Enjoy Your Stay in Florida, Snowbirds!

Enjoy Your Stay in Florida, Snowbirds!

Published October 2020

Photo by iStockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

     Editor’s Note: As community association residents return from their stay up north, it will most likely come as no surprise that association life is going to look different in 2020 due to COVID-19. Regardless of the changes, there is still much to look forward to. Enjoy your time in Florida!

Four Options to Fund the Costs of Capital Improvement Projects
By Lisa Elkan, Vice President, South Florida Region

     As an association is contemplating repairs on its buildings—whether it be for concrete restoration, elevator modernization, and the list goes on—the question is, how may an association pay for these repairs?

  • The cheapest and easiest way for an association to pay for the repairs is to simply write a check.
  • If the association has the luxury of being able to wait to complete the repairs, the association may wait/stage the repairs over several years.
  • If you think owners will be upset when the annual assessment is raised, imagine how they’ll feel when you are required to pass a special assessment.
  • Pass a special assessment combined with an association loan—When an association takes out an association loan in conjunction with a special assessment, the owners will now have the ability to pay the special assessment over a longer period of time, while the association is able to complete the repairs right away.

     For more information on Alliance Association Bank, call (888) 734-4567 or visit www.allianceassociationbank.com.

Prepare for the Winter Season Communicating These Five Items
By Beth Gilbert, Senior Director

     As we settle into the fall season, it’s time to start thinking about winter. Use your association management software to easily text or email information to your residents so they can stay up to date on things like the following:

  • Pool Status: Communicate open/closed status, new hours, new rules, etc.
  • Lighting: Show your residents you’re thinking about their safety by letting them know you’re adjusting the parking and pathway lighting schedule as it gets darker earlier.
  • Decorations: Suggest residents review the rules and regulations for decorating their homes for upcoming holidays.
  • Maintenance: Remind your communities to submit common area maintenance requests online.
  • Encourage Online Adoption: When sending out seasonal communications, it’s a good idea to include a push for technology adoption by encouraging residents to pay dues, submit maintenance requests, architectural reviews, and more online. Not only does this reduce paper, but it also streamlines the entire process.

For more information on AppFolio, call (866) 648-1536 or visit appfolio.com/associations.

Liabilities in Your Community and Face Masks
By Connie Lorenz, President

     Welcome home! While everyone is getting used to their new normal, now is a great time to review your roadways and parking areas for any areas of concern that may present an obstacle to anyone living in or visiting your community.

     Now that face masks are the norm and seem to be available in just about any design you could possibly desire, I am starting to notice that some of our residents are not wearing them correctly and, in some cases, are actually blocking their vision. Add a random pothole or wheelstop or, worse, tree root to this equation, and nothing good can come of it!

     We at Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems have you covered. We offer complete evaluations and asphalt maintenance programs at no charge for your community and can help you ensure your community roadways and parking lots are safe for our new “normal.” Stay safe out there!

     For more information on Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems, call (800) 254-4732 or visit www.asphaltnews.com.

Do You Have a Current, Accurate Reserve Schedule?
By Will Simons, RS

     Welcome home! October usually means it’s probably about time for your association’s budget to be finalized in advance of the upcoming fiscal year. Hopefully, that means you have a current, accurate reserve schedule that you can use to ensure your community is adequately funding its reserve accounts. If you don’t, we’re here to help! If you’re still hoping to squeeze in the funding recommendations for 2021, please give us a call to explore your options for completing a reserve study this fall. However, if you’re running out of time, not to worry! You can get a great head-start on NEXT year’s budget process by scheduling a reserve study for early in the upcoming year. As always, thank you very much, and welcome back to paradise!

     Give Association Reserves a call at (954) 210-7925 to learn more about our “Smart Start” program, or visit our website at www.ReserveStudy.com to submit a request for proposal.

Proceed with Caution
Ryan D. Poliakoff, Esq.

