Few things in the world are more heated than disputes between neighbors in a condo association. This is why the question of who is entitled to see a Condo Board’s Minutes in Florida is so pressing.
While the request being granted (or denied) can seem arbitrary, it is important to know who has the right and authority to see your Condo Board’s minutes. No matter the reason, the waters can get murky.
Here is a short guide to help you get to the bottom of your meeting minutes dilemma and establish a bit of order along the way.
Rule 1: A member of a group typically has a right to examine the minutes of that group.
The simple guidelines that most associations follow has evolved from Robert’s Rules (which has an interesting history if you have the time). The general rule of thumb – which is different for each association and governed by their CC&Rs – is that the secretary of the board keeps the meetings minutes and is responsible to make them available for members that ask for them.
So, if owners are members of the association but their tenants are not, the request by a tenant to see the minutes can be reasonably denied. In that scenario, the tenant would need to contact their landlord who in turn could request the minutes – but, depending on the CC&Rs, it is possible they would be under no obligation to do so.
But if the member of the association has the right to see the minutes, the next question is when is a member able to see the minutes before it seems like they are being obstructed from seeing them?
That brings us to rule #2…
Rule 2: A member has a right to examine minutes at a “reasonable time and place.”
As per usual, the answer will lie in your association’s CC&Rs. Typically, the answer is that a member has the right to examine the reports at a reasonable time and place. This means that the board that holds the minutes should not be abused nor harassed by requests to see the meeting minutes.
As a rule of thumb – that needs to be stipulated in the CC&Rs – is to specify what is actually reasonable. We typically say something along the lines of:
- Give the secretary at least 48hrs to fulfill a request.
- Try to ask for them at an appropriate time, like after a meeting.
- Give a little more time if the request is particularly large or dated.
It can be difficult navigating the tension of requests and understanding who gets to see what on the board.
If you are a property owner and have questions about if you are entitled, click here to read our blog “Are Homeowners Entitled to Review Board Meeting Minutes.” Hopefully, this cleared some things up! Give us a call if you need any more clarification.