ThinkstockPhotos-180411432Question: I know you have addressed the new board member certification requirement previously, but my question involves when a director is considered “newly elected.”  Would a board member who has continuously served on the board, prior to the amendment to the statute, but who has now been re-elected to the board be “newly elected” and have to comply with the certification requirement? G.G. (via e-mail)Answer: In my opinion, yes. Both the Condominium Act, Chapter 718, and the Homeowners’ Association Act, Chapter 720, have been amended to require that board members be “certified.”  There are two ways a board member can comply with the certification requirement. The board member can sign a form that has been developed by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes that states he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium or covenants, as applicable, articles of incorporation, bylaws and written rules and policies and that the board member will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability and faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. In lieu of signing the written certification, the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate demonstrating that he or she has satisfactorily completed an educational curriculum administered by a Division-approved education provider.

Both statutes also provide that once the director has complied with the certification requirement, the certification remains valid for the director’s uninterrupted tenure on the board. Accordingly, a director who has satisfied the certification requirement and who is reelected to successive terms is not required to “recertify.”

As I understand your question, however, this deals with a director who was elected to the board prior to the requirement that board members be certified and who has now been “re-elected.”  In my opinion, the statute requires that such a director comply with the certification requirement, as he or she is now a newly elected board member. Once the director complies with the certification requirement, he or she would not have to obtain additional certification as long as he or she continuously serves on the board.