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A few tips and reminders with everyone, as associations plan their annual meetings

A few tips and reminders with everyone, as associations plan their annual meetings

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2017
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As associations plan their annual meetings, we thought we would share a few tips and reminders with everyone.

Annual Meetings

RePublished with permission from Our Members:  http://royalemanagement.com/home/

Royale Management Services, Inc.
2319 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale FL 33311
Phone: (954) 563-1269 | (800) 382-1040 | Fax: (954) 563-2153 | Email: CAM@rmsaccounting.com

 

The annual meeting is a member meeting, hence every member can participate. Participation is by properly made motions, seconds, taking part in discussion of motions and through voting.

The first order of business is to appoint the chairperson to run the meeting.  The chairperson can be anyone that the members agree should chair the meeting.  In many associations the board president chairs the meeting; however this requires approval of the members. Some associations ask their manager or attorney to chair the meeting which is acceptable as long as this is approved by the membership.  In large associations having a professional chair the meeting can help to keep it on track and see that the required business gets done properly.

A motion can be made by any member of the association as to who shall chair the meeting.  This motion must be seconded and then voted on by the members present. If the motion is approved by a majority of the member’s present, the chairperson is elected for the meeting.

The Second order of business is to determine whether a quorum of the members is present in person or by proxy.  The quorum requirement is spelled out in the association documents or by state statute.  Without a quorum no business can take place at the meeting.  However, ballots must still be collected.

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A Guide to Being Politically Smart for Board Members

A Guide to Being Politically Smart for Board Members

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2017
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A Guide to Being Politically Smart for Board Members

RePublished with permission from Our Members:  http://royalemanagement.com/home/

Royale Management Services, Inc.
2319 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale FL 33311
Phone: (954) 563-1269 | (800) 382-1040 | Fax: (954) 563-2153 | Email: CAM@rmsaccounting.com

 

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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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So how do you get fresh? We’re glad you asked!

So how do you get fresh? We’re glad you asked!

  • Posted: Mar 17, 2017
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So how do you get fresh? We’re glad you asked!

We’ve created a handy checklist of home maintenance tasks. And if you’re struggling to muster up the energy to tackle these chores, we’ve provided tips for how to do them faster and easier—or with the help of a pro.

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Admin SFPMA Memberships, Member Questions, Management Networking; Expos, Operations: Tour Properties, Legal, Collections, Accounting, Board Member Information. membership@sfpma.com AJ Michaels - Sfpma.com
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You don’t get to take a holiday break from condo rules.

You don’t get to take a holiday break from condo rules.

  • Posted: Dec 18, 2016
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If you’re one of the 62 million Americans living in condo and homeowners associations (HOAs), you don’t get to take a holiday break from condo rules. Humbug, you say? Well…

“A hallmark of a shared ownership community is that you give up some of your rights for the good of the community. If there are restrictions involving holiday decorations, including lights and signage, you’re generally bound by them

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS You can always find Trusted Companies that work with the Management Industry on SFPMA.com View our Members Directory – FIND-A-SERVICE Is the RFP process effective? A year after I select the service, will I be better off than I was before? Will I have the partnership I envisioned during the RFP process? A case in point – many companies are looking to Managed Services companies to outsource part or all of their operational functions. In order to do this effectively, there needs to be real clarity from the leaders of the organization about what they want and what model fits their company best. The most successful relationships are when there is a true partnership between Properties and their Services Providers, but how do you find this out during the RFP process? When the rubber hits the road, will the vendor meet the contractual requirements? Most of these relationships fail between the lines of the contract. For example, the vendor is hitting SLAs, but your costs are growing at an alarming rate because of change orders. You thought there was pricing clarity but there were wild cards in the contracts. Who is the active executive sponsor and, along with them, who is the partner managing my account who is up to date on what is happening? Why is this important? There will be issues which are gray areas in the contract and may be open to interpretation. Having a vendor who is truly customer oriented and an executive from the company who will work with the customer to ensure their satisfaction is critical. Most vendors have a day-to-day management system set up, but is the person managing the account a true Operations person who can answer most technical questions? Or is he or she actually a salesperson who, once the deal is sold, isn’t current and doesn’t know the answers to technical issues which may arise? There are other areas which are important, depending on whether the client makes a pure cost based selection or a value added selection. A company motivated to drive ticket volumes down, automate, perform detailed analytics, and make recommendations is more value oriented. During an RFP process, how do you determine which vendor is transformational as opposed to a pure cost savings model? Some RFPs we see cover parts of it, but critical areas are missing which don’t give the organization a clear picture of different value propositions. It is difficult to walk through an RFP and show transformational behavior with the trends we have seen….

