Published October 2023
Editor’s Note: There have been several important changes that have taken place during the summer of 2023. Though the advice from the multiple service providers is kept brief here, there are many important lessons to learn and actions to take.
Welcome back, snowbirds. Is your property a candidate for patio furniture restoration? Condominiums, country clubs, and HOAs with old and worn patio furniture should consider a powder-coating restoration process instead of taking on the greater expense of furniture replacement. If the finish on the frames is still in great condition, then simply re-strapping or re-slinging is also an option. You can completely update the look of your furniture and save your property a lot of money at the same time! Communities can select from a large array of metal finishes, fabrics, and color schemes. This selection includes hundreds of colors, patterns, and fabrics for slings, straps, and cushions, which allow a community to select something they feel will fit with their already established décor, effectively creating an overall coordinated and polished look. The flexibility of powder coating makes it a great choice for any metal restoration project.
As snowbirds prepare to return to their winter retreat after enjoying their summer home, there are several best practices to consider for a seamless transition. Start by creating a checklist of tasks, including packing essentials, notifying utility companies, and arranging for property checks during your absence.
To ensure your summer home is secure, lock all doors and windows and consider a home security system with smart home automation so you can remotely manage and be notified of potential hazards. Smart thermostats, door locks, and cameras help you keep an eye on your home while away. Smart lighting can create the appearance that the home is still occupied.
When returning to your winter home, inspect the property for any maintenance needs and address them promptly. Test the security system, check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and make the necessary adjustments for a comfortable and safe homecoming.
Kevin Brown is operations manager-national builder/HOA division at ADT | Security Services. For more information call 800-878-7806 or visit ADT.com/community-associations.
Ensuring the financial well-being of your community association is a crucial role you play as a board member within your community.
As you return to the Sunshine State, consider a review of your community’s reserve study and financials. These documents help shed light on upcoming projects and any potential funding needs. If lending is needed to help your community’s cash flow needs—or to alleviate large, unexpected financial burdens for your owners—initiate discussions with your community manager and banking partner early on. A strong banking partner will help develop smart, tailored solutions for your community.
Are your deposits fully covered by the FDIC? If your funds exceed $250,000, connect with your financial partner to ensure you have access to multi-million-dollar FDIC coverage.
Reach out to your banking partner for additional tailored solutions made specifically for your community.
For more information about Alliance Association Bank, visit allianceassociationbank.com or connect with Lisa Elkan, vice president for the South Florida Region at email@example.com or 561-212-2091.
Alliance Association Bank is a division of Western Alliance Bank. Member FDIC.
Welcome back to paradise! As a returning snowbird, you are likely enjoying the Florida sun and the amenities your community has to offer. However, snowbirds returning to their condominiums or HOAs should keep the following in mind to ensure a smooth transition:
Taking the time to get reacquainted with your community after being away for a few months may take some time, but it will ultimately benefit you as a snowbird returning south for the winter.
Hey you! Don’t I know you? Welcome back! As you return home you might find out that with our booming real estate market you might have new neighbors, and those new neighbors might have new ideas. Keep in mind when it comes to discussing your roadways and parking areas that our northern states have a totally different asphalt maintenance program than we do here in Florida. We don’t have a freeze/thaw cycle that requires snow and ice removal, nor do we have salt spread across our roadways other than the ocean spray.
When it comes to Florida pavement, make sure that you ask a LOCAL expert for advice and not the sales representative who is in town, coincidently, possibly from your town if they see your license plate. Everyone loves Florida, especially when it’s cold up north! When the contractors can no longer work up north, Florida has become a great source of revenue for these wandering contractors who don’t have your best interests at heart. Buy Local!
Connie Lorenz is president of Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems. For more information, call 800-254-4PDC (4732) or visit www.asphaltnews.com.
