Community Association Managers Legal Update

The 2014 Florida legislative session concluded last month with a number of new laws affecting community associations, including community association managers. One of the most highly discussed changes relates to Chapter 468, Fla. Stat., governing the types of activities that a community association manager or community association management firm may perform as part of its normal duties. Previous to the 2014 session, Section 468.431(2), Fla. Stat., provided that community association managers and management firms were empowered to control or disburse funds of a community association, prepare budgets or other financial documents for a community association, assist in the noticing of conduct of community association meetings, and coordinate maintenance for a residential development.

As of July 1, 2014, in addition to the above items, community association managers and management firms will also be empowered to perform the following tasks:

  • Determining the number of days required for statutory notices
  • Determining amounts due to the association
  • Collecting amounts due to the Association before the filing of a civil action
  • Calculating the votes required for a quorum or to approve a proposition or amendment
  • Completing forms relating to the management of a community association that has been created by statute or by a state agency
  • Drafting meeting notices and agendas
  • Calculating and preparing certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates
  • Responding to requests for certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates
  • Negotiating monetary or performance terms of a contract subject to approval by the association
  • Drafting pre-arbitration demands
  • Coordinating or performing maintenance for real or personal property and other related routine services involved in the operation of a community association

The new law also provides specific statutory forms that a manager or an association may use in order to record a claim of lien, release of lien, and a form demand letter for the payment of delinquent assessments. The statutory forms have been incorporated into the statutes governing condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations (Chapters 718, 719 and 720, Fla. Stat., respectively).

However, it remains important for associations, managers and management firms to consult with legal counsel in determining what functions may properly be performed by a manager or management firm, and to determine whether or not and when a specific statutory form may be used.