FLCAJ — June 2024

Page 74

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New Laws Primed to Throw Board Members Off Balance

Don’t Risk Significant Penalties – Be Prepared!

As we await the governor’s signature on significant new legislation which will impact condominiums and HOAs, it’s important for board members and their management professionals to understand that these new laws will impose penalties if certain duties are not fulfilled or are fulfilled improperly. The days of informal association operations without the assistance of experienced, knowledgeable association counsel are over. Boards and managers must seek advice from qualified professionals to help them successfully navigate the changed landscape.

Beginning May 21, 2024, Becker will host a series of webinars - Knowledge is Power – New Laws; New Game Plan – to educate board members and managers on the new law and what is necessary to comply.

To view the full schedule and sign up for more information about these upcoming events, please visit beckerlawyers.com/BePrepared


“I have attended several classes in the last year. The professionalism, acumen, and information has been outstanding.”

- Timothy Mahan, Madeira Villa Central

“I always love Becker’s webinars as they provide a great deal of complicated legal information in ways the layman can understand.”

- Megan Giancatarino, Clover Key, Inc.

“We must always keep on top of the ever changing laws that apply to our communities. Thank you, Becker, for being very direct and extremely knowledgeable regarding the concerns & issues we face.”

-Mary Gallagher, Pine Breeze Golf Villas Homeowners Association, Inc.

June Contents


Prepare for Disaster

Preparing for Hurricane Season

Simplifying Payment Processing Is Easier Than You Think

Conducting SIRS: What We’ve Learned So Far

Swift Security Preparations and Recovery This Storm Season

Make Sure That Your Association Has Enough Insurance Coverage!

Securing Condominium Communities: Preparing for Hurricane Season

Are You Prepared for the Next Power Outage?

Rembaum's Association Roundup: Is It Time to Amend and Restate Our Governing Documents?

It’s That Time of Year Again…Now What?

6 50 84 88 92 97 100 42 44

Weathering the Storm: New Legislation Offers Mitigation Assistance to Florida Condominiums


Journal Notes

FCAP Community CAM Matters—Betsy Barbieux

Readers' Choice Awards Spotlight

Financial Services, Legal Services and Management Companies Directories

Products and Services Directory

Display Advertisers’ Index

Hey, You’re My Lawyer, Too! Tales of Misinformed Unit Owners

Duty to Warn?

www.fcapgroup.com | FLCAJ June 2024 5
8 44
FOLLOW US www.facebook.com/FCAPFloridaCommunityAssociationProfessionals twitter.com/fcap_florida 76 FEATURES
8 58 62 66 72 76 78 82 LEGAL CORNER 22 26 32 38
Community Association Security Measures and Liabilities

Journal Notes

According to the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University at tropical.colostate.edu/ forecasting.html, the Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be extremely active, with 23 named storms of which 11 will be hurricanes and five of those are predicted to be major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. This forecast was made in early April when record warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures were observed, and updates on the forecast will be provided on June 11, July 9, and August 6.

Regardless of whether the 2024 forecast comes to pass, it is important to be as prepared as one can in order to protect both life and property. Turn to page 8 to glean helpful tips from a variety of service providers in "Prepare for Disaster."

On page 26 Brandon R. McDowell, Esq., with Becker has written “It’s That Time of Year Again…Now What?” He shares that associations and unit owners should prepare for storms now by “taking photographs (time/date stamped) and video of the lot, the unit, any structures, the common areas, personal property, etc. These photos/ videos can then be used in the event of damage and when filing a claim.” He recommends a rereview of contracts, insurance policies, and the disaster plan.

Flip to page 72 to read “Swift Security Preparations and Recovery This Storm Season” by Nathan Varn with Envera Systems. He wants to help community association boards of directors address security measures. He advises boards to carry out the following: check the security provider’s specific storm procedures, thoroughly inspect and evaluate the community’s security infrastructure, and plan ahead by having a designated place to serve as a backup for security databases, video footage, and any other important documents.

On page 22 Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., with Kaye Bender Rembaum addresses the question “Is It Time to Amend and Restate Our Governing Documents?” He states, “Good business practices suggest that the board consider asking legal counsel for the association to review the governing documents to provide recommendations for updating based upon case law and the current Florida Statutes.”

On page 32 Jonathan S. Goldstein and Natalie Alonso with Haber Law detail the passage of HB 1029 and what participation in the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program means for associations.

FLCAJ is glad to help you weather this 2024 hurricane season.

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Ansbacher Law, with board certified partners, 11 attorneys and over 30 professionals, is available to serve your community throughout Florida.

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Prepare for Disaster

Editor’s Note: Researchers at Colorado State University are predicting 23 named storms in the Atlantic Ocean this year and 11 hurricanes, with five of those turning into major hurricanes. In short, the 2024 Atlantic basin hurricane season is expected to be extremely active. The best practices below are provided to help you weather this hurricane season well.


As board members in South Florida, addressing emergency events is critical. Here are three tips to help you prepare.

Have a Comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Plan

Every association should have a robust emergency response plan tailored to the community, including the following:

• Clearly marked evacuation routes and well-known procedures

• A reliable communication system to alert residents

• Regular preparedness drills involving residents

• A connection with emergency services to check plans and provide support

Enhance Building Envelope Safety

Ensure the structural integrity of buildings through regular inspections/maintenance. Focus on the following:

• Vulnerabilities like loose roofing tiles or nonimpact-resistant windows

• Maintaining waterproofing measures

• Inspecting for cracks or signs of weakness

Maintain Proper Insurance Coverage

Conduct annual reviews of policies with a qualified broker. It should include the following:

• Property insurance to cover damage to buildings and common areas

• Flood insurance, especially in flood-prone areas of South Florida

• General liability insurance and D&O to protect against claims

Ana Rivero is the president and business development coordinator at Allied Property Group. Call 305-232-1579 or visit www.alliedpropertygroup.net for more information


Usually pavement maintenance is the last thing anyone thinks about unless, of course, a pothole or depression appears overnight; or perhaps another community is having work done and your board has a FOMO moment and decides they need to do the work

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/Enzo Dato

as well. However, when it comes to any asphalt maintenance program, just remember that there is a big difference in pricing between preventive maintenance versus crisis management. One is planned for, investigated thoroughly, and set up specifically for the long-term benefit of the community. The other is more of an “Oh no!” moment where emergency measures must be taken to resolve the problem, usually coming at a premium price! Investing in an asphalt maintenance program is one of the best investments any community can make rather than dealing with things “as they appear.” Do you need help in finding out what you have, where you are going, and what you need to do to get there with your asphalt maintenance program? We can help!

Connie Lorenz is president of Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems. For more information, call 800-2544732, email connie.lorenz@asphaltnews.com, or visit www.asphaltnews.com


During a hurricane, safety is always the top priority, with the ability to stay connected to your loved ones and community a close second. Fiber-optic cables are designed with weather in mind as they are typically buried underground, making them incredibly resistant to the impact of natural disasters and less susceptible to damage from high winds or flooding.

Not only does fiber internet offer faster speeds and greater bandwidth than traditional internet services, but it also ensures uninterrupted connectivity during a hurricane. This means you can stay in touch with loved ones, access critical information, and keep your security and smart devices online, all without the worry of slow or intermittent internet speeds.

While your internet service provider will be working to keep you connected, it is important to be as prepared as possible, particularly in areas where weather-related


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issues are the norm. Investing in surge protectors and making sure you are backing up important documents on an external hard drive can ensure peace of mind.

Keith Minarik is vice president of community development with Blue Stream Fiber. To find out more about how Blue Stream Fiber can keep you connected during hurricane season, visit www.bluestreamfiber.com/hurricane-plan/.


The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin is from June 1 to November 30, with peak activity occurring between mid-August and midOctober. Being fully prepared for hurricane season is not a simple task. Now is the time to double check and make sure that your community is fully prepared.

Do you have a written PLAN? This is where it all starts. Many of us are familiar with the saying, “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.”

Have you PREPARED for the season? Once you have the plan, you must execute it. Trim all trees, check each generator (fuel included), verify supplies, and inspect each drainage system for any potential blocks. Don’t forget to make sure all key vendors are prepared, too.

Do you know what to do immediately BEFORE the storm? What items need to be secured and who needs to do it? Do hurricane shutters need to be deployed? How do you communicate this information with residents?

How do you operate DURING the storm? What are the responsibilities of the board, staff, and owners during the storm? What should people expect? Should owners be advised on what foods and/or supplies they should stock up on?

What do you do AFTER the storm? How do you contact your key vendors in case of issues? Have you established a response/priority level? How, when, and what do you communicate with owners?

Ashley Dietz-Gray is vice president of marketing for Campbell Property Management. For more information, call 561-704-4042, email adietz@campbellproperty.com, or visit www.campbellpropertymanagement.com.


A well-crafted emergency response plan (ERP) is essential for minimizing damage and ensuring the safety of residents during various disasters. Here’s how you can optimize your plan.

Identify Potential Risks—

Conduct a thorough assessment of potential hazards specific to your community, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and structural/ building envelope safety concerns.

Develop Clear Protocols— Outline the procedures to follow before, during, and after a disaster.

Establish Communication Channels—Utilize email, text, social media, and a centralized communication hub to keep residents informed and updated.

Educate Residents—Regularly educate residents about the ERP and safety protocols.

Maintain Adequate Insurance Coverage—Review policies to confirm adequate coverage for property damage, liability, and other related expenses.

Regularly Review and Update the Plan—Schedule regular reviews of the ERP and update protocols based on evolving best practices.

By establishing and updating an emergency response plan, CAMs and boards can effectively mitigate risks, enhance safety, and minimize the impact of disasters on the community.

To learn more about how Castle Group can serve you, request a proposal at www.castlegroup.com/request-a-proposal/.


A good post-storm recovery plan should be part of storm preparedness. Powerful storms can be very destructive to community associations and cause extensive property damage. There are some steps you can take immediately after a storm has occurred in your community.

Stay Safe

Make sure your residents are safe and out of harm’s way. Avoid fallen trees or damaged roadways. Report downed power lines to local authorities.

Check for Storm Damage

The property manager and maintenance supervisor should do a full inspection of the property for damage and mechanical failures.

Work with the Association’s Insurance Provider

Take photos of damage before anything has been moved or removed. Address any additional issues and communicate progress with the board.

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Begin Storm Damage Repair

Leave the storm damage restoration to the professionals. The property manager can help by developing a project schedule and by keeping the board updated on the recovery plan.

Trisha Fohr, CAM, is an association banking relationship manager for Centennial Bank. For more information, call 561-354-4283, email tfohr@my100bank.com, and visit www.my100bank.com.


Well in advance of hurricane season, be sure to review your insurance policies. Many insurance policies require 30 days to take effect—purchasing one when a storm is impending may be too late. Be sure to effectively document and report your assets (pictures are useful!) so that should your association experience damage, you’ll be reimbursed for all your losses (after the deductible). Keep copies of insurance policies in a secure location outside of your association premises.

Insurance companies in Florida may charge additional deductibles for hurricanes, and damage caused

by flooding is often not part of standard insurance policies. Carefully read all of the terms of your policy and speak to your agent about coverage questions you may have or about purchasing additional insurance.

Lastly, it may be a while before you receive a payout from your insurance company. That’s why it’s important to maintain an emergency expense fund or a business line of credit to cover necessary repair and cleanup costs in the interim. Contact Cogent Bank today to learn more about the options available to you.

Sean Friend is SVP, commercial banking relationship manager, in our Fort Myers Banking Center. Friend can be reached at 239-766-8936 or via email at sfriend@cogenetbank.net.


In the dynamic landscape of condominium management, disaster preparedness stands as a cornerstone of effective governance. For community association managers and board members, familiarity with the condominium property and proactively

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addressing safety and security concerns can mitigate risks and safeguard residents’ well-being.

A key tip for enhancing disaster preparedness is to be intimately familiar with any ongoing projects on the condominium property and to conduct regular safety assessments and drills tailored to specific threats. From hurricanes to active shooter situations, familiarity with the present conditions of the association property breeds confidence and readiness. Additionally, ensuring proper insurance coverage is essential for financial protection in the aftermath of disasters.

By investing time to and resources into comprehensive disaster preparedness plans, CAMs and board members can save not only lives but also valuable time, money, and anxiety in the face of an emergency. Prioritizing safety and security empowers condominium communities to weather any storm and emerge stronger together.

Kyle A. Alonso is a senior associate with Haber Law. For more information, email kalonso@haber.law or visit www.haber.law


Effective communication and collaboration with your telecommunications provider, like Hotwire Communications, are vital for ensuring community safety during storms and disasters.

Key steps for enhancing disaster preparedness include understanding provider emergency procedures, updating contact information, reviewing insurance coverage, planning for power outages, reinforcing structural safety, and staying informed on alerts. Establishing a robust communication plan is crucial to keeping residents connected and informed.

Providers like Hotwire Communications offer tailored channels, text alerts, and email notifications to support community communication during emergencies. By choosing a provider with comprehensive disaster communication capabilities, such as pre-, mid-, and postdisaster support, you can ensure your community is well prepared and receives the necessary assistance when needed.

Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM, is director of community association relations with Hotwire Communications, which has received multiple Stevie Awards for customer service, including being recognized for their recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian in 2022.


In Florida, community associations have emergency powers granted under the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act and the Florida Condominium Act. These emergency powers, which came to the forefront during the COVID-19 era, allow associations to take immediate action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents during a state of emergency. The powers include the ability to conduct emergency board meetings, enter into contracts without competitive bidding, and levy special assessments. Associations can also implement temporary rules and regulations to address the emergency situation. It is important for associations to follow proper procedures, provide notice to residents, and document all actions taken under emergency powers. These powers are meant to ensure that community associations can effectively respond to emergencies and protect the well-being of their residents. For more detailed information, please contact your association counsel.

Michael S. Bender, Esq., BCS, is a firm member of Kaye Bender Rembaum. For more information, call 800-974-0680, email info@KBRLegal.com, or visit KBRLegal.com.


