As the end of the year approaches, Board members of community associations often feel pressured to complete a variety of difficult and time-consuming tasks before the calendar hits January 1st. With the holidays approaching, Board members know that many people will be traveling and will therefore be unavailable. This shortens the deadline to complete those end-of-the-year tasks and magnifies Board member stress. A good community association management company helps relieve this stress by making sure Board members are organized and do not get behind.
If you live in a condominium community and your annual elections take place in January, your Board should be mailing out a Notice of Election to all community association members. This notice is required by the Florida Statutes to be mailed out to members 60 days prior to the election of Board members. Board members for homeowners' associations should check their community's Bylaws for election procedures. In addition to sending out Notice, there are many other steps that need to be completed at this time by condominium and homeowners' association Board members, including checking voting certificates, updating the list of candidates and updating ballots and proxies. The Notice of Election, ballots and proxies should all be reviewed by an experienced attorney to insure they comply with Chapters 718 and 720 of the Florida Statutes. The review of these documents by an experienced licensed attorney is included in FCAM's low flat-rate fee and is another benefit that FCAM offers its clients which typical community association management firms cannot.
Typically, October or November is also the time when most community association Boards review and approve a budget for the upcoming year. In the past two years, the Florida Legislature has made a number of changes to the Florida Statutes regulating condominium and homeowners' association budgets. Board members are expected to be aware of these changes and comply with them. It is your community association management company's job to be knowledgeable of all changes to the law, explain the changes to the Board of Directors and to help the Board comply with the Florida Statutes. If your community's current community association management company is not doing this, that is a good sign that you are not with the right management company. By the end of November, the Board should mail the approved budget to association members along with fee notice.
The end of the year is also a good time to review all vendor contracts. The Board of Directors should evaluate the performance of every person the association is currently paying. Board members owe a duty to their fellow association members to make sure their members' hard earned money is not being wasted on inadequate service. Board members should not only look at the performance of landscapers and maintenance companies, but also their attorney, accountant and community association manager. Performance by persons receiving money from the association should be evaluated throughout the year in order to ensure the association is getting what they are paying for.
Lastly, some communities host an annual holiday party. While these parties can be a lot of fun, they also take a great amount of preparation and planning. Your community association management company should be there to help you with this process. Your attorney should be available to answer any liability issues. FCAM provides both of these services and they are included in FCAM's low, flat-rate fee.
FCAM, LLC. is a community association management firm based out of Tampa, Florida. FCAM provides community association management and legal services to condominium and homeowners' associations in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk Counties. FCAM provides both services at a low flat-rate and can often cut an association's expenses for management and legal fees by up to twenty-five percent. Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact FCAM's President, licensed attorney and licensed community association manager, Brian P. Buchert, directly at (813) 739-8915.