I am often asked by association boards if the board can meet in “executive session” to discuss a sensitive topic, such as a personnel matter or dispute with an owner or neighborhood association, without members present.
Florida Sunshine Laws
Florida homeowners’ and condominium associations are subject to what many refer to as association “sunshine laws” (which are different than the sunshine laws the Florida government must follow). Under Florida Statutes Chapter 720, for HOA’s, and Chapter 718, for condominiums, Association board meetings are deemed to occur when a quorum of the board gathers to conduct association business. All board meetings must be properly noticed and open to the members, with the only exceptions being:
- Meetings between the board and its attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation, or
- Meetings of the board to discuss personnel matters.
Such “closed” meetings must still be properly noticed to the membership in accordance with the association bylaws.
Boards should consult with their legal counsel prior to holding a closed meeting to confirm whether the particular meeting may legally be held behind closed doors and whether the Board has complied with the proper notice requirements.
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