A couple of years ago the Florida Legislature passed a bill which allowed homeowner associations to forego elections if there were only enough candidates to fill vacant spots. While I was not sure how the change to Fla. Stat. 720.306(9)(a) would affect elections, weighing the pros and cons of the law, I have to say it has been very beneficial based on a ruling recently by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”) in the arbitration case of Laura Turner v. Butler Farms Homeowners Association, Inc., DBPR Arb. Case No. 2015-02-8216.
Ms. Turner was the only person to submit her name for candidacy to the Board of Directors for the association. When there was no quorum at the annual meeting, the three incumbent directors announced they would remain in office. Ms. Turner petitioned DBPR for arbitration of an election dispute and the arbitrator, Leah A. Sims, ruled Ms. Turner was the only board member since the incumbents terms had expired and none of the incumbents had not submitted their names as candidates.
I think this is a great ruling and congratulate Ms. Turner for taking the initiative to arbitrate the matter. So many homeowners give up because they feel the fight is useless and they will never be able to remove board members who have been entrenched in the board long term.