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Hanging On: Directors Who Fail to Turn over Association Records and Property

Hanging On: Directors Who Fail to Turn over Association Records and Property

We’ve all heard of folks hanging on to items after a personal relationship ends which can create resentment and a host of other troublesome issues. Now imagine what can ensue when an outgoing community association director refuses to turn over association records and property?

Over the years, I have had new boards lament about the fact that a director who was not re-elected to the board refused to turn over vital association information which had been in his or her possession. These items can include the association checkbook, keys to the association office, original plans and specifications for the building and a plethora of other information which the new board needs to successfully transition the community’s operations. Whether this refusal to turn over association property is borne out of spite, pettiness or neglect is not important; the outcome of paralyzing the association remains the same.

While there is language in the Florida Condominium Act which requires recalled directors to turn over any and all records and property of the association within five (5) full business days of the effective date of the recall, there is no similar language which would require an outgoing board member to do so. My group, the Community Advocacy Network or CAN, will be seeking to close this loophole in the 2014 Legislative Session by requiring any outgoing directors to similarly turn over all association records and property in their possession.

Has your community ever been impacted by a previous director’s refusal to turn over books, records and other association property? What did you do about it? Some communities threaten and some even sue but in the interim, association operations are impacted and often critically. The fact that outgoing directors can play games with records that are not theirs falls under the category of “There oughta be a law” and CAN intends to ensure that there is one soon.

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