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Outgoing board members to return all official records

Outgoing board members to return all official records

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Florida a new law goes into to effect that was legislated under HB 807 to section 718.111(12) of the condominium act.   This new law obligates “outgoing board members to return all official records … to the incoming board.” Now as benign as this may seem it speaks to a greater problem and that issue is: Where are all the association’s records? Why did the legislature have to go out of its way to create a specific law to obligate a proper transition from one board to the other? There must be a problem here.   The problem is that community associations have a lot of records and it goes beyond what a board of directors has control of because managers and management companies also have control of essential documents that very often go missing. Let’s take a few examples to demonstrate the problem. A big wind comes and knocks off a couple of roofs in your association, it happens all the time. Well, the first thing that the insurance company wants are the maintenance records roofs going back seven years before they pay for the claim. No records…claim denied and its lawyer time. Another good one relating to community association collections, is that the board has decided to foreclose on Mister Delequaint for non-payment of assessments for the past five years. Mr. Delequaint arrives in court and his lawyer asks the association’s attorney to provide the proof of mailing for the budgets for said five years and they are nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact even the budgets are stone cold lost. The judge can very well possibly rule in favor of Mr. Delequaint (no association foreclosure) and even award him prevailing attorney fees. All these maladies could have been avoided if the association had a document retention policy and followed the protocol. Let’s face the facts and understand that community associations are volatile environments and calling them dynamic is kind. Boards of Directors change, emotions run high, management companies are dismissed frequently, as are attorneys, vendors and whoever else gets an opportunity to work for an association. In the middle of all of this mess records, contracts, ledgers, insurance policies, minutes, proof of mailings, warranties, governing documents, proof of meeting notices, notes and everything else that can be put on paper fall into a deep dark abyss never to be found again. Sometimes by accident and often by design by disgruntled board members, dismissed employees (managers), or untrained office staff who may feel that the round file is for everything that is over a year old. So now that the problem has been identified what is the solution?   First as mentioned above, the board of directors must establish a record keeping policy and protocol (vote on it and put it in the minutes). Don’t lose those minutes and approve them at the next meeting. Said policy should identify all the records that an association must keep and for how long. This is easy because it’s all in the statutes (for Florida condos 718.111 and Florida HOAs 720.305) and I doubt that any state does not address this issue. The next thing is: HOW can an association keep these records from disappearing never to be found again?   There are many ways to go about this and technology may have the answer. Although it might seem to be expensive it is possible that all documents be kept electronically and not just on paper. Have them scanned and put them away on a remote server. This technology also gives an association a backup just in case that big wind comes and blows away your office or the management office. Once again referring to Florida condo statutes 718.111(12)(b) it is crystal clear that documents can be maintained in digital format. In Florida HOA statutes 720.303(5) the legality of keeping records in digital form is not so clear but it is still a prudent idea. No matter what your board comes up with you should be able to easily get your hands on the minutes of a meeting from five years ago or all the maintenance records for the roofs. Try it and if you cannot put your eyes on them it proves that your community association has a problem that needs to be fixed right away. Read more informative articles on our blog, Written by Industry Professionals, Legal by KBR Legal, and members of SFPMA.com  …

