What are the Essential Duties of an HOA Manager?
In Homeowners’ Associations, the Board of Directors is entrusted with the duty to preserve, protect, and enhance the quality and value of the property, assets, and lifestyle of the community. This involves many tasks, such as providing for maintenance of the common areas, developing, and implementing budgets, solving disputes, and holding elections. All of these must be done according to the provisions of the Florida statutes that regulate these communities.
Because the board members are volunteers, and often have little experience interpreting laws or running a business, they often hire Community Association Managers (CAM) or management companies to assist with much of the work entailed. This is true even if they have completed an HOA board member certification course.
CAMs are licensed by the State of Florida after taking a licensure course that gives them specialized knowledge, judgment, and managerial skills. CAMs must complete 15 hours of continuing education courses before renewing their license every two years. This is important because the statutes change frequently. CAMs must comply with the HOA’s governing documents as well as the requirements of law.
Before hiring a Community Association Manager, the Board of Directors should meet with the CAM and agree upon and sign a contract that spells out exactly which obligations and responsibilities will fall to the manager and which the Board will retain.
In general, the Community Association Manager does the following on behalf of the Board of Directors:
· Disburses funds;
· Prepares budgets and financial reports;
· Assists in noticing or conducting meetings;
· Determines the number of days required for statutory notices;
· Determines amounts due to the association;
· Collects amounts due to the association before the filing of a civil action;
· Calculates the votes required for a quorum or to approve an amendment;
· Completes any forms related to the management of a community association that have been created by statute or by a state agency;
· Drafts meeting notices and agendas;
· Calculates and prepares certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates; and
· Responds to requests for certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates.
Community Association Managers are not allowed to perform activities that constitute the practice of law, so the Board of Directors turns these matters over to the association’s attorney. Likewise, the CAM cannot provide audited financial statements. Here the Board relies on the services of a CPA. The Board still meets on a regular basis, employs committees to study various issues, signs contracts for maintenance and other services, holds elections, and decides how they will enforce rules and policies and resolve complaints and disputes. The CAM may assist with any of these, but they are ultimately the Board’s responsibility.
Licensed HOA managers have specialized and unique skills in running the affairs of Homeowners’ Associations as well as condominiums and cooperatives. The board must exercise due diligence when hiring a community manager. As an association board member, consider enrolling in the HOA board certification course to gain essential knowledge and a good understanding of the applicable Florida statutes. You can complete the course online.