FCAP Community

FCAP Community

Published June 2018

       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 50 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 Kravit


Marcy L. Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM

Unit Owners and Condominium Associations—Who is Responsible For What?


       As a manager of a Florida condominium association, how can I educate my unit owners as to who is responsible for what? Many times, unit owners are confused as to what, when, where, and how their maintenance fees are applied. It is often confusing in regard to who is responsible for maintaining what, when, where, how, and why.


       The board of directors are elected by the unit owners to maintain the common areas of the condominium property, and they hire management to carry out this task. It our job as management to educate unit owners as to the who, what, where, when, and how. I provide email blasts educating owners as to who is responsible for what.  I recommend scheduling a yearly insurance presentation for the unit owners to meet the association’s insurance agent to clarify. I also recommend coordinating with outside service providers to offer bulk service agreements to service the appliances and components inside a unit. 

       Pursuant to the Florida Statutes and your condominium documents, they distinguish between the maintenance of a unit component (including the AC compressor, the unit owner’s air handling unit, pipes servicing only a unit, and repairs and/or replacements of the same) caused by a casualty and the maintenance and repairs of the common elements.

       Keep in mind and communicate the following elements:

  • The condominium association is responsible for all common areas.
  • Individual owners are responsible for all unit areas—the interior boundary.
  • Think of the unit as a box and shake it upside down—everything in it is unit owner responsibility. Everything that does not fall downward would be considered part of the unit dwelling.
  • Typically, the association is responsible from the drywall out, and the individual unit owner is responsible from the paint inward.

       According to the Condominium Act with regard to insuring the condominium unit, “The coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings; electrical fixtures; appliances; water heaters; water filters; built-in cabinets and countertops; and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components; or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance are the responsibility of the unit owner.”

       It is recommended that all owners obtain an HO-6 policy to insure their units. Many unit owners are not aware that the association’s insurance coverage does not provide coverage for the interior of their unit. The HO-6 policy covers the dwelling, which constitutes the personal property and contents of the unit.

       If a flood occurs, it is management’s responsibility to isolate the situation to prevent water damage to the surrounding units. If a pipe located inside the walls of a unit causes a flood and it is determined that it is a pipe that services a single unit, then it is the maintenance responsibility of that unit owner. If the pipe that caused the flood is a main drain line, then it is the maintenance responsibility of the association.

       Condominium unit owners are responsible for the repairs in their own units, but it’s the association that is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and insurance of the common elements (building structure).

       The following is a sample listing of the maintenance responsibilities for a typical condominium association and what the unit owners are responsible for.

       Every unit owner should become fully aware of their responsibilities, and managers are advised to review their condominium documents, consult with their association attorney to clarify, and educate their unit owners.

Maintenance and Repairs—Unit Owner Responsibility

  1. Screens and windows, window hardware
  2. The interior side of the entrance door and all other doors within or affording access to a unit, locks
  3. The electrical (including wiring)
  4. Plumbing (including fixtures and connections), shower pans, main water shutoff for unit, and hot water heaters
  5. Heating and air-conditioning equipment and unit
  6. Fixtures, switches, valves, drains, and outlets
  7. Fans and vent fans
  8. Wall coverings, including the paint
  9. Appliances
  10. Carpets and other floor coverings
  11. All interior surfaces and the entire interior of the unit lying within the boundaries of the unit or the limited common elements, or other property belonging to the unit owner, shall be maintained by the owner of such unit at the unit owner’s sole cost and expense, except as otherwise expressly provided to the contrary herein.
  12. Limited Common Elements: Where a limited common element consists of a balcony, terrace or roof-top, the unit owner who has the right to the exclusive use of this area shall be responsible for the maintenance, care, and preservation of the surfaces of any walls, floors, and ceilings within these areas, any fixed and/or sliding glass door(s) in the entrance way(s) or other portions of the area, and any wiring, electrical outlet(s,) and fixture(s) thereon, including the replacement of light bulbs.

Maintenance and Repairs—Association Responsibility

  1. Electrical wiring up to the circuit breaker panel in each unit
  2. Water pipes main line up to the individual unit cutoff valve in each unit
  3. Cable television wiring up to the point where the wiring enters the unit
  4. Air conditioning condensation drain lines up to the point of connection to an individual drain
  5. Sewer lines up to where the line enters the individual unit
  6. Exterior entry doors
  7. All exterior walls, including painting, caulking, and waterproofing
  8. Roof
  9. Replacement of windows suffering wind damage
  10. Replacement of interior drywall caused by water damage unless negligence can be proven
  11. All common area amenities, grounds, and hallways

       SPECIAL SITUATIONS—Water damage caused by leaks from one unit to the other. If, for example, water leaks into another unit, the owner of the unit suffering damage from the leak is responsible for repairs and other collateral damage. The association is required to replace drywall from water damage caused by leaks. Consult your attorney.

