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  • Writer's pictureFrank Landrian

Where are we as a society when dealing with Condominiums?

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

You might be asking yourself that same question, I find myself just wondering how we got where we are today and how we have allowed ourselves to be here today? I find myself as a Licensed Property Manager under the Laws of the State of Florida attending board of Director meetings as their property manager or as a guest invited by a unit owner.

When I am present and hear some of the language and unfounded accusations being thrown at the Board of Director meetings, it has become troubling. There is no respect for one another anymore, it's one owner against another, a board member either against a unit owner or another fellow board member. The most curious part of some of these meetings is that you have unit owners that have been coached by an outside property manager on how to create problems at a meeting in hopes that the board will quit. I have run into some attorneys that actually participate in these schemes with the promise that if the board is removed, that Attorney would take over. I have dealt with these few attorneys that I still don't know how they have not been disbarred from practicing law.

The second part of attending board meetings is as a guest of a unit owner. I usually sit in the back of the room and do not ask questions; I just listen to the board. I listen for the property manager's name and run them through the State of Florida database to see when they were licensed. 82% of the time, the person running the meeting as the property manager is NOT licensed. Surprised? It happens way too many times, they are using a loophole in the law that the Management firm must have an assigned CAM, these companies pay a monthly fee in order to use a CAM's license, which seems to be fine, but it's not, because the State of Florida Statue on unlicensed activity forbids an unlicensed person from running association meetings, holding themselves out as a property manager and the list goes on. These unlicensed individuals show up on as the owner of the corporation with a greater ownership amount of 10% or more of the Corporation and the Licensed CAM doesn't even appear on the corporation's director list.

Imagine your association with annual revenue of 1 million dollars ($1,000,000.00) or more and entrusting the financials, access to all the association accounts, bill payer, ability to do wire transfers to a convicted felon? You would think twice, right? but it is happening every day, I run into these individuals, including the unethical Attorneys when we submit proposals and do presentations for management services. They are not pleased to see me at these meetings, especially the Attorneys. They immediately turn a presentation into a smear campaign, some act as Politicians, but nothing changes the fact that they are unlicensed and unethical. We usually get underpriced by these unlicensed individuals and 90% of the time, we are called back a year later when the association is in trouble and the Police are involved, headaches that could have been avoided by just educating yourselves on the State of Florida Laws. Great Association Attorneys hold regular meetings to inform owners of the laws for free. I encourage each unit owner to get involved in your board and to attend these important classes held by respectable Law firms in your area. The house you live in now is the biggest investment of your life, why not protect it. Get involved today, contact Miami Dade Economics Crime Division at your local Police Department to report suspicious activity by your Board of Directors, check to see if your property manager is licensed or not. If you just let them continue, the only person losing money at the end is yourself, these crooks just go from one community to another: offering their services for a discounted price or offering a kickback to a Board member in order to get the management contract.

I hope this information is helpful when it's time to inquire about the possibility of hiring a new property manager for your community, there are still great property managers and Attorneys practicing this great profession. Do your research and get informed.

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