Published June 2018
Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 50 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.
As a manager of a Florida condominium association, how can I educate my unit owners as to who is responsible for what? Many times, unit owners are confused as to what, when, where, and how their maintenance fees are applied. It is often confusing in regard to who is responsible for maintaining what, when, where, how, and why.
The board of directors are elected by the unit owners to maintain the common areas of the condominium property, and they hire management to carry out this task. It our job as management to educate unit owners as to the who, what, where, when, and how. I provide email blasts educating owners as to who is responsible for what. I recommend scheduling a yearly insurance presentation for the unit owners to meet the association’s insurance agent to clarify. I also recommend coordinating with outside service providers to offer bulk service agreements to service the appliances and components inside a unit.
Pursuant to the Florida Statutes and your condominium documents, they distinguish between the maintenance of a unit component (including the AC compressor, the unit owner’s air handling unit, pipes servicing only a unit, and repairs and/or replacements of the same) caused by a casualty and the maintenance and repairs of the common elements.
Keep in mind and communicate the following elements:
According to the Condominium Act with regard to insuring the condominium unit, “The coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings; electrical fixtures; appliances; water heaters; water filters; built-in cabinets and countertops; and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components; or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance are the responsibility of the unit owner.”
It is recommended that all owners obtain an HO-6 policy to insure their units. Many unit owners are not aware that the association’s insurance coverage does not provide coverage for the interior of their unit. The HO-6 policy covers the dwelling, which constitutes the personal property and contents of the unit.
If a flood occurs, it is management’s responsibility to isolate the situation to prevent water damage to the surrounding units. If a pipe located inside the walls of a unit causes a flood and it is determined that it is a pipe that services a single unit, then it is the maintenance responsibility of that unit owner. If the pipe that caused the flood is a main drain line, then it is the maintenance responsibility of the association.
Condominium unit owners are responsible for the repairs in their own units, but it’s the association that is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and insurance of the common elements (building structure).
The following is a sample listing of the maintenance responsibilities for a typical condominium association and what the unit owners are responsible for.
Every unit owner should become fully aware of their responsibilities, and managers are advised to review their condominium documents, consult with their association attorney to clarify, and educate their unit owners.
SPECIAL SITUATIONS—Water damage caused by leaks from one unit to the other. If, for example, water leaks into another unit, the owner of the unit suffering damage from the leak is responsible for repairs and other collateral damage. The association is required to replace drywall from water damage caused by leaks. Consult your attorney.
The board of directors and management strongly advise that all water heaters be replaced every 10–15 years. All unit owners should change their AC filters regularly to increase energy efficiency and avoid blocking airflow. Unit owners’ AC drain lines should be flushed on a regular basis, and bleach tablets should be added to the drain pan as well. All owners are responsible for chan-ging out their rubber washing machine water hoses to woven stainless-steel ones, which are readily available at hardware and home improvement stores.
PLEASE REFER TO SECTIONS OF YOUR ASSOCIATION’S DECLARATION OF CONDOMINIUM FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILED INFORMATION AND CONSULT WITH YOUR ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY TO CONFIRM.
It is highly recommended that unit owners contract with an outside service provider to maintain and service their unit appliances, AC, water heater, plumbing, and electrical systems.
One of our condominium association boards wants to adopt a rule restricting the minimum age for renters. I have been researching and can’t find any reference to this specific type of restriction. I see that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on familial status (as in families with small children), but I feel like our situation is more along the lines of a hotel that requires you to be at least 25 in order to get a room.
There is the following section of Section 718.110(13)., F.S., “Any amendment restricting unit owners’ rights relating to the rental of units applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who purchase their units after the effective date of that amendment.” Would that apply here, or is that only for restricting rental periods, etc.?
I think the answer is that any change to the rental restrictions requires a vote of the owners and can only be applied to owners who consent (or new owners after the fact), but I’m just not sure. Also, does this mean they have to actually amend the declaration and bylaws to reflect the new restriction? Or am I wrong entirely, and this is something that the board can adopt in the rules and regulations without an owner vote?
For part of your question, I know the answer—any amendment would have to be voted on by the owners and not the board. The statute you reference is eliminating rentals or limiting rentals and applies only to those who consent to the amendment. Those who do not consent may still rent their units until that unit sells. Then that unit comes under the same rental restrictions as the others. Whether that means you can restrict the age to 18, I don’t know. That would be an attorney question!
You already know we have a horrible situation at our community and a question was asked through all the mess. What is a reasonable expectation about how much time a board member should be in the office when we don’t have a CAM? Thank you for all your help and advice with everything.
There is no reasonable time expectation. Someone needs to be in the office to get the work done, so whatever and whomever it takes. However, no one can be remunerated in any monetary or non-monetary form without a CAM license.
Let me know something; do you have the LCAM Course, too? Please let me know!
There is no such thing as LCAM (see page 24 of our Prelicensing manual). There is only one license—CAM—issued by the Florida DBPR. But there are still a lot of managers who use the “L” with the CAM even though its use is improper and unnecessary.
There are credentials you may earn through either of our two professional organizations.
Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) offers the CFCAM™ credential, and I am authorized by FCAP to present that class. I try to offer it once a year. Otherwise, you may complete the online study at www.fcapgroup.com.
CAI National offers the CMCA, AMS, or PCAM credentials. Many of the prerequisite courses are offered through your local CAI chapter at www.caionline.org.
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) curriculum, which can be found at www.fcapschools.com. The FACS course is the prerequisite to becoming a CFCAM. If you are interested in taking the FACS course, please contact us at (800) 443-3433 or visit www.fcapgroup.com.
…First, and foremost, is protecting the property and its value, second is maintaining the common elements and property, and third is enforcing the restrictions found in the governing documents. In addition, boards of directors deal with managing people, those employees, residents, and service providers who are dealt with on a daily basis.
The wise board of directors will hire professional management, whether that is an individual manager or a management company, to assume most of these tasks and duties. The education, training, and experience of a professional community association manager become invaluable to a board of directors when making decisions about physical security operations and access control.
In some instances, a manager’s experience may well become the most important tool a board of directors has at its disposal. A circumstance that causes a manager to be cautious or prudent compared to the decision of a lesser experienced manager may not realize the same outcome.
When it comes to security operations, a manager has a responsibility to present quality information to the board of director to ensure the best possible initiatives that will provide safety and security for a community.
Reasonableness might include the following elements:
• Completion of a threat assessment
• Access entry screening
• Parking lot security
• Emergency procedures
• Disaster response capabilities
• Fixed positions, i.e.,gatehouses
• Armed or unarmed security officers
• Roving patrols, bicycle, vehicular, etc.