I heard that the law changed and the Board can now discuss association business by email. Is that true? Can we now use email to get consensus on a matter when the Board members are out of town?
Effective July 1, 2014, Chapter 718 will be amended to allow Condominium Boards to converse via email, as long as they don’t vote. And, this only applies to Condominium Boards.
Chapters 718, 719 and 720 still provide that a meeting at which a quorum of the board members is present must be open to all owners, who have the right to speak on each agenda item. Homeowners Association law still defines a meeting as a quorum of the board which “gathers to conduct association business.”
For Homeowner Association and Cooperatives, if the email recipients hit “reply to all” and there is an active conversation about an association matter going back and forth among at least a quorum of board members, that is still an illegal meeting under the legal definitions, because owners cannot attend or participate. And, under the new Law, the Condominium Board cannot vote on email, so the polling of the board is still not permitted for any community association.
Warning: Even though the Condominium Board will be able to have an email discussion, those emails remain discoverable in court, and for all types of residential community associations such emails would have to be saved and made available as part of the association’s Official Records. It is treacherous ground. Be careful out there. At Wetherington Hamilton, P.A., representation for association law is one of the many practice areas we offer.
By Attorney Ellen Hirsch de Haan, Esq.