Is Your HOA Financially Prepared?

how to make sure your hoa is financially secureEven though the economy has recovered from its low points in 2007-2009, many homeowners associations (HOAs) are still reluctant to raise their fees. Some people will legitimately struggle to pay them and even more will complain, some of them becoming quite vocal. No matter how small the increment of increase, there’s always someone who will protest an HOA increase.

However, whether or not HOAs increase their fees, they still have the responsibility for upkeep of common elements in the community. This requires maintenance and repair, and can even require replacement if something gets old or broken beyond repair. It’s essential that HOA managers and boards regularly consider whether they are financially prepared to handle anything that might come up.

Important Questions

Not sure if your association is stable enough, fiscally, to handle an emergency? Here are some questions to ask to assess your readiness.

What elements, exactly, is the HOA responsible for? What is the responsibility of the individual homeowners? Is there any other entity with responsibility and what are they responsible for?

  • What maintenance do these elements require? Is the HOA up to date on this maintenance?
  • What are the costs associated with the maintenance? Is the HOA financially prepared to pay these?
  • Once these maintenance costs are paid, how much money does the HOA have left in reserve? Is that enough to cover any emergency costs that might arise?
  • Has the HOA deferred any maintenance? Has this deferral hurt the elements not maintained? Will it affect how long they last or how well they function?
  • Has there been any unusual weather events that might have affected the elements that the HOA is responsible for?
  • Will assessments cover all of the maintenance needs and leave some funds in reserve for emergencies?
  • Is it possible to set up a special assessment or get a loan to fund emergency repairs, replacements, or other major projects?
  • If it’s necessary to raise the fees, how quickly can that be implemented and will it be in time to cover any essential costs?

These questions should help your association begin to understand the current financial situation. While it might be tough to face some facts, it’s always better to look the truth in the eye before an emergency happens. Answering these questions honestly gives your association the chance to deal with issues before they arise. And who knows? You may discover that your HOA is in better financial shape than you had dreamed was possible!

website for condo associations in floridaBeginning in 2019, the law requires that all condominium associations have websites that meet certain criteria. While the deadline has been extended from July 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019, time is still ticking away. If your condo board isn’t already taking steps to comply with the upcoming changes, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of problems. Make yourself aware of the requirements, and start making changes now to avoid the last-minute rush.

What do you need to comply with Florida’s new laws for condominium websites? Keep reading to find out.

All Condos with more than 150 Units Need an Independent Website

You may feel that your Facebook group or your community’s section on Zillow is sufficient for sharing the required information, but under the law, it doesn’t count. Under 718.111, you are required to have:

“An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents, or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records, and documents may be posted by the association.”

In simpler terms, the association and the board must have a website which they officially own and operate.

There Must Be a Private Section that Can Only Be Accessed with a Password

Even if you already have a website, it might not be enough. In order to comply with the law, the website must have a password-protected section that can only be accessed by unit owners and association employees. This section can be a subpage, web portal or another type of electronic location that cannot be accessed by the general public.

There are certain things that need to be stored in this password-protected area, including:

  • All of your governing documents, including articles of incorporation, declaration, CC&Rs, bylaws and any amendments that have been made to such documents
  • A complete list of executory contracts and documents and a summary of current open bids
  • Pending and current budgets
  • Annual financial reports
  • Information on the board of directors, including certification documents for each member, any contracts between the member and the association, and any declarations of conflict of interest
  • Supporting documents for consideration at the annual meeting and at unit owner meetings. These must be posted no less than 7 days before the meeting.
  • Notice of board meetings, agenda, and supporting documents. These must be posted at least 48 hours before the meeting date.

Publicly Accessible Documents and Information

Condos are also required to make certain information and documents accessible to members of the general public, including:

  • Meeting notices, which must be posted at least 14 days before the meeting. Such notices must be linked from the home page or on the home page in a “Notices” section.
  • The association’s estoppel designee

Is your condo association prepared to comply with these requirements by the January 1, 2019 deadline? If you aren’t sure, we can help. At AMI, we are well-versed on the new laws and requirements for condominium associations, and we can help you make sure your community remains compliant. Contact us today to request additional information or to set up a time to speak with one of our professional property managers.



Locations

Lakewood Ranch:
9031 Town Center Parkway
Bradenton, Florida 34202
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Tel: 941.359.1134
Fax: 941.359.1089
Email: info@amiwra.com

Venice:
899 Woodbridge Dr.
Venice, FL 34293
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Tel: 941.493.0287
Fax: 941.493.4290
Email: venice@amiwra.com

Longboat Key:
595 Bay Isles Road, Suite 200
Longboat Key, Florida 34228
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Tel: 941.383.3200
Fax: 941.383.3210
Email: nfleet@amiwra.com


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