     Condominium associations must be extremely careful before proceeding with alterations without membership approval! Section 718.113, Fla. Stat., provides that “material” alterations must be approved in the manner stated in the declaration, or, if the declaration is silent, by 75 percent of the voting interests. But, what happens if a board thinks a project is just maintenance but a court or arbitrator later determines it was actually a material alteration requiring membership approval? Can the alteration be approved after the fact? What if liter-ally 100 percent of the members are willing to approve the alteration? According to the Third District Court of Appeal in Bailey v. Shelborne Ocean Beach Hotel Condominium Association, Inc., that’s just tough luck because the statute must be followed to the letter; and, even though in Bailey more than 75 percent of the association approved the alteration after the fact, that wasn’t enough. So, if in doubt, call the vote!

     For more information on Backer Aboud Poliakoff & Foelster, call (800) 251-3562 or (561) 361-8535 or visit bapflaw.com.

New Laws
By Steven H. Mezer, Esq., Shareholder

     New F.S. 718.129, 719.131, and 720.318 provide that an association may not prohibit parking a law enforcement vehicle where the officer has a right to park.

     F.S. 760.27 provides that a person seeking an emotional support animal must provide certain supporting information to qualify if the related need for an ESA is not readily apparent. The statute provides that an ESA registration, including an identification card, certificate, or other similar document obtained from the internet, is not sufficient to establish a disability related need for an ESA. F.S. 817.265 provides that a person who falsifies information or provides fraudulent information for an ESA or misrepresents himself or herself as having a disability related need for an ESA commits a misdemeanor.

     F.S. 791.08 creates an exemption for the use of fireworks during a holiday. Holidays include New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and New Year’s Eve.

     For more information about Becker, visit beckerlawyers.com.

What to Look for in a Roofing Contractor
By Gregg Wallick, President & CEO

     If you have ever searched for a roofing contractor on the internet, you know it can be an exasperating experience. There may be literally thousands of roofing contractors in a given area, all claiming to be experts in all types of roofs, but there are ways to determine if a contractor is qualified to do the kind of work you need to have done. Look for one who can provide documentation for the following:

  • Properly licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Longevity and track record in the business
  • A published and practiced safety program
  • A history of financial stability
  • The ability to take responsibility for maintenance and reroofing work, rather than being dependent on manufacturers to pass the buck to
  • An established maintenance and repair department
  • A nearby location

     Selecting a reputable and qualified licensed roofing contractor is key to maintaining and protecting your investment in your roof.

     For more information about Best Roofing, call (954) 941-9111, email info@bestroofing.net, or visit www.bestroofing.net.

How Technology Can Help Your Association Curb the Spread of COVID-19
By Ashley Dietz-Gray, Marketing Director

     Thanks to technology, there are many ways your board can limit and reduce in-person contact at your association. Enabling board members to approve vendor payments online and using digital check signatures are great ways to streamline your accounts payable process and reduce the COVID-19 risk. Eliminating the paperwork involved with sales and lease applications by moving this process online is another great way to reduce the need for in-person interactions.

     Associations can also conduct their board meetings, committee meetings, and other meetings virtually, with platforms like Zoom, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, Skype, and FreeConferenceCall.com.

     Here are a few benefits to associations when using virtual meetings:

  • Flexibility: Host a meeting with audio and video or hold a teleconference with audio only.
  • Affordability: Many of these software platforms have free options that may accomplish what your board is looking for.
  • Efficiency: With little interruption, associations have had some of their most productive and shortest meetings ever through the virtual format. Recordings of the meeting are easy to access afterwards.
  • Simplicity: Most people have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and virtual meetings have become increasingly easy to join through these devices. A participant can always simply dial in to the meeting by phone as well.

     For more information about Campbell Property Management, visit our website’s COVID-19 resource center at CampbellPropertyManagement.com to learn how technology can curb the spread of COVID-19.