Florida insurance costs continue to put a significant financial burden on communities, with fewer options to choose from in the tight marketplace. Community associations and property managers must prioritize these ongoing insurance challenges when making their annual disaster preparedness checklists.

Consider inviting insurance agents to discuss the current insurance landscape and recent regulatory and legislative actions taken that could positively impact our state. For instance, Florida regulators approved a plan that could transition certain condominium association policies from the state’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to the Condo Owners Reciprocal Exchange. During the annual Florida legislative session, a measure to help owners whose policies were transferred to Citizens from private insurers move back to other carriers was signed into law.

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These measures could create more competition, which in turn could lower rates. In the meantime, communities should review their existing policies and consult with experts to ensure they have the most costeffective and protective policies in place.

Roxana Dorigo is executive director of association finance. For more information on KW PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING, contact Roxana Dorigo at 305-476-9188, email rdorigo@kwpmc.com, or visit www.kwpmc.com.


I’ve become very familiar with the five phases of emergency management while living in Florida all my life— prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It’s important to have a proper plan and reliable vendors to help you properly manage emergency situations. We recommend an experienced insurance agent to ensure that you are fully covering your assets and exposed risks. Not only will they recommend policies to put in place for the protection of the association, but also assessors will suggest measures that will help reduce the effects of hazards. We have also learned that fully funding reserves and creating additional insurance investment accounts are of benefit to further prevent financial loss after a catastrophic event. Communities can prepare by taking advantage of Florida’s tax-free week for all things related to emergency preparedness, especially hurricane related. In a state of emergency, it’s important for boards to stick to their plan and to take advice from management or the designated response team in a timely manner in order to avoid additional losses. Based in Lee County, we have been proudly serving Florida for over 65 years.

Robyn Rocco is vice president at Landex Resorts International Inc. For more information call 239-369-5848 or visit www.landexresorts.com.


Post-hurricane recovery poses many challenges, including no energy, downed trees, debris everywhere, and no running water during high temperatures. Here are a few tips from an association manager.

Before storm season arrives, do an assessment of trees and trim where needed. Don’t forget about

drainage. Have ground staff walk all culverts to ensure the flow of water during and after the storm.

Prepare a work disaster supply kit—This includes water bottles for employees who are able to show up and assist in the cleanup effort. Pick up some snacks such as chips and chocolate. I also recommend extra batteries for walkie talkies, tools, and flashlights. If you don’t have a gas tank on your property, make sure to fill gas cans for the chainsaws.

Call your tree and roof vendors to ensure they are on standby for your association.

After the storm, check the county lift stations and request generators from the county if there is no power to the lift station(s).

Most importantly, make sure to give staff extra breaks from the heat and time off as they also suffered during the storm.

Sarah Metcalf, PCAM, CFCAM, CMCA, AMS, is the business manager for Pelican Cove Condominium Association, a 75-acre gated community along Little Sarasota Bay in Sarasota, Florida. The Cove has 731 homes within six informal neighborhoods. For more information, visit pelicancovecondo.com


Did you know the number of expected 2024 Atlantic-named storms is 23 of which 11 will become hurricanes? With that in mind, here are five ways to protect your condominium or HOA association.

• Communicate your hurricane plan to employees and residents

• Invest in storm shutters

• Protect vital records

• Have cash on hand

• Check your backup generator

The following reminders are important:

After a loss, be sure to take pictures, keep receipts, hire licensed and insured vendors, and report a claim as soon as possible.

If you haven’t checked your insurance policies, now is the time. Remember, flood insurance is not included in your homeowners’ or property insurance

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Celebrating 40Years

An Association property loss claim can become a complicated and time-consuming challenge for even the most experienced board and property manager. It can take them away from managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the community and can also sow discord and mistrust amongst community members. Add the technicalities of your insurance policy and the insurance co-negotiated settlement. At Tutwiler & Associates, we’ve been through the drill and understand the value of clear communication with the board and association members to set realistic expectations. And with recent Florida legislative changes, an insurance appraisal may be a path to a quicker settlement without litigation. Our experience handling condominium, apartment, and homeowner association claims in Florida is unmatched. We invite you to call us to discuss becoming part of your team.

Integrity Dedication Experience Results From disaster to recovery, count on Tutwiler & Associates for a successful resolution to your claim. 1-800-321-4488 Toll Free Available 24/7 www.PublicAdjuster.com Putting Policyholders First Since 1984 The Policyholder’s Champion
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policy. It could take 30 days for a flood policy to take effect.

Call us for a flood quote now!

Paige Gantt is Sales and Marketing Manager at Plastridge Insurance Agency. For more information, call us at 561-276-5221 or visit plastridge.com/hurricane-flood


Effective communication protocols are invaluable assets for board members and community association managers (CAMs) in disaster preparedness. Clear channels of communication can significantly save time, money, and anxiety before and after a disaster strikes. Before an event occurs, establishing communication systems that ensure swift dissemination of information to residents, emergency services, and relevant stakeholders can streamline response efforts and minimize confusion.

In addition, during the aftermath of a disaster, effective communication enables quick dissemination of critical updates regarding safety measures, recovery efforts, and available resources. By keeping all stakeholders informed and connected, board members and CAMs can reduce anxiety among residents, facilitate timely assistance, and expedite the restoration of normalcy. Ultimately, investing time and resources in establishing and maintaining clear communication channels can prove invaluable in safeguarding the well-being of the community during times of crisis.

Camille Moore is a creative

content writer for RealManage. For more information, email camille.moore@realmanage.com or visit www.realmanage.com.


Does your community’s board know what to do after a disaster? Associations should take steps to ensure timely and organized recovery efforts in the wake of a disaster. With the help of your community manager, you will need to quickly select quality vendors to ensure you can restore normalcy in your community as soon as possible.


Covenant enforcement

Covenant amendments

Contract review/negotiation

Collection of assessments

Meeting package preparation

Attendance at meetings

Legal counsel on all day-to-day operational decisions

Review and negotiation of loan/line of credit documents

General litigation

And more!


Turnover meetings

Review of turnover documents

Assisting in the selection and hiring of turnover auditors, engineers and other consultants

Chapter 558 inspections and procedures

Negotiating repair protocols

All aspects of state/federal litigation for construction warranty claims, from settlement negotiations through trial

16 June 2024 FLCAJ | www.fcapgroup.com
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After an extreme weather event, your community should identify potential physical risks to shared spaces, roads, and dwellings and outline action steps for community-vendor communication and recovery project coordination.

Community management companies like Sentry Management often offer vital recovery resources through vendor partner networks. For example, Sentry works with a vendor specializing in largescale construction projects, which can be onsite within as little as a day to assess the damage, provide estimates, work with your insurer, and develop a timeline to complete the work. Using a vendor partner to streamline post-disaster repair projects can help minimize disruptions and expedite recovery for your community.

Traci Lehman is the executive vice president of association management for Sentry Management. For more information, visit sentrymgt.com


Florida communities face heightened risks during hurricane season, emphasizing the importance of proactive measures. With lakes and stormwater ponds vulnerable, these four tips can help communities safeguard their aquatic assets.

Debris Management—Clear debris and trash from yards and streets to prevent blockages in storm drains, reducing flooding risks.

Equipment Safety—Shut off or remove non-essential electric equipment in lakes and ponds to prevent storm damage. Installing anemometers can automatically cut power during high winds.

Aeration Strategies—Combat fish kills, common during and after hurricanes, by maintaining oxygen levels with aeration systems.

Professional Inspection—Regular inspections can identify and address infrastructure issues before hurricanes strike, helping reduce potential damage.

Download our free guide for more information on how to protect your waterbody from storms and ensure its health and functionality post-storm.

To learn how SOLitude Lake Management can help you achieve clean, beautiful water, visit solitudelakemanagement.com or call 888-480-5253.


Don't wait for disaster to strike—insurance companies demand extensive documentation after a loss. This is where pre-loss planning comes into play. Professional adjusters are engaged before a loss to review your policy, conduct a property risk assessment, and document the condition of the property, as well as create a post-loss recovery plan with emphasis on having the documentation required to get your claim processed and paid. Tutwiler & Associates' Disaster First Recovery Program encompasses these services.

Calculating damages is only one part of the property claims adjusting dynamic. Insurance adjusting isn’t just estimating; it’s also investigating! From the insurance carrier’s perspective, they want to know

1) Is the loss covered?

2) Is there pre-existing damage?

3) What is the amount of loss?

These issues can be answered with proper record retention and documentation and can be presented in a timely and professional manner after a loss has occurred, provided you have the foresight to organize these materials. A proactive association board will reap the benefits of faster claims processing when disaster strikes.

Rick Tutwiler is president of Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters. For more information, call 800-321-4488 or visit www.publicadjuster.com


Disaster preparedness is crucial for homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to ensure the safety and security of their communities. With natural disasters becoming increasingly frequent and severe, HOAs must take proactive measures to protect their residents and property.

First, HOAs should develop comprehensive emergency plans tailored to their specific geographical risks, whether it’s hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, or floods. These plans should outline evacuation routes,

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emergency shelters, and communication strategies to keep residents informed during crises.

Second, regular maintenance and inspection of community infrastructure, such as drainage systems and buildings, can mitigate potential risks and prevent disasters before they occur.

Additionally, fostering a culture of preparedness among residents through education and training programs can empower them to take swift and appropriate action during emergencies.

By prioritizing disaster preparedness, HOAs can minimize the impact of disasters on their communities and ensure a safer environment for all residents.

Tara Tallaksen is a sales and marketing assistant for Vesta Property Services. For more information contact us at 877-988-3782 or visit VestaPropertyServices.com


When on vacation FORTIFY your home with the following:

F—Find a friend or relative to house sit for you. A trusted friend or relative can either house sit or check

on your premises from time to time.

O—Own a security system. The security system, complete with signs warning people that you have a system, will scare most criminals away.

R—Remember to stop your mail.

T—Take care of your yard. The idea is to make it look like someone is there. Hire a service or depend upon the friend or relative mentioned above or give everything a good trimming before your vacation.

I—Interior lights need to be burning at times throughout the day and night.

F—Focus on access. Be sure to lock doors and windows. Cut the garage power off so that someone cannot open your garage from another garage opener.

Y—Your social media should not broadcast your vacation. You are announcing “come get my stuff.”

Ron Allen is vice president of business development for Weiser Security Services. For more information, call 813-557-3565, email rona@weisersecurity.com, or visit www.weisersecurity.com n

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Is It Time to Amend and Restate Our Governing Documents? W

hen was the last time your board of directors sat down to review the governing documents of the association, including the declaration, the articles of incorporation, the bylaws, and the rules and regulations? Not only is it one of the first things every new board member should do, but it is a good practice for each board member to do on a regular basis. Good business practices suggest that the board consider asking legal counsel for the association to review the governing documents to provide recommendations for updating based upon case law and the current Florida Statutes. In addition, each of the governing documents needs to be consistent with the others, and often times there are embedded conflicts. Amending and restating the entirety of these documents will often

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Photo courtesy of Kaye Bender Rembaum

identify these problems so that they can be fixed once and for all.

Another positive benefit is that those rules which have been adopted over the years by the board of directors (or other committee vested with such authority) can be inserted into the declaration. Rules drafted into the declaration that have been duly approved by the membership have a much better chance of surviving a legal challenge. In other words, an owner fighting their association over a violation has a better chance of prevailing if they are fighting a board-adopted rule rather than a rule contained within the declaration that was voted on and approved by the membership.

Other reasons to consider revising the governing documents include conformance with current laws, revisiting the powers and authority of the board of directors, deleting obsolete provisions such as references to the developer and


Attorney Jeffrey Rembaum has considerable experience representing countless community associations that include condominium, homeowner, commercial, and cooperative associations throughout Florida. He is a board-certified specialist in condominium and planned development law and is a Florida Supreme Court circuit civil mediator. Every year since 2012 Mr. Rembaum has been inducted into the Florida Super Lawyers. He was twice awarded as a member of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. Kaye Bender Rembaum P.L. is devoted to the representation of community and commercial associations throughout Florida with offices in Palm Beach, Broward, Hillsborough, and Orange Counties (and Miami-Dade by appointment). For more information, visit kbrlegal.com

other developer obligations, tailoring the documents to the needs and the desires of the community, such as clarifying maintenance and repair responsibilities, and updating use restrictions regarding important topics such as vehicles, pets, architectural control, and more.

Updating the sales, lease, and transfer provisions could be worthwhile as well. Grounds for potential denial of an applicant could include lying on the application, a history of felony convictions or guilty pleas of crimes of moral turpitude, a history of financial irresponsibility, and even being a bad neighbor elsewhere. Oftentimes individuals (guests, family members, etc.) who are neither owners nor tenants are overlooked period. The declaration could

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provide a provision that anybody staying longer than 30 days must be considered a tenant and thus subjected to the same rules of approval as all other tenants.

Does your HOA charge a transfer fee? The authority needs to be within the declaration to avoid a potential legal challenge. Condominium associations remain limited to charging $150 per applicant, and spouses or parents and any dependent children are all considered one applicant, and condominium associations cannot charge the transfer fee or charge the tenant of an owner a security deposit unless such authority is set out within the declaration, articles, or bylaws.

As to new leasing restrictions, there are limitations for both condominium and homeowners’ associations that should be reviewed with legal counsel, as many such leasing amendments, even if duly approved by the owners, will only apply to those owners who vote in favor of the leasing amendment and those owners who acquired title to their home after the effective date of the amendment.

While an HOA can amend its governing documents to i) prohibit or regulate rental terms of less than six months and ii) can prohibit rental of a parcel more than three times in a calendar year, which amendments would apply to every member of the association, any other leasing restriction would only apply to those members who vote in favor of the restriction until such time as title to the property changes hands.

On the other hand, condominium association leasing amendments only apply to those owners who vote in favor of

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the leasing amendment when the amendment i) prohibits unit owners from renting their units for a period of time, ii) alters the duration of the rental term, or iii) specifies or limits the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specific time.

