FCAP Community—July 2024

FCAP Community

Published July 2024

     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/.

The Importance of a Roof Maintenance Inspection Agreement for Condominium and HOA Associations

By Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM, CSM
Director of Community Association Relations, Hotwire Communications
FCAP Education Program Coordinator

     Condominium and homeowners’ association managers and boards need to ensure the maintenance and longevity of the property. Among the various components that require regular attention, the association’s roofs stand out as one of the most critical.

     To safeguard the investment and protect residents, it’s essential to establish a maintenance inspection agreement specifically for the association’s roofs. Let’s explore the reasons why such an agreement is vital and the benefits it offers.

Identify and Address Issues Early

     Regular roof inspections conducted through a maintenance inspection agreement allow for proactive detection of potential problems. By identifying issues in their early stages, associations can address them promptly, preventing them from escalating into more costly repairs or replacements. Timely intervention can save the condominium or HOA considerable amounts of money and minimize inconvenience for residents.

Extend Roof Lifespan

     Roofs are exposed to various weather conditions, including rain, sun, wind, and hail. Over time, these elements can cause wear and tear, leading to leaks, structural damage, or deterioration. Through scheduled maintenance inspections, associations can identify areas of concern and undertake necessary repairs or maintenance tasks to extend the lifespan of the roof. By investing in regular inspections, condominium and HOA associations can protect their roofs and avoid premature replacements.

Ensure Compliance with Regulations and Insurance Requirements

     Many condominium and HOA associations are subject to local regulations and insurance requirements. Some jurisdictions mandate regular inspections for certain types of properties including condominiums. By adhering to these regulations and obtaining the necessary documentation through the maintenance inspection agreement, associations can demonstrate compliance. Moreover, insurance companies often require proof of regular roof maintenance and inspections to provide coverage. Having an inspection agreement in place ensures that associations meet these requirements, mitigating potential coverage issues.

Enhance Resident Safety and Satisfaction

     The safety and satisfaction of residents are paramount concerns for condominium and HOA associations. A well-maintained roof provides protection not only against weather elements but also against potential hazards such as leaks, mold growth, or structural compromises. By conducting regular inspections and promptly addressing any issues, associations can ensure the safety and well-being of residents. This proactive approach also contributes to resident satisfaction as they witness the association’s commitment to maintaining the property.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

     A maintenance inspection agreement for roofs aids in budgeting and financial planning for condominium and HOA associations. By conducting regular inspections, associations can identify repair or maintenance needs in advance, allowing them to allocate funds accordingly. This proactive approach enables associations to plan for future expenses, avoiding unexpected financial burdens and ensuring the availability of resources when needed. Extending the life of your roof and implementing a budgeting strategy are both essential for condominium and HOA associations.

     A maintenance inspection agreement specifically tailored for roofs serves as a valuable tool in achieving these goals. By conducting regular inspections, associations can proactively identify and address any issues that may arise, preventing them from escalating into more significant problems.

     This proactive approach ultimately extends the lifespan of the roofs, saving the association money on premature replacements and repairs. In addition, a maintenance inspection agreement helps associations comply with regulations and insurance requirements. Regular inspections ensure that the roofs meet safety standards and mitigate potential liabilities.

     By staying on top of maintenance and repairs, associations create a safer living environment for residents, enhancing their overall satisfaction and well-being. Budgeting and financial planning are also facilitated by a maintenance inspection agreement. By identifying and addressing roofing issues early on, associations can accurately estimate the costs associated with repairs and replacements and set aside the proper amount outlined in their reserve study in their reserves.

     This allows for better financial planning, ensuring that sufficient funds are allocated for roof maintenance in the association’s budget. By avoiding unexpected and costly repairs, associations can effectively manage their finances and prevent financial strain on residents. These steps send a message that the association values the safety and satisfaction of its residents and is dedicated to maintaining the property in good condition for the long term.