A Warm “Welcome Back” to Our Beloved Snowbirds
By Gianna Rahmani, Regional Director

     Depending on where you are returning from, COVID-19 may not have been as big of an issue as in Florida; however, please be assured that it has been top-of-mind for us at Castle, especially as it relates to your comfort, health, and overall well-being. We thought you would find a list of the top 10 counties with the highest reported cases helpful, as reported on September 14th by Florida’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection:

  • Miami-Dade—164,086
  • Broward—74,434
  • Palm Beach—44,025
  • Hillsborough—39,450
  • Orange—37,939
  • Duval—28,458
  • Pinellas—20,922
  • Lee—19,488
  • Polk—18,473
  • Collier—12,209

     Castle serves all of Florida, implementing the latest in COVID-19 response techniques in our communities. Be sure to tune into our complimentary educational webinars and request site response and re-opening plans if you haven’t already—they may just save your life.

     For more information about Castle Group, call (844) 815-5321 or visit www.castlegroup.com.

Find Out What Your Residents Want for Internet or Cable Service!
By Jean Simmons, Vice President of Marketing

     As snowbirds return and communities have all their residents available, this is the time to review your cable and internet agreements. Are you close to a renewal? Are you thinking about adding new services or looking at a bulk agreement for internet services? If so, this is the time to survey your residents or hold town halls to see what is most important to them regarding these services. Too often, negotiations start in the off season and the board has to make decisions without having the opportunity for input from the residents. Even if your agreement is not due for a year or more, it is always better to survey while residents are in town. This way you will be able to make the most informed choices for your community!

     For more information on Communications Consulting Group, call (561) 671-9996 or visit ccgconsult.com.

Saving Money with Rooftop Maintenance
By Michelle Grojean, Chief Business Development Officer

     Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong! Often, roofing systems are some of the most neglected features of homes and businesses. When rooftops are neglected, costly repairs (and even premature replacement needs) arise. But there are simple and cost-effective ways to combat wear and tear, ways to identify potential issues more quickly (before they happen), and ways to elongate the lifespan of your commercial and residential rooftop. It’s called rooftop maintenance.

     When inspected and maintained annually (at minimum), a certified roofing contractor can visually inspect and audit roof conditions, remove accumulated debris, and provide comprehensive rooftop reports to help you better calculate and stretch your roofing budget.

     Remember, before signing a rooftop maintenance program, ensure your roofing contractor is licensed and certified with your roofing and waterproofing product manufacturer.

     For more information on Crown Roofing & Waterproofing, email michelleg@crownrfg.com or call (239) 994-9529.

Upgrade Your Infrastructure
By Nicole Coro, Marketing Manager

     There is no argument that the internet has become a necessity today.  The technology in your building is probably from when it was constructed, and the internet was unheard of. The cable company uses coaxial cable modems, which is shared technology among the users, with questionable security.  The state-of-the-art technology today is fiber optic to the unit or Cat5e wiring.  By investing in upgrading your infrastructure your owners will realize immediate increased value and savings.  The building will own the cabling and future-proofs the property for years to come.

     Direct Plus will design a state-of-the-art system that allows the building to pick the desired speed at significant savings.  Pay-back of the investment is typically within a one-year period.  For example, a 150-unit building with a per-unit investment of $200/unit will realize over $100,000 in savings in the first year over the retail rate the residents are paying today to Comcast or AT&T.

     For more information on DIRECTPLUS LLC, visit www.directplusnow.com or call (800) 897-9773.

The Pay-Off of Money Spent Now
By Ed Williams, RRC

     If you are on the board of directors of your condominium, there is probably a lot to do in the coming months. Did any significant wind events affect your roof? Keep in mind that your roof does not have to blow off to be damaged. Sometimes high winds just lift the roof. This makes it more susceptible to damage from tradesmen or the next wind event. If this damage is significant enough, it will be an insurance claim. You’ve heard me say this before: if your roof went through a high wind event, an inspection is necessary. It may also be a good time to look at your reserves for roofing. The pandemic has caused shortages in some materials and price hikes in many. We simply do not know how long these shortages and prices will remain in effect. The money that you spend on inspections and maintenance will pay off in the long run.

     For more information on Ed Williams Registered Roof Consultant, call (772) 335-5832 or visit www.edwilliamsregisteredroofconsultant.com.

