Hamilton, NY asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Florida-is it legal for board members to amend bylaws/cc&r's to benefit/exclude them selves?

ex: no campers, boats, trailers, storage or for transporting atv type vehicles, no owning atv(type vehicles-4 wheelers, mudders,dirtbikes ect) in park, except by vacant land( only person that owns vacant land is hoa board member, and president owns golf cart whom rides around, lets grand kids drive around)( there are people that own 4 wheelers not used in park)

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Generally, no. Board members should not be amending documents themselves to start with. These documents are contracts and the Florida Supreme Court has indicated in an advisory back in the mid-90s that amendments to these documents require a Florida-licensed attorney and any non-lawyer might be guilty of the unlicensed practice of law, which is a felony in Florida. The facts as you state them are a little convoluted so it is not clear the language in the restrictions prohibit golf carts. Board members have a fiduciary duty to the members of a HOA and if they engage in self-dealing they can be sued personally.

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