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Hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day

Industry News and Articles

Keep in mind some of the articles are directed towards HOAs or Condos specifically, but most can be applied to all types of community associations.

Winston Trails, Lake Worth, Florida
A Case Study in Lake Restoration

by John Tight, featured in Florida Community Association Journal
Lake shore
What Are the Risks of Lake Erosion?
Many communities in Florida feature beautiful lakes that enhance the appearance of the neighborhood and offer recreational opportunities for the residents. Most of these lakes were originally excavated for very practical purposes: acquiring fill for construction, capturing stormwater, and storing water for irrigation. In addition to keeping these community lakes clean and functional, it is also important to maintain the shoreline and lake bank for safety purposes. Most lake banks are required to have slopes no steeper than four feet horizontal to one foot vertical. Unfortunately, the natural erosion of these lake banks is inevitable.

When the slopes become too steep, safety becomes an issue. For example, steep slopes dramatically increase the risk that someone may fall into the lake and be injured. The steep slope may also make it  difficult for someone to escape from the lake’s edge. Erosion can also cause areas around the shoreline to become unstable. Washouts and gullies can emerge in these unstable areas, creating further damage  and risk. Given these safety concerns, the decision to restore a lake bank may not be optional—it may become a matter of compliance with local code requirements and a significant liability risk for the community. 

What Causes This Erosion? Read more to find out

What records are not open for inspection?

Posted by: Susan Raphan, August 30th, 2012
It is a fact that records access issues are the most frequent complaints submitted to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Compliance Office.
Some of the complaints are simply a lack of knowledge as to what records are not open for inspection by owners.
Here is a list of those records:
  • Any record protected by the lawyer – client privilege concerning pending or future litigation. (The definition of what constitutes lawyer client privilege can be found in Florida Statute 90.502) 
  • Read more

No place for kick backs in association governance

Posted by: Gary Poliakoff, August 29th, 2012 
An article in the newspaper a few weeks ago told of several individuals accused of ripping off a Hallandale Beach condominium to the tune of $3 million.  Those individuals included the association’s president, the former building manager, former maintenance supervisor and a plumbing contractor accused of requiring contractors to kick back money for work carried out at the condominium.

When we hear such stories, it is very troubling.  According to a study conducted by the Community Associations Institute, there are over 300,000 shared ownership communities in the United States, housing approximately 59.5 million residents.  Those communities assess more than $41 billion (yes, billion!) every year to cover the cost of maintenance and operations. Read more

CONDOMINIUM BUDGET BASICS

Posted by: Jennifer M. Sinclair, Esq.,  August 28th, 2012 
As we come close to entering what is for many condominium associations the final quarter of their fiscal year, it is a good time for condominiums to begin thinking about their 2013 budgets.  There are many nuances associated with condominium budgets, this Blog will review a few of the basic, yet important, concepts.

What is a Budget?
A budget is an estimate of anticipated revenues and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year.  Because it is an estimate, it is not necessarily improper for actual expenditures for a particular operations category or line item on the budget to not match or even to exceed the budgeted amount. Read more

Community Hurricane Prep Guide

Posted by: Campbell Property Management,  August 24th, 2012 
  1. Put your Disaster Plan into Action – Communicate with the property manager and keep residents posted on the hurricane status.
  2. Check Emergency Generators & Supplies – Be sure emergency generators are in working order and have adequate fuel supplies. Stock emergency supplies including flashlights, batteries, additional fuel supplies, water and other necessities for employees in the aftermath of a tropical storm. Keep in mind employees working outside for extended periods will need extra water and break time due to the heat!
  3. Photograph or Video Premises – Keep a visual record through video or photographs of premises, facilities and buildings to facilitate damage assessment and speed damage claims in a storm aftermath.
Read more to see 4-14 and other hurricane preparedness resources


Rescheduling HOA annual meetings in the absence of a quorum – a fiduciary duty?

Posted by: Jean Winters, Esq.,  August 24th, 2012
On July 5th, Bill Riphan posted a blog entitled “What happens when people don’t show up” discussing what business, if any, can be conducted at a meeting where there is no quorum. He raised a number of possibilities, including what can obviously be done– adjourn to a future time and place.

Florida statutes Ch 720.306 (2) require annual meetings and if elections are to be held they must be held at an annual meeting or as provided in the governing documents:

(2) ANNUAL MEETING.—The association shall hold a meeting of its members annually for the transaction of any and all proper business at a time, date, and place stated in, or fixed in accordance with, the bylaws. The election of directors, if one is required to be held, must be held at, or in conjunction with, the annual meeting or as provided in the governing documents. Read more

The "Art" of Taking Minutes at Your Association’s Meeting

Posted by: David C. Swedelson, August 16th, 2012 
Detailed minutes can prove troublesome for your association. Minutes are required at any association or board meeting. They serve as a record of the actions and decisions made at a meeting; however, they are not meant to be a transcript of everything that was said or done at the meeting. The more unnecessary, superfluous detail that is included in board meeting minutes, the more likely the board’s actions will fall under unnecessary scrutiny by homeowners. Certain widely accepted guidelines will help your association take appropriate meeting minutes.