Re-Evaluate, Prepare, and Find Out What You’ve Missed
By Brie Shouppe, Manager of Business Development & Marketing

     Whether you’re a full-time resident or returning to the Sunshine State, it’s a good time to assess your home and community security with these tips:

  • Start with the crime prevention through environmental design guidelines to evaluate your mechanical methods, human measures (if used), and natural elements that impact security. Don’t overlook the natural (landscaping, lighting, etc.) measures. These are often easiest to address but missed the most.
  • The holidays are around the corner, and unfortunately that also brings an increase in burglaries. Is your property prepared with a home security system that alerts you or a security provider to suspicious behavior or a possible break-in?
  • Has the method for verifying visitors changed at your community? This is a big change that occurs within an association. If you haven’t been around, you might need the details. Talk with your community to see what you need to do or know.

     For more information about Envera Systems, visit enverasystems.com or call 1-855-380-1274.

A Unified Approach
By Chris Kelsey, Director of Support

     There is no shortcut to building a unified community, but it’s worth the hard work to foster an environment of professionalism, inclusion, and validation in our community associations.  We can achieve these ideals through the following:

     Leadership—Board members are volunteers and fiduciaries; and are bound by legal processes.  Community leaders need to know their duties and liabilities and turn to attorney and software resources to establish procedures.

     Systems—Software systems are necessary to improve professionalism and help members feel included.  An association portal relays personal and community information.  Some states, including Florida, require an online association presence.  Be sure to find a provider with ADA-compliant options to include everyone.

     Members—As board members, managers, and vendors, we tend to be busy administering associations and may lose sight of the humanity of our communities, which is complex, irrational, and always beautiful in surprising ways.  Don’t forget kindness to unify your community approach.

     For more information about eUnify, visit eUnify.net.

Time to Budget for Engineered Life Safety Systems
By Tom Conrecode, P.E.

     Life safety in condominium properties is critically important, and in newer properties it is incorporated into the design and construction of every unit. In older condominium properties, many of these features are not as robust as current building codes require. As a result, the legislature passed laws requiring that high-rise (over 75 feet) residential properties be retrofitted with a sprinkler system or have an engineered life safety system in place by January 1, 2020.

     The 2019 state legislature amended the timeline for compliance with this requirement in the Florida Fire Code by extending the deadline to January 1, 2024. While this comes as a relief to some that failed to meet the original deadline, it is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of. It is time to budget for the installation of an automatic sprinkler system or alternatively implementing an engineered life safety system.

     For more information about Forge Engineering Inc., call (239) 514-4100 or (954) 800-4150 or visit www.ForgeEng.com. 

Cooler Weather= Sleepy Bats!
By John Greenwood, Technical Consultant

     As we enter the winter months, cooler weather is (finally!) on the way. According to the National Weather Service, the average January low temperature reading in Orlando is just 49 °F, and in Tallahassee it plummets to 40 °F. Of course, in the more southerly parts of the state, the average mid-winter lows are slightly higher, but those of us who live in the Sunshine state know that temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s are not uncommon anywhere on the peninsula.

     How does this affect the bats that like to live in our condominium buildings? Florida’s bats are all tropical or subtropical animals, and they really dislike the cold. When the temperature drops down into the 60s, 50s, and below, they can put their bodies into a state of torpor (which is similar to hibernation, except that they can come out of it whenever they choose). So, if you think that your bats have left for the winter, think again. They’re just snoozing and waiting for the sunshine!

     For more information on Friends of Bats, call 1-888-758-BATS (2287), email fob@friendsofbats.com, or visit www.friendsofbats.com.

Your Post-Pandemic Return to Paradise
By Kristen Ferrer, Associate

     Things may look a little different this year when you return to your home in paradise. While you were gone, COVID-19 arrived in Florida and with it, change. Community associations have had to adapt to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. Your association has likely implemented social distancing measures, increased routine cleaning, and mandated the use of face masks while on the association’s property. Here are some tips to ease your transition back into paradise:

  • Contact your management company. Ensure they have your latest contact information for notifications as new policies develop.
  • Stay informed. The rules in your home state may differ from Florida’s. Check the COVID-19 pages for your property’s county and/or municipality for the most up-to-date information.
  • Be prepared for change. Your association may have implemented new rules which impact the use of common elements, visitor access, and even owners’ abilities to operate their properties as vacation rentals. Ask your association questions about what rules are now in place.

