FCAP Community—December 2021

FCAP Community

Published December 2021

     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 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

Betsy Barbieux

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

     We have a man in our HOA who moved in and decided he wants to be in charge of everything. He picks apart our documents, sends the board excessive emails about violations, criticizes everything the board does, harasses the pool company and the health department inspector, and sends board members dozens of emails before 5:30 every morning. He has gotten markedly worse since he lost the election to the board. The board has written him a letter demanding he not contact or harass vendors. Other board members have quit, including me. Help.
– Stephanie

     My first thought is that those who are complaining about this man’s behavior toward them should file complaints with the police/sheriff’s department for stalking. This begins a paper trail with law enforcement should anything escalate. This type of complaint is not a “charge,” so the man will not be arrested, but the complaints may have a sobering effect on him. The problem will be to get these people to file stalking complaints. 
     Following are examples of stalking behaviors: Repeated, unwanted phone calls, texts, messages, etc. that may or may not be threatening. Creating fake profiles to continue contacting a person after they have been blocked on their personal account. Observing, following, or “coincidentally” showing up wherever the person goes.
– Betsy

     Is there a limit as to how much maintenance payments can be raised each year? Our board just raised our maintenance one-third of our current maintenance (33.3 percent). Is that legal? This has placed extreme hardship on many of us as we are an over-55 community.
– Constance

     The answer depends. Your declaration of condominium may have a limitation on assessment increases so be sure to check that document.
     The board is required to charge owners enough in assessments to pay the regular bills, and insurance premiums are predicted to go up 17–25 percent. 
     The §718.112(2)(e)(2), Florida Statutes, says that if the assessment increases more than 115 percent of the previous year assessment (not including the amount set apart for reserves), the membership may petition to substitute their own budget and approve it at a special membership meeting. I have an example of how to calculate the 115 percent, but it is too long to put here.
     Unfortunately, this is the chance you take when you move into a community association. You have literally signed a blank check to the association agreeing to pay however much it takes to pay the bills.
– Betsy

     If I were to start up a CAM business/firm, what would you recommend be in place aside from obtaining the proper licensing? What about insurance, accounting, etc. Have you got anything you could pass on or point in the right direction to a website?
– Bob

     First, you want to create a corporation or LLC for the management business. Then you will need a CAB license from the DBPR. I’ve designed a class called CAM QuickStart to answer all these questions and more. We offer it once a month in Leesburg, and you can see the schedule through the end of the year on the website calendar.
     It is a day of coaching on anything you want to know, whether it is processes and procedures or how to start your own company or financials or recordkeeping or branding and advertising—whatever your questions are, everything is open for discussion. The course comes with a 250-plus page resource manual, 100-plus pages of which are editable forms for your use.
– Betsy

     We have our recall in writing agreements in envelopes ready to mail. I’ve read Chapter 719 and Rule 61B, and I cannot find specifics pertaining to the delivery (mailing). I know we can’t email them to the shareholders, so they are all ready for the postal service, but can we hand deliver them to the residents who are here full time? Or must the local ballots be mailed through the postal service as well? This legal stuff is confusing! And once received, do we serve the board president or secretary with the results? I believe that does have to be certified mailing.
– Tammy

     The statute says you may deliver by U.S. mail or hand delivery. Hand delivery means you get a signature from everyone that you hand one to. You’ll need to create some sort of form for the shareholder to sign when you deliver it.
     You’ll want to use an affidavit of mailing that will have attached to it the list of shareholders and their mailing addresses who received their recall ballots by U.S. Mail and the signatures of those who received their recall ballots by hand delivery.
     Once the ballots have been received and counted, a notary public will notarize a statement from the recall committee representative attesting to the count, and then that certification and ballots are delivered to the board. No certified mail involved.
     It is too much to add here, but I can send you a sample of the affidavit of mailing and a sample of the notarized statement.
– Betsy

FCAP Vendor Spotlight

     Hotwire Communications is a South Florida-based telecommunications company and internet service provider (ISP) that has been providing fiber-based solutions for TV, internet, and phone since 2002, meeting the specific needs of diverse customer types in multi-unit and multi-dwelling communities including condominiums, homeowners associations, municipalities, student housing, and senior-living communities.

     An industry disruptor and trendsetter, Hotwire was the very first ISP in Florida to invest in an all-fiber network for all of its installations, and the first to deliver services to residences via fiber-to-the-home technology. In 2006 Hotwire was the first company in the state to build an internet protocol television (IPTV) headend and offer IPTV services to customers, and in 2014 became the first to offer gigabit-speed internet.

     Since its foundation, Hotwire has grown to serve over 700 properties through Florida and the east coast of the United States and has been recognized for the exceptional quality of its services by multiple independent outlets and organizations, including being named by PCMag as their 2020 Fastest Business ISP in the United States, 2020 Fastest ISP in the southeast United States, and 2021 Best Gaming ISP in the southeast United States, in addition to being named 2020 Independent Operator of the Year by Cablefax.

     For more information about Hotwire Communications, visit www.hotwirecommunications.com/contact.