Published June 2023
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/.
If the majority of the entire five-person board meets by telephone on a weekly basis at a set date and time and discusses nothing but building and board business without ever “noticing” the call, would you call these meetings illegal?
The telephone meetings may or may not be improper meetings. It certainly does not look good. If there are no minutes, then whatever they talk about didn’t happen. If they are entering into contracts or spending unbudgeted monies without proper documentation in the minutes, there may be some personal liability.
The statute does not prohibit them from talking to each other. It prevents them from voting outside a properly noticed meeting. But they should not have pre-meeting discussions to pre-decide a topic that will be on a subsequent meeting agenda and then show up at the meeting and vote on something with no discussion during the meeting.
At the annual membership meeting, I don’t understand the owners’ rights regarding making a motion and how it should be conducted and on what subjects.
If homeowners may only make motions on agenda items, then how does a member add an item to the agenda? Can anyone bring up a subject during the new business portion?
Agenda items must be predetermined at least 14 days before the annual meeting so they can be included on the agenda. How an owner gets something added to the agenda would be a matter of board policy. However, there are only four issues owners vote on besides the previous annual meeting minutes.
All voting should be on a limited proxy with the motions already spelled out on it and mailed along with the annual meeting and notice 14 days ahead of time. Owners attending in person should use the same limited proxy form.
In summary, owners can’t bring up issues or make motions at the annual membership meeting except to vote on the previous meeting minutes.
Does the interest earned on reserve bank accounts have to be kept in the reserve fund, or can it be used for operating expenses?
Interest on reserves stays in reserves. If using the straight-line method, it should be divided proportionately among the different components. I have my accountant split it up for me at the end of the year.
My HOA has about 160 homes, and there is discussion on who is responsible for carrying out violation inspections. Is this the responsibility of a committee, the CAM, or the board? Maybe you could do a show on this?
Performing violation inspections is either (1) a policy created by the board designating a committee, or (2) contractual with the CAM or management company. There is no applicable “law.” It is procedural or contractual.
Developing a disaster plan for a community association requires careful planning and preparation to ensure the safety of residents and property. Here are some recommendations:
Develop an emergency plan—Managers should create an emergency plan that outlines the procedures to follow during a disaster. The plan should be distributed to all residents, and regular drills should be conducted to ensure that everyone understands his or her role in an emergency.
Have emergency kits on hand—Managers should ensure that emergency kits are available on the property. These kits should include items such as first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and nonperishable food.
It’s also a good idea to regularly review, test, and update your disaster preparedness plan and to educate yourself and your community about potential hazards and how to stay safe in an emergency situation.
Inspect the property—Managers should conduct regular inspections of the property to identify any potential hazards that could cause damage during a disaster. This includes checking the roofs, windows, and doors for any signs of weakness as well as ensuring that trees are trimmed to avoid falling on buildings.
Secure important documents—Important documents, such as insurance policies and legal documents, should be secured in a safe location that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
Emergency contact information—Keep a list of important phone numbers and contact information for local emergency services, utilities, and community resources.
Establish communication channels—Managers should establish communication channels with residents, emergency services, and other relevant authorities. This includes having a way to contact residents quickly in the event of an emergency, such as through text or email alerts.
Contact insurance providers—Managers should contact their insurance providers to ensure that they have adequate coverage for potential disasters.
In the aftermath of a disaster, managers should be responsible for the following:
Assess the damage—Managers should assess the damage to the property and prioritize repairs based on the severity of the damage.
Provide assistance to residents—Managers should provide assistance to residents who have been affected by the disaster, such as by providing temporary housing or arranging for transportation.
Contact relevant authorities—Managers should contact relevant authorities, such as the local government and insurance providers, to report the damage and begin the claims process.
Communicate with residents—Managers should communicate with residents regularly to provide updates on the repair process and any changes to the emergency plan.
Here are some common types of insurance coverage that associations may want to consider for disaster preparedness:
Insurance coverage for associations can vary depending on the specific policy and the type of disaster. It’s important for community association managers to review their insurance policies regularly and understand what is covered and what is not to ensure that your association has the right coverage for your specific needs. You may also want to consider conducting a risk assessment to identify potential hazards in coordination with the disaster preparedness plan.
By taking these steps, managers can help ensure that their property and residents are prepared for disasters and can respond effectively in the aftermath.
To prevent outages during disasters, ISPs often take several of the following measures:
In the aftermath of a disaster, ISPs may take the following steps:
Overall, ISPs take a range of proactive measures to prevent outages during disasters and are well-prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the aftermath.
The following types of communication should be sent out to residents before, during, and after a disaster:
Clear and timely communication is critical during and after a disaster. By providing residents with the information they need, you can help them stay safe, make informed decisions, and feel more prepared to handle future emergencies.