Who Needs a CAM License?

Who Needs a CAM License?

By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA / Published August 2022

Photo by iStockphoto.com/fizkes

Your CAM is a licensed professional. That license is granted by the State of Florida if a person’s duties will fall within the specified scope of the statute and upon completion of the application and testing requirements. The same could be said for general contractors, nurses, teachers, CPAs, attorneys, and dozens of other types of professions that are licensed and regulated by the State of Florida.

     Florida Statute §468.431(1) defines a community association as “a residential homeowners’ association in which membership is a condition of ownership of a unit in a planned unit development, or of a lot for a home or a mobile home, or of a townhouse, villa, condominium, cooperative, or other residential unit which is part of a residential development scheme and which is authorized to impose a fee which may become a lien on the parcel.”

     That means when a unit, share, or parcel in this type of community is purchased, the purchaser has become a member of this corporation whether they want to be or not, or fully understand it or not. That member has become contractually obligated to all the legal requirements in the declaration, articles of incorporation, prospectus, and bylaws along with all the other members who are strangers to them. This obligation will be stated on the title insurance policy received at closing.

     Taking a step back for a broader overview of the statutes, the legislative purpose of all Florida community association corporations can be seen. It is to (1) protect the property and its value, and the corporation will do that by (2) providing for the operation of the corporation and maintenance of the common property, and (3) enforcing the restrictions on the owners’ use rights as specified in the governing documents. This could be called a “mission statement.” The mission statement of any business or corporation drives its topics at board meetings. The line items on the annual budget support the mission statement. This is also true for our community associations.

     Being a part of this corporation means the members will pay their share of the expenses to operate and maintain the corporation which supports the statutory mission statement. To make sure the corporation is always made whole for all the monies due it from the members, the legislators gave this corporation the lien right. That is the ability to go through a legal process to take that member’s home from him if he does not pay. The corporation will become the possessor of that home even if there is a mortgage on it.

     Florida Statute §468.431(2) states individuals (or management companies) that serve for remuneration an association or associations that contain more than 10 units/homes or have an annual budget or budgets more than $100,000, and who do any (one) of the following, are required to be licensed in the State of Florida:

  • controlling or disbursing funds of a community association,
  • preparing budgets or other financial documents for a community association,
  • assisting in the noticing or conduct of community association meetings,
  • determining the number of days required for statutory notices,
  • determining amounts due to the association,
  • collecting amounts due to the association before the filing of a civil action,
  • calculating the votes required for a quorum or to approve a proposition or amendment,
  • completing forms related to the management of a community association that have been created by statute or by a state agency,
  • drafting meeting notices and agendas,
  • calculating and preparing certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates,
  • responding to requests for certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates,
  • negotiating monetary or performance terms of a contract subject to approval by an association
  • drafting pre-arbitration demands,
  • coordinating or performing maintenance for real or personal property and other related routine services involved in the operation of a community association, and
  • complying with the association’s governing documents and the requirements of law as necessary to perform such practices.

     Review this list, and you could realize there is more than one person in your employ who should have a CAM license.

     Your licensed CAM and key employees should have a working knowledge of the following:

  • Management procedures
  • Governing documents
  • Accounting requirements and bookkeeping procedures
  • Records retention and statutory requirements for access
  • Daily, monthly, annual calendaring requirements
  • Employee and HR requirements
  • Documentary and statutory collection processes
  • Inventory control and procurement
  • Contracts and vendor relations
  • Buildings and grounds routine and deferred maintenance
  • Maintenance standards and categories
  • Safety hazards and practices
  • Environmental requirements
  • State and local licensing requirements
  • Local permitting codes and regulations
  • Documentary and statutory insurance requirements
  • Taxes (income, sales, employment, and property)
  • Disaster preparedness procedures
  • Owner communications and relations
  • And more!

     The management of a residential community association is conducted by its board of directors. However, the community association board may carry out the following:

  • Manage the association as unpaid volunteers by dividing up among themselves the management, maintenance, and operations duties and responsibilities and contract with and oversee vendors, or
  • Hire a licensed Florida management company to perform the management, maintenance, and operations of the association pursuant to the terms of a management agreement, or
  • Employ a licensed Florida manager to perform the management, maintenance, and operations of the association pursuant to terms of an employment agreement.

     The manager or management company duties are specified in the contractual agreement between the parties, not in the law. 

     The legislators consider a CAM and board members fiduciaries who have a fiduciary relationship to the members of the corporation. The CAM is an agent of the board of directors. The board of directors may delegate to the CAM the management tasks of its multi-million-dollar corporation. Though boards of directors may delegate their tasks, they may never delegate their responsibilities. The “buck stops with the board,” so boards of directors should be sure their managers and other key employees are licensed CAMs.

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

Florida CAM Schools

     Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. Since 1999, Betsy has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Betsy is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a former member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. Subscribe to CAM MattersTM at www.youtube.com/c/cammatters. For more information, contact Betsy@FloridaCAMSchools.com, call (352) 326-8365, or visit www.FloridaCAMSchools.com.