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Keep informed with the Property Management Industry. Read informative Articles by Industry professionals,  a great resource for Property Owners, Board Members and Property Management Professionals.

Over the past several years, all of Florida’s community association statutes have been amended to require that board members be “certified.”

Over the past several years, all of Florida’s community association statutes have been amended to require that board members be “certified.”

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2017
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Board Members Courses:

Newly elected or appointed board members must sign a form, that provides that the board member has read the association’s governing documents, and that such board member will work to uphold such documents to the best of his or her ability.

Further, the board member must agree that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary duty to the association’s members.

In lieu of signing this written certification, a newly elected or appointed director may instead provide a certificate demonstrating that they have satisfactorily completed an approved educational course.    

 Find Upcoming Board Member Courses on our Calendar on SFPMA.COM

A prospective board member can attend and complete such an educational course up to one year in advance of taking a seat on the board.

In the event that a board member fails to either complete an educational course or sign the required form within ninety days of their election or appointment to the board, such board member is suspended from service on the board until they complete the requirement.

SFPMA.COM has a full list of Courses that are offered by our members. View our Calendar of Events and keep informed. Take advantage of these required courses.

Thank You SFPMA

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Making the most of any  community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents.

Making the most of any community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents.

  • Posted: May 31, 2017
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Working with vendors is a large part of serving on the board of a managed community.

Every community has outside partners for services like landscaping, sanitation, cable and Internet provision, pool maintenance, plumbing, blacktop, valet services and more. Finding and learning what they do and how they can help. Many people ask if its the Management company to find the best companies for the properties? Well we have found that Boards help in the selecting of the right companies. They give their suggestions to the Management companies. This way favoritism does not take place. Laws are being changed as we speak that will prevent this for Florida’s Property Management Industry.

Open and effective communication among the board, the management company and the vendors employed by the association is an important part of making the most of any community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents. Focusing on great communication and why it matters.

Sherwin-Williams

What can happen if communication among those entities isn’t consistent, open and effective? “Ineffective communication with vendors can cost your community money, but more importantly, it can result in loss of trust,” according to Frank Mari, executive director of SFPMA.ORG  “That means trust that the residents have in both the management company and the board, and also the trust the board has in the management company to manage vendors and recommend the right vendors for the community. As they need qualified vendors they find many on SFPMA’s Members Directory to select from.”

Poor communication with vendors can cost your association money too. If you don’t understand the details in a contract and don’t keep an open line for questions and clarifications, you may not realize that your community isn’t getting the services you think you are signing up for…. and then you will need to pay for the missing elements separately, impacting your operating budget.

Mr.Mari says “Talk to your landscaper in the middle of winter, not just spring and summer,” he directed. “If you’re an auditor, check in with the board and management company a few times of year, not just when the audit needs to be done.” Call them ask them to do a walk through of your buildings and communities, Preventive Maintenance is Key.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your current property management maintains open communication with vendors, ask! It’s important to make sure that outside vendors operate in the best interests of your community. We are all well-versed in the importance of vendor relationships and effective communication,” Frank explained. “Boards appreciate that we bring that additional level of support. Because of the trust we create with our vendors, almost any situation between boards and vendors can be resolved fairly.”

Speaking the language A basic part of communication is simply understanding the language each party is speaking. Most board members are not going to be experts in all the areas of running a
managed community, but it’s important that you have a basic knowledge of the terminology being used. Board members are expected and required to execute contracts related to things like
landscaping and other topics they may not be previously familiar with,” Talk to your Property Manager and include your Law Firm with contracts. “That fiduciary responsibility means that they need to understand what they are signing, what the work entails. It’s not enough to just consider price. Board members need to know more about what vendors are doing in order to make sure it’s being done.”

All HOA and Condo boards should be involved early in vendor selection discussions and leave the details of execution to the management company. It is important the board communicate any critical elements of their vision for the community to the vendor and be clear about what they require from each potential vendor they meet with. Board members must know enough to
understand what they should expect, what level of service is being provided for their community and what reasonable expectations are for that vendor. A landscaping company
that cares for a dozen large properties isn’t going to hand-prune every shrub, but that may be what some board members expect because they don’t yet understand the basics of large-scale landscaping,” “Of course, a self-managed community is going require more knowledge from the board members as far as monitoring the work being done and knowing that contracts are being fulfilled properly. Having a professional management company involved takes that responsibility off board members, because we know best practices, thanks to our experience managing multiple communities.” If you are looking for a Management Company

Find Top Florida Companies on our Members Directory.

