There have been numerous discussions among the representative of various groups, but I’d like to do an informal policy survey of those who work day in and out in the community association industry.
What are your thoughts on the following proposed changes?
Late fees -
Should the amounts collected from delinquent accounts be limited to only “administrative late fees, interest, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees” or should management companies be allowed to collect a reasonable fee up to $150 per account for the work they do on delinquent accounts. Yeline Goin of the Community Association Leadership Lobby (or CALL) and the Becker & Poliakoff attorneys prepared language that could be added to HB 319/SB 680 that would provide as follows: "If provided in the management agreement between the association and a community association manager or community association management firm, the community association manager or community association management firm may retain, or be paid, all or a portion of the administrative late fees charged to a delinquent account. No fees other than administrative late fees, interest, costs and reasonable attorney's fees are chargeable to the owner's account in connection with the collection of delinquent assessments. For purposes of Section 718.116, costs are defined as taxable costs as determined by the Florida Supreme Court."
Is your association currently sharing these late fees with your manager or management company or do they look elsewhere to be compensated for the extra time they spend each month dealing with owners who aren't paying?
Education for board members –
Legislators have been asked to remove language requiring HOA and Co-op board members to be certified for Board service from the bill by CALL. Additionally, they are advocating that the current certification requirements for condominium board members be eliminated.
Do you share their concerns that asking directors to certify that they will "faithfully discharge" their duties creates potential liability for them? Do you think the fewer board members would attend classes and attempt to become educated if the certification process was no longer required? Do you support or oppose requiring all types of community association directors from having to either certify that they've read their governing documents or attend a Division-approved educational course?
Some are arguing that the provision allowing associations to retrofit their elevators when the next major change is needed (as opposed to automatically upgrading in 2015) should be removed from the bill. What are your thoughts? If you currently know how much it will cost your association to upgrade your elevator in line with the Phase II Firefighter retrofits, please let us know so we can provide that information to our bill sponsors.
HOA Elections –
Last year CAN’s language changing the HOA election procedures to mirror condominium elections was resoundingly rejected by some industry stakeholders. At that point, it was not politically feasible to move it forward. Now some of those folks agree that moving forward with this change would be acceptable. Would you support such a change in election procedure for HOA's?
A lot can change as these bills wind through the Committee process so stay tuned. Please do reach out with your comments and input since what ultimately passes has the potential to impact you on a daily basis.