I have been asked if someone holding a real estate license is legally able to manage a community association.
If management is compensated and the association has more than 10 units or more than $100,000 annual budget, it is defined as Community Association Management and therefore, a community association manager (CAM) license is required under Chapter 468, Florida Statutes.
The basic activities performed on behalf of the association include: controlling or disbursing funds, preparing budgets or other financial documents, assisting in providing notice and conducting meetings, coordinating maintenance for residential development and other day-to-day services.
A Community Association Man-agement Firm means a corporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership, trust, association, sole proprietorship or other similar organization engaging in the business of community association management for the purpose of providing any of the services described above. Within the scope of this statute, a community association manager may manage condominium, cooperative, planned communities (HOA), time share and mobile homes. There are specific laws within each of the aforementioned forms of ownership that must be followed. The main purpose of management is to maintain common areas and lifestyle of the community.
A manager is responsible for understanding the governing documents that were filed with the circuit court in which the property is located. These governing documents consist of: the declaration, the articles of incorporation, the by-laws and board rules and regulations. The manager is required to possess certain specialized knowledge, judgment and managerial skills.
Financial management is another important skill of the manager. The association budget identifies the estimated expenses for the operation of the association and maintenance of the common property. Once the budget is adopted, it is the basis for assessments charged to each of the members of the association.
A budget will include those expenses that are recurring, reserve for replacement (non-recurring) and estimated revenues such as user fees, rental fees and assessments. Reserves for roof replacement, exterior painting, paving resurfacing and any non-operating expense over $10,000 may be statutory. Generally, the governing documents state the reserve requirements, or the membership may vote to amend the reserve requirements.
The foregoing is merely a generalization of community association management. Actual duties and responsibilities are somewhat more complex.
Mario D'Artagnan is a freelance writer and holds a real estate broker license and CAM license. He is a former investigator for the Florida Real Estate Commission and former real estate instructor. He is a published author and has been a keynote speaker on the subject of agency law. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For questions or comments contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239-565-4445.