Format of Minutes
The minutes should begin with the association name and the date and place of the meeting. It should also state what type of meeting is being held, i.e. whether it is a regular or executive session board meeting, whether it is a special meeting of the board or membership, or whether it is an annual association membership meeting. Those in attendance in an official capacity (such as a board member, manager, guest, attorney, or similar guest) should be noted. The presence of a quorum and the time the meeting was called to order should be included. Read more

 

CAN YOU GIVE AWAY WHAT'S NOT YOURS?

Posted by Eric Glazer, Esq., August 20th, 2012
Can you tell a third person that it's OK to drive your neighbor's car without your neighbor's consent?  Can you tell a third party that it's OK to wear your neighbor's clothes without your neighbor even knowing about it?  If you think these are silly questions, then you have to ask why some associations and some courts think it's OK to in effect seize the home of a neighbor that stopped paying assessments, put an owner of their choice into the neighbor's unit, and then keep the rent.

I see this happening more and more in associations around the state.  Associations, either of their own volition, or based upon poor advice, are being advised that simply because a unit appears to be abandoned, the association has the right to change the locks on the unit and rent out the unit until the bank finally forecloses and takes back title. Read more


How to Present Perfect Monthly Financials to your Boards

Posted by TOPS Software
Learn the best reports to present to your boards
To have a true understanding of your communities’ finances, you need more than just a collection of monthly totals; you need to understand what your numbers mean and how to use them to answer specific financial questions. The answers are in your Month End Reports, often referred to as your monthly financials.
You really only need to begin with 6 basic reports. If you have all the information listed correctly on these reports in standard accounting forms, your financials will be on point every month and fully transparent. No matter what software you use to manage your communities, even a paper ledger sheet, the following reports will satisfy any of your board members – no matter how picky (and we all know every community has someone on the board who is never satisfied!)
  1. Balance Sheet 
Read more for 2-6


Recovering attorney’s fees in condo arbitration

Posted by: Gary Poliakoff, August 15th, 2012
Florida Statute 718.1255(4)(k) provides that “[t]he prevailing party in an arbitration proceeding shall be awarded the costs of the arbitration and reasonable attorney’s fees in an amount determined by the arbitrator.” The Arbitrator must therefore first determine “who” is the prevailing party. A prevailing party is one who succeeds on a significant issue in the case and gets some benefit from the filing of the arbitration. Note that the requirement is not that you win on every point, but rather that you win on significant ones. This is important as some arbitration cases may have more than one significant issue and different parties could prevail as to different significant issues in a case. In those instances, the Arbitrator could easily find that the petitioner prevailed on significant issue # 1 but the respondent on significant issue # 2 and then make a fee award determination accordingly. Read more 

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE………

by Eric Glazer, Esq. August 13th, 2012
An aggravated client of mine comes to me this week, complaining that numerous owners have installed washers and dryers over the years without permission from the association, and that as a result, the owners who don't have washers and dryers object to paying the water bill as part of the common expenses of the condominium association.

Regardless of whether or not the association may be able to sue everyone with a washer/dryer seeking their removal, many of the owners believe there is a fundamental unfairness in equally dividing the cost of water among the owners, when the owners of washers and dryers use substantially more water than everyone else.  In other condominiums, single residents believe it's unfair for them to pay the same amount toward the water bill as the family with five members living in the unit next door. Read more

Tips for Time Management

by CMCA, August 9th, 2012

Community Association Managers are some of the busiest people in the professional world.  Between resident issues, board demands, required administrative work, late night meetings and more, managers need to master the skill of time management.  Check out these tips to better manage your time and be a more effective community association manager.
  1. Spinach first. Your mom was right. Always tackle the most difficult task on your plate first thing in the morning when your energy and concentration level is at its highest. Get to the hard stuff as early as you can. The longer you put it off in favor of easier, lower priority matters, the bigger that mound gets (and the worse it tastes). Keep the main thing the main thing.
  2. Think sprint, not marathon.
 Read more for 3-12

Campbell appreciates your recommendations:

Thanks.Election season is over for most of the community associations in South Florida. Change often follows elections in communities. If you hear about neighbors that are considering a change in their Property Management and think Campbell might be a good fit, please let us know. Recommendations from our clients and partners are what have enabled us to grow and improve over our 59+ years in business.
Feel free to email us at
sales@campbellproperty.com
or have them visit us at

www.campbellpropertymanagement.com/requestquote


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September Calendar

 

