Many says that Homeowners Associations (HOA) are “organizations of contract” because are ruled by internal regulations which are very incomplete and carry little weight in the enforcement, but mostly they have very little protection to the homeowners. And the FS 720 that pertains to HOAs is almost empty of substance, and again, no protection to the homeowners. Condominiums are a little more “organizations of statute” because FS 718 gives a lot more protection to the homeowners, although still insufficient.
Most BOD require that its members sign a “Non Disclosure Agreement” that seems to be designed to cover up for any and all misdeeds within.
Even members find Board of Directors (BOD) in flagrant violations in the governance of condos or HOAs the last resort is a civil suit that can cost many thousands of dollars and last over one year (more than the remainder of the period of the BOD) and if the member loses the case it has to pay, in addition, the HOA legal fees. The issue becomes totally impractical.
In addition the Florida legislature, under pressure by CAMs firms and HOA’s attorneys lobbyist, fails to create specific regulations to protect the community associations members.
The complaints of HOAs and condos are myriads about irregularities and abuses of authority of BOD as we have seen several publications in the press, with very little redress by authorities.
One of the most critical part of those problems in HOA’s are that elections of BOD are with proxies and vote certificates. These documents, that gets into votes, are not supported by any system of verification of signatures or any other identification. Many of those documents are collected in administrations where the members go for, among other things, issues of fines for violations of regulations, and fines are lifted in exchange for a signature in a proxy. There are a large number of owners that rent out their units and others that live in other places and never vote; the administration has a close tab on those homeowners and become the main source of signature fraud.
HOAs have no checks and balances, the decisions of BOD members are final and have no appeals. The least that a HOA community ought to do is to collect signatures of 75% of the membership and change the rules for good.