Owners Have a Right to Speak at Meetings

Question: I live in a community with a homeowners’ association. Does the board have to let owners speak at board meetings? S.R. (via e-mail)

Answer: Yes. Prior to the 2011 Legislative Session, HOA members, unlike their condominium counterparts, were not legally entitled to speak at board meetings, with a limited exception for meetings called under a somewhat complicated member petition process.

In 2011, the statute was changed to provide owners with the general right to speak at all HOA board meetings with reference to all “designated items.” As mentioned in a recent column in response to a related question, the Florida Homeowners’ Act does not require a detailed agenda for HOA board meetings (as is required in the condominium context). My interpretation of the new law is that it entitles members of homeowners’ associations to speak at board meetings with reference to any item that the board takes up at that meeting.

The statute does empower the board to adopt written reasonable rules expanding the right of members to speak and governing the frequency, duration, and other manner of member statements.

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