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Truant Board Members

Truant Board Members

  • Posted: Dec 12, 2015
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Truant Board Members Read the Article in the Florida Rising Magazine – http://joom.ag/F5Sp Truant Board members By: Mitch Drimmer, CAM    Most students by law they are required to either attend school or prove that they are being properly home schooled. In a very similar parallel the law in Florida requires that board members of HOAs and Condos attest in writing that they have read the governing documents of their community associations or attend a two hour board certification class. Both students and board members must either prove that they have gone to school or done their reading. The parallel ends here because when it comes to students that are either home schooled or go to accredited schools the government has standards. When it comes to board members in Florida there are no standards, and most certainly two hours of board certification or merely reading governing documents without requiring comprehension is a requirement without any measure of competency. Find out abut upcoming courses given by our Legal Members – KBRLegal.com   Without exaggeration there are billions of dollars of real estate assets that are in the hands of boards of directors. People’s homes, investments, security and lives are put into the stewardship of volunteer boards. It’s a democratic process but it does not guarantee the ability of those who are elected to govern your community association, and that is where the trouble begins. Many associations hire community association managers who are required to take at least 20 hours of continuing education classes every two years and although it is a system that is wanting it does require that managers have a modicum of knowledge. Some management companies also have excellent in house educational programs and that is also very helpful. Having trained professionals manage communities may gong a long way, but only if they are allowed to practice their craft. All too often it is the case that boards of directors do not understand what is required of them, and more times than not community association managers are too timid to stand up to a board of directors for fear of being dismissed and losing their jobs when the boards are out of order and need proper direction. It will never come to pass that the attitudes of board members will change and they will forever misunderstand that their job is to set policy, assume fiduciary responsibility, and insure that the managers they hire are doing a proper job. It is not their place to manage and run their community association albeit it is their right. There will always be boards of directors who over reach and interfere with licensed managers or take associations “self-managed.” So how do we address this quandary?   Volunteer boards of directors must do more than just volunteer one hour a month to sit at a meeting, they should assume to take the same CEU courses that are offered to managers. It is very fortunate that in Florida these Community Association Management CEU courses are given often, in many locations, and often for no cost. There are also many good community association schools that provide educational opportunities and any association who budgets and spends money will see a great benefit in return. A month does not pass by when a trade event is not presented in any given area in Florida without a complete curriculum of courses being offered for managers that board members are welcome to attend. From September through December dozens of these courses are offered at no charge to managers and board members by various organizations, trade event providers, and industry specialists. Educational opportunities also abound throughout the year but the season is more towards the end of the year. There are no truant officers for board members and if they want to govern their associations properly they must realize that two hours of a board certification class is not near what they need. Without this education they are going to put their associations in harm’s way and eventually create costs and problems that could have been avoided. Classes and seminars for board members can easily be found in your area with a simple search on your home computer. I urge board members to take the time to come to class and get the education that they need to govern their own associations better.   MITCHELL DRIMMER, VP, CAM Tel: 866.736.3069 ex. 804 Fax: 866.774-2997 e-mail: mitch@snapcollections.com Web Site www.snapcollections.com…

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Where did the Board Members go?

Where did the Board Members go?

  • Posted: Dec 10, 2015
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Truant Board members By: Mitch Drimmer, CAM With September upon us its back to school for millions of American children, and by law they are required to either attend school or prove that they are being properly home schooled. In a very similar parallel the law in Florida requires that board members of HOAs and Condos attest in writing that they have read the governing documents of their community associations or attend a two hour board certification class. Both students and board members must either prove that they have gone to school or done their reading. The parallel ends here because when it comes to students that are either home schooled or go to accredited schools the government has standards. When it comes to board members in Florida there are no standards, and most certainly two hours of board certification or merely reading governing documents without requiring comprehension is a requirement without any measure of competency.   Without exaggeration there are billions of dollars of real estate assets that are in the hands of boards of directors. People’s homes, investments, security and lives are put into the stewardship of volunteer boards. It’s a democratic process but it does not guarantee the ability of those who are elected to govern your community association, and that is where the trouble begins. Many associations hire community association managers who are required to take at least 20 hours of continuing education classes every two years and although it is a system that is wanting it does require that managers have a modicum of knowledge. Some management companies also have excellent in house educational programs and that is also very helpful. Having trained professionals manage communities may gong a long way, but only if they are allowed to practice their craft. All too often it is the case that boards of directors do not understand what is required of them, and more times than not community association managers are too timid to stand up to a board of directors for fear of being dismissed and losing their jobs when the boards are out of order and need proper direction. It will never come to pass that the attitudes of board members will change and they will forever misunderstand that their job is to set policy, assume fiduciary responsibility, and insure that the managers they hire are doing a proper job. It is not their place to manage and run their community association albeit it is their right. There will always be boards of directors who over reach and interfere with licensed managers or take associations “self-managed.” So how do we address this quandary?   Volunteer boards of directors must do more than just volunteer one hour a month to sit at a meeting, they should assume to take the same CEU courses that are offered to managers. It is very fortunate that in Florida these Community Association Management CEU courses are given often, in many locations, and often for no cost. There are also many good community association schools that provide educational opportunities and any association who budgets and spends money will see a great benefit in return. A month does not pass by when a trade event is not presented in any given area in Florida without a complete curriculum of courses being offered for managers that board members are welcome to attend. From September through December dozens of these courses are offered at no charge to managers and board members by various organizations, trade event providers, and industry specialists. Educational opportunities also abound throughout the year but the season is more towards the end of the year. There are no truant officers for board members and if they want to govern their associations properly they must realize that two hours of a board certification class is not near what they need. Without this education they are going to put their associations in harm’s way and eventually create costs and problems that could have been avoided. Classes and seminars for board members can easily be found in your area with a simple search on your home computer. I urge board members to take the time to come to class and get the education that they need to govern their own associations better.   MITCHELL DRIMMER, VP, CAM Tel: 866.736.3069 ex. 804 Fax: 866.774-2997 e-mail: mitch@snapcollections.com Web Site www.snapcollections.com…

