The annual budget for condominium associations and HOAs impacts all unit owners, but do all owners have a say in whether or not the proposed budget gets approved?
The answer will depend on your association’s bylaws and governing documents, but for most HOAs in Florida, the answer is generally no. What owners do have a say in, however, is who they elect to the board of directors. If you’re not happy with your board’s decisions, be sure to take action at election time. Or, if necessary, petition to remove a condo board member.
Here’s what else to know about how budgets are approved and what owners can do if they disagree with the proposal.
Understanding the HOA Budget Approval Process
As part of the board’s responsibilities, members must act as fiduciaries as they prepare the annual budget. That means their decisions must reflect the best interests of the HOA at large, not their individual preferences.
Once the board has developed a proposal, they must share the budget with all unit owners. Per Section 718.112 of the Florida Condominium Act, any meeting where the proposed annual budget will be considered must be open to all unit owners. Notice of the meeting, in addition to a copy of the proposed budget, must be provided to all owners 14 days in advance. For owners wishing to speak, the meeting agenda will provide a designated opportunity to do so.
To approve the budget, there must be a majority vote by the board when a quorum is present (unless otherwise stipulated by your HOA’s bylaws).
Can Condo Owners Reject a Proposed Budget?
Because unit owners don’t have a vote in the budget approval, what can they do if they disagree with the proposal?
In addition to voicing concerns to your board members, the Florida Condominium Act does provide condo owners a process if they wish to propose an alternative annual budget, though certain circumstances must be met.
Those circumstances include assessments being greater than 15% from the previous fiscal year, excluding assessments for reserves and non-recurring items.
If this or other concerns have you questioning the budget or the board’s decisions, speak up. The annual budget process is one of the most complex responsibilities board members face, and it impacts everyone in the condo community.
To learn more about budget approval and ask your questions about Florida community law, contact us today at Dania Fernandez and Associates, P.A
We offer legal assistance in all matters of condominium association law, homeowners and community association law, real estate litigations and transactions, residential and commercial closings, and insurance law.
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