FCAP Community—October 2023

FCAP Community

Published October 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/.

Marcy L. Kravit

Common Sense in Establishing Community Association Committees

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

     In Florida, associations may be required to establish certain committees, such as an architectural review committee and a budget committee as outlined in the association’s documents. Other committees, such as social or landscaping committees, may also be formed at the discretion of the board of directors. The process for forming a committee typically involves the board of directors appointing committee members at a properly noticed board meeting and setting out the committee’s responsibilities and scope of authority in the association’s bylaws or rules and regulations. 

     The only committee that is required by Florida law is a rules enforcement committee, which is also often referred to as the fining, violation, or grievance committee. Associations that wish to levy fines and impose the suspension of use rights for violations must utilize such a committee to do so. This committee cannot be comprised of board members or spouses or relatives of board members in order to maintain its independence from the board.

     Additionally, committees must comply with Florida meeting laws as governed by Chapter 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes, which requires open meetings and public records access for certain committee meetings and records.

     Committees can be appointed by the board of directors and/or by the president of the association. The committees may have various functions, such as architectural review, budget review, or social activities and events. Typically, the responsibility for setting up a committee in an association falls on the board of directors or the management company. 

     However, the exact process for creating a committee may be outlined in the association’s bylaws or governing documents. It’s important for the board or management to communicate with unit owners about the purpose, mission, and goals of the committee and to invite interested owners and those that may have an expertise in this area to participate.

     The Florida Statutes also set out certain requirements for the operation of committees. For example, committee meetings must be open to all unit owners, and notice of the meetings must be posted in a conspicuous place in the condominium at least 48 hours before the meeting. 

     Additionally, committee members must be appointed in accordance with the association’s bylaws and must comply with the association’s code of ethics or code of conduct. If the association has not adopted a code of ethics or code of conduct, it is recommended that the association contact their lawyer to do so. 

     Overall, the Florida Statutes provide guidelines and requirements for the operation of committees in Florida in order to ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness.

     Florida association committees are subject to certain regulations and requirements, specifically the following:

  1. Creation—Committees must be created by the board of directors, and their purpose must be clearly defined.
  2. Membership—Committee members must be members in good standing, and they must be appointed by the board of directors.
  3. Meetings—Committees must hold meetings in accordance with Florida Statutes, which require that all meetings be open to the public and that notice of the meeting be given in advance.
  4. Records—Committees must keep records of their meetings and actions, and these records must be made available to association members upon request.
  5. Authority—Committees have no decision-making authority, and they can only make recommendations to the board of directors. The board of directors has the final say on all matters.

     Overall, Florida law grants association committees a limited role in the governance of an association. Their role is advisory, and their actions are subject to oversight by the board of directors.

     Advantages of committees in associations are as follows:

  1. Increased efficiency—Committees can divide the workload and make it easier to handle complex tasks.
  2. Expertise—Committees can bring together individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds, which can provide a wide range of expertise and perspectives.
  3. Transparency—Committees can provide an opportunity for owners to be involved in decision-making processes and increase transparency.
  4. Consensus-building—Committees can facilitate discussions and help build consensus among owners.
  5. Management—Committees can help manage and maintain common areas and amenities.
  6. Enforcement—Committees can enforce rules and regulations to promote a safe and harmonious community.
  7. Organization—Committees can organize community events and activities to foster a sense of community.
  8. Representation—Committees can represent the interests of the owners to the board or management company.
  9. Diverse perspectives—Committees can provide a forum for a diverse range of opinions and expertise, which can help to ensure that decisions are well-informed and representative of the community’s interests.
  10. Increased participation—Committees can help to engage more members of the community in the decision-making process, increasing their sense of ownership and involvement in the association and creating future board members.
  11. Delegation of tasks—Committees can help to share the workload of the association, allowing the board and management to focus on larger issues and strategic planning.
  12. Specialized knowledge—Committees can be formed around specific topics or issues, allowing members with specialized knowledge or expertise to contribute their skills to the association.
  13. Improved communication—Committees can help to facilitate communication among the board, management, and the community as well as between different groups within the community.
  14. Cost savings—Committees can help to identify opportunities for cost savings or efficiencies, leading to more effective management of the association’s resources.

