The Florida Sunshine Law

There always seems to be some confusion as to when members of a Florida condominium or homeowner’s association can meet and how/if they must conform to the Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law. Florida Statute 286 sets forth what many people call the Florida Sunshine Law. The Florida Sunshine Law ensures that basic access is granted to the public for all state, county and municipal meetings of boards and other governing bodies. The purpose is to make sure that the public is fully aware of what their governing bodies are doing.

The Florida Sunshine Law does not always apply to condo and HOAs. Typically, a meeting of a Board of Directors consists of a quorum of the Board that is meeting to conduct association business, and proper notice of the meeting must be given. Such meetings should almost always be open to association owners and their representatives. If there is less than a quorum of the Board, or the quorum of the Board is not conducting association business (such as taking classes on condominium or HOA law), there is no requirement for notice of such a meeting or that the meeting must be open to all of the owners. Board meetings can be recorded, but some limitations may be adopted to ensure that the recording is not a nuisance to the meeting (such as all cameras must be in the back of the room).

There is a main exception to the above requirements of holding an open meeting. Any meeting of the Board with an attorney, whether conducting association business and/or having a quorum, where there is discussion of either current, pending, or proposed litigation are not required to be open to owners. This allows the Board to openly discuss issues where legal action may be involved and maintain attorney-client privilege.

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