How can boards and management companies know they are up-to-date on the terminology and jargon being used by their vendors? Many management companies are SFPMA Members themselves, With this membership there are educational seminars or round tables that let board members hear directly from vendors. “In addition to our in-house educational opportunities, I suggest that board members go to home shows, garden shows and other trade events so they can interact directly with vendors and pick up literature on the latest techniques and products,”.

sfpma.com - network, educate with Florida's Property management industryI tell my members to spend time at meetings, seminars and expos at every one of them get to know the vendors, Collect brochures.  Build those relationships. Listen to the keynote speakers as well. Over the years, vendors have shared with me how they have been impacted by SFPMA and how it makes them want to be part of our success. Obviously, you learn a lot that you take back to their boards and educate them on new information.

All of our members, partners and board members are asked to focus on professional development and educational opportunities that are offered by our Association to our Industry. vendors in many different disciplines host events that allow property managers to earn continuing education credits, and that many welcome board member attendance as well.

When you get to know vendors, you’re ready to work with them as partners, to optimize your community association’s budget and improve the lifestyles of the residents in your community.

South Florida Property Management Association can help you work with vendors to make the most of your association’s budgets by learning about the Top Companies working in our Industry.

www.sfpma.org

Become a Member Today!

   

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Entering the Gate at The Broward County Condo & HOA Expo, Ready to meet Leading Companies working in Florida’s Property Management Industry.

Entering the Gate at The Broward County Condo & HOA Expo, Ready to meet Leading Companies working in Florida’s Property Management Industry.

  • Posted: Apr 26, 2017
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The Broward County Condo & HOA Expo
Special thanks goes out to L&L Exhibition Management, Nick Vetter and his Team for putting on this event.

I stopped in to meet with many of our SFPMA (South Florida Property Management Association) Members. Starting with Multi-Housing Team Bob and Sergio with Aaxon Laundry Systems, Rodger Kopp III of Commercial Laundries, Rudy Silva and James Friedman with Sherwin-Williams, Introducing myself to Buster Cash with Coast to Coast General Contractors, Proper Introductions to Steven J Weil Owner of RMS Accounting and Royal Management Services, Getting to meet more team members Ana Echeverri and Pedro Diez with The Falcon Group and SFPMA Legal Experts for Community Associations Kaye,Bender,Rembaum Attorneys At Law where Michael Bender Pompano Beach Office was giving a “Seminar on Legal and Legislative Changes and how it affects your Communities”. Among other attorneys present was my pleasure to finally meet Lisa Magill Esq. who brings her Expertise in Community Association Laws to one of Florida’s Leading Law Firm.

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I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

With the numbers of service companies that are competing for work in the Property Management Industry I get these questions asked almost every day. How can my company increase sales?  How can I get in front of the decision makers? 

Both are great questions, So you want to get in front of the decision makers letting them know what your company does and how your services can help them. We feel strongly about joining with others in an Industry Organization or Association, one that is committed to the industry you are trying to get work from.

First Look at how much they charge. There are so many that charge from 400 up to over 700 per year to be listed on their directory. We ask you to understand that many of these organizations and associations charge service companies more than other members, why would that be. Well they know that you want to join and get noticed they charge you more because there are more service companies looking to do this. We think this is unfair taking money out of the pockets of hard working companies. The property managers, property owners, landlords, should be the ones paying more to find the Top Professionals that are listed and ready to help save them on the services they provide.

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The Internet of things

The Internet of things

  • Posted: Mar 23, 2017
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The telecommunications industry says the upgrades are needed by 2020 to meet the demand for faster internet speeds, smart cities, driverless vehicles, instantaneous 3D downloads, the “Internet of things” where machines talk to machines, and more.