       The board of directors and management strongly advise that all water heaters be replaced every 10–15 years. All unit owners should change their AC filters regularly to increase energy efficiency and avoid blocking airflow.  Unit owners’ AC drain lines should be flushed on a regular basis, and bleach tablets should be added to the drain pan as well.  All owners are responsible for chan-ging out their rubber washing machine water hoses to woven stainless-steel ones, which are readily available at hardware and home improvement stores.


       It is highly recommended that unit owners contract with an outside service provider to maintain and service their unit appliances, AC, water heater, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM

       One of our condominium association boards wants to adopt a rule restricting the minimum age for renters. I have been researching and can’t find any reference to this specific type of restriction. I see that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on familial status (as in families with small children), but I feel like our situation is more along the lines of a hotel that requires you to be at least 25 in order to get a room.

       There is the following section of Section 718.110(13)., F.S., “Any amendment restricting unit owners’ rights relating to the rental of units applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who purchase their units after the effective date of that amendment.” Would that apply here, or is that only for restricting rental periods, etc.?

       I think the answer is that any change to the rental restrictions requires a vote of the owners and can only be applied to owners who consent (or new owners after the fact), but I’m just not sure. Also, does this mean they have to actually amend the declaration and bylaws to reflect the new restriction? Or am I wrong entirely, and this is something that the board can adopt in the rules and regulations without an owner vote?                

       For part of your question, I know the answer—any amendment would have to be voted on by the owners and not the board. The statute you reference is eliminating rentals or limiting rentals and applies only to those who consent to the amendment. Those who do not consent may still rent their units until that unit sells. Then that unit comes under the same rental restrictions as the others. Whether that means you can restrict the age to 18, I don’t know. That would be an attorney question!

       You already know we have a horrible situation at our community and a question was asked through all the mess. What is a reasonable expectation about how much time a board member should be in the office when we don’t have a CAM? Thank you for all your help and advice with everything. 

       There is no reasonable time expectation. Someone needs to be in the office to get the work done, so whatever and whomever it takes. However, no one can be remunerated in any monetary or non-monetary form without a CAM license.

       Let me know something; do you have the LCAM Course, too? Please let me know!          

       There is no such thing as LCAM (see page 24 of our Prelicensing manual). There is only one license—CAM—issued by the Florida DBPR. But there are still a lot of managers who use the “L” with the CAM even though its use is improper and unnecessary.

       There are credentials you may earn through either of our two professional organizations.

       Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) offers the CFCAM™ credential, and I am authorized by FCAP to present that class. I try to offer it once a year. Otherwise, you may complete the online study at www.fcapgroup.com.

       CAI National offers the CMCA, AMS, or PCAM credentials. Many of the prerequisite courses are offered through your local CAI chapter at www.caionline.org.            

Best Vendor Practice
Physical Security Operations and Access Control
Board of Directors’ Reasonable Responsibility

Material contributed by Kent Security Services Inc.

       Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) curriculum, which can be found at www.fcapschools.com. The FACS course is the prerequisite to becoming a CFCAM. If you are interested in taking the FACS course, please contact us at (800) 443-3433 or visit www.fcapgroup.com.

       …First, and foremost, is protecting the property and its value, second is maintaining the common elements and property, and third is enforcing the restrictions found in the governing documents. In addition, boards of directors deal with managing people, those employees, residents, and service providers who are dealt with on a daily basis.

       The wise board of directors will hire professional management, whether that is an individual manager or a management company, to assume most of these tasks and duties. The education, training, and experience of a professional community association manager become invaluable to a board of directors when making decisions about physical security operations and access control.

       In some instances, a manager’s experience may well become the most important tool a board of directors has at its disposal. A circumstance that causes a manager to be cautious or prudent compared to the decision of a lesser experienced manager may not realize the same outcome.

       When it comes to security operations, a manager has a responsibility to present quality information to the board of director to ensure the best possible initiatives that will provide safety and security for a community.

       Reasonableness might include the following elements:

  Completion of a threat assessment

  Access entry screening

  Parking lot security


  Emergency procedures

  Disaster response capabilities

  Fixed positions, i.e.,gatehouses

  Armed or unarmed security officers

  Roving patrols, bicycle, vehicular, etc.