     For more information on COVID-19 and community associations, contact Haber Law at (305) 379-2400 or visit www.haber.law.

Collecting Past Due Assessments amid COVID-19
By Amanda K. Barritt, Esquire and Katherine E. Cook, Esquire

     Florida’s moratorium on foreclosure actions during the pandemic this year created a novel challenge for associations in collecting past due assessments, causing associations to explore their options. Florida law provides associations various mechanisms to make collections efforts in addition to filing a foreclosure action. In addition to sending the statutory notices and filing a claim of liens, a board may suspend voting and certain common facility use rights of delinquent owners. Additional demand letters from the association’s counsel can often result in a response from the delinquent owners. Considering many residents’ incomes have been affected by the pandemic, persistent communication efforts may provide an opportunity to work with the delinquent owner to agree on a short-term payment plan to foster payment without the need for a delay or incuring costs pursuing a court order. These options are not only effective but can also be utilized after the pandemic ends.

     If your association needs assistance in collecting past due assessments, please feel free to contact Amanda Barritt at amanda.barritt@henlaw.com or Katherine Cook at katherine.cook@henlaw.com or call (239) 344-1100.

In Your Association’s Corner
By Richard S. Hunter, Public Adjuster

     Florida boasts many beautiful communities throughout the state. Each community association contains board members and residents who spend part of the year living elsewhere. These properties regularly sustain damages while their residents are away. Associations that fail to promptly report damages may be prevented from making a valid insurance claim and board members may be liable.

     We regularly meet with association members and boards to review their policies, implementing pre-disaster preparation and post-disaster relief plans. Our disaster protocols are created for each individual property and the needs of their residents.

     Call a public adjuster before filing any claim. We do not get paid unless you get paid. Public adjusters solely represent your best interests, not the insurance company’s.

     To schedule a free policy review and property inspection, call (813) 774-7634 or visit www.hunterclaims.com.

Last Call for Leasing Restrictions
By Michael S. Bender, Esq. and Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq.

     Most board members and managers have not digested the 2020 legislative changes affecting Florida’s community associations. However, there is already a rumor of the revival for a push for new leasing restrictions for homeowner associations for the 2021 legislative session.

     Presently, the Condominium Act provides that “An amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental term or specifying or limiting the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specified period applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who acquire title to their units after the effective date of that amendment.”

     During the past several years, there has been push in the Florida legislature for similar legislation to be adopted into the Homeowners Association Act. If your HOA is considering the adoption of  amendments to its leasing requirements as pertains to prohibiting members from leasing their lots, altering the duration of the rental term, or specifying or limiting the number of times lot owners are entitled to rent their lots, and if you want this to be applicable to every member in the association, even  those who do not vote in favor of such provisions, then you will want to contact your association counsel to undertake the necessary steps to complete the amendment process prior to the Florida legislature adopting such a provision into the Homeowners Association Act.

     For more information about Kaye Bender Rembaum, visit KBRLegal.com, email info@KBRLegal.com, or call (800) 974-0680.

Achieving a Structurally Sound and Weathertight Building
By Jim Emory, PE, SI #60965, CGC #059844

     Few things are more enjoyable than spending time in your condominium on the Florida coast. The beautiful views, the salt air, and the sunshine are hard to beat. The challenges of keeping your building well-maintained, structurally sound, and weathertight can often be an unpleasant, costly, and time-consuming surprise.

     The decision-making process and choices can be overwhelming. Protecting your building’s various structural components from the corrosive salt air, keeping the water out during tropical storms, and maintaining the appearance of the building are common challenges shared by all.