The battle between infrastructure needed for fast digital service and property rights may soon come to communities across Palm Beach County. Right now, it’s playing out in Tallahassee courtesy of legislation before lawmakers.

“It’s a ticket for multi-billion dollar wireless communication companies to come into a city and do as they please in city right of ways,” said Riviera Beach Councilwoman Dawn Pardo.

The brewing fight is over technological advances. First there was 1G wireless technology, for “first generation,” and as telecommunications technology evolved, 2G, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE came to be. Now 5G, a fifth generation network technology allowing greater connectivity at higher speeds for many more devices, is on its way.

To place the infrastructure needed for 5G service, a proposal pending in the Florida Legislature would limit state and local control of public rights-of-way where the 5G equipment is being installed.

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Its Budget time

Its Budget time

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Its Budget Time, and that means it is that time of year for boards of community associations everywhere to prepare next year’s association budgets. A good budget is reflective of good financial planning. In practice, it is anything but an exact science. When examining the community association budget process, there are a few subtle nuisances and a couple of glaring distinctions between those budget related laws set out within Chapter 720 that governs homeowner associations (HOAs) as compared to Chapter 718 that governs condominium associations (CAs). Let’s take a look.   Notice Requirements: • HOA board meeting notices must include a statement that assessments will be considered and, as per statute, “the nature” of the assessments. There is no definitive advance HOA board budget meeting notice requirement set out in Chapter 720, so be sure to check your HOA’s bylaws for any specific requirements. (As an aside, please do not confuse this with the special assessment procedures where it is required for any meeting at which special assessments will be considered that written notice mustbe mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and parcel owners and such notice must be posted conspicuously on the property or broadcasted on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14 days before the meeting. • At least 14 days before any CA board meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be considered, the board must hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or electronically transmit to the location furnished by the unit owner for that purpose 1) a notice of such meeting and 2) a copy of the proposed annual budget…

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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND The underlying dispute followed an association’s foreclosure of its assessment lien against a condominium unit. The St. Croix Lane Trust (the “New Owner”) was the third party purchaser of the unit at the Association foreclosure sale. After a certificate of title was issued to the New Owner, the Association demanded that the New Owner pay years of delinquent assessments and related interest, late fees and costs of collection of over $38,000 not paid by the prior, foreclosed, owner – a consistent practice in association collections in Florida. In response, the New Owner’s counsel tendered a check to the Association’s counsel for a small portion of the amount due, $840.00, together with correspondence that provided that “this check is tendered in full and final satisfaction of all claims made against the [New Owner] and the property for the amounts demanded… negotiation of the enclosed check shall be deemed an acceptance of the offer of settlement made herein, and shall be in full and final satisfaction of all claims against the [New Owner] and the property…” The Appellate Court considered this tender to be an “offer of settlement.” In response, the Association’s counsel advised that he had instructed his staff to apply the payment as a partial payment upon receipt (despite the restrictive endorsement). In advising the New Owner of the Association’s intent, the Association’s counsel relied upon the ruling of the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida in Ocean Two Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kliger. In that case the Third District Court of Appeals cited to Section 716.116(3) of the Florida Condominium Act which provides that payments tendered by unit owners shall be applied as specified in the statute notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. As advised by the Association’s counsel, the Association deposited the $840.00 check, and threatened to sue the New Owner for the remainder the Association claimed due. The New Owner filed suit first, including claims for declaratory relief and lost rental income asserting that seeking lease approval would be futile. The trial court entered a summary judgment finding that the Association’s acceptance of the partial payment did not create an accord and satisfaction. The New Owner appealed this ruling to the Appellate Court….

