FCAP Community—November 2021

FCAP Community

Published November 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

     Is there a required course a board member has to take after being elected or appointed? Or can they just say they have read the declaration and bylaws?
– Mack

     The statute allows board members to certify by either attending a class or signing a statement saying they “know everything.” Either must be completed within 90 days of being elected or appointed or up to a year before being elected or appointed. The problem with being able to just sign a statement attesting to a knowledge of the documents and understanding their fiduciary duty is that board members often don’t really know what “fiduciary” means and that they could be personally liable for their actions if found to have violated that “fiduciary” duty.
– Betsy

     If I request a meeting with the treasurer (who is a CPA) via certified mail, does he have to meet with me to explain some issues with the books of the association? The bookkeeper who works for the management company said she could not answer my questions.
– Mary

     If you have questions about the condominium financials, you could make an official “inquiry” by certified mail, and the board or the man-ager on behalf of the board is required by statute to respond. The failure to provide a substantive response to the inquiry precludes the board from recovering attorney fees and costs in any subsequent litigation, administrative proceeding, or arbitration arising out of the inquiry.
     Section 718.112(2)(a)2, Florida Statutes, states: 

     When a unit owner of a residential condominium files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days after receipt of the inquiry.

     The board’s response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within 10 days after its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry.
– Betsy

     We don’t have a clubhouse or office, so asking as the CAM, can the three-person fine committee convene its meeting in a home? Who presents the information at that committee hearing so the committee can make its decision? Does the actual fine notice just get mailed to the resident on HOA letterhead, or does it require something special?
– Mike

     The statute does not say where the fine/appeals committee meeting should or should not be held. As the manager, you are likely the one person who gave all the documentation to the board to make its decision to fine, so you would be the likely person to give the file to the fine/appeals committee along with a draft of the board meeting minutes showing they voted to impose the fine.
     The letter would come either from the management company or the community association manager/board. The statute says that if the proposed fine is approved by the committee, the fine payment is due five days after notice of the approved fine is provided to the violator. The association must provide written notice of such fine or suspension by mail or hand delivery to the unit owner.
     The board of directors could always create a policy settling these questions for you. 
– Betsy

     Do you have any information or statutes on service/emotional support animals? 
– Jackie

     I have included a link to SB 1128 (2019) Senate Bill 1128 (2019) – The Florida Senate (flsenate.gov),  which is the legislation that was passed in 2019 that specifically addressed the emotional/therapy animals. This state legislation finally gives us a little guidance. 
     The service animal federal legislation has not changed. A service animal is a dog or miniature horse and is specifically trained to perform a service for a disabled person.
– Betsy

     I forgot to ask what it is called when you want to move something onto next month’s agenda and do nothing with it at the current board meeting. After talking with you, I know it is wrong to say we are going to “table” it, but what should the minutes say?
– Brenda

     You are right! Most boards use the word “table” incorrectly. The notation in the minutes could say “XYZ was discussed; no action taken.” Then just put that item on the agenda for the next meeting.
– Betsy

FCAP Spotlight

Blue Stream Fiber

     Blue Stream Fiber provides communities with reliable TV, internet, and phone products over state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home and business networks. As a local company based in Florida since 1978, Blue Stream Fiber builds partnerships with the communities it services and strives to provide unmatched, high-touch customer service. With world-class, easy-to-use products like internet on a 10 Gig capable network, whole-home managed Wi-Fi, TV powered by TiVo and Google Android, voice remote, network DVR service, and a reliable, superior quality phone service, Blue Stream Fiber can meet the needs of any HOA, apartment, or condominium. To us, being a provider that truly understands Florida’s landscape and needs, along with having a local team that puts the customer at the center of everything we do, makes us a true partner to the communities we serve!

     For more information, call (844) 75-FIBER or visit www.bluestreamfiber.com.

FastStream Networks, Inc.

     FastStream Networks, Inc., was established in 2014 and is located at 1640 W. Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, in Oakland Park, FL, 33311. Though the company has several shareholders, Jarrod Brown is the majority shareholder. The company serves the entire state of Florida and central Illinois.

     FastStream Networks provides high-speed, fiber-optic internet directly to each unit in condominium buildings. We developed and wrote every line of code for our core router that powers all our buildings. We also manufacture several other key products that are constantly on back order. Many companies have to delay their installations because they cannot get these products in a timely manner, which is why we manufacture them ourselves.

     Our business philosophy is to be the best at what we do. We lead the industry, not follow it. We do not outsource tech support, installations, engineering, or any of the other important functions of our business. This gives us a huge advantage because we control the quality of our products. All our competition outsources some of these important functions. Some outsource all of them, so customers don’t really know whom they are dealing with.

     One of the advantages of working with community associations is that we are able to install hundreds of units very quickly as opposed to installing fiber in single-family homes, which takes much more time. Though we don’t encounter many challenges, we do on occasion find some associations are not as organized in granting us access to units to do building-wide installations, but most are very accommodating.

     About business, Jarrod says, “The most important thing in any business is integrity. Without it, you have nothing!”

     For more information, call (954) 573-9093 or visit FastStreamNetworks.com.