     Fortunately, there is an industry built specifically for these needs. There are a significant number of engineering and construction firms that exist to serve condominium maintenance issues full time. These industry experts can help you choose and complete building maintenance projects, including appropriate roof systems, sliding glass doors, balcony floor finishes, structural repair procedures, and so on.

For more information about Keystone Engineering and Consulting Inc., visit KeystoneEngineeringPE.com or call (321) 454-7300.

The Sunset of 3G Networks Is Coming. What Does This Mean for You?
By Dave Mann, VP of Technology

     Since the birth of the first analog cellular network, digital networks that replaced them continue to grow and evolve, making room for new technologies. U.S. mobile carriers are now moving to replace old 2G/3G infrastructures with newly deployed long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

     Why does this matter to you? It could affect the operations of your pool and elevator phones—required by law. While the sun-setting of 3G won’t be an overnight shut down, the network will gradually begin to dissipate by region as operators begin to repurpose their spectrum for the more modern networks. At Kings III, we aren’t wasting any time waiting for that to happen. We plan to have our entire customer base transitioned to 4G/LTE well before final 3G sunset dates to avoid any risk of compromised connections to emergency phones and recommend you do the same.

     Learn more about final sunset dates and action steps you can take to get ahead at www.kingsiii.com/help-phone-blog/3g-sunset-is-inevitable-dont-play-catch-up-get-ahead or call 866-871-5633.

Key Considerations During an Unprecedented Year
By Zuly Maribona, Senior Vice President

     We welcome back our snowbirds, who are undoubtedly eager for sunshine and a change of scenery. COVID-19 forced associations and managers to implement new protocols to keep residents and staff healthy and safe, while preparing for an active hurricane season.

     Potential changes, new rules, and other considerations for returning snowbirds include the following:

  • Certain community amenities, such as gyms, lounges, and pools, may be operating with capacity limits and/or reduced hours in adherence to social distancing guidelines and to allow for coordinated disinfecting of fitness equipment and other shared items. Common areas, including mail rooms and elevators, may also have capacity limits.
  • Procedures for handling packages and food deliveries were likely modified to minimize the number of people coming through main entrances.
  • Hurricane season does not end until November 30, so make note of your community’s updated preparedness measures and guidelines.

     Stay vigilant, monitor community updates, and—most importantly—enjoy your winter getaway!

     For more information on KW Property Management & Consulting, contact Zuly Maribona at (239) 495-3428 or zmaribona@kwpmc.com or visit www.kwpmc.com.

Time to Take Action
By Dustin Anderson, Project Manager

     The end of hurricane season is the best time to take inventory of your community waterways and stormwater systems. Keep in mind that a lot of potential problems frequently lurk underground or underwater.

     Trained professionals should be consulted if you suspect trouble with the following:

  • Are your storm water drainage systems working? This system of pipes, ponds, and overflow structures prevents flooding. Signs of problems include water on streets not draining and garbage/debris impeding the movement of stormwater runoff.
  • Check your waterway’s shorelines to determine if there has been erosion resulting from fluctuating water levels. Unstable shorelines are dangerous for residents and workers operating all-terrain vehicles.
  • Heavy storms can damage fountains and aerating systems. Some fountains are ornamental, but aeration systems maintain water circulation, which is a key factor in supporting a healthy waterway.
  • Native plants can suffer damage during storms and should be replaced as one way to maintain healthy habitats for wildlife. They also provide protection against shoreline erosion control.

     These are a few issues that should be evaluated even if you feel your community has emerged unscathed.

     For more information about Lake & Wetland Management, visit www.lakeandwetland.com.

Top 3 ways to maintain your property
By Stephanie Laing, Sales and Marketing Manager

     The top three ways to check if your property is correctly maintained are as follows:

  • Hire a qualified engineer.
  • Spend money on a qualified engineer.
  • Use your engineer as your partner.

     All joking aside, an engineer should be able to help you create a proper preventative maintenance plan for all your building systems. This will save you money over time and build you a reputation of trustworthiness and proactivity. Additionally, it can help you avoid thousands of dollars in repairs, repetitive work, and potential insurance claims. Find an engineer who can help you with the following: conduct roof inspections, properly inspect your building envelope for deterioration, create a preventive maintenance plan, supply 40-year recertification requirements, and give an assessment of the overall property condition.