     Disadvantages of committees in associations are as follows:

  1. Time-consuming—Committee meetings can take up a significant amount of time and can slow down decision-making processes.
  2. Lack of accountability—Committees are not always accountable to the board or owners, which can lead to conflicts.
  3. Cost—Committees can sometimes incur additional costs, such as fees for outside consultants or legal advice.
  4. Inefficiency—Committees can sometimes become bogged down in bureaucracy and fail to achieve their intended goals. Committees can overload management with additional paperwork, tasks, and an abundance of unnecessary, unproductive meetings.
  5. Interference—Committees can sometimes interfere with management’s role in the following ways:
    1. Micromanaging—If committees are too involved in the day-to-day operations, it can undermine the manager’s authority and ability to do his or her job.
    2. Conflicting directives—If the committee members give directives that contradict the manager’s decisions or instructions, it can create confusion and chaos.
    3. Budget constraints—If the committee members impose unrealistic budget constraints or priorities, it can impede the manager’s ability to execute his or her duties effectively.
    4. Overruling decisions—If the committee overrules the manager’s decisions, it can make it difficult for the manager to maintain accountability and control over the community.
    5. Inappropriate communication—If committee members communicate with vendors or staff directly, it can create a conflict of interest and erode the manager’s authority.
  6. Restrictive—Committees can become too controlling and restrict personal freedoms.
  7. Conflict seeking—Committees can be prone to conflicts, egos, and power struggles.
  8. Lack of expertise—Committees may lack the expertise or resources needed to effectively manage certain issues.
  9. Undiversified—Committees may not accurately represent the diversity of the community.

     Here are some examples of standing committees that are commonly recommended in associations:

  1. Maintenance and Repair Committee
  2. Landscape and Grounds Committee
  3. Rules and Regulations Committee
  4. Social Events Committee
  5. Budget and Finance Committee
  6. Safety and Security Committee
  7. Communications and Newsletter Committee
  8. Parking and Transportation Committee
  9. Technology and Website Committee
  10. Architectural Review Committee
  11. Grievance Committee

     Ad hoc Committee—Ad hoc committees in an association are temporary committees created to address specific issues or tasks that are not within the purview of a standing committee. Once the task is completed, the committee is disbanded. 

     Some examples of ad hoc committees in an association could include the following:

  1. Landscape Improvement Committee—responsible for identifying and overseeing improvement projects for the association’s landscaping.
  2. Bylaw or Document Review Committee—responsible for reviewing and recommending changes and amendments to the association’s bylaws and forwarding them to the association board for attorney review.
  3. Social Events Committee—responsible for planning and organizing social events for the community.
  4. Parking Committee—responsible for reviewing and recommending changes to parking policies and procedures.
  5. Emergency/Hurricane Preparedness Committee—responsible for developing emergency plans and procedures in the event of a disaster or emergency.
  6. Decorating Committee—responsible for making recommendations for specific changes, improvements, or upgrades to the building or property or specific areas within it.

     It’s important for associations to tailor their committees to their specific needs and interests.

     Grievance Committee—Florida law requires that associations provide a grievance process for disputes between members and the association. The law does not specifically require homeowner associations to establish a grievance committee, but some associations may choose to form such a committee as part of their grievance process. It is recommended to review the association’s documents. 

     If an association does have a grievance committee, it must follow certain requirements, such as providing written notice to members about the committee’s existence, ensuring that the committee is made up of unbiased members, and giving members the opportunity to be heard at a hearing before the committee makes a decision.

     To set up a committee in an association, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the purpose, mission, and goals of the committee.
  2. Seek volunteers from the association members who are interested in serving on the committee.
  3. Select a committee chairperson who will be responsible for leading the committee and reporting to the board.
  4. Develop a committee charter that outlines the committee’s responsibilities, scope, and authority.
  5. Obtain board approval for the committee and its charter.
  6. Set a schedule of regular meetings and establish communication channels with the board and association members.
  7. Keep accurate records of committee activities, decisions, and recommendations.
  8. Report regularly to the board on the committee’s progress and provide recommendations for action.

     The Committee Chair’s Role—The committee chair in an association is responsible for leading and organizing committee meetings, developing agendas, ensuring that committee members fulfill their responsibilities, communicating with the board of directors, and reporting on committee activities and recommendations. The chair also ensures that committee decisions are consistent with the bylaws and rules of the association and that committee activities align with the association’s goals and objectives.

     The Association Manager’s Role—The association manager’s responsibility regarding committees in an association typically includes coordinating with committees, providing administrative support, ensuring that committee actions comply with the association’s bylaws and rules, and 

presenting committee recommendations to the association’s board of directors for consideration and action. The manager may also be responsible for scheduling committee meetings, obtaining and recording of the minutes, and managing communication between committees and the board of directors.

     Board Member’s Liaison Role—The board liaison role in a committee involves acting as a liaison between the committee and the board. The liaison serves as a communication link, relaying information, and updates from the committee to the board and vice versa. They may also assist with ensuring that committee activities align with the overall goals and objectives of the board and help to facilitate decision-making and problem-solving between the two groups.

