M.D. from Manatee County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Owners were asked to vote on a change in document rules. A ballot was sent out with a closing date for votes after 14 days. A board meeting was properly noticed to announce the results of the vote. The board decided that not enough owners responded so they extended the voting deadline for over a month and scheduled a new board meeting at the end of that time. Is this legal?
Mister Condo replies:
M.D., as you may know, I am not an attorney and offer no legal opinions in this column. If you need a legal opinion, you should consult with a locally qualified attorney. From a friendly standpoint, if too few homeowners responded to the change in document rules for the change to pass or fail, what other choice did the Board have? They can’t force homeowners to vote and they can’t change document rules without enough votes cast to carry or deny the measure. I am not sure on the technicality of allowing additional time over the deadline but unless they extended it indefinitely or for a ridiculously long period of time (a year or more), I don’t see where they have done anything inappropriate. Your governance documents spell out the rules for modifying the documents. My guess is they state that any change to document rules requires a majority or supermajority of homeowners to vote in favor of the measure to ratify the change. I doubt it says anything about how long the voting period should last. As long as there are no violations to the vote and how the vote is cast, I don’t see where there is a problem. All the best!