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Miami’s Pit Bull Ordinance is Preempted by FHA

Miami’s Pit Bull Ordinance is Preempted by FHA

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Miami’s Pit Bull Ordinance is Preempted by FHA By: Alessandra Stivelman, Esq.   The Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts (the “FHA”) do not provide sufficient guidance as to what information a community association can request to verify a resident’s need for an emotional support animal (“ESA”). Since many associations have had negative experiences with residents attempting to take advantage of the lack of clarity in the law, some associations are now adamant about demanding absolute proof of a resident’s need for an accommodation and, in doing so, may go beyond the scope of a reasonable inquiry. In the last few years, while case law has provided some clarification, there still remains uncertainty as to an association’s obligations when reviewing reasonable accommodation requests.   Until recently, the law did not address whether an association could approve a pit-bull breed as an ESA in Miami-Dade County. This question recently arose in the case of Warren v. Del Vista Towers Condominium Assn., Inc, pending in the United States Court for the Southern District of Florida. The case involves an individual who allegedly suffers from Severe Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Upon submitting a request to the Association along with a letter from his treating psychiatrist requesting a reasonable accommodation to maintain a dog within his Unit, Mr. Warren alleges that he was intimidated by the Association’s property manager and received a letter from the Association’s attorney advising that the Association had contacted his treating psychiatrist directly demanding more information.   Along with other counts against the property manager and the management company, Mr. Warren filed a complaint contending that the Association failed to reasonably accommodate his request for maintaining an ESA in the Condominium and requested unnecessary, invasive details about his medical history. Mr. Warren’s attorney had timely replied to the request for information from the Association reiterating that the original letter from his treating psychiatrist verified his diagnosis and his disability related need for an ESA. Mr. Warren’s attorney also explained how his dog assists him with coping with his disability by providing unconditional affection, comfort and emotional support.   Alessandra Stivelman of Eisinger Brown Lewis Frankel & Chaiet in Hollywood focuses her practice on community association and real estate law….

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Insurance Changes you should make?

Insurance Changes you should make?

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Insurance for your kids going back to school Changes you should make? My only child is going to college 800-plus miles from home. He’ll be using the bus system to get around because his college doesn’t allow students to have cars on campus. Since he won’t have access to any of our vehicles for nine months of the year, can we save on auto insurance? Yes, you most certainly should be able to save money on your car insurance while your child is off at college. Drivers under the age of 25 are deemed to be high risk by car insurance companies because there is a strong possibility they’ll be in accidents and claims will be filed. This makes the cost to insure a young adult quite high. If your young driver is hundreds of miles away and won’t be driving your vehicles for a majority of the year, your insurance company’s risk goes down. Thus, it’s a perfect time to contact your insurance company to share your child’s college news and discuss making some adjustments to your policy in order obtain cheaper car insurance rates….

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SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Over the past few years, Community Associations have been seriously challenged by the number of delinquencies. Collecting can be expensive, time-consuming – and there’s no guarantee of success. And when worse comes to worst, you sometimes are forced to retain a lawyer who generates a lot of fees, and usually ends up waiting for the bank to foreclose or for a short sale to take place. The bills keep coming in from the lawyer, whether anything is recovered or not. That’s why you need SNAP Collections. SNAP Collections is focused on getting errant homeowners back on track, and recovering maintenance fees in the most cost-effective manner possible. A complete end-to-end solution by experts. Working with us is easy. • No out-of-pocket cost to the Association throughout the collections process. We work to recover all fees from the Owners can pay: homeowner through the collection process. • By check, e-check, ACH, cash, credit card or debit card • From unit submission, through escalation, to case resolution  • Online, by mail, or walk in to over 40,000 locations – we seek to maximize the recovery and limit write-offs. nationwide. • We steadily escalate efforts and costs to the homeowner,  creating an urgency to resolve the debt quickly. Board and Management: • We work with owners to establish reasonable payment plans. • Online reports and service request available online • We liaise with credit reporting agencies. • Highly-responsive call center for management, • When an owner can’t pay, we try to work with them to boards and owners facilitate a short sale of the unit. It takes experienced specialists to do all that – and • We work with the homeowner to resolve the delinquency,    SNAP offers the wherewithal to make it happen. without adding unnecessary financial burden. And best of all, there are no out-of-pocket costs to • We have a lien filed to protect the Association’s interest. the Association. So find out more about SNAP • In many cases, SNAP Collections helps avoid expensive litigation. Collections’ specialized financial recovery skills for • We are collection specialists. In fact, it’s all we do – every day. Community Associations. Call 866-736-3069 now or visit SNAP collections.com National Headquarters Association Financial Services 4400 Biscayne Blvd, Ste. 550 Miami, FL 33137 Tel: 305-677-0022…

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