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Outgoing board members to return all official records

Outgoing board members to return all official records

  • Posted: Dec 10, 2015
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Outgoing board members to return all official records

Outgoing board members to return all official records … to the incoming board.” Now as benign as this may seem it speaks to a greater problem and that issue is: Where are all the association’s records? Why did the legislature have to go out of its way to create a specific law to obligate a proper transition from one board to the other? There must be a problem here. The problem is that community associations have a lot of records and it goes beyond what a board of directors has control of because managers and management companies also have control of essential documents that very often go missing. Let’s take a few examples to demonstrate the problem. A big wind comes and knocks off a couple of roofs in your association, it happens all the time. Well, the first thing that the insurance company wants are the maintenance records roofs going back seven years before they pay for the claim. No records…claim denied and its lawyer time. Another good one relating to community association collections, is that the board has decided to foreclose on Mister Delequaint for non-payment of assessments for the past five years. Mr. Delequaint arrives in court and his lawyer asks the association’s attorney to provide the proof of mailing for the budgets for said five years and they are nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact even the budgets are stone cold lost. The judge can very well possibly rule in favor of Mr. Delequaint (no association foreclosure) and even award him prevailing attorney fees. All these maladies could have been avoided if the association had a document retention policy and followed the protocol. Let’s face the facts and understand that community associations are volatile environments and calling them dynamic is kind. Boards of Directors change, emotions run high, management companies are dismissed frequently, as are attorneys, vendors and whoever else gets an opportunity to work for an association. In the middle of all of this mess records, contracts, ledgers, insurance policies, minutes, proof of mailings, warranties, governing documents, proof of meeting notices, notes and everything else that can be put on paper fall into a deep dark abyss never to be found again. Sometimes by accident and often by design by disgruntled board members, dismissed employees (managers), or untrained office staff who may feel that the round file is for everything that is over a year old. So now that the problem has been identified what is the solution? First as mentioned above, the board of directors must establish a record keeping policy and protocol (vote on it and put it in the minutes). Don’t lose those minutes and approve them at the next meeting. Said policy should identify all the records that an association must keep and for how long. This is easy because it’s all in the statutes (for Florida condos 718.111 and Florida HOAs 720.305) and I doubt that any state does not address this issue. The next thing is: HOW can an association keep these records from disappearing never to be found again? There are many ways to go about this and technology may have the answer. Although it might seem to be expensive it is possible that all documents be kept electronically and not just on paper. Have them scanned and put them away on a remote server. This technology also gives an association a backup just in case that big wind comes and blows away your office or the management office. Once again referring to Florida condo statutes 718.111(12)(b) it is crystal clear that documents can be maintained in digital format. In Florida HOA statutes 720.303(5) the legality of keeping records in digital form is not so clear but it is still a prudent idea. No matter what your board comes up with you should be able to easily get your hands on the minutes of a meeting from five years ago or all the maintenance records for the roofs. Try it and if you cannot put your eyes on them it proves that your community association has a problem that needs to be fixed right away. Find the right professionals on SFPMA.com Found on our members directory.  …

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