Welcome home! As you’ve probably learned over the course of the last few months, a new bill was signed into law during last year’s legislative session, which has created an impending requirement for Florida condominiums and co-ops that are three stories tall or higher. This new requirement for a structural integrity reserve study (SIRS) carries a December 31, 2024, deadline that will be approaching very quickly. We strongly encourage associations to seek out bids as soon as possible for this new service. Our company is offering the SIRS and can assist with general questions about the new requirements and the implications for your building. Please reach out to us to discuss further, or visit our website to request a proposal directly. We hope we can be of service to you and your community during these challenging times!
Welcome back, snowbirds! The following is a checklist to assist in your return to the Sunshine State:
Welcome back to sunny Florida! With boards starting to come back from their summer getaways, we can’t forget that budgeting season is quickly approaching. In an era of rising expenses and ever-increasing demands on community resources, communities are exploring innovative avenues to drive revenue and enhance resident satisfaction. One strategy they are taking advantage of is entering into bulk agreements with telecom providers.
Communities that have a bulk agreement benefit largely not only by providing residents with the best technology but also by generating revenue and fostering growth. By implementing door fees as part of these agreements, communities can deftly manage rising expenses, fund improvement projects, and provide enhanced amenities and celebrations for residents. In a world where financial sustainability and resident satisfaction are paramount, leveraging bulk agreements with telecom providers means a brighter future for communities.
Kevin Crossman is director of business development at Blue Stream Fiber. To learn more about our company, our fiber infrastructure, and what door fees could look like for your community, please visit Bluestreamfiber.com/bulk.
Welcome back, snowbirds! Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to return to your community:
Dan Tiernan is COO of Campbell Property Management. For more information call 954-427-8770 or visit www.CampbellMGT.com.
When you make your way back down to your Florida home for the winter, make sure you take this time to do the following:
Tomi has been a licensed CAM since 2014. She served as an onsite assistant manager before becoming the manager at a condominium in Sarasota. In 2018 Tomi made the move to association banking. She has been with Centennial Bank since April 2022. For more information call 866-227-0441 or visit www.my100bank.com.
Welcome back to the Sunshine State. It is a new world in the association management industry. Insurance premiums and manager salaries have skyrocketed in the last two years. Navigating the new Florida Statutes is complicated and must be a priority for associations. If your association falls under the new statutes, has your association completed the structural integrity reserve study (SIRS) and the milestone inspection? Budget season is in full swing, so are you budgeting for increases in salaries and insurance properly for the upcoming year? If you are an HOA, are you aware agendas now must include more than time, date, and place? Are you receiving the guidance you need? If you answered “no” or “I am not sure” to these questions, we can help. Condo-minium Association provides boutique services customized to fit your specific needs.
For more information contact Kathy Bramhall, exec. VP of sales for details firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-259-3983.
As summer draws to a close, our snowbirds begin their migration to their Florida residences. As they land and integrate back into the Florida lifestyle, now is a perfect opportunity for them to evaluate the performance and professionalism of their property’s service providers. At Element we recommend association owners and boards answer the following critical questions regarding their association management company and team:
Hopefully this quick analysis yields only affirmative answers for your association. If not, Element maintains the resources and expertise to protect your investment and the financial health of your association.
For more information on Element and the services we provide, please visit our website at ElementFinancialSolutions.com or contact Anthony Emma, CEO|managing partner, by email at email@example.com or call 239-315-7000.
Returning home after spending time away can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. To ensure a smooth transition, it is essential to thoroughly inspect your home upon your return.
By conducting a thorough inspection of your home upon your return, you can address any issues promptly and enjoy a stress-free transition back to sunny Florida.
Justin C. Reviczky is the CEO of Element Service Solutions. For more information call 407-744-9122 or visit elementbiz.com.
Welcome back, snowbirds! Whether you’re returning to a second home or want to utilize this last quarter of the year to reassess your property, there are a couple of easy items to add to your list to ensure the safety and security at your home and community.
First, it’s important to regularly check your guest list, especially if you’ve been away. If your community employs any type of visitor management system, it’s time to re-evaluate who is listed as approved guests or companies on your personal list and make the necessary changes. This prevents unauthorized access to the commun-ity or building.
Similarly, you should review and update your household’s contact information. Whether it’s a gate access system or concierge service, you should confirm that the contact information for you and your household is correct. This is generally how you’re notified of visitors or other information pertinent to your property and/or community.
