FCAP Community—January 2022

FCAP Community

Published January 2022

     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 question about the annual meeting for a condominium association. This is the first year we will have to hold an election. I see that it says you mail out your ballot with your second notice at least 14 days prior but no more than 34 days prior. The question is, can we mail out the ballot separately and then mail out the budget and second notice with the agenda, or does it all have to go together? Or can we mail out the second notice and ballot 30 days prior and then mail out the budget separately 14 days prior?
– Shayna 

     I understand the questions about the ballots and notices, but I don’t quite understand the comments about including the budget.
     Check your documents, but most of the time the board of directors votes on the budget with a copy of the draft and notice/agenda being furnished to the owners 14 days prior to that board meeting. Since this is a board meeting and vote, the owners just receive notice of the meeting.
     For a clearer understanding of the election procedures, watch my latest show on our YouTube channel, CAM Matters. Then if you still have questions, please feel free to call me.
– Betsy

     I wondered if you knew of any Florida statutes regarding cameras on a balcony in a condominium association.
– Teresa

     I do not know of any legislation, but you can check with your insurance agent (who advises for free) about potential liability issues.
– Betsy

     I’m trying to confirm a requirement related to annual meeting notices, and I believe you could help shed some light on the requirements. Some people tell me 30- and 60-day notices are required per statute, but I do not see that referenced anywhere in the statutes or the F.A.C.  I only see reference to the 14-day notice. What am I missing?
– Paul

     Good to hear from you. You can find a good explanation of all the different notices on my latest CAM Matters YouTube show. Many managers get it wrong, not understanding that the elections timeline is separate from the annual meeting timeline.
     What people are telling you is the condominium/coop election timeline notices (60, 40, 35, and 14 days), which are entirely different than the annual meeting timeline notice (14 days). 
– Betsy

      I have some recollection that the notary acknowledgement changed. Do you happen to have that information?
– Thomas

     Yes, the requirements changed on January 1, 2020. Here is information from the National Law Review, October 1, 2021, Volume XI, Number 274.
“… changes to Florida Statutes Section 117.05 require revisions to the form of the notary block to be contained on instruments and affidavits, and this change in the form is mandatory (on all forms, not just forms that are electronically notarized). The relevant portion of the statutory acknowledgment of a principal in their individual capacity should read as follows…
     The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me, by means of ___ physical presence or ___ online notarization, this ____ day of _______, (year), by __________ …….

     Similarly, for an instrument requiring an oath or affirmation, the relevant portion of the statutory certificate should read as follows…
Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me, by means of ___physical presence or ___online notarization, this ____ day of _______, (year), by __________ ……

     All other portions of the notarization block remain in effect. The failure to include this language commencing on January 1 may result in the document being rejected for purposes of recording.”
– Betsy

     I remember you saying something about a requirement to use only FDIC banks when banking for the HOA. Is that a law?  We have been using a credit union, and the other day it just popped into my head that you had said something about that.
– Michelle

     You remember partly right! Check your documents to see if funds are restricted to FDIC products. Otherwise, funds could be placed in fixed annuities, credit unions, CDARS programs, etc.
– Betsy

     Are three bids required for jobs over a certain dollar amount? Does the board have to choose the lowest bid?
– Patricia

     Yes and no. Section 718.3026, §719.3026, and §720.3055, Florida Statutes, only require bids (which is more than one) if the bid/proposal “requires payment by the association … that exceeds 5 percent of the total annual budget of the association, including reserves [for a homeowners association it is 10 percent], the association shall obtain competitive bids for the materials, equipment, or services. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require the association to accept the lowest bid.”
– Betsy 

FCAP Congratulates David Saffer—The Newest CFCAM

     David Saffer recently obtained his CFCAM designation, and since January 2021 has served as an association manager with Affinity Management Services assigned to the Condominium Association of Drake Tower in Fort Lauderdale.

He says, “Born in NJ, I moved to South Florida at 16 when my father accepted      a position and moved with a new company. I started my management career in retail with Service Merchandise at 17 immediately after graduating high school. After they started having economic troubles, I moved on and joined Carmax in Davie, FL, as a sales consultant. From there I spent years traveling with Carmax, working as a sales manager in the D.C. market and nationwide as a new location implementation specialist. Having a desire to move back home, I returned to South Florida, which led to starting a family. Since I needed a decent schedule to focus on being a father, I took a job in the security industry, which led to an 11-year career with assignments throughout Florida, New York City, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. I came back to Florida in 2017 and returned to property management. 

     “I became a CAM because I enjoy keeping busy, problem solving, and a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day. My favorite properties are those with a large staff or multiple projects happening at once. 

     “I pursued the CFCAM designation because I had a desire to continue my industry education, and I wanted my first advanced studies to be specific to my job and address the specific Florida statutes and our environment. After some investigating, I felt it would have the greatest impact on what I actually do day to day, and I was right! 

     “The hardest part of the job for me is the lack of respect offered to those of us in the position by residents, vendors, and real estate personnel. There are days that I feel like a punching bag, and prior to working for Affinity, there was little to no support from senior management at the larger firms. I have a thick skin, coming from a sales and security industry background, but we all know how words may sometimes get the best of our emotions and focus.   

     “I am proud of passing the CAM exam on the first attempt. I took the course years before I actually sat for the exam because I didn’t feel I was ready for the test. The second time I sat for the class, I approached my studies differently. I actually expected to fail and figured I would at least get an idea of what specifically was asked and then focus on that for a retake. When I was told by the proctor that I had passed, I had such a sense of accomplishment. It really boosted my confidence, and I knew then that I had made a good decision in leaving an industry I loved for one that would offer more advancement and a better quality of life and would push my business acumen to its limit. 

     “My mother has been my biggest influence, hands down! She has been able to reinvent herself over the years and be so successful in multiple fields. After being a stay-at-home mom raising my sister and me, she went back to college and earned both her undergraduate and master’s degree. She was a teacher, reading specialist, Adjunct Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and department head at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. After the tragedy that struck the school, she re-evaluated her surroundings. 

     She retired and started helping others who have gone through tough times with meditation and spiritual healing. Her constant growth and focus on helping others, while she is still working through tragedy herself, is nothing short of remarkable. 

     “When I have free time, I generally cycle anywhere from 20–80 miles on any given Saturday. I am also a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, and I attend every home game with my daughter, sister, and a group of friends who put on a fantastic tailgate from early morning until just before kickoff. With any other free time I have, I usually sneak off to the west coast of Florida for a beach getaway with my girlfriend, her teenage girls, and my daughter as many times as we can.”

FCAP Industry News

Ansbacher Law Opens New Office Location

     Ansbacher Law is looking forward to serving community associations from its new St. Augustine office. The office is located at 1650 U.S. Highway 1, Suite 201, St. Augustine, FL 32084. For more information and to see a full list of services and locations, visit www.ansbacher.net