Through an amendment to the declaration, an HOA can clarify who is responsible to maintain, repair, and replace various improvements within the association; and condominium associations can clarify who is responsible to maintain, repair, and replace limited common elements as well as hurricane protection.

Maybe the vote of the members needed to approve the amended and restated governing documents is too high and should be lowered. This can be handled by presenting an amendment to the membership before presenting the draft amended and restated governing documents and thus

provide a better chance of achieving the necessary votes.

While the condominium association election regime is fully governed by Florida statute, the HOA’s election takes place, for the most part, by following the provisions set out in the governing documents. Therefore, the HOA election regime should be carefully reviewed and revised.

Regarding vacancies on the board, Florida law provides that an individual appointed to the board serves the remaining period of the unexpired term unless the bylaws provide otherwise. Perhaps instead of staying on the board through the end of the predecessor’s term, the bylaws could provide the appointed board member serves only until the next election. Staggered terms could be considered and/or altered as well.

The body of law surrounding Florida’s community associations is ever evolving. Each year the legislature passes new laws that seem to affect us all; or do they? “Does that legislation apply to our association?,” association lawyers are often asked. (Well, it certainly does if the declaration has global “Kaufman” language that is applicable to the entirety of the document. Global “Kaufman” language is a term used to describe a sentence, usually near the beginning of the declaration, that provides the entire declaration is subject to the Florida Statutes “as it is amended from time to time.” By careful inclusion of “Kaufman” language applicable to only carefully selected declaration provisions, an association can ensure it benefits from new legislative changes while perhaps not being subject to the more onerous legislative changes. Only detailed conversation with the association’s legal counsel will provide better clarity as to which new laws apply to your association and which laws may not.

The most important part of this process is to have detailed and productive conversations with your legal counsel regarding the entirety of the process. n

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It’s That Time of Year Again…Now What?

The snowbirds and spring breakers have all returned home. The weather is warmer, and the days are longer. The summer vacationers have not yet arrived but will soon be here. Unfortunately, this also signifies the potential arrival of a dreaded and uninvited guest: a hurricane. While hurricanes are unpleasant, as with many things in life, a little preplanning can go a long way. The time to evaluate, prepare, and plan is now before the season is firmly upon us.

I have read the following quote many times from

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/oporkka

different sources: Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Few things punch harder or cause more damage than a hurricane. It is very likely that there will be property damage. How much or how little is to be determined. However, by preparing in advance, you can hopefully minimize some of the damage and simplify the process for recovery after the storm has passed.

While there are no storms on the horizon, now is the time to begin your preparations. What should those preparations include? Associations and owners should take photographs (time/date stamped) and video of the lot, the unit, any structures, the common areas, personal property, etc. These photos/videos can then be used in the event of damage and when filing a claim. Clearly


Brandon R. McDowell is a senior attorney in Becker’s community association practice. He provides legal counsel across the entire spectrum of community associations, encompassing condominiums, cooperatives, timeshares, and homeowners’ associations. In addition to aiding in the day-to-day management and governance of these communities, he assists boards of directors, unit owners, and association managers in analyzing and resolving complex contractual and transactional disputes.

Mr. McDowell also handles residential real estate transactions and construction litigation matters, including issues involving construction contracts and liens, general real estate matters, developer-related issues, and landlord/tenant matters in arbitration, state court, and federal court.

Before joining Becker, Mr. McDowell was a managing attorney in the Orlando office of a multi-state law firm, where he practiced all aspects of litigation.

For more information call 407-875-0955, email bmcdowell@beckerlawyers.com, or visit www.beckerlawyers.com.

showing the insurance company the condition of your property prestorm can help shorten negotiation/litigation with the insurer as to what should be paid on the policy following the storm damage. The preparations should also include a review of your contracts, a review of your insurance policies, and a disaster plan. Each of these topics is discussed in further detail below.

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While there are no storms on the horizon, now is the time to begin your preparations… Associations and owners should take photographs (time/date stamped) and video of the lot, the unit, any structures, the common areas, personal property, etc.


Hopefully, any contract that your association has entered into was reviewed by the association’s counsel. Now is the time to dust off these contracts and “rereview” to determine what services are provided.

a) Management Contract—What extraordinary relief services are provided by your management company? Will the management company oversee repair projects? Does the management contract obligate the association to use its manager in this capacity? Are there additional costs associated with the same?

b) Landscaping Contract—What preventive services can be provided prestorm (i.e., tree trimming, staking of trees, etc.)? Is there an additional cost associated with this? When can these services be performed? If the services are scheduled, can the schedule be altered and the services provided sooner? What cleanup services will be provided post-storm? What is the time frame for the post-storm cleanup?

c) Security Contract—What relief services will be provided pre- and poststorm? How soon after the storm passes will the association have security personnel in place? What does the contract say with regard to allowing security personnel to leave when a storm warning has been issued?

d) Elevator Contract—What preventive services can be provided pre-storm? What relief services will be provided post-storm? What about a generator? If

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the association has a generator, does the association have a generator service contract? Who will man the generator to ensure it remains running? If the association does not have a generator for its elevators, what arrangements has the association made in the event the power is out and residents cannot use the elevators?

e) Additional / Miscellaneous Contracts— If the association has electronic gates, is there a service contract for them? If so, what does the contract state regarding securing those gates during a storm? What about manual overrides if there is no power? How about construction that may already be underway in the community? If there is ongoing construction, those contracts should require the builder/ contractor to secure all materials in advance of a storm. The same is true of securing dumpsters and/ or other trash/recycling receptacles.


Associations and owners alike need to confirm that their insurance premiums have been paid and their policies are up to date. Associations and owners need to have copies of those policies on hand (electronic and hard copy are recommended) and understand what the policy limits are as well as the deductibles. It is also highly recommended that both associations and owners speak with their agent and have their agent explain any exclusions under the policy. It is also important to understand how to file a claim. The Condominium Act

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Associations and owners alike need to confirm that their insurance premiums have been paid and their policies are up to date. Associations and owners need to have copies of those policies on hand (electronic and hard copy are recommended) and understand what the policy limits are as well as the deductibles.

provides that it is the unit owner’s responsibility to insure the following items (“unit owner list”) against casualty: ceiling, floor, and wall coverings; appliances; water heaters and water filters; built-in cabinets and countertops; electrical fixtures; personal furnishings/property; window treatments; and all improvements or upgrades the owner makes to the unit.


It is recommended that the association prepare a disaster plan that documents and incorporates important information in a written instrument that may be distributed to all owners. Examples of information to be included are as follows: emer-

gency phone numbers (i.e., fire rescue, police/sheriff, electric company, animal shelters, local hurricane shelters, hospitals, etc.) as well as each of the directors’ phone numbers and the property manager. The plan may include a list of pre-planning activities such as gathering canned food, water, prescription medications, first aid kits, battery-operated radios, flashlights, candles, and other supplies; identifying a safe evacuation route; helping elderly and/or disabled residents; removing personal items from porches and balconies; parking/storing vehicles; etc.

The day-to-day operation of most associations is a largely documentdriven affair. In order to ensure that the association can function post-storm, it is recommended that those documents be secured prior to the storm and maintained in a readily accessible format. While it’s great (and often required) that the documents be available via the association’s website, what happens if there is an extended power outage/limited internet connection? As such, it is recommended that documents be scanned and uploaded to secure internet storage/cloud storage as well as printed. The printed copies should be placed in watertight containers and then secured in a fireproof container. What documents should be included? We recommend (at a minimum) that the following be secured: all governing documents, insurance policies, financial records (including bank account information along with signatory information), contracts, community plat, any plans/specifications for the community, and resident lists (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) as well as any employee records.

In addition to the contracts listed above, it is also highly recommended that lists with contact information for all professional vendors be created and secured. Such vendors include the attorney, insurance agent, management company, engineers, contractors, pool company, landscaper(s), elevator company, etc.

Further, it is also recommended that a list of vital equipment be created and secured. Such equipment includes location of shutoff valves, location of water lines and cutoffs, electrical main circuits, gas lines and cutoffs, sewer clean-outs, etc. Any emergency equipment (i.e., fire extinguishers, defibrillators, etc.) should also be noted.

As part of the disaster plan, the association should also have a process in place for securing facilities such as the pool. For example, the association needs to ensure that any common areas are secured, the electronic gates are secured, the pool and spa have been prepared, and the pool furniture has been stored. This is also a great time to remind owners of their obligations (i.e. removing furniture and other items from their balconies, closing their shutters, etc.).

For condominium associations, the law requires that hurricane shutter specifications detailing the type, color, and size of hurricane shutters (or other hurricane protection) that unit owners may install be adopted. If those have not been adopted, now would be the time to do so.


While this article is focused on pre-storm preparations, it is important to note that after the storm, the association should contact its attorney as well as its insurance agent as soon as it is safe to do. Many associations become immediately inundated with offers from contractors, roofers, disaster-related companies, and adjusters. As the association, you should not sign any contract and/or settle any claim without your counsel’s involvement. n

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5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR CONDO OR HOA ASSOCIATION Communicate your Hurricane plan to employees and residents Invest in storm shutters Protect vital records Have cash on hand Check backup generator T I P S O N H H U R R I C A N E U R R I C A N E P R E P A R E D N E S S P R E P A R E D N E S S Call us for a Flood quote now. 561.276.5221 Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to advise you on your insurance coverages, and offer some tips on preparing for any upcoming storms. 561.276.5221 plastridge.com/hurricane-flood A message from Plastridge Insurance Agency THE NUMBER OF EXPECTED 2024 ATLANTIC NAMED STORMS IS 24 24 OF WHICH 11 WILL BECOME HURRICANES DID YOU KNOW? REMINDERS: After a loss, be sure to take pictures, keep receipts, hire licensed and insured vendors, and report a claim as soon as possible. If you haven't checked your insurance policies, now is the time Remember, Flood Insurance is not included in your Homeowners or Property insurance policy It could take 30 days for a Flood policy to take effect.

Weathering the Storm: New Legislation Offers Mitigation Assistance to Florida Condominiums


very year between the months of June and November, residents all over the Sunshine State brace themselves for hurricane season. Florida condominium owners have recently been left with sticker shock by high property insurance premiums and have thus far been left out of certain mitigation programs providing inspections and grants previously available to single-family homeowners. However, with the passage of HB 1029, this type of government mitigation assistance has been extended to Florida condominiums that manage to qualify for its benefits.

Beginning July 1, 2024, eligible condominium associations across Florida and within 15 miles inward of the coastline will be able to participate in the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program (the

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MSFCP Program). The MSFCP Program mimics the My Safe Florida Home Program, which was established in 2006 within the Department of Financial Services (the Department) to perform mitigation inspections of residential properties and provide mitigation grants to eligible applicants. The new program allows eligible condominium associations to apply for hurricane mitigation inspections and grants towards the installation of improvements that alleviate risk, such as impact windows and roof waterproofing, for example, to help associations avoid potential structural damage.

While the program’s inspections will be relatively straightforward for eligible associations to obtain, obtaining a grant for improvements is another matter


Jonathan Goldstein is partner and co-chair of the condominium and HOA practice group for Haber Law, and Natalie Alonso is a junior associate at Haber Law.

Haber Law is a law firm based in Miami, Florida, that specializes in complex business litigation, construction law, real estate, finance, transactional law, and condominium association and HOA law. The Firm is committed to its core values of integrity, service, dedication, innovation, diversity, and success. For more information, visit www.haber.law.

because the approval requirements depend on the nature of improvements sought. Since funding and availability are not a given and are dependent on the level of appropriations to the program, associations should be strategic in their attempt to partake in the benefits.


The program enables condominium associations to undergo hurricane mitigation inspections provided at the program’s expense. At a minimum,

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the inspections must include (1) a complete inspection of the property and a subsequent report that identifies and summarizes recommended improvements that the association may take to mitigate hurricane damage; (2) a range of cost estimates regarding the recommended mitigation improvements; and, (3) information regarding estimated insurance premium discounts, based upon existing mitigation features and the recommended improvements identified.

As part of the inspection application, the president of the board must submit a signed or

electronically verified statement confirming that the association has only submitted one application for each property that the association operates or maintains. If an inspection application lacks certain information, the Department can ask an applicant for additional information. If the Department does not receive a response from the association regarding any apparent errors or omissions in the application within 60 days, the application is deemed withdrawn.

To facilitate the program, the Department is authorized to contract with wind certification entities to provide hurricane mitigation inspections. The legislation indicates mandatory qualifications and other criteria in order for a wind certification entity to qualify for selection by the Department. These criteria include, without limitation, professional licensing qualifications; use of inspectors who have undergone drug testing, background screening, and fingerprinting; and, a quality assurance program including a reinspection component.


Once the inspection process is over, eligible associations can receive financial grants to make improvements based on the recommendations from the hurricane mitigation inspection reports. Generally, for every $1.00 that an association spends, the state will spend $2.00. The association cannot use a mitigation grant to implement the same type of improvements previously installed or pay a deductible for pending insurance claims for property damage for which the grant is being received.

If recommended by a hurricane mitigation inspection report, grants may be used for the following improvements (limited to 50 percent of the cost of a project and a maximum of $175,000 per association):

• Opening protection, including exterior doors and garage doors;

• Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections;

• Improving the strength of roof-deck attachments; and,

• Secondary water resistance for a roof.

There are, however, specific allocation requirements for both roofing and opening protection projects. Roofing projects will be funded at $11.00 per square foot times the square feet of the replacement roof and are capped at $1,000 per unit. The pilot program will provide a maximum contribution of 50 percent of the project. Opening protection projects, on the other hand, have a maximum contribution of $750 per window or door replacement (not to exceed $1,500 per unit) and a maximum contribution of 50 percent of the project.

