Q: Recently your column indicated that an association board member could act as the manager as long as it was an unpaid position. If a salary were involved, that person would have to be a licensed manager, a CAM. What about members of the board taking turns administering the activities of the association?
Let me provide a scenario: Treasurer signs in and checks the mail, etc., and the salaried administrative assistant performs the daily routine of answering the phone and dealing with owners who come into the administration building. The grounds foreman handles the hourly workers with their mowing, trimming, painting and all the other maintenance activities. Likewise each director takes a day to visit the office and perform managerial duties as needed.
None of these people is paid to carry out duties so a license would not be required? It’s not a good situation, but could it be used as the association seeks a manager or a management company to take over duties?
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
A: FS 468.432 defines the manager’s duties and the requirements to become licensed as a license community association manager (CAM). Your documents as well as the statute define the duties of the Board of Directors.
The receptionist and the grounds manager, while paid, do not have to be licensed as long as they do not make final decisions. In fact the board can perform any type of operational management and not be paid because it is their duty. They can engage any number of assistants and pay them a salary as long as they are supervised and directed by the board or a CAM.
When you engage someone to make decisions and supervise employees, you need a licensed CAM. It is a board decision whether it wants to engage management to perform the day-to-day operations. If the board wishes not to engage management, then they must perform the day-to-day operations.
Q: Our HOA board operates as an old boy’s network. In the past I have spoken out on various issues. More recently one of the old boys moved, and they appointed a new member. Elections were due for three slots so I put my name into contention.
When I received no ballot or notification of an election I assumed there were no more folks running than the number of openings. I learned I was wrong when a neighbor asked if I won. When I made inquiries the management company did not know why I did not get a ballot, but said I should check my spam filter to see if the one email notice from a different-than-usual server sent a notice of election. There was nothing in the spam filter.
Can this be challenged or do I just need to be smarter?
A: There are two types of election notices and election ballots. Annual meeting elections for all condominiums and some homeowner associations require two mailed notices including specific documents. The first notice, sent 60 days before the meeting, asks that any person wishing to be on the ballot submit their name. The second notice includes the ballot, which must be returned properly enclosed in an envelope and signed by the owner of the unit.
HOA annual meetings and elections do not require these two notices unless members voted to amend the documents or it was initially established in the documents.
HOAs normally do not mail out the ballots but make them available at the meeting. They should not be preprinted or filled in with the candidates’ names as new candidates may be nominated from the floor at the meeting.
I’m not sure why your association is using email as this would not necessarily be the proper way to notice meetings and include ballots.
I do see a problem with your action: You should have sent the board of directors a letter stating that you wish to become a candidate. While it’s not required, I recommend such letter be sent by certified mail. I would recommend that you study your documents for the type of annual meeting election and also read the statutes involved for your association.