By: Avi Tryson, Esq. Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Q: We live in a homeowners association (HOA) in Boca Raton and in November of 2017 our board voted to raise our dues by 50 percent. Can they do that legally, or does there have to be a vote from the homeowners?
J.N., Boca Raton
A: Unfortunately, unlike a condominium association where if the budget is increased by more than 115 percent from the preceding year the membership has the authority to file a petition with the board to have the budget reconsidered pursuant to the Condominium Act, the HOA Act does not have a similar provision. However, if your association’s governing documents have a self-imposed limit on the amount the budget can increase year over year, then your board would have to follow that limitation. As an alternative remedy, if the membership is not happy with the decisions the board is making, the membership may recall members of the board by following the procedure as set forth in Florida Statues 720.303(10). We recommend that you seek counsel from a qualified Florida Bar licensed attorney to review your association’s governing documents and advise whether there is any language pertaining to a self-imposed limitation on yearly budget increases, and if there is interest in the community among the membership, to discuss the procedure for recalling members of the board.
Avi S. Tryson, Esq., is a partner of the law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross. Visit www.gadclaw.com or to ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.