In order to apply for a mitigation grant, an association must include the following information:

• A signed or electronically verified statement made under penalty of perjury by the president of the board of directors that the association has submitted only a single application for each property that the association operates or maintains;

• A notarized statement from the president of the board containing the name and license number of each contractor that the association intends to use for the mitigation project; and,

• A notarized statement from the president of the board that commits to the Department that the association will complete the mitigation improvements.

If an application lacks certain information, the Department can ask an

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applicant for additional information. If the Department does not receive a response from the association regarding any apparent errors or omissions in the application within 60 days, the application is deemed withdrawn.

If an association is awarded a grant, they must complete the entire mitigation project within one year after receiving grant approval in order to receive the final grant award. In addition, the association must agree to make the property available for a final inspection once the mitigation project is complete to ensure compliance with the MSFCP Program or the Florida Building Code requirements.

If improvements to protect the property already comply with the building code that was applicable at the time it was installed, the association may only use a mitigation grant to install improvements that (1) comply with or exceed the applicable code in effect when the association applied for the grant; and, (2) provide more hurricane protection than the association previously installed.

Lastly, an association is allowed to select its own contractors to complete the mitigation project as long as each contractor meets all legal qualifications, certifications, or licensing requirements. In addition, the mitigation project must be performed by licensed contractors who have secured all required local permits necessary for the project.


In order to apply for a grant or inspection under the program, an association must (1) receive approval of a majority vote of the board of directors or

total voting interest of the association and (2) provide mandatory disclosures to all unit owners regarding the pilot program. While most associations would prefer to go the route of board approval given the relative ease with which a board can approve the application versus the difficulty of obtaining a membership vote, voting is only allowed to take place at either an annual budget meeting or at a unit owner meeting that is called for the purpose of the vote, creating a possible timing issue depending on the timing of the annual budget meeting.

Before the vote can take place, however, the association is required to provide unit owners with a clear disclosure of the MSFCP Program using a form created by the Department. In addition, the president and treasurer of the board must sign the disclosure form and indicate that a copy of the form was provided to each unit owner of the association. Following signature by the president and treasurer, the association must maintain the signed disclosure form as part of the official records of the association. Within 14 days after an affirmative vote, the association must provide all unit owners with written notice of the decision to participate in the MSFCP Program. Written notice must be provided in the same official manner that is required under Section 718.112(2)(d), Florida Statutes, (mail, hand delivery, and/or email with consent from the owner to email as official notice).

If an association decides to apply for a grant for mitigation improvements to one or more of the units within the condominium, the association is not only required to receive approval from a majority of the board or total voting interest of the association but must also receive a unanimous vote of all unit owners within the structure or building that is subject to the mitigation grant. Notably, this unanimous vote requirement ONLY applies to improvements to units, as opposed to common elements, which will discourage improvements to windows and doors that are part of a unit (especially in high rises where unanimous approval is impractical if not impossible).

Unit owners are only allowed to participate through a mitigation grant by the association. They are not allowed to individually apply or participate in the program.

Although the program won’t become effective until July 1, 2024, associations and managers should check with legal counsel regarding these changes and institute measures for timely submissions in order to take advantage of its benefits. n


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Understanding Community Association Security Measures and Liabilities

Arecent article from the Community Associations Institute in the organization’s excellent Ungated blog at https://blog.caionline.org focused on important security and liability issues for associations. It discussed how communities can be exposed to legal liabilities for negligent security and crimes occurring on association property.

The article’s recommendations were culled from discussions with attorneys and panelists at CAI’s Community Association Law Seminar in Las Vegas in February. One of their primary recommendations was for directors to understand how the installation of cameras creates a perception that the association is actively monitoring them at all times.

The experts also advise associations to avoid using such terms as

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/krblokhin

“security gates,” “security cameras,” or “security guards” as they can create misperceptions. Instead, they suggest using more appropriate terms like access gates, cameras, attendants, and concierges.

The panelists also focused on the significance of requests and feedback from residents. If owners are asking for security measures such as better lighting, gates, cameras, etc., then boards of directors should act on those requests by adding them to meeting agendas for discussion and perhaps requesting quotes from vendors. If such input from the residents is ignored, it could potentially expose the association to liability if an incident were to occur.

For those associations that are acting on their security concerns and implementing such measures as cameras or automatic license plate readers, the attorneys advise that written notice should be sent to all owners and residents explaining their purpose and including the appropriate legal disclaimers. They also suggest posting signs to make it clear that cameras and license plate readers are not being actively monitored, if that is indeed the case.

The discussions also touched on the significance of maintaining all


Laura Manning-Hudson is the managing shareholder of the West Palm Beach office of the law firm of Siegfried Rivera. She is board certified as an expert in community association law by the Florida Bar and is one of the firm’s most prolific contributors to its Newsroom blog at www.SiegfriedRivera. com/blog. The firm also maintains offices in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and its attorneys focus on real estate, community association, construction, and insurance law. For more information, visit www.SiegfriedRivera.com, email LManning@SiegfriedRivera.com, or call 561-296-5444.

doors, gates, locks, and other common-area features in proper working order. They emphasized that associations must be diligent in their implementation of proper maintenance and repairs. If any doors, gates, locks, or other common area features are temporarily out of service, residents should be notified, and records should be maintained regarding all the remediation efforts undertaken by the association.

The experts agreed that one of the important steps that associations can take to avoid liability is to amend the covenants to add an exculpatory clause. These contractual provisions state that the association is not a security provider, and the owners are responsible for their own security measures. They note that such clauses help to eliminate liability and are generally enforceable in the absence of willful or wanton misconduct.

The experts also highly recommended that associations acquire and maintain adequate insurance coverage, including commercial general liability as well as directors and officers liability policies.

This seminar and other events from CAI held across the country are very important for all the professionals and volunteers who serve associations. We highly recommend involvement and participation in the industry’s preeminent organization, and we also suggest visiting its Ungated blog and subscribing to receive all its future articles via email. n

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Hey, You’re My Lawyer, Too!

Tales of Misinformed Unit Owners

Most community association attorneys have been scolded by unit owners more than once when an owner claims, “I pay your bills, you work for me!” or, “You can’t sue me, I am a member of this association! You have a conflict of interest!” Even though attorneys at the receiving end of such comments are usually prepared to explain that the association’s legal counsel represents the corporate entity and answers to the board of directors, not the unit owners, there remain some who simply cannot (or will not) acknowledge this reality.

In a recent appellate court decision from the Florida Third

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/AmnajKhetsamtip

District Court of Appeals (the court that hears appeals from trial courts in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties), the court explicitly held that an association attorney owes no duty to unit owners.

A unit owner filed suit against the association’s attorney, alleging that the attorney improperly counseled the board of directors about how something might be accomplished without needing a vote of the owners. The owner alleged that it was improper for the attorney to provide advice that would cut them out of the decision-making. The trial court dismissed the unit owner’s claim against the attorney, and the unit owner appealed.

On appeal, the court held the association’s general counsel had a contractual fiduciary relationship with the association’s board which did not extend to the individual unit owners “who can and often do have interests adverse to the interests of the board.” The court relied on another case where it was held “[W]here an attorney represents a closely held corporation, the attorney is not in privity with and therefore owes no separate duty of diligence and care to an individual shareholder absent special circumstances or an agreement to also represent the shareholder individually.”

Will this case end owners’ claims that the association’s attorney needs to consider the interests of each of the many divergent owners’ interests in an association when providing legal counsel to the board and finally put that argument to rest? Probably not, but it is important that yet another Florida court has clarified the issue. n

Keith F. Backer, Esq., is a partner of Poliakoff & Backer, a law firm serving community associations in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The Firm was founded by Mr. Backer, a Florida Bar board-certified specialist in condominium and planned development law with more than 35 years of legal experience in Florida. The law firm was created to provide community associations with the highest quality legal services with a degree of personal attention often difficult to obtain at larger firms. For more information on Poliakoff & Backer, call 800-251-3562, email kbacker@bapflaw.com, or visit www.bapflaw.com

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Duty to Warn?


Must your Florida association protect a trespasser from harm? What about the guest of an owner?

Whether there is a repair obligation, or even a duty to warn, may depend on whether there is a danger; and if so, whether the danger is open and obvious to ordinary observation.

A Florida appellate court recently ruled that a landowner did not owe a duty to warn that a concrete driveway was cracked and was elevated. The facts in Norris v. Rodriguez, 49 Fla. L. Weekly D 67 (Fla. 2nd DCA, December 29, 2023), show that Norris walked across the street from her boyfriend’s house at night and crossed over Rodriguez’ property to access a public sidewalk. Norris tripped over the corner of the apron of Rodriguez’s driveway where the concrete was broken and fell.

Norris sued Rodriguez for her injuries resulting from the fall. Norris was

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/ottoblotto



Michael J. Gelfand, Esq., the senior partner of Gelfand & Arpe, P.A., emphasizes a community association law practice, counseling associations and owners how to set legitimate goals and effectively achieve those goals. Gelfand is a dual Florida Bar board-certified lawyer in condominium and planned development law and in real estate law, a certified circuit and county civil court mediator, a homeowners’ association mediator, an arbitrator, and parliamentarian. He is a past chair of the Real Property Division of the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, and a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Contact him at ga@gelfandarpe.com or 561-655-6224.

not an owner of a residence there, and she was not a guest of another owner. Instead, Norris alleged that she was what is referred to as a “public invitee,” and she claimed that as a result Rodriguez owed her a duty to warn of the danger that Rodriguez’s driveway posed. Preventing a trial, the trial court granted a summary judgment for Rodriguez finding that Rodriguez did not owe a duty to warn of an open and obvious danger because Norris was an “uninvited licensee” when she walked over Rodriguez’s driveway.

The Florida appellate court agreed with the decision in favor of landowner Rodriguez. Defining Norris’s status, the appellate court explained that in Florida a visitor on private property is either a trespasser, licensee, or invitee.

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The appellate court further explained that an “uninvited licensee” is neither a “public invitee,” who “is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land as a member of the public for a purpose for which the land is held open to the public,” nor a trespasser, but something in between. Narrowing the explanation, Norris was an uninvited licensee because the owner permitted and tolerated her presence, but her presence was not sought nor forbidden.

In this in-between status, the only duty that Rodriguez owed to Norris was to warn of dangers that are not open and obvious. The owner, in a role similar to a Florida community association, was explained by the court as “to refrain from intentionally exposing him to danger, and to warn him of a defect or condition known to the landowners to be dangerous when such danger is not open to ordinary observation by the licensee.”

In short, this duty that will also be imposed on many Florida community associations with persons walking or driving across the property without invitation is in two parts: first, not to intentionally create a danger; and second, to warn of known dangers that are not ordinarily observable by the person.

Applying this test to Norris’s claim, the court reasoned that the condition of the broken corner of the driveway was open and obvious; thus, Rodriguez did not have a duty to warn uninvited licensees, such as Norris.

Florida community associations, as landowners or as they directly administer common elements, should be prepared to owe a duty of care to people who walk or otherwise enter the community. As this decision shows us, the type of duty owed will depend on who owns or controls

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the property, and then whether the person is a trespasser, licensee, or invitee; and if an invitee, whether a public invitee or an uninvited licensee.

The bottom line for Florida community associations, as a practical matter, is to maintain their property and property they directly administer, to properly repair that property, and to provide warnings when there is a danger and it is not reasonable to immediately repair. However, the association should always maintain its property in a safe condition and warn others of any concealed dangers!


Now that we live in the age of social media, what can you do if an association member continually attacks you online instead of the old-fashioned way of in person? Do you go to court for an injunction to stop the bad behavior?

Harkening back to the children’s rhyme of “sticks and stones,” especially when combined with the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment right of free speech,

can a court prohibit someone from writing about you?

A Florida appellate court recently had to balance Constitutional rights and the so-called right to be left alone. The facts in Budlove v. Johnson, 49 Fla. L. Weekly D 50 (Fla. 2nd DCA, December 29, 2023), reflect that the trial court issued a final judgment in 2022 terminating Budlove’s parental rights regarding her biological child. During that case Budlove was ordered to refrain from contacting certain individuals or posting certain information online. Nonetheless, Budlove continued to post items online regarding the dependency case.

Five individuals filed petitions for injunction against Budlove for stalking, claiming Budlove was harassing and cyberstalking them. The trial court granted five petitions for injunction against Budlove for stalking. The order stated:

[Budlove] shall not post on social media about case [redacted], includ[ing] but not limited to case managers, parties, and other minor children to [the] case. Anything already posted on social media about case #[redacted] shall be removed.

Budlove argued that the prohibitions against her were unconstitutional prior restraints on speech.

The Florida appellate court agreed that in general injunctions were proper but found that the extent of the restraint on Budlove was improper because the injunctions were overbroad and impermissibly infringed constitutionally protected free speech. While enjoining speech to the claimants is one thing, prohibiting “communications to” others about an individual are usually unlawful prior restraints.

So how does a community deal with mean communications? This decision does not permit a person to make defamatory communications or commercially damaging communications without impunity. An additional aspect of the decision was that the injunction prohibited communication before the communication was made. After a defamatory or damaging communication, damages in the form of money may be recoverable. Of course, if a communication is threatening, then that is another issue altogether and may be in the realm of the criminal courts. n

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Community Community

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 31 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/ .



I’m happy to share our board president has been watching your videos and may come with me this year for the Summit. The last couple of years have been at a breakneck pace for our building—high-traffic rentals and a 43-year-old building with all kinds of deferred maintenance, storm damage, concrete restoration, a new roof, flooded units, a new water system, a generator, etc.

Needless to say, the owners are weary and unhappy, which has resulted in a lengthy records inspection request, including emails, regarding the concrete restoration project. Do I have to print out a year’s worth of emails?

- Jennifer


You’ve been busy! I can imagine how upset/angry the owners are. They don’t understand that a bunch of records requests slows down the progress. Be sure you have taken advantage of the statutory option of creating policies for owners’ requests and inquiries and use the Division of Condominiums sample request form.