Nathan Varn is vice president of sales and marketing for Envera Systems. For more information visit enverasystems.com or call 1-855-380-1274.
When returning to your condominium unit for the season, a seasonal unit owner should carefully inspect their unit for any signs of damage, such as water damage or mold, that may have occurred while the unit was vacant. Many condominium associations require unit owners vacating their units for extended periods of time to ensure a person is designated and responsible to watch over the unit while it is unoccupied and run the air conditioning at a minimum temperature to avoid mold growth. While these measures can help prevent damage or detect it sooner rather than later, inspecting your unit upon return can minimize the spread of damage and liability in the event of problems, as well as protect the integrity of your unit, neighboring units, and the common elements. As an example, a unit owner’s failure to report or the delayed reporting of a leak could be deemed negligence and result in the owner being held liable for repair costs should water damage spread to the condominium association’s common elements. Alternatively, the failure to remediate mold could similarly spread to common areas and expose the unit owner to damage costs.
Justin Smith is senior associate at Haber Law. For more information call 305-379-2400 or visit www.haber.law.
Welcome back to the Sunshine State! As you settle back into your South Florida lifestyle, it’s a good idea to make sure that your internet, TV, and phone services are working just as seamlessly as when you left them.
To help you stay connected, here are some tips you can follow:
Hotwire Communications excels in providing bulk community services and has extensive experience in serving residential communities.
Michelle Johnson is the business development coordinator for Hotwire Communications. For more information, visit www.hotwirecommunications.com.
Many Northerners who are making their way south to sunny Florida for the autumn and winter seasons are safeguarding their homes. If you are one of these folks, you are likely checking all of your to-dos off your list—
All set! Let’s roll! Wait! Not so fast. Is your Florida home and your homeowner’s policy up to date? A lot has happened over the past year here in the Sunshine State. Hurricane Ian has transformed not only Florida’s beautiful landscape, but most importantly, legislation and your rights as a policyholder have dramatically been affected. Do you know your rights? Do you know the rules? Do you know that Hurricane Ian victims are still recovering one year after the storm?
Many Floridians and Northerners with winter homes in Florida were not appropriately educated or prepared for Hurricane Ian. With Gulf temperatures reaching historic highs this year, it is not unlikely that Florida policyholders are in for another potentially threatening season, maybe one of the worst in recorded history.
Education is essentially the best thing we can afford ourselves in this uncertain climate.
While Florida is the best place for rest, relaxation, vacation, and many joys that are unique to our gorgeous land, we should reflect on the last year and be best prepared.
Have fun in the sun, but beware because the tropical season has just begun!
Welcome back, snowbirds! If you are coming back from your summer break, a lot of revisions have been made to Senate Bill 154. In June of this year, the senate revised the condominium bill passed last year. There is more clarity, and it appears, at least for the next few years, the new laws governing condominium buildings are here to stay. All budgets prepared on or after December 31st, 2024, that require a SIRS will have to fully fund their reserves annually. For most condominiums, this means budget year 2026 since most budgets will be prepared in 2025 for the following year.
Outside of the SIRS, all condominiums now need a “majority” vote of their members, not from a quorum, to partially fund or waive reserve requirements. Years of forcefully keeping reserves to a minimum will be much tougher than in the past. Please consult your reserve specialist or your attorney to obtain further details.
Returning snowbirds are another year closer to pivotal deadlines to comply with state laws governing inspections, structural integrity reserve studies, and mandatory reserve thresholds. Association boards and community managers at nearly all HOA communities and condominium buildings will have to prioritize restoration projects and maintenance to meet the State’s requirements.
Some critical deadlines to know include the following:
It is likely that your association board and community management team have already initiated the process of compliance assessment, inspection, and restoration. Those who postponed funding for such projects now face the challenge of higher capital costs in this elevated interest rate scenario, along with a shortage of professionals in these fields. Difficult choices must be confronted, underscoring the significance of relying on the available experts to guarantee the timely accomplishment of these deadlines.