     For more information on M2E Consulting Engineers, contact Stephanie Laing at (305) 614-6124, email slaing@m2e.com, or visit www.m2e.com.

What to Expect When MRT Comes to Your Neighborhood
By Chris Evers, Technical Representative

     What’s more natural than returning to your asphalt roadways the components they’ve lost through oxidation? These components, called maltenes, are the “glue” that binds asphalt pavements together, restoring flexibility, fluidity, and adhesion properties. When maltene replacement technology (MRT) arrives in your community, you can expect a polite and experienced crew implementing a pavement preservation solution that meets or exceeds all EPA, federal, state, local, and industry performance requirements. With MRT’s 50-year track record of proven performance, your neighborhood will experience minimal disruption and a speedy return to all community activities. Best of all, your newly sealed roads will be water- and weather-resistant again. Preventive road maintenance using MRT makes your dollars go further by significantly extending the life of your community’s roads.

     For more information on Reclamite® asphalt rejuvenator and MRT, visit www.gotmaltenes.com or call 1-800-333-6309. 

Help a Seasonal Resident Out
By Mariann Gerwig, CGC, HI, CFCAM, CFO

     It would be extremely helpful this year for managers to contact their seasonal residents and find out if they are migrating this year or not. If they are not returning or their return will be delayed, managers should check and see if they would like a superficial inspection of their unit done.  This will give the residents peace of mind as well as avoid any possible damage that could be occurring without anybody knowing.

     In past articles we have suggested the following elements be checked when residents return after an extended period.

  • Inspect heating and cooling units (and filters) to ensure they are working properly.
  • Make sure sinks, toilets, showers, and hot water heaters are not showing signs of leaks and are working and draining properly.
  • Do a complete walkthrough looking at floors, walls, and ceilings for signs of water damage.
  • Make sure that windows and sliding doors are working properly and do not need maintenance.
  • Homeowners, make sure to check attic spaces. Unit owners should also check all storage spaces that are not located directly in the unit.

     If you start this process soon, you will have more than enough time to help all residents that may not be returning this season.

     For more information about Promar Building Services, call (561) 598-4549, email Aamador@promarbuilding.com or Mgerwig@promarbuilding.com, or visit promarbuilding.com. 

Can Your Network Keep Up?
By John Von Stein, CEO

     Today’s digital load is ever increasing. As many of us are still working, learning, and socializing from home, we need high-performance fiber networks to deliver the high-speed internet, TV, and voice services that we rely on every day.

     That’s where QXC stands out. We offer two exclusive advantages for residential customers; our Active Optical Network (AON) fiber-optic design uses dedicated, fiber-to-the-home architecture. There are no splitters, so each home/unit gets full signal strength and incredibly fast speed and performance. Because there’s no shared fiber, it’s also more secure.

     In addition to AON fiber, QXC is the only provider in South Florida to offer wireless high-availability backup. In the event a contractor damages conduit or cuts fiber with a backhoe, your network seamlessly connects to QXC’s backup tower, so you never lose service. That network redundancy is important to residents—and it’s essential for property management, keeping critical operations running 24/7. Prepare for this season and beyond with QXC.

     For more information about QXC Communications, connect with him at (561) 708-1500 or sales@qxc.us or visit QXC online at www.qxc.us.

Different Season
By Lindsay Heysler, Business Development and Marketing Manager

     Welcome back, snowbirds! This season will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What changes has it triggered for your community association?

  • Rules and regulations for your community may have been updated since last season to include the new COVID-19 safety protocol. Be sure to ask your management or board of directors for the updates.
  • Your common area community amenities may be closed or offer limited access now.
  • Mask may be mandated for both inside and outside of your community association. These may differ depending on the county you reside in.
  • The unemployment rate in Florida is at a high due to COVID-19. Take this into consideration while preparing your community’s 2021 budget. We may be experiencing the results of this well into 2021.We all feel the effects of this pandemic. Staying educated and following the updated protocols for your community can help ensure we will be able to return to normalcy in our communities soon.