Yes, emails are considered “written records” and are available in a request for access. I don’t know how you provide access to emails in an access to records request. My thought is to use your email “search” for relevant subjects, move those emails into a new email folder, and download the folder to a thumb drive.

In a request to access records, remember it is “access.” You are under no obligation to print out anything or email anything. The original intent was for the owner to come to where the records are located and make their own copies or pay for you to make copies.

- Betsy


Thank you for your YouTube videos; they were so helpful in helping me pass the CAM license exam. We spoke a few weeks ago on the phone, and

you were so encouraging. I passed the State exam on Friday and received my license yesterday.

Today I have been on Indeed looking for job openings. However, almost every job requires experience. I have 30 years of selfemployment business experience but zero CAM experience.

Do you have any suggestions for how to get my first CAM job without experience? Where should I apply?

- Brett Brett, You need to network. Join as many of the local, state, and national CAM organizations as you can; go to their meetings; and get involved.

You’ll want to take advantage of all the trade shows this time of year. Each Florida CAI chapter will have one as well as other companies that sponsor shows all around the state.

Also, you likely have relatable prior work skills that can be highlighted on a resume. Resumes in today’s world are tailored for each position you apply for. Gone are the days of putting on the resume every job you’ve ever had. Instead, list your skills.

Check out the resume tips on www.condojobs.com. Also, read the advertisements and use some of the skills/qualities they are asking for and craft them into your resume.

- Betsy

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Betsy Barbieux


I’m not lazy, but I looked for the statute addressing voter rules if the owner owns more than one unit. Common sense would be a vote for each unit owned— two units equals two votes. Could you direct me to that statute?

- Jeff


It should say in your declaration or bylaws that each UNIT gets one vote. Likely you won’t find anything in the statutes. Some documents spell out voting by square footage percentages.

Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel, CAM Matters? Each show is full of useful information for you at www.youtube.com/c/cammatters

- Betsy


Do you also have the statute number that states nonprofits cannot have reserve funds?

- Becca


I’m assuming you’re asking this question because you think our community associations are nonprofit organizations. They are not.

We are governed under Chapter 617 and are Florida Not for Profit Corporations, which means we are a group of people with a common interest. We have nothing to do with the IRS 501(c)3 charitable organization, rules, and regulations. There is no financial reporting or restrictions or list of donors that must be provided to the IRS.

All our communities are required to do is prepare and file an income tax return every year using Form 1120 or Form 1120 H.

Our corporations are also governed under either Chapter 718, Chapter 719, or Chapter 720. All three of those statutes address the mandatory component of reserve savings and lay out the mandatory calculation formula for how much to save each year for replacement of the roofing, paving, painting, and anything that costs more than $10,000 to repair or replace.

Our associations may earn as much money as they wish, and they can keep as much money as they wish other than as provided in their governing documents.

Check out my YouTube channel, CAM Matters. You’ll find a show on corporations and another one on financial management that should offer a more thorough explanation. Be sure you and all your board members are subscribed so that you never miss a monthly show.

- Betsy


Hotwire Communications

FCAP Education Program Coordinator

Imagine yourself as a local legend, the hero of your domain—the community association manager (CAM). You’re the one residents turn to for everything, from deciphering arcane HOA bylaws to mediating the occasional noise complaint. You’re the glue that holds the community together, the tireless champion ensuring everyone feels safe, happy, and at home.

But even superheroes need a sidekick, and that’s where artificial intelligence (AI) swoops in. Forget capes and tights—AI brings a utility belt packed with cutting-edge tools designed to make your life (and your residents’ lives) a whole lot easier. Here at Gemini (Google’s AI chatbot), we’re passionate about empowering CAMs with the latest AI advancements, so let’s explore how AI can become your ultimate partner in building a thriving community.


Remember those days spent

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drowning in a sea of resident inquiries and paperwork?

AI-powered chatbots can now be your friendly neighborhood virtual assistants, handling frequently asked questions (FAQs) and fielding basic requests 24/7. Picture this—a resident has a question about trash pickup schedules, and bam! The AI chatbot handles it with ease, freeing you up to tackle more complex issues or strategize ways to improve the community.

For instance, there are so many tools like ManyChat or Salesforce Bots. These AI-powered chatbots can be seamlessly integrated with your existing communication platforms, allowing residents to submit maintenance requests (like reporting a flickering light bulb), schedule amenity usage (like reserving the clubhouse for a party), or even pay dues—all through a convenient chat interface.

Speaking of tackling complexity, AI can also become your financial whiz kid. Say goodbye to spreadsheets that resemble hieroglyphics and hello to smart AI-powered tools such as Buildium or Yardi Voyager. These tools can analyze vast amounts of data on resident payments, utility costs, and maintenance expenses. They can sniff out financial trends, and even predict future expenses with uncanny accuracy. Now you can create a budget that would make Scrooge McDuck proud and impress everyone with your financial foresight (thanks, AI!).

Imagine using a tool like Gemini, a large language model from Google AI, to analyze past financial data and resident trends. Gemini can help you

forecast, allowing you to adjust budgets for utilities and maintenance staff accordingly and create announcements, emails, and newsletters. This proactive approach ensures you have the resources you need to keep your community running smoothly.


Ever wished you could predict a broken sprinkler before it turned the dog park into a mud bath? AI-powered predictive maintenance can do just that! By analyzing data patterns in equipment usage (like water pressure and flow rates) and environmental factors (like temperature and humidity), AI can identify when equipment needs a tune-up and prevent problems before they arise. Think of it as a crystal ball for your maintenance crew—less downtime, more preventive measures, and a whole lot less explaining to a grumpy resident whose prize-winning roses are now underwater.

Tools can be implemented to monitor equipment health and building automation. Sensors placed on pool equipment can detect abnormal vibrations, and the AI system can send an alert to the maintenance crew for a potential pump issue before it leads to a costly breakdown.

Speaking of safety, AI can also be your security shield. Imagine surveillance cameras that not only record but also analyze footage in real time, alerting you to suspicious activity. These AI-powered systems can even recognize patterns and anomalies, differentiating between a harmless squirrel and a potential intruder. Plus, AI-powered access control systems keep unwanted visitors at bay, ensuring your community remains a haven of peace.

AI-powered security systems can be integrated into your community. These systems can utilize facial recognition to identify known trespassers and alert security personnel, ensuring the safety and security of your residents.


AI isn’t just about automation; it’s about unlocking a plethora of data about your residents and the community as a whole. By analyzing resident interactions with the community website, surveys, and emails, AI can help you understand your community on a deeper level. Imagine having a resident whisperer on your team—you’ll be able to tailor services and communications to each resident’s needs and preferences, making them feel truly valued.


The world of property management is constantly evolving, and AI is here to help you stay ahead of the curve. By embracing AI, you’ll not only streamline operations but also create a more vibrant and enjoyable experience for your residents.

So, ditch the cape—AI is here to be your partner in building a thriving community. With AI as your sidekick, you can unlock a world of possibilities, create a more efficient future, and keep your residents smiling. Remember, it’s not about replacing your superpowers, it’s about amplifying them and making you an even more awesome CAM! n

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A Preparing for Hurricane Season

s the Florida summer approaches, so does the Florida hurricane season! These powerful storms can cause widespread destruction, from flooding and power outages to property damage and loss of life. However, with proper preparation individuals and communities can minimize the impact of these disasters. Here are some tips to be ready for hurricane season.


Develop a comprehensive emergency plan for your household and/or community. This plan should include evacuation routes, designated

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/Javier_Art_Photography

meeting points, contact information for emergency services, and a communication strategy for staying in touch with family and/or community staff/board members during and after the storm. This plan should be communicated to the community as well via eblast.


Stock up on essential supplies well before a hurricane threatens your area. This includes nonperishable food items, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, and important documents (such as insurance policies, identification, community maps, etc.). You don’t have to wait until hurricane season has arrived to stock up on supplies! Don’t forget to include supplies for pets as well.


Take steps to protect your home and/or community amenities/building/common areas


Eddie has been a licensed Florida community association manager for over 15 years with experience managing both homeowner and condominium associations throughout Central Florida, specializing in on-site managed communities. Eddie’s background in operations and management stems from several years as an operations manager for an Orlando-based country club. Eddie’s responsibilities include overseeing, training, and mentoring community association managers. Eddie is also the point of contact and a resource for our CAMs who manage communities with construction defects. For more information, call 407-258-4550, email evargas@lelandmanagement.com, or visit www.lelandmanagement.com

windows, reinforcing garage doors, trimming trees and bushes, and securing outdoor furniture and objects that could become projectiles in high winds. Vendors are an important part of this process; the hurricane preparation discussion starts months before hurricane season, especially for large communities.


Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage for potential hurricane damage. This step should take place before the renewal period, and do not hesitate to ask the insurance representative to explain the policy in layman’s terms so that you and the board of directors fully understand the coverages. Keep copies of your policies and other important documents in a waterproof container.


Stay informed about developing weather conditions by monitoring updates from reliable sources such as the National Hurricane Center,

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local news outlets, and official government agencies. Sign up for emergency alerts and follow any evacuation orders issued by authorities. Send eblasts to the community urging them to begin preparations and providing helpful tips and information. On-site managed communities should also have this information readily available at the clubhouse for homeowners.


If evacuation becomes necessary, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and has a full tank of gas. Keep emergency supplies in your car, including a flashlight, blankets, water, and nonperishable snacks. Plan your evacuation route in advance and have alternate routes in case of road closures. This is of the utmost importance for the coastal communities!


Back up important electronic data and store copies in

a safe, off-site location or in the cloud. This includes vital documents, photographs, and any other irreplaceable digital assets. Consider investing in a waterproof and fireproof safe for physical copies of important documents. Mini drives also come in handy as they are not large, can be kept safe easily, and have storage capabilities up to one terabyte.


Reach out to elderly relatives, neighbors, and individuals with disabilities to ensure they have a plan in place and access to necessary resources. Offer assistance with preparations or evacuation if needed. A list of storm shelters will come in handy as well so that the information can be provided to the vulnerable individuals.


Hurricanes often cause widespread power outages that can last for days or even weeks. Invest in a portable generator and familiarize yourself with its safe operation. Stock up on fuel and consider purchasing a power bank or solar charger to keep essential devices charged. As a reminder, please do not wait until the hurricane warning is issued to go and purchase a portable generator; please plan ahead!


Despite thorough preparation, hurricanes can be unpredictable. Stay calm, follow your emergency plan, and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances. Keep a positive attitude and focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones.

By taking these proactive measures, you can increase your readiness for hurricane season. Remember, preparedness is key to minimizing the impact of disasters and protecting yourself and your community. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay safe. n

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Simplifying Payment Processing Is Easier Than You Think


nd why does simplifying how you process payments matter? Because efficient payment processing can significantly impact the day-to-day operations and financial health of Florida’s many condominium communities and homeowners’ associations. Whether your community is self-managed or managed by a third party, with the right tools in place, accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) become streamlined, cost-effective, and easier to track. Let’s explore how communities and associations of any size can enhance their financial operations, spending less money to get more work done faster.

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Photo courtesy of Yardi Systems


Financial stability is key for Florida community managers, and first things first—efficient payment processing means your team can efficiently pay vendors, collect routine payments, and track one-time fees and violations without wondering if you missed anything.

Digital payment solutions can automate how payments are collected and tracked. With electronic payment platforms, communities can offer homeowners a variety of payment options including debit cards, credit cards, and ACH transfers. By offering this level of convenience and choice, you


For more information, call 800-866-1144 or visit yardibreeze.com

make the process more accommodating for homeowners and accelerate cash flow into the community’s accounts, ensuring funds are available when needed. Some community management systems have eliminated fees for ACH transfers to give homeowners a truly free way to make payments online.

Best of all, software that automates payment processing significantly reduces the administrative burden on your accounting team, cutting down on time spent chasing late payments and manually reconciling accounts. When getting paid is that easy, homeowners are less likely to miss a payment (especially with autopay); and your team spends less time following up on delinquent homeowners.

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Max Glassburg is a senior marketing writer at Yardi in Nashville, Tennessee. He is usually found writing for Yardi Breeze and especially enjoys connecting with clients and sharing their successes with the real estate community.


Automating invoice processing can lead to substantial time and cost savings. Imagine saving tens of hours every month. For community managers, every hour spent on revenue-generating activities instead of data processing counts. Modern payment processing solutions enable community managers to schedule payments for recurring expenses, such as utility bills or maintenance services, making it easier to get paid on time and without incurring late fees. When integrated with community management software, board members or third-party

managers can easily pull necessary reports.

Accountants can further save time by implementing an AI-enabled optical character reader (OCR). This is an exciting tool busy AP accountants will appreciate. It recognizes text on physical paper or scanned images and creates an electronic version with editable text.

AP automation also provides real-time data, giving you a clear, up-to-date picture of your community’s financial health. It also eliminates the risk of human error, a common source of frustration and wasted time in community management. Duplicate entries and overlooked invoices become a thing of the past, further safeguarding your financial resources.


Let’s face it: a good vendor can be hard to find, and you don’t want to lose your preferred service due to late or missing payments. A streamlined payment processing system allows you to better monitor and manage vendor relationships. By maintaining a comprehensive digital record of transactions, communities can easily identify risky vendors, such as those who frequently deliver services late, overcharge, or provide subpar work. In Florida’s vast and competitive services market, your records are invaluable, allowing you to address problem vendors before they cause financial harm to the community. Likewise, you can more easily flag the ones you want to work with and make it faster for your team to identify them as well.

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Implementing good financial management systems is not just about making life easier for managers and homeowners. It’s about building a financially healthy and stable community. By enhancing the ease and reliability of both incoming and outgoing payments, communities can ensure a steady cash flow, reduce administrative costs, and free up resources that can be invested back into the community.

Moreover, with a streamlined financial operation communities can more effectively plan for future projects, reserve funds, and improvements. The latest software makes it easier for association management businesses to demonstrate their effectiveness and remain competitive and financially secure in Florida’s robust condominium market.


