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A member of our master association pays herself for her role as treasurer. Is this legal?

Deerfield Beach, FL |

I thought being a board member is a voluntary unpaid position.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The answer to your question depends on the wording of your community documents and the nature of the services being performed by the treasurer. Any payment to the treasurer would have to be approved by the board of directors. If you think that your master association is acting improperly, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

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Posted

The recorded condominium documents will include the By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation for the Association. All of these documents govern the authority of the condominium association, including whether the officers and directors are entitled to compensation. Usually, these are non-paid positions but ultimately the documents will control. If the treasurer is not authorized to receive compensation and she is taking compensation from Association funds without authority, this could be considered an actionable breach of fiduciary duty as well as a civil theft. A civil theft could provide for penalties greater than actual damages. If you believe that the Association's board or officers are acting improperly, you should retain counsel to review the documents and advise as to your rights as a unit owner. In most actions relating to an Association's actions and inactions, the prevailing party may have a statutory right to recover attorneys fees from the Association.

Good Luck, Staci H. Genet, Esq. Law Offices of Staci H. Genet, Esq. Business Attorneys 1323 Southeast Third Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 T: 954-764-0005 E: shg@stacigenetpa.com Based upon the limed facts provided, please do not rely on this as specific legal advice . No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting

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It depends also on the classification of the master association. If it is classified as a HOA under Fla. Stat. 720, then compensation is prohibited except for reimbursement of association expenses the board member may have paid with their own funds. FS 720.303(12) prohibits compensation to board members.

If the master association is considered a COA under the Condominium Act, Fla. Stat. 718, then compensation is prohibited unless authorized by the Bylaws. Most master associations, even if all the sub-associations are condominiums, are HOAs rather than COAs.

If the treasurer is the only board member receiving a salary or wages, then you know its most likely illegal.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.

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