The U.S. had 309,600 homeowners' associations in 2010, according to the Community Associations Institute. Of those, about 14,300 were in Florida, according to the state legislature's Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability. Homeowners' associations establish bylaws to regulate and enforce architectural uniformity, maintain common areas, and ensure the upkeep of homes and landscapes. Florida law and your association's covenants provide methods for amending and changing these bylaws.
Read your association's covenants and bylaws. Although Florida law establishes general provisions regarding amendments to bylaws, homeowners' associations have a great deal of latitude. Your HOA rules will outline the specific requirements for initiating a change to your community's bylaws.
Pay your HOA dues and any outstanding fines or fees. Florida law allows an HOA to suspend the voting rights of any member who isn't in good standing. If you are delinquent, you won't have a say in the final outcome of any vote and may not have standing to propose a change or file a petition.
Ask a member of your HOA board of directors to take up your proposed change and present it for a vote. Florida Statute 720.303 states that HOA boards have the authority to "institute, maintain, settle or appeal actions or hearings." This means an HOA board of directors is responsible for proposing changes and calling for any votes to amend the bylaws.
Establish a petition to compel the board to consider the change. Florida Statute 720.303 provides that unless otherwise stated in your HOA's covenants, a board of directors must take an item up for discussion if 20 percent or more the total "voting interests" petition the board. The board must hold a meeting to discuss the proposal within 60 days of receipt of the petition.
Attend the board meeting to make your case for why the board should present the proposed changes for a vote. Although the board must consider the issue if petitioned, it isn't obligated to put it up for a vote by the membership.
Campaign for your proposed changes to gather support before the vote. Although some votes require a simple majority, changes to governing documents, including covenants and bylaws, require approval by two thirds of all voting interests in the HOA.