The adoption of modern payment processing solutions in community management is your key to restoring or transforming your financial operations. For Florida communities, where the acceleration of growth heightens the need for operational efficiencies, technology is essential. By making payment collection effortless, centralizing your workflows (financial and otherwise) in a single solution, automating routine procedures, and enhancing financial oversight, you can position your community for sustained success and stability. n

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Conducting SIRS: What We’ve Learned So Far


ith any new product or service, whether it’s figuring out your new smart TV or how the heck to put together an IKEA dresser, there is a learning curve. When structural integrity reserve studies (SIRS) were introduced by legislation in May 2022, reserve study providers already had foundational knowledge of the service as it is an extension of how a traditional reserve study looks and operates. However, because of the new, legal emphasis on structural

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/iBrave

components, providers had to adapt.

“There was a learning curve, absolutely,” said Tamara Samhouri, a Tampa-based engineer. “Our first SIRS looks very different from the most recent SIRS we’ve prepared. As time went on, we learned what we wanted and didn’t want to include. We, as a company, also solidified a standard for these studies after producing more SIRS; talking to attorneys, legislators, and the state agencies; listening to our clients; and receiving feedback from our clients’ attorneys.”

For providers the inspection process and the components included are very similar to a traditional reserve study, though both the inspection and report production take a bit more time due to the mandated emphasis on structural components.

Matt Kuisle, P.E., RS, PRA, is the regional executive director for Reserve Advisors, leading the firm’s operations in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Matt has been conducting reserve studies for 23 years and is a frequent speaker and author. He is a licensed continuing education provider for FL CAMs and serves on the Community Associations Institute National Business Partner Council and as a council member with the Florida Legislative Alliance. Reserve Advisors is a leading provider of reserve study consulting services, having conducted reserve studies for more than 3,000 Florida communities. For more information, call 800-980-9881 or visit reserveadvisors.com.

In March 2024, with enough data under our belts, we took a comprehensive look at the detailed financial implications of SIRS funding requirements on associations. On average, associations are seeing a one-time 108 percent increase in their reserve contributions, up from $238,000 in 2023 to $495,000 in 2024. This number can feel extreme, and the requirement to achieve this recommended funding level, especially for previously underfunded communities, is proving burdensome.

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When we break it down further, individual unit owners are seeing an average monthly increase of roughly $154. This is not to say all associations will see this large a number, as the range is wide—36 percent of sampled associations saw an increase of $100 or less per unit owner per month. Interestingly, associations whose buildings are fewer stories but are home to more residents are seeing smaller monthly increases per unit owner on average.

While it may not appear so, for many communities this initial burden can be a future blessing. “I was reviewing an association’s financials and noticing that many associations had never reserved before. Some of these were older properties that had never even considered reserve funds, and their buildings were exhibiting areas of concern,” said Samhouri. “This mandate is helping clients have a schedule in place, so they can do the projects they need to do. This is a positive result, especially for clients who have preferred to rely on special assessments, which put a lot of pressure on the unit owners all at once. This helps people plan, and it’s had a really positive impact.”

The requirement to fund structural components, though it can be challenging to catch up on, is underscored by the fact that on average 65 percent of future reserve funds will be allocated to structural components alone, with the additional 35 percent going to nonstructural needs. While nonstructural components—such as elevators, HVAC, and paving—are not legally required to be included in a SIRS, it’s important to remember that 35 percent is not an insignificant percentage, and these are not insignificant components. Associations should ask their provider if and how they incorporate nonstructural components, as some firms may offer SIRS at the baseline level and cover only the statutory list of structural components while other firms include all reserve components. For example, a SIRS conducted by Reserve Advisors includes all reserve components in the report separated into structural and nonstructural funding plans.

Above all, we’ve learned

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that communities need ongoing support. Board members do not simply need a one-and-done SIRS report they can follow to achieve compliance—they need their provider to be their partner. SIRS providers should work closely and communicate well with the boards they serve, ensuring the funding recommendations are fully understood and making room to provide education and help explore any funding options that may ease the initial financial burden.

“There is a lot more client interaction, especially once we submit the studies, than we have ever seen before because this is so new to them,” said Samhouri. “Clients have never seen a SIRS before; so even if it’s my 30th SIRS, it’s their first. For every SIRS client, there is a post-study interaction to explain the report.”

Providers should also understand who they are serving and what they need from the service, making sure to address any questions or concerns with management and the board before the process begins and treating them as partners as the process ensues. Ongoing support, above anything else, is what we’ve learned to be SIRS’ most crucial component.

“The most positive thing is how much knowledge we’ve been able to give clients,” said Samhouri. “A lot of times I give them information and it’s something they’ve never heard of or even considered, so ultimately associations just need empowerment and support through this process.” n

70 June 2024 FLCAJ | www.fcapgroup.com Board Certification is just the tip of the iceberg... Join as a board member TODAY! Email: djohns@fcapgroup.com 561-277-8153 • www.fcapgroup.com/board-members/ Courses Included: Board Certification Course Welcome to the Board Course Community Association Finance Course Community Safety and Security Training Access to Online Resource Library and More

Swift Security Preparations and Recovery This Storm Season

When Colorado State University issued its first outlook for the 2024 hurricane season, it was hard to miss the main takeaway—there’s an “above-average probability for major hurricanes” expected to make landfall along U.S. coasts and the Caribbean. Two primary factors contribute to this forecast: the first being that El Niño conditions are expected to change to La Niña in the summer or fall, which can create favorable conditions for tropical storms and hurricanes; and second, water temperatures in the Atlantic are already at “record warm levels” and will likely stay that way.

Even with this initial outlook, we know that it only takes one severe storm

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Photo courtesy Envera Systems

to drastically impact a community and entire areas. While there are many unknowns when it comes to each storm, we do know that the best thing we can do is prepare. Community associations and property managers play a crucial role in creating a posture of readiness each hurricane season and then ensuring a swift recovery afterward.

The key to preparation and recovery lies in three items: planning, communication, and community engagement between community association leaders or employees, property management, residents, and vendors. This, of course, is in addition to the external support and information that comes from local officials and authorities. All plans, communication outlines, safe shelters, emergency contacts, vendor lists, and evacuation routes and strategies should be included in your community’s emergency or disaster preparedness plan.

Part of every association’s plan also needs to address the security measures around the community. First and foremost, if your association employs a


Nathan Varn is the vice president of sales and marketing for Envera Systems. He manages the sales, sales support, marketing, and account management teams while working closely with all of Envera’s departments to provide information, education, and best-in-class service for the communities that Envera secures. Envera Systems is an all-inclusive security provider that focuses on the unique needs of communities through technology-based solutions. Using trained virtual guards, Envera is able to verify visitors at entrances, monitor video, manage community databases, and more. Contact info: 855-380-1274 or www.EnveraSystems.com

security company and services, check or ask about the provider’s specific storm procedures. Many will have standard processes regarding how services are impacted when a tropical storm or hurricane is anticipated. This will greatly assist you and your community with clearly understanding how and when security services will be affected and how your vendor communicates this in real time.

Next, and as a part of your preparedness plan, a thorough inspection of the security infrastructure around the community should be evaluated by an assigned individual or team. For gated communities, this includes all types of gates at vehicle entrances. While most security companies with access to the gates will remotely lock them open ahead of a storm, additional actions may be needed to ensure they remain open and do not prevent unencumbered ingress and egress to the community. Certain staff or community members should be trained in how to secure the barrier gates, swing gates, and/or slide gates based on the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Most gated communities can address the gate infrastructure in one of the following ways. Swing gates can often be secured at the end of the gate frame, opposite the hinges, and slide gates should be opened. For

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barrier gates, the proper method of securing the gate is based on the type of barrier arms. Some can be disengaged from their cradle with wiring still attached, with the arm(s) then secured to fencing, gates, or stakes in the ground. Other barrier arms can be removed entirely and stored in an indoor, secure location.

Once your gate system is locked open and components properly secured or removed, it’s recommended to turn off breakers that supply power to the equipment.

Having a plan to address your community’s gate infrastructure in this way is crucial to ensuring that residents can quickly evacuate should they need or want to. Additionally, emergency vehicles and local authorities will be able to easily access the property if needed. And, the infrastructure itself will be better protected and less likely to be a projectile risk during high winds.

Also, most communities today have access control implemented in one or more ways throughout the neighborhood.

The security section of your emergency preparedness plan should also address each amenity or asset with access control installed. Some access systems are set to “fail open” in the event of a power outage, something we generally expect with severe storms. Therefore, community management, staff, or other leaders should be assigned to lock up and secure these areas ahead of time. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to important amenities around the community until they’ve been evaluated following a storm and normal operations have resumed.

As it relates to security, community managers and

leaders should also plan ahead or have in place a backup for databases, video footage, and any other important documents. Whether items are backed up on a portable drive, accessible via a cloud-based system, or secured with your security provider, this ensures that valuable information is safe during a storm and can be accessed remotely should staff not be able to reach the community immediately following a storm.

Once your disaster preparedness plan is updated with your security items and other supportive measures available, and everyone understands their roles, make sure community residents can easily view the processes in place. Even when they aren’t specifically assisting with securing gates or locking up the clubhouse, you’re communicating the importance of these measures and keeping them engaged with taking their own steps to prepare and protect their own home.

Following each storm, no matter the extent of the damage, community leaders should be ready to clearly communicate with residents about any issues, recovery efforts, and timelines. This may include reiterating information you have received from vendors who service your association, like security companies who may remotely close your gates when it’s safe to do so. While the aftermath of a severe storm can be daunting, effective communication to residents and amongst the board members and property manager(s) will help manage expectations, reduce anxiety, and allow for community collaboration to address cleanup and repairs.

When was the last time your community reviewed its emergency preparedness process? This season, add or confirm each element of it includes detailed preparation, communication, and collaboration plans. Properly addressing the security methods like gates, access control, and other items before a storm hits is crucial to the safety of residents and protection of the association’s security investments. And following a storm, your community will be efficiently set up to reestablish security and other functions as quickly as possible. n


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Photo courtesy Envera Systems


Anglickis, PD
are a people pleasing company where a handshake makes a deal and a lasting friendship.” Pictured below: Robyn Rocco, VP Leonardo Lucena, Regional Manager AVAILABLE SERVICES: Accounting, Administrative, Billing and Collection, Enforcement of CCR, Maintain Insurance, Meeting Notices, Rentals and Sales, and much more! COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FIRM (CAB3086) LICENSED REAL ESTATE CORP (CQ226287)) 25 Homestead Rd. N. Ste. 41 Lehigh Acres, FL 33936 / TEL: 239 -369-5848 / www.landexresorts.com 110 S. Ocean Blvd. Delray Beach, FL 33843 / TEL: 561 -562-8490/ www.landexrealty.com

Make Sure That Your Association Has Enough Insurance Coverage!

With the huge increase in insurance premiums over the last year or two, some associations are looking for options to reduce their costs. One of the actions we are seeing is that associations are taking steps to decrease the amount of coverage on their building(s), which leads to a failure to properly insure them—this is something that should never be done!

We all know that costs have gone up on everything across the board over the last few years. Historically construction costs in Florida have increased about three to five percent annually. These

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/Mohamad Faizal Bin Ramli

numbers over the last three years have skyrocketed.

Construction costs in the Sunshine State increased an average of 14.2 percent in 2021, 9.7 percent in 2022, and 9.4 percent in 2023. Even though these increases are showing signs of slowing, the costs have certainly not decreased at all. These historic changes are caused by several factors: cost of materials, payroll, fuel costs, and higher contractor insurance rates just to name a few.

Ever since 2007 the State of Florida has mandated that all residential condominium associations have an independent replacement cost valuation (RCV or sometimes called an insurance appraisal), inspection, and report completed at a minimum of every 36 months. This makes sure that the association has enough coverage if a major claim were to occur. If the association does not comply, then it is in violation of Florida Statute 718.111(11)a. Failing to comply with Florida statutes can lead to actions by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations


(DBPR), including fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

Besides the statute requiring this, the insurance policy itself says that the insured (the association) is guaranteeing the insurance company that they are insuring the property to the proper limits. This is called the “insure to value” clause and is located in every insurance contract. By signing the policy application, the signer (president, board member, or CAM) is guaranteeing that the replacement amount is accurate. In the event of a claim, if the insurance company finds out that the amount of coverage is not correct, they can then prorate the claim amount to reflect the amount that it is under insured. This clause applies to commercial condominiums and homeowners’ associations as well as residential condominiums. No matter what type of association you have, it is always the board of directors’ fiduciary responsibility to make sure that there is the proper amount of insurance coverage to protect the interest of the owners.

When Hurricane Ian struck the Fort Myers area in September 2022, several condominium associations found out firsthand about not having enough insurance coverage. This is adding insult to injury, having to go through the impact of a major loss and then finding out that the association did not maintain adequate insurance coverage.

The bottom line is to make sure that you maintain the proper amount of coverage by having replacement cost valuations done on a regular basis. n

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you have any questions, please feel free to email Dave Kolodzik at Dave@expertreserveservices.com, call 386-677-8886 ext. 1000, or visit www.ExpertReserveServices.com

Securing Condominium Communities:

Preparing for Hurricane Season

As hurricane season approaches, condominium communities face unique challenges in ensuring the security and safety of their residents and properties. From fortifying infrastructure to implementing emergency protocols, condominium associations must take proactive steps to protect their communities from the impacts of hurricanes. Here’s a tailored guide outlining essential measures for securing condominium communities before the onset of hurricane season.

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/Cassanas


Begin by conducting comprehensive security assessments of the condominium complex to identify vulnerabilities and potential risks during hurricanes. Assess the structural integrity of buildings, evaluate access points, and identify critical infrastructure that may be susceptible to damage or disruption.


Enhance physical security measures within the condominium complex to mitigate the risk of intrusion, vandalism, and property damage during hurricanes. Install hurricane-resistant windows and doors, reinforce garage doors, and secure outdoor amenities such as pool furniture and landscaping features to prevent them from becoming hazards in high winds.


