A discussion of routine & complex issues which confront all types of shared ownership communities.

Condo and HOA Law Blog By Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.

Condo and HOA Law Blog By Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.
This blog covers every topic under the sun related to condominiums, cooperatives, HOAs, timeshares and mobile home communities from the unique perspective of attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Board Member Certification Requirements


If you are a newly elected or appointed condominium director, are you aware of the statutory certification requirements that apply to you?

Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, each newly elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members.

In lieu of this written certification, the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate of satisfactory completion of the educational curriculum administered by a division-approved condominium education provider.

A director who fails to timely file the written certification or educational certificate is automatically suspended from service on the board until he or she complies with this certification requirement. The board may temporarily fill the vacancy during the period of suspension. The secretary must place a director’s written certification or educational certificate in the association’s official books and records for inspection by the members for 5 years after a director’s election or appointment.

The failure to have such written certification or educational certificate on file does not affect the validity of any action taken by the board. Please click the link below to find a sample Condominium Association Board Member Certification Form promulgated by the Division of Condominiums.

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/CondoCandidateCertificationForm07122010.pdf

Some of the questions that have arisen as a result of this certification requirement are whether or not directors who have served before and are being re-elected are required to submit this certification form or attend an educational course and whether or not a possible candidate for the board can attend such a course prior to actually being elected and still use the course completion certificate after being elected.

Since the Division has not, to my knowledge, issued a definitive rule on these two questions, here are my common sense answers. When a director’s term is up and he or she is re-elected to serve, they are new to that board! I think an argument can be made either way but often the directors who are in the most dire need of education are the ones who might have served the longest. The most prudent course of action would be for every director to read the association’s governing documents and attend educational courses to help them best serve their communities.

With regard to individuals who might want to serve on their board, attending a course beforehand would be one of the best ways to learn about what that service entails. As long as the attendance occurred within a reasonable period of time prior to the election, I suspect that the certificate of attendance will meet the certification requirements.

The Community Advocacy Network (CAN) has a free Board Member Boot Camp (TM) coming up on Saturday, February 5th from 10 am to 3 pm at Century Village East in Deerfield Beach. All interested “recruits” should register at www.BoardMemberBootCamp.com. You can also call Drill Sergeant Tisa Christiana at 954-315-0372 to register. Board Member Boot Camp has been certified by the Division to meet your certification requirements. We hope to see many of you on February 5th!

This work by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Generic License.

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