FCAP Community—October 2021

FCAP Community

Published October 2021

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Betsy Barbieux

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

     When a committee meeting will be held, is it required to post notice for the meeting in an HOA? The issue is the architectural review committee (ARC). The committee updated the ARC guidelines, which basically is just a form letting owners know what they need to include in submissions for approval. One owner is objecting, saying that no notice of the meeting was posted. I did not think it was necessary for the ARC to notice meetings for something like this. I thought a notice was needed only when the committee made final decisions on applications, not on things like wording on a form.
– Lauri

     Without looking at the specific wording in the declaration that establishes the ARC, it is hard for me to be too specific. My understanding of the HOA statute §720.3035 is if a committee, like an ARC Committee, is making a final decision, then yes, they have to post a 48-hour notice of meeting. The ARC meeting has to follow the same meeting procedures as a board.
– Betsy

     I am sorry to always ask you questions, but you know the answers! Another management company is taking over one of our communities. This community has two bank accounts that are linked to us and are in “our” cash management. The new company wants to just take over the existing accounts. 
     Does the association own the bank accounts or the management company? Do we have to hand over the existing accounts, or can we have them open a new account and close the existing accounts?
– Mauri

     Not knowing what type of “cash management” account you have set up, check to see who the bank says owns the cash management account. We use BB&T Association Services (now Truist) Web Vault. That account belongs to us. Each of our associations has a BB&T operating account that is “tied” to our Web Vault so that when an owner makes a payment into our Web Vault using a coded payment coupon, it is instantly deposited into that association’s bank account and posted to each owner’s individual account. We download the record of those payments into that association’s QuickBooks. So, we don’t have to physically post any payments, i.e., no mistakes!
     We would have the ability to just hand over the bank accounts that belong to the association without turning over our Web Vault to them. The Web Vault belongs to us; but each association has their own bank account(s). Should they terminate our contract, the owners would have to be forewarned to stop using those Web Vault payment coupons and mail their checks directly to someplace else.
– Betsy

     Our problem is that the common area parking has not been paved in over 15 years. There are deep depressions which are dangerous and have wooden sawhorses over them to alert cars and walkers. Various cracks, pits, and deep depressions are dangerous for those who use walking aids. The budget shows reserve funds of $230,000 for paving. The board has been adamant in their refusal to pave the parking area and fix the problem. Is there any action that can be taken by us?
– Lester

     Yes! This a horrible liability issue. Assuming you are a condominium association, I’ll base my comments on that fact.

  1. Call your insurance agent or send pictures to him. The potholes, etc. are called “areas of concern” and could create liability for the association.
  2. Owners could contact an attorney to represent their interests.
  3. Tell your board of directors to alert their director and officer liability insurance agent that there is a possible claim for failure to perform their duties and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the owners.
  4. Write a letter to the board of directors citing §718.111(1)(a) that says, “The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners” and include subparagraph (d).
  5. Petition the board to add this item of concern to the board meeting agenda, citing §718.112(2)(c)(1).
  6. You may be able to file for an arbitration proceeding to compel the board of directors to fulfill its fiduciary duties; i.e., maintain the common elements.
  7. Contact a reputable asphalt maintenance company, such as Connie Lorenz with Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems Inc., to get an opinion and estimate on the repair/replacement of the pavement at http://www.asphaltnews.com/.

– Betsy