     Making roof maintenance a priority through a maintenance inspection agreement brings numerous benefits to condominium and HOA associations. It extends the life of the roof, ensures compliance with regulations, enhances resident safety and satisfaction, facilitates budgeting and financial planning, and protects the association’s investment for many years to come.

Betsy Barbieux

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

     I’ve been asked by my board to post a draft of the meeting minutes before they are approved. I could not find anything in Chapter 718 that requires this. Is it a typical practice to post a draft before the meeting minutes are approved?
– Joan

     My understanding of Section 718.111(12)(18) is that once minutes are in written form, they are official records that owners may access. I see no problem posting drafts of minutes. They are not a secret.
     Other than the statute saying minutes are an official record, there is no other direction related to drafts, whether they are signed or not, and how they are approved. Most boards use Robert’s Rules of Order as a guide for writing and approving minutes, but there is no law.
– Betsy

     Our HOA board members hold meetings via Zoom and vote by raising their hands. Is this legal? How do you verify the votes? Is this considered electronic voting?
– Evelyn

     The statute permits board members to meet in person or via electronic videoconferencing (Zoom) or speaker telephone. Board members may vote as if physically present. The statute requires a vote for each board member present must be noted in the minutes. This would be true whether they voted in person, by Zoom, or on speaker telephone.
     The statute does not address membership meetings via electronic videoconferencing. However, except to approve the previous meeting minutes or to adjourn, members should vote using a limited proxy (written vote of owner) whether they are there in person or absent, so there is a record of their written vote. They should use a written document called a ballot when voting for board members.
     Electronic voting is provided by an approved provider that must meet strict statutory requirements for password protected voting. There is a fee to pay for electronic voting services.
     Voting by email is not permitted at all, and neither email or Zoom is considered electronic voting.
     There is a “CAM Matters” show on YouTube that might help explain the issues.
– Betsy

     I’m double checking with you. Can a board have an emergency board meeting on personnel issues and not post a 48-hour notice? Our attorney said “emergency” is something like a hurricane or other disaster.
– Geri

     The board members can have an emergency meeting, but the statute doesn’t define emergency. Most CAMs say “fire, blood, water, and a dead body” constitute emergencies. Section 719.106(1)(c) says if a board does have an emergency meeting without giving a full 48-hour notice, whatever they vote on must pass with a majority vote plus one more board member, and that action must be ratified in the minutes at the next board meeting. 
     In any event, all personnel meetings are closed, and minutes are not open for inspection.
     The statute your attorney referred to is likely Section 719.128 that defines the board’s emergency powers in case of a natural disaster, etc.
– Betsy

     Can a management company charge a percentage for supervision of a major project? One of our vendors said the state set a maximum of 15 percent. Do you know which statute or state regulation contains the specifics of this?
– Pat

     I don’t know of a law setting a percentage a CAM or CAB can charge for project management. Most CAMs and firms agree that managing a project is above and beyond the usual scope of work for a CAM, so an additional charge could be justified. I would think the charge or percent would be a contractual agreement between the parties. However, most CAMs are not qualified to oversee construction or restoration projects. An engineer should probably be engaged to do so.
– Betsy

     We have been experiencing a lot of undelivered and/or lost mail through the USPS. Even certified mail has been lost. Does the condominium statute allow us to use bill pay and online banking?
– Sandra

     The mail system is a challenge! I know of no law on how to pay bills. That decision would be made by management and the board members.
     I pay all bills online either with the association’s bill pay or by setting up auto draft or ACH. All owners’ payments are made directly to the bank and downloaded into my QB program. I set up QB memorized owners’ invoices and some payments that are the same each month. Auto recurring transfers are set up for operating to reserves each month as are the GL entries. I rarely write checks and do as little manual posting as possible!
– Betsy

FCAP Service Provider Spotlight

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     For more information on Cardinal Management Group, Inc., call 239-774-0723 or visit us at www.cmgflorida.com.