Implement robust access control systems to regulate entry and exit points within the condominium community. Install electronic access control systems for pedestrian and vehicle gates, and ensure that they are equipped with backup power sources to maintain functionality during power outages. Consider integrating surveillance cameras and intercom systems to enhance security monitoring and communication.


Engage residents in forming neighborhood watch


Alon Alexander is the current president of Kent Services. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Alon has established himself as a respected leader in the field of security and risk management. Throughout his career Alon has demonstrated a strong commitment to his clients, striving to provide them with the highest level of service and expertise. He has a proven track record of developing and implementing effective security strategies that have helped businesses of all sizes to protect their assets, employees, and customers. Alon is also actively involved in his community, serving as a mentor to young professionals and volunteering his time and resources to various charitable organizations. Alon’s dedication to his work and his community has earned him a reputation as a leader in both fields. For more information, call 1-800-273KENT (5368) or www.kentservices.com

programs to promote security awareness and surveillance within the condominium community. Encourage residents to report suspicious activities, monitor common areas, and collaborate with security personnel to maintain vigilance during hurricane season.


Collaborate with security personnel and private security firms to develop customized security plans tailored to the needs of the condominium community. Ensure that security personnel are trained in emergency response procedures and equipped to address security concerns before, during, and after hurricanes. Ensure that the private security firm that you are contracting with has generator backups and satellite phones.


In anticipation of potential power outages during hurricanes, consider printing community ID cards for residents to ensure seamless access to buildings and amenities. Distribute these ID cards to residents in advance and communicate their importance in facilitating access in the event of prolonged power loss, when electronic access control systems may be unavailable.


Establish clear communication protocols to disseminate timely updates, alerts, and instructions to residents before, during, and after hurricanes. Utilize multiple communication channels, including email, text messaging, and social media, to keep residents informed of evacuation orders, shelter locations, and emergency contacts.


Secure common areas and amenities within the condominium community to prevent damage and ensure the safety of residents during hurricanes. Implement protocols for securing outdoor furniture, pool equipment, and recreational facilities, and communicate these measures to residents to encourage cooperation and compliance.

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/Cassanas


Provide residents with resources and guidance on emergency preparedness, including evacuation plans, supply kits, and evacuation routes.

Distribute informational materials, host workshops, and engage residents in preparedness activities to empower them to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their homes.


Foster a sense of community resilience by encouraging residents to support each other and work together to weather the challenges of hurricane season. Organize community events, social gatherings, and volunteer initiatives to strengthen bonds among residents and promote collective action in times of crisis.

In conclusion, securing condominium communities ahead of hurricane season requires a proactive and collaborative approach to address security concerns and protect residents and properties. By upgrading physical security measures, implementing access control systems, coordinating with security personnel, and fostering community resilience, condominium associations can enhance the safety and wellbeing of their residents during hurricanes and other emergencies. Together, through preparedness and cooperation, condominium communities can weather the storm and emerge stronger in its aftermath. n

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Are You Prepared for the Next Power Outage?


s summer arrives, weather events will inevitably interrupt utility power and impact residents’ routine way of condominium life. Ensuring a condominium is prepared for a power failure is essential to maintaining safety, comfort, and quality of life for its residents.

Below are three steps to ensure you are ready for the next power outage.


Have key personnel trained in the basic operation of the emergency generator. Routine training and proactively preparing for power failures ensures a quick response time by on-site staff member(s) who can reset generator alarms and reengage the generator back into operation. Training helps educates the staff on what to expect for normal generator operations.

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/J. Michael Jones


Regular maintenance and testing of the power generator and related components are essential. Emergency power generators should be serviced routinely to guarantee they are in optimal working condition and can seamlessly activate in the event of a power outage. Weekly functional tests on your generator will bring to light any deficiencies or potential concerns that can then be addressed by a servicing company.


Protocols must be established to inform residents promptly about power outage updates and estimated restoration times. Residents need to be

For more information about A & A Power Generators, call 305-477-7969, email support@aapower.com, or visit www.aapower.com

made aware of the limited amenities that are powered by the emergency generators. Maintaining open lines of communication through multiple channels, such as email, text alerts, and notice boards, ensures that residents are well informed and can take necessary precautions. By implementing these measures, a condominium can be better prepared to handle power outages and ensure the safety and well-being of its residents. Additionally, fostering a sense of community and collaboration among residents can enhance overall emergency preparedness efforts. n

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A How to Keep Your Family, Friends, and Job

ttitude and motive are two very powerful qualities. In fact, Carol Kleiman writes, “Attitude . . . the word is emerging as a key factor in career advancement.” She differentiates between a positive attitude—“She has an excellent attitude and deserves a promotion,” and a negative one—“He has an attitude problem, and I’d love to get rid of him.”

A positive attitude is hopeful, grateful, authentic, and satisfied. A negative attitude is selfish, stingy, manipulating, and lonely. It could cost you a raise, promotion, or even your job. It could cost you your family.

So, what is a negative attitude? Here are 11 examples. Any combination of these will be the best way to lose your family, friends, employees, or job, and

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Photo by iStockphoto.com/AaronAmat

guarantee that you won’t be invited to visit this summer.

1. I cannot let others be wrong without attempting to correct them.

2. I condemn others and often wish them to be punished.

3. I do my own thinking and make my own decisions.

4. I exaggerate and lie to maintain my self-image.

5. I belittle my own talents, possessions, and achievements.

6. I habitually deny, alibi, justify, or rationalize my mistakes and defeats.

7. I am critical and belittling of others.

8. I am prejudiced toward racial, ethnic, or religious groups.

9. I blame others for my handicaps, problems, and mistakes.

10. I take disagreements personally and feel put down and rejected.

11. I boast about myself, my possessions, and achievements.


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.

If you find yourself without friends or a job or any plans to visit family, you might trade your negative attitude for a positive one.

Equally important is motive. It’s “why you do what you do.” Motives can be genuine or selfish. Genuine motive is defined as doing the right thing for the right reason. Be aware, it is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Motives must be genuine, and you shouldn’t expect anything in return. For instance, giving praise to an employee can come from a pure motive, or it can come from a selfish one. Genuine praise for work well done is authentic when it comes from a grateful attitude. It is well received when the praise is specific. Praise will not be received well when it is given selfishly. Your employees will feel just like the little boy who said to his mother after she “praised” him, “You’re just telling me I did a good job because you want me to do more.” Bingo. The little boy “read” his mom’s real motive even though she did not state it.

The by-products of genuine motive are rapport and empathy. Rapport says, “We have something in common, you can trust me, I’m on your side.” It makes the other person feel part of the team in resolving issues at hand. Rapport looks for win-win solutions for both parties whenever possible. Use tones, words, and

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concepts that are like the other person to establish rapport, but don’t mimic accents or gestures. Avoid any “industry-specific” words the other person doesn’t understand. Be sensitive to their level of vocabulary. Rapport should put you in sync with the other person.

Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorrow or pity for the pain or distress of another person. Empathy is the ability to identify with and understand another person’s feelings or difficulties because you have experienced similar ones. Empathy validates another’s feelings. Validating is not the same as condoning. Validating is not the same as agreeing, pardoning, or excusing. Empathy puts to words the feelings of another. Empathy does not say to another “You should not feel that way. Get over it. Move on.” Those words may need to come later in the conversation, but not at the beginning when empathy is needed.

When the confused, embarrassed, and frustrated resident yells about the rules violation letter he received, the empathetic receptionist will respond, “Mr. Smith, I can tell you are very frustrated. Yes, sir, I understand that you are embarrassed. I would be too.” It’s very possible that having someone validate his embarrassment will be enough. Hopefully, he’ll voluntarily comply, and no further action will be taken against him.

Managers who report they enjoy their work at their communities appear to have learned to take control of their attitudes, examine their motives, establish rapport, and practice empathetic listening. They like their residents and are well liked in return. They receive compliments instead of complaints and have been at their property for decades.

You might be able to tell if you are one of these positive, well-adjusted managers if you receive invitations from your family and friends to come and visit this summer! n

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POWERCLEAN® 2024! YOUR Industry Trade Show | SECOND TO NONE. #1 Networking Event in the Cleaning Industry. Business Meeting, Opening Reception, Seminars, Speakers, Trade Show, Women of CETA, Annual Golf Tournament, and celebrating all in one facility! Contact the CETA OFFICE by phone 800-441-0111 | email: info@ceta.org | ceta.org for more details CETA Members, register before July 1st, 2024 to receive your complimentary badge*. *Restrictions apply - Available to Members in Good Standing, Early Registration (no later than July 1, 2024), and MUST STAY at Host Hotel – Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando FL. REGISTRATION OPEN! for POWERCLEAN® 2024 YOUR Industry Trade Show | SECOND TO NONE. 9939 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 For Reservations & Registrations visit ceta.org/annual-convention

Editor’s Note: FLCAJ would like to congratulate these four outstanding 2024 Readers’ Choice Awards winners! (For a full list of 2024 RCA winners, please read the March 2024 issue or visit www.fcapgroup.com/flcaj/readers-choice/

Allied Property Group

Diamond Level Winner—Management Companies (Winner 2024 and ten previous RCA wins)

Allied Property Group is a full-service property management firm providing service throughout Florida since 2003. Allied excels in assisting boards of directors in addressing all of their short- and long-term challenges. These challenges include routine matters as well as the unexpected. Routine challenges can include controlling expenditures, optimizing budgets, and increasing property values, all while enhancing the community experience; while unexpected challenges can range from hurricane preparedness and recovery to emergencies that can have an adverse impact on the association’s or unit owner’s property.

While most large management companies struggle with their ability to make important decisions that could negatively impact associations, at Allied our experienced and empowered staff routinely assist associations in facing and conquering these challenges.

The Allied team consists of licensed managers with extensive industry experience, a dedicated team of property accountants, a well-

trained and friendly customer service staff, and technology offerings that help both our team and the associations we serve to succeed. Our team guides and assists the boards we serve closely to ensure efficient, productive meetings while providing comprehensive and easy-to-understand financial and management reports.

Working together with our customers, Allied has the tools and experience needed to assist boards in making the decisions that best serve their associations. At Allied, our continued success can easily be attributed to our integrity and constant customer obsession that we take into consideration in everything we do.

For more information on Allied Property Group, visit www. alliedpropertygroup.net.

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Blue Stream Fiber

Diamond Level Winner—Technology and Communications (Winner 2024 and one previous RCA win)

We at Blue Stream Fiber are beyond proud to be recognized as a Diamond Level Readers’ Choice Award winner. This was our second year being nominated, and seeing the support from the readers we interact with daily is humbling. We pride ourselves in putting our customers at the center of everything that we do, and we look forward to another year of supporting all our communities throughout Florida.

Blue Stream Fiber is a Florida-based fiber-optic provider with over 45 years of experience, offering customized fiber internet on a 10 gig-capable network, Total Home Managed WiFi, world-class TV powered by TiVo, and phone service to HOAs, condominiums, and neighborhoods throughout the state. Our focus on reliability, customer service, great products, smooth installs, and creation of a tailored plan to serve each community makes us a true partner to the associations we serve.

From our beginnings in Coral Springs, Florida, Blue Stream Fiber has grown to serve over 150,000 homes throughout Florida and has been recognized for our efforts by multiple organizations, including our 2023 BIG Innovation Award presented by the Business Intelligence Group, inclusion as one of the 10 Most Innovative Telecom Solution Providing Companies to Watch by CIO Insight, #1 Fastest Cable Providers by BroadbandNOW, and a Top Workplace by the Sun Sentinel. These accolades are a testament to the work our team puts in each day to ensure we can provide our communities and customers with the services they deserve.

To learn more about Blue Stream Fiber, our fiber infrastructure, and whether your community qualifies to have fiber built at our cost, please reach out to 888-960-2855 or visit www.bluestreamfiber.com/bulk


2024 and six previous RCA wins)

We’re honored to be recognized as a Readers’ Choice Award winner. Thank you to everyone who has trusted our firm throughout the years. It’s an immense pleasure not only to represent condominium and homeowner associations but also to be a source of guidance for our clients, investors, managers, owners, and tenants along the way. Our commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of our work. We take pride in our ability to navigate complex legal landscapes and deliver results that meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Our dedication to our clients is unwavering; this award is a testament to that dedication.

It means a great deal to be recognized for our continuing efforts to serve boards of directors, owners, and tenants through offering board member certification courses, workshops, and webinars across MiamiDade and Broward Counties. Our educational initiatives are designed to empower our clients with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions and effectively manage their communities.

We love what we do. We work hard to ensure we go the extra mile for our clients by providing valuable resources, expert consultations, and representation. Our firm provides a team approach to legal representation. We are not just your legal representative; we are a team player working in tandem with the board of directors, management offices, insurance agents, and accountants. We understand the value of community, and we strive to maintain and strengthen that community along the way.

The Law Office of Dania S. Fernandez & Associates P.A. is known for excellence in legal matters involving condominiums and homeowner associations, real estate litigation and transactions (commercial and residential closings), and insurance claim work (plaintiff) within Florida. Our expertise in these areas is unmatched, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of legal practice.

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Our firm’s success is built on a foundation of trust, integrity, and professionalism. We are grateful for our recognition and remain dedicated to continuing our tradition of excellence. As we look to the future, we are excited about the opportunities to further serve our community and positively impact the lives of those we represent.

For more information on Dania S. Fernandez & Associates P.A., call 305-254-4492 or visit daniafernandez.com. We are here to help you with your legal needs and look forward to serving you.

Weiser Security Services Inc.

Platinum Level Winner—Safety and Security (Winner 2024 and two previous RCA wins)

Weiser Security Services Inc. has become an expert at providing security and access control to residential communities. We provide security to a wide range of communities, including gated communities, open-

access communities, apartment complexes, and highrise residential buildings. With offices throughout the state and clients in almost every county, we can help with your security issues regardless of where your community is located. While some clients require a high level of security visibility, others may prefer a much lower security profile. Weiser Security professionals work closely with property management companies, property owners, and boards of directors to determine each client’s security needs. From uniformed officers to community virtual camera patrols, Weiser has the experience and knowledge to guide you through those security decisions.

