in your board meetings is a great way to encourage community engagement. You want to keep the communication flowing between your board of directors and the homeowners you serve.
Your Orlando HOA or community association likely has some language in the bylaws or the governing documents that tells you how often meetings should be held and what their purposes should be.
There are also state laws to consider when you begin planning your meetings and notifying your residents that the meeting will occur. Florida has some specific timelines on when meeting notifications have to be made and whether an agenda must be included. Typically, the law will treat HOAs differently than condo associations or co-ops. Make sure you know which legal definition your community falls under as you’re planning your communication and meeting announcements.
Remember – we are not attorneys. At Homevest Management, we’re experts in HOA management, and everything we tell you is from our years of experience helping HOAs manage their communities better. If you have a specific legal question about your meetings, your agenda, the minutes, or what your governing documents require, we encourage you to talk with an attorney.
Here is a high level look at meeting agendas and notice requirements for Orlando HOAs, condos, and co-ops.
Board Meetings in Orlando Associations
For an HOA, you need to notify the community of a board meeting within 48 hours of the meeting with a posted notice, except in the case of an emergency (or pursuant to your association’s governing documents). Posting the notice means you can hang physical flyers and posters around the community, set up a notification on your website, or email/text all the members of your community with information.
Condo and co-ops must also follow the 48 hours advance meeting notice, but they are also required to include a meeting agenda.
Budget Meetings in Orlando Associations
Putting together a budget is a big part of what you do as an association. It has to be transparent, and as a board you need to prepare to discuss money and financials with your homeowner residents, who are paying dues and helping to keep the association afloat financially.
The budget is an important part of the complete financial plan. Your budget must be transparent and detailed. Your board of directors must be prepared to defend it if there are questions about expenditures or unexpected costs.
Your HOA must provide posted notice to residents 48 hours ahead of a budget meeting. In the notice, you must state that the annual budget will be discussed and voted on. If your governing documents say something different, you’ll need to follow those requirements. Otherwise, the 48 hours stands and the specific language must be included.
For condo associations and co-ops, even more notice is required.
Florida law requires that a notice is mailed, hand delivered, or electronically transmitted (to those unit owners who consented in writing to receive electronic notice) 14 days in advance of the budget meeting. That notice must also include a copy of the proposed budget.
A new law that went into effect in 2021 requires the board to adopt the annual budget at least 14 days before the start of the association’s fiscal year.
The purpose of an association’s annual meeting is to provide information and hear feedback on issues that face the entire community. These meetings are opportunities for owners and residents to share their concerns, raise questions, or talk about the details that boards are called upon to manage every day. It’s an opportunity to bring the entire community together.
Some annual meetings will include elections and others will not. If there are positions on the board opening up, there may be a vote.
For an annual meeting where there will be elections, here are the posting and notice requirements:
- For HOAs, annual meeting notifications need to be made 14 days in advance when there are elections to be held. The notice may be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted (to those owners who consented in writing to receive electronic notice).
- For condos and co-ops, the first notice must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted at least 60 days prior to a scheduled election. The second notice must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted at least 14 days, but not more than 34 days, in advance of the scheduled election and annual meeting.
These are very specific timelines, so make sure your board calendars the dates correctly and in compliance with the law and your governing documents.
If there’s no election planned, your annual meeting notification requirements are a bit different for condos and co-ops. HOAs have the same 14-day notice requirement as they do when elections will be held.
For condos and co-ops, the requirement is also 14 days.
Special Assessments and Meetings
Not a lot of homeowners in HOAs and other community associations are thrilled with special assessments. While they may be unpopular, they are often necessary to keep a community on budget. They’re often the result of unexpected costs.
Florida law provides a lot of authority to association boards when they need additional revenue in their communities. Typically, a special assessment will be used to pay for maintenance, repairs, and improvements that were not factored into the general operating budget.
While Florida law allows for special assessments, they must be properly levied, otherwise an association has the right to sue.
As with most notice requirements, an HOA will have to notify residents 14 days ahead of a meeting to discuss a nonemergency special assessment. For condos and co-op boards, there’s a requirement to provide at least 14 days of notice in a format that is mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted. For condos and co-ops, the notice must include the purpose of the special assessment and the estimated amount.
These are nonemergency assessment guidelines. Florida statute authorizes associations, if there’s an emergency, to pass an assessment without notice if that association can demonstrate they are acting in the best interest of the community. Such an emergency would have to be justified to the homeowners who are asked to pay.
Here’s the thing about special assessments: they’re unpopular and they also cast a negative light on your association, particularly its leadership. While the need for a special assessment is sometimes the result of a legitimately unexpected expense, they often appear to homeowners as the result of their leaders failing to properly budget and keep their reserves strong.
Selling homes in your community to potential owners can be difficult when you have a long record of special assessments. No one wants that kind of a financial burden.
Committee Meetings in Orlando Associations
Let’s start with HOAs. If there’s going to be a committee meeting within an HOA, there must be 48 hours of notice posted, but only when a committee will be making a final decision on any expenditure of association funds. This notice is also required when a committee with vested authority to approve or disapprove architectural decisions is meeting.
For condos and co-ops, the rules are more detailed, especially when budgetary committees are meeting. Committees that take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the association budget must provide notice of their meetings at least 48 hours in advance, and it must include an agenda. These meetings must be open to all unit owners.
Committees that are not tasked with taking final action on behalf of the board or making recommendations to the board regarding the association budget must provide notice of their meetings 48 hours in advance. There must be an agenda included with the notice, and the committee meetings must be open to the unit owners in the community unless the bylaws say otherwise. The association bylaws come before the Florida laws. This law should be followed, however, when there are no bylaws or rules to regulate committee meetings without budgetary decisions and final action recommendations in a condo community or co-op.
Some board meetings will not be open to all homeowners. For example, if there’s a meeting scheduled to discuss hiring matters, personnel issues, or other administrative personnel decisions, 48 hours of notice must be given in both an HOA and a condo/co-op community. However, those meetings do not have to be open to the public.
There are a lot of legal intricacies that come with managing an HOA or a board in a condo association or co-op community. Mistakes are easy to make, and if you’re not careful, you could find yourself violating state laws or running contrary to what’s in your bylaws.
All of this is a great reason to work with an HOA management company. It takes a lot of liability off your plate and allows experienced professionals to manage your meetings, your notices, and most of the communication with your homeowners.
If you need help with your HOA or condo association, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Homevest Management. We provide expert Orlando property management, real estate, property rentals, and HOA management serving all of Central Florida, including Winter Garden, Doctor Phillips, Baldwin Park, Winter Springs, and Windermere.