Events & Classes

9/13
Palm Aire United Meeting
7PM, Skolnick Center
Pompano Beach, FL

9/14
Broward Coalition Meeting
11:00AM, Sunrise Lakes Phase 1 Clubhouse
More details
Sunrise, FL 


9/19
COWBRA

Delegate Meeting
9:30-10:30AM

Valencia Isles
11200 Valencia Isles Blvd
Boynton Beach, FL 33437


9/20
Galt Mile
G.M.C.A. Advisory Board Meeting

Nick’s Italian Restaurant
3496 N. Ocean Blvd (A1A & 35th St)
11:00 AM

9/25
CAI Southeast Florida Chapter
Hot Topic! Hot Breakfast!
7:30-9:30AM, Jacaranda Country Club
Plantation, FL

Aster Flower

 

September Tips:

Homesale Tips:
25 Quick, Cheap and Easy Home Sale Tips
If you want to get a home sold quickly and inexpensively, you should review these sales and design tips.
AUGUST 2012 | BY BARBARA BALLINGER
Even with rising values and reduced inventory in certain markets, selling a home remains challenging. Buyers expect not just a shiny new stainless sink but pruned hedges, freshly painted walls, glistening hardwood floors, and more. Making everything look great can cost a pretty penny, and many sellers won’t be able to afford all the suggestions you might make.
You can help them prioritize based on the condition of what’s needed most, what buyers in the area typically request, what competing houses offer, and — of course — cost.
Here’s a list of 25 affordable, easy-to-make changes from top design and real-estate pros: Click to read the list 

Keith's Corner: Landscaping
Hello to all the good folks in south Florida!
Did you know that September's Birth Flower is the Aster. The Aster symbolizes Love, Faith, Wisdom and Valor.
White fly is has still been the major concern for many properties so we are going to cover it again... White fly hosts many different species of palms, trees, & shrubs. It produces honeydew, a sugary substance that can make a real sticky mess. There are two ways to treat this infestation. You can root drench using Zylam / Safari. This procedure takes between 10 to 30 days to work into the root system. The second procedure is the Arborjet system. This service provides a longer residual, fast reaction between 2 & 5 days, all product being directly injected and no waste. Visit arborjet.com/whitefly to learn more about it.  CPM’s staff has been trained by the Arborjet suppliers to provide this service. It works great on coconut palms. Call us for any of your horticultural needs.

Keith Carracher, President
CPM Keith

Complete Property Maintenance, Inc.
Corporate Office 
(954) 973-3333
Jupiter Office (561) 744-3333
Fax (954) 979-1424
CPM

 

 

You Asked and We Listened:

A number of readers asked for a printable version of the newsletter. We have listened and are now happy to announce there is a printable PDF version of the email. Just click to download it, print it,  and then share it.

Let us know if you have any other requests. 

Condo Council offers answers for Board Member Questions


A new organization was recently launched in the State of Florida to provide a complete resource of information that will help Board Members deal with everyday issues. This organization is called The Condo Council. The Condo Council hosts a website with valuable, member-only information and also hosts periodic luncheons where key issues are discussed and best practices are reviewed. The first member luncheon was held on Saturday, May 19th at Wynmoor in Coconut Creek. Over 150 Board Members from dozens of local communities attended and covered a variety of topics that are impacting associations including: foreclosures, rentals, emergency response plans, and the key factors in selecting a property manager.

Radio Tower

 

Free Radio Stations Covering HOA & Condo Issues

  • Condo Solutions: airs every Monday morning from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WSTU, 1450 AM radio in Stuart, Florida. http://www.wstu1450.com/
September App

 

September's Featured App

A Palm Beach County Disaster Assessment and Resource Tool App
In light of Tropical Storm Isaac, Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management reminds everyone that a new smartphone application is available. The app is called PBC DART (Palm Beach County Disaster Assessment and Resource Tool).

PBC DART allows residents to identify if they live in an evacuation zone, locate the nearest shelter, and permits residents to report damage to their home or business in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Damage reports will help emergency managers get an immediate Countywide “picture” within hours of a disaster event to help prioritize response efforts. The application is an additional outreach method to keep the public safe and informed before, during, and after disasters.

Features of the application include the following:
  • Evacuation Information
  • Evacuation Zone Identification
  • Shelter Information
  • Damage Reporting for Homes and Businesses
  • Emergency Operations Center Activation Level
PBC DART is available for immediate download at no charge from Apple’s iTunes Store and the Android Google Market.

PBC Dart Logo
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