Sample Committee Report Form

2023 ___________ COMMITTEE


Liaison to the Board: 

(Board Member name)

Date of Meeting:                                                           

Date of Next Meeting:



I.    Action Items:  Activities Completed: 

II.  Action Items In-Progress: Pending – Future Plans – Timeline to complete:

III. Estimated Costs: (proposal attached/signed by chair)

IV. Questions for the Board:


Betsy Barbieux

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

     I come to you again with a question. If five of my nine board members are “up north,” do they get to weigh in on issues that cost money? This is not an actual board meeting as no meetings occur in the summer. So can absent board members vote by email, telephone, or text on expenditures? Do they have any say? If not, then there is only one board member running the show during the summer.
– Beth

    When most board members are gone in the summer, they often appoint one or two board members or residents who stay on site to make routine maintenance decisions along with the CAM.
     If the monies being spent are budgeted, then no meeting or vote should be required. The CAM usually communicates with absent board members about routine maintenance and costs. Board members will receive copies of bank statements and financials every month and likely a manager’s report, so they can know what is happening. 
     If the board is spending money that is not budgeted, then they need to have a board meeting and properly vote. But to move on with unexpected maintenance, as an alternative, items that need to be voted on (but aren’t—there was just a verbal consensus) could be ratified at a later meeting. This alternative is not a best practice, but there are some instances when a decision to spend money must be made and cannot wait.
     Board members can talk via telephone, text, or email, but they cannot vote except at a properly noticed board meeting with minutes. 
     What you have is a procedural issue, and the next time the board meets they could create a policy for how business is handled in the summer and who is responsible for what tasks.
     Board members who are not present at a meeting can attend the meeting by speakerphone (so those owners present can hear the full discussion) or video conferencing and may vote. They are noted as present in your minutes. Board members may never vote by email or text, and board members may never use proxies at board meetings.
     Be sure to check out the CAM Matters shows on YouTube. There are several related to meetings. 
– Betsy

     Do you happen to have any CAM Matters shows about board meetings being available on Zoom? My board doesn’t want to offer Zoom for the snowbirds and those who work.
     The board meeting minutes do not provide nearly the same amount of information for the owners who could not attend. 
– Robin

     There are no guidelines or rules for Zoom membership meetings from the State. Some communities have continued them since COVID-19; others have not. They are hard to do for membership meetings since all voting should be on a limited proxy (for accurate record-keeping purposes).
     The condominium and cooperative statutes do specifically permit board members to meet via electronic videoconferencing or a speakerphone. The use of the speakerphone or other audio is for the owners present at the meeting so they can hear the conversation of the board members. The statutes do not say anything about making videoconferencing available to absentee owners.
     As a reminder, board meetings are not informational meetings for the owners. They are for the board to get its business accomplished as relates to maintenance operations, management, financial, and compliance issues.
     Minutes should only reflect the business the board members addressed in the meeting. The minutes do not include discussion or owners’ comments. A vote for each board member present must be recorded in the minutes.
     There should be no “open forum” for owners at the end of the meeting. Board members can gather concerns from owners via some other medium, but not at the board meeting.
     I have several shows on my YouTube channel, CAM Matters, related to meetings. 
– Betsy

     I am a VP for a 501(c)(7) corporation here in our manufactured home community. The purpose stated in our articles of incorporation is to provide social and recreational opportunities to our residents. As a nonprofit, we sell tickets for our dances and events to cover the cost of bands, entertainers, show hosts, etc.
     Recently our community owner/manager arbitrarily decided that no “clubs” may charge admission, accept donations, or sell limited memberships for any events. He has included our corporation in this mandate.  
     Can the community owner/manager legally stop us from charging admission to fund our mission?
– Cheryl

     I assume from your question your community is a mobile home lot tenancy community under Chapter 723, Florida Statutes. It sounds like the landlord has restricted the owner/renters’ right to peacefully assemble. I believe that is unconstitutional.
     Look at Sections 723.051, 723.054, 723.055, 723.056 and see how you read it.
     Also, if two-thirds of your owner/renters have organized the Chapter 723 homeowners’ association corporation and given notice to the landlord, I believe he is to include the homeowner corporation’s representatives in developing new rules for the park. Look at Sections 723.075-.0791 and see how you read it.
     On another thought, why is your recreational organization a charitable nonprofit with the IRS when you could be a Florida Not for Profit Corporation under Chapter 617 and not have the strict federal regulations and reporting?
– Betsy