     For more information about Seacrest Services, call (561) 656-6354 or visit SeacrestServices.com.

Maintain Safety Levels
By Joanna Ribner, President

     You are coming back to a world much different from the one you had last winter. With a heightened need for cleanliness, residents and board members have a heightened responsibility to do whatever they can to maintain safety levels.

     Look at surfaces you typically ignore, like the trash chute doors. They are touched multiple times a day by multiple people. We all wash our hands after we take out the trash, not before! Something as simple as a professional chute cleaning and an in-house maintenance program can alleviate this challenge.

     Look to your vendors to assist in identifying areas where some extra “TLC” is needed to keep surfaces as sanitized as possible. There may be better solutions than wiping down handrails with Lysol wipes (if you can even get them), which can corrode some metals! Use your relationships to safeguard your building and your neighbors. We are all in this together.

     For more information on Southern Chute, call (866) 475-9191 or visit www.SouthernChute.com.

Four Reasons to Secure a Roof Maintenance Plan
By Target Roofing

     Maintenance plans, often viewed as sales tactics to spend more can actually save customers much more, when it comes to roof maintenance plans that include the following:

  • Experienced inspectors can discover issues before they create problems, like displaced flashing, pooled water, cracked or chipped tiles, faulty adhesives, missing nails, granule loss, and clogged gutters or drains.
  • Removal of debris from roofs that blocks drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts and causes ponding or flooding over roof edges and flashings—allows drainage of heavy water as designed.
  • Priority service and rates provide prompt response, time guarantees, and discounted rates, saving money and stress during the rainy season.
  • Ensure warranty validation for manufacturers that require property owners to have proof of regular maintenance and inspections or risk voiding a warranty in its entirety.

     Four areas within maintenance plans that pay big dividends by protecting your roof and contents for years to come.

     For more information about Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, visit TargetRoofers.com or call (239) 334-7496.

Snowbirds: Should You Stay, or Should You Go?
By Kelly Anne McNeice, Marketing & Sales Assistant

     It’s almost time for snowbirds to come back home, but with the novel coronavirus, many are wondering if they should migrate at all. While there are risks in traveling in a pandemic, there are also many ways you can travel to your summer paradise safely.

  • Consider where you are and where you are headed.
  • How prevalent are cases where you are travelling? How about at home? Are you comfortable with the precautions being taken in and around your winter destination?
  • Drive, don’t fly.
  • Flying always presents health risks, but now more than ever you need to consider if this risk is worth taking. It’s much safer to drive to your destination, and you’ll get the added bonus of not having to rent a car or rely on public transportation!
  • Plan your trip carefully.
  • Many activities you would normally enjoy during your getaway are unavailable or unsafe to participate in this year, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Plan some outdoor activities away from big crowds or make a list of recipes to make at home rather than eating out.

     You don’t have to lose your winter escape because of COVID-19; as long as you plan accordingly, you can still have fun in the sun!

     For more information about Vesta Property Services, call (877) 988-3782 or visit VestaPropertyServices.com.

It Is Snowbird Season and Hurricane Season!
By Carolina Sosa, Marketing Director

     Here are some tips for property managers and unit owners to prepare their property in case of a hurricane:

  • Keep your building cool and air-conditioned to circulate the air and reduce humidity since humidity makes metal water pipes more likely to corrode, burst, and flood your property.
  • Document your property (notes, videos, and pictures) prior to damages to facilitate damage assessment with your insurance company.
  • Make a list of approved vendors. Your team and residents should be on the same page on who to call if an emergency were to occur. Be sure to verify insurance as some companies may not be insured to work in buildings higher than three floors.
  • Perform emergency training on a yearly basis to remind your staff and educate any new team members.

      WRG offers free emergency training for your team at your location.

     To schedule training for your staff, please email mmartinez@wrgfla.com or call 1-844-379-9283 for emergency assistance or browse wrgfla.com