As the crisp autumn breeze starts to sweep across the northern states and Canada, it signals the return of our beloved snowbirds to their warm and inviting HOA communities in Florida. To ensure a seamless transition back to your winter haven, here are some best practices to consider:
As our vibrant communities welcome back their cherished snowbirds, embracing these best practices will foster a harmonious and enjoyable winter season for all residents. Together we can create a thriving and welcoming environment that embodies the true spirit of our Central Florida HOA community. Safe travels, and welcome home!
Nicole Arias is a CAM with Leland Management. For more information call 407-447-9955 or visit www.lelandmgt.com.
The passing of Florida Senate Bill 4-D in May 2022 made it mandatory for most Florida residential condominium and cooperative buildings (timeshares) three stories or higher to undergo milestone inspections.
Before you hurry out to enjoy your “fun in the sun” and visit with neighbors you may have not seen for several months, make sure you will have a carefree season in Florida.
With all that done, you will have the peace of mind to enjoy your winter in the sun.
For residents of HOA communities embracing a snowbird lifestyle, adopting best practices ensures a smooth transition and harmonious living. Below are some helpful tips:
A proactive approach not only fosters a positive environment but also strengthens the bonds among snowbird residents and the community as a whole.
Camille Moore is a creative content writer for RealManage. For more information visit www.realmanage.com.
Whether permanent or seasonal residents, all board members should remain diligent in managing their community’s financial stability throughout the year. As you reacquaint yourself with the vibrant spirit of Florida living, here are some tips after months away to prepare for a seamless return:
Reserve Advisors is excited to help your communities remain resilient and prosperous.
We missed you—welcome back!
Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. In this season of political discourse and debate, we at SCI want you to consider another type of freedom—the freedom from worry. The older we get the more we’re prone to worry. Our wisdom of having lived a few more years has come at the cost of knowledge, nothing is guaranteed. We rarely if ever think about our roofs. South Florida weather gives us something to worry about—sudden downpours, high wind gusts, and extreme heat—reasons to worry about the one thing that protects and secures everything we value and love, our family and our business. The importance of having an experienced bonded, licensed, roofing expert on your property at least once a year cannot be underestimated. It’s your responsibility to know if there are any possible penetration points; whether your fasteners are secured; drainage flows well; and ponding water, mildew, and algae growth are dealt with. Enjoy the peace that comes with having your roof properly maintained and evaluated.
Scott Biederman is president of Southern Coatings Inc. (SCI). For more information, call 888-SCI-ROOF or visit www.sciroof.com.
Have you ever wished for this type of sentiment as you return to your community for the season? Your friends at Seacrest Services Inc. want to offer you some advice that could help make your transition back home more welcoming.
Email, text message, and U.S. mail are all communication methods that your community may choose to use to send newsletters and other pertinent community related advisements; but if your contact information has changed, you may not be aware of important updates. Let’s keep the line of communication open; remember to do your part and update your information with your association.
Have you ever considered becoming a member of the board or joining a committee? Nothing says fun like being a part of the Social Committee or Newsletter Committee! By joining committees within your community, you most often guarantee that you will stay in “the know”!
Shi McCall, LCAM, is regional director at Seacrest Services. For more information, call 561-697-4990 or visit SeacrestServices.com.
Welcome back, snowbirds! You probably experienced record heat this summer as we certainly did in Florida. You may see the effects of those “feels like 110” degree days in the landscaping and in the water and power bills.
You could soon smell the effects of those scorchers in the trash rooms. Dealing with garbage odors starts with a professional chute cleaning, but there are long-term solutions such as odor control systems, odor counteractant products, and deodorant blocks. As summers (and winters) get hotter, you might need an arsenal of products to call on.
One way to reduce electricity bills is to have the dryer risers in your building cleaned every few years. A lint buildup not only is a fire hazard but also makes the dryers work much harder to dry the loads. By cleaning out the lint professionally, you get more efficient drying times and performance.
Enjoy the season!
Joanna Ribner is president of Southern Chute. For more information call 866-475-9191 or visit www.southenchute.com.