For more information on Weiser Security, visit www.weisersecurity.com. n

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ERRO Group Comprehensive Monthly Accounting Services and Financial Consulting 786-767-2111 info@theerrogroup.com www.theerrogroup.com

Cogent Bank 407-545-2662 www.cogentbank.com Moving You Forward Popular Association Banking 7920 Miami Lakes Drive W. Miami Lakes, Florida 33016 800-233-7164 www.popularassociation banking.com Serving the community association industry exclusively. Truist

5830 142nd Avenue N. Clearwater, FL 33760 888-722-6669 www.Truist.com/ AssociationServices

92 June 2024 FLCAJ | www.fcapgroup.com ACCOUNTING/AUDITING
OZK 100 5th
South St. Petersburg, Florida
844-905-6975 www.OZK.com/association services
TRUST YOUR FINANCIAL ASSETS WITH A COMMUNITY BANK YOU CAN COUNT ON uscentury.com/specialties/association-banking SVP/Director of Specialty Products Richard.Alfonso@uscentury.com 305.715.5181 RICK ALFONSO fcapgroup.com/cfcam Get Your CFCAM Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd

Herbie Wiles Insurance Agency

400 N. Ponce de Leon Boulevard St. Augustine, Florida 32084 800-997-1961


Insuring over 100 FL condo associations and HOAs. Plastridge Insurance 561-276-5221 plastridge.com/hoa-condos/ Your choice for a trusted community-driven insurance agency. Rick Carroll Insurance 2160 NE Dixie Highway Jensen Beach, Florida 34958 800-290-3181 or 772-334-3181 www.rickcarroll.com

The Turner Insurance Advisor Group 2121 NE Coachman Road Clearwater, Florida 33765 www.turnergroupfl.com


Expert Reserve Services Inc. 433 Silver Beach Ave., Suite 104 Daytona Beach, FL 32118 866-480-8236

www.expertreserveservices.com Covering Florida's Insurance Valuation Needs

Hunter Claims LLC 4613 N. Clark Avenue Tampa, Florida 33614 813-774-7634 www.hunterclaims.com

Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters, Inc. 4300 W. Cypress Street, Suite 780 Tampa, Florida 33607 800-321-4488 publicadjuster.com

J R Frazer, Inc.


Sundeep Jay, RS, PRA 561.488.3012

800.298.0683 • jrfrazerent@aol.com www.JRFrazer.com

www.fcapgroup.com | FLCAJ June 2024 93 INSURANCE
RESERVE ANALYSIS ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5 ZONE 6 Association Reserves l l l l l l Bank OZK l l l l l Centennial Bank l l l l l Cogent Bank l l l l Dreux Isaac & Associates Inc. l l l l l l Expert Reserve Services l l l l l l FCA Insurance l l l l l l Frank H. Furman, Inc. l l l l l l Herbie Wiles Insurance l l Hunter Claims l l l l l l J.R. Frazer, Inc. l l l l Plastridge Insurance l Popular Association Banking l l l l l l Reserve Advisors Inc. l l l l l l Rick Carroll Insurance l l l l l l Sedgwick l l l l l l The ERRO Group l l Townsend Appraisals l l Truist Association Services l l l l l l Turner Insurance Advisor Group l Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters l l l Tyack CPA & Company l l l l l l U.S. Century Bank l Florida Financial Services by Zone
fcapgroup.com/cfcam Get Your CFCAM fcapgroup.com/cfcam Get Your CFCAM


Brian W. Pariser, P.A. 9155 S Dadeland Boulevard, Penthouse 1-Suite 1718 Miami, Florida 33156 305-670-7730

fax 305-670-6203

Condo and HOA Law & Mediation.

Gelfand & Arpe, P.A. 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Suite 1220 West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 561-655-6224 www.gelfandarpe.com

Siegfried Rivera 201 Alhambra Circle, 11th Floor Coral Gables, Florida 33134 800-737-1390 www.siegfriedrivera.com Experience Personalized Professionalism.

Tripp Scott Law Firm 110 SE 6 Street Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 954-525-7500


For over 50 years, Tripp Scott has served our community.

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ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5 ZONE 6 Ansbacher Law l l l l l l Becker P.A. l l l l l l Brian W. Pariser, P.A. l Cardillo Law l l l l l l Gelfand & Arpe, P.A. l Haber Law l Kaye Bender Rembaum l l l l Poliakoff Backer l Siegfried Rivera l Tripp Scott Law Firm l l l
Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd Florida Legal Services by Zone Zone Map on Page 92 Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd fcapgroup.com/flcaj/advertise Ready to Advertise in FLCAJ?


Allied Property Group Inc.

12350 SW 132 Court, Suite 114 Miami, Florida 33186 305-232-1579; 239-241-6499 www.alliedpropertygroup.net

Providing service to South Florida since 2003.

Floridian Management Group 14651 Biscayne Bouldevard, Suite 317 N. Miami, FL 33181 786-441-9600 info@floridianmanagement.com www.floridianmanagment.com

KW PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING, LLC 8200 NW 33rd Street, Suite 300 Miami, Florida 33122 305-476-9188 www.kwproperty management.com A Professional and Independent Approach to Management.

www.fcapgroup.com | FLCAJ June 2024 95
844-815-5321 www.castlegroup.com Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5 ZONE 6 Access Management l l l l Allied Property Group l l Allied Property Management l C&S Management, Inc. l l Campbell Property Management l Castle Group l l l l l l Don Asher & Associates l l Floridian Management Group l Greystone Management l l KW Property Management l l l l l l Landex Resorts l l Lang Management Company Inc. l Leland Management l l l l Management & Associates l Marquis Association Management l l MAY Management Services Inc. l l Qualified Property Management Inc. l RealManage l l l Seacrest Services l Sentry Management Inc. l l l l Towers Property Management l Vesta Property Services l l l l l l Florida Management Companies by Zone Zone Map on Page 92 fcapgroup.com/cfcam Get Your CFCAM Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd fcapgroup.com/flcaj/advertise Ready to Advertise in FLCAJ? Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd


Landex Resorts

25 Homestead Road N., Suite 41

Lehigh Acres, Florida 33936




Oldsmar, Florida 34677



MAY Management Services, Inc. 5455 A1A South St. Augustine, Florida 32080 904-461-9708


Over 20 years in Northeast Florida!

Qualified Property Management 5901 US Highway 19, Suite 7 New Port Richey, Florida 34652 877-869-9700


Proudly Serving HOA, COA, Co-ops, Master Planned Comm. Assoc.

1320 N. Semoran Blvd., Suite 100 Orlando, FL 32807



5523 W. Cypress Street, Suite 102 Tampa, Florida 33607 866-403-1588

www.RealManage.com Serving Orlando and Tampa Communities. Management and Associates 720 Brooker Creek Blvd., Suite 206

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96 June 2024 FLCAJ | www.fcapgroup.com
Towers Property Management
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Products and Services Directory



Smart Entry Systems: 626-213-7557; www. SmartEntrySystems.com; sales@ SmartEntrySystems.com


Air Duct Aseptics

Air Duct & Dryer Exhaust Cleaning, Mold Testing, Free Inspection 888-707-7763 www.adaflorida.com


ADT Security Services: Community Association Service Center; 800-878-7806; ADT.com


Asphalt Restoration Technology: 800-254-4PDC (4732); www.asphaltnews.com.


Howard J. Miller, P.E., Inc.: Professional Inspections; Reports; Contract Administration; 561-392-2326.

Promar Building Services LLC: Alfredo Amador; 561-598-4549; info@promarbuilding.com


Daniello Companies: 888-370-4333; www.concreterepairing.net.


Hypower Electrical & Utility Contractor 888-978-9300; www. hypowerinc.com


Connections Elevator: Elevator maintenance agreements, repairs and modernizations; 954-7921234; www.ConnectionsElevator. com.


Chalaire & Associates, Inc.: 561-848-7055; www.chalaire andassociates.com.

Consult Engineering, Inc: 941-206-3000; www.consultengineering.com.

Howard J. Miller, P.E., Inc.: Reports; Contract Administration; 561-392-2326.


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NV5: 954-495-2112; nv5.com

PEGroup Consulting Engineers, Inc.: 800-698-2818; 305-655-1115; www.pegroup.com.

Simpler Engineers: 954-3992075; simplerengineer.com

Swaysland Professional Engineering Consultants (SPEC): 954-473-0043; 888-264-7732. FENCING AND

Bass United Fire & Security Systems, Inc.: 954-785-7800; www.bassunited.com. GENERAL

Hartman & Sons Construction, Inc.: 407-699-4549; fax: 407-6990919; Serving Central FL.

A&A Power Generators: 888991-4500; www.aapower.com INTERNET/TELEVISION/ VOICE SERVICES

Blue Stream: 954-753-0100; www.mybluestream.com

SOLitude Lake Managment: 888-480-LAKE (5253); info@solitudelake.com solitudelakemanagement.com; Restoring Balance. Enhancing Beauty.

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE Yardi Systems: 1-800-866-1144; www.yardi.com


Milestone Building Solutions: 800-545-5515; info@milestonebldg. com; milestonebldg.com

Promar Building Services LLC: Alfredo Amador; 561-598-4549; info@promarbuilding.com

Florida Patio Furniture: 866557-2846; floridapatio.net.


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Mike Douglass Trenchless Technologies: (877) 426-8660; www.pipeliningmd.com


Dan Tennis Roofing: 954-4857778; info@dantennisroofing.com; www.dantennisroofing.com

Pecora Corporation: 800-5236688; freemana@pecora.com

Ramco Protective: 888-3989700; www.ramcoprotective.com.

Weiser Security Service: 407-3109501; stevenr@weisersecurity. com; www.weisersecurity.com.

Think Utility Services: 888696-3837; www.thinkutility services.com.

SWIMMING POOLS TRASH CHUTE CLEANING AND REPAIR TRASH CHUTE ODOR CONTROL Southern Chute: 954-475-9191; toll free 866-475-9191; fax 954475-9476; www.southernchute.com. WATER, SEWER AND DRAINAGE—INSPECTION AND REPAIRS Hinterland Group: 561-6403503; hinterlandgroup.com WATERPROOFING www.fcapgroup.com | FLCAJ June 2024 99 Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd fcapgroup.com/cfcam Get Your CFCAM Sign up for our Newsletter fcapgroup.com/nl-sd
100 June 2024 FLCAJ | www.fcapgroup.com
A & A Power Generators 3 ADT Security Services 37 Allied Property Group 33 Ansbacher Law....................... 7 Artemis Lifestyles 73 Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems, Inc. 11 Association Reserves 81 Bass United Fire & Security Systems .... 28 Becker 4 Best Roofing 46 Blue Stream Fiber 18 Campbell Property Management 67 Cardillo Law Firm 80 Carousel Development & Restoration, Inc. 77 Castle Group 65 CCRS LLC Consultants 24 Centennial Bank 59 Cogent Bank 64 Commercial Energy Specialists 46 Dan Tennis Roofing 13 Daniello Companies 67 Ed Williams Registered Roof Consultant 29 Envera Systems 35 Expert Reserve Services 20—21 Florida CAM Schools 53 Florida Patio Furniture ................ 49 Floridian Management Group 28 Haber Law 33 Hinterland Group, Inc. 57 Hotwire Communications ............... 3 Hunter Claims 29 Hypower 63 Hypower IBC J R Frazer Reserves & Insurance Valuations ................ 29 Kaye Bender Rembaum 25 KW PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING 70 Landex Resorts International Inc 75 Lang Management Company 63 Leland Management 81 Mike Douglass Trenchless Technologies 43 Milestone Building Solutions 39 Munyan Painting 69 NV5 24 Pecora Corporation 90 Plastridge Insurance 31 Poliakoff Backer 63 Promar Building Services 48 Quality Chemical Company BC Ramco Protective 45 RealManage 87 Reserve Advisors .................... 65 Rick Carroll Insurance 60 Robotics Security 61 Seacrest Services 85 Sedgwick | Valuation Services Division ... 91 Sentry Management 47 Siegfried Rivera 16 Simpler Engineers 29 Smart Entry Systems 23 SOCOTEC ..................... 40—41 SOCOTEC 86 SOLitude Lake Management 9 Southern Chute 64 St. Moritz Security Services, Inc. 71 Swaysland Professional Engineering Consultants 67 Tap2Open 83 The ERRO Group 28 Think Utility Services 81 Tripp Scott Law Firm 64 Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjuster, Inc. 15 Unicoat Industrial Roofing Corporation 19 US Century Bank 68 Vesta Property Services 27 WeatherTight Systems 1 Weiser Security Service 33 Yardi Systems, Inc. IFC Name: Association Name: Address: ___________________________________________________________ City: ___________________________________ State: ______ Zip: ___________ Phone: E-mail: _____________________________________________________________ o Manager o Board Member o Developer o Management Company o Business o Homeowner o Builder o Service Provider o Other (please specify): All addresses must be within the U.S. q Check enclosed q Credit Card (Amex, VISA, Discover, Mastercard) Make Check Payable to: Signature (required) for credit card processing Credit Card # Exp. Date ____/____ The best coverage of news, views, legal issues, and solutions for community associations in Florida. Take advantage of our introductory rate to the Florida Community Association Journal Your Guide to Community Association Living in Florida! Subscribe online at www.fcapgroup.com/ portal/, or copy and complete the form to the right, and: Fax to: (501) 280-9233 Or, mail to: Florida Community Association Journal 1000 Nix Road Little Rock, AR 72211-3235 Florida Community Association Journal 1000 Nix Road Little Rock, AR 72211-3235 Buy two years and get one FREE! o Three-year Subscription — $48.00 o One-year Subscription — $24.00 Individual Subscription Form: or

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