The other day on the show, we spoke about a President of an association who is in trouble because he used community association funds to pay himself for doing services that would normally be performed by a licensed community association manager. So, you might ask, does that mean all community associations must hire a community association manager? The answer to this question is NO. A community association does not need to hire a manager. The Board can do all the book keeping its wants. However, if the Board members are going to get compensated for doing the work of a C.A.M. they have to be licensed. It boils down to money. It’s OK for the Board to manage the place without professional help, as long as they aren’t getting paid to do it.
Even if a member did bother to get a CAM license, the statutes require them to refrain from participating in any board vote to hire him or herself as the manager.
The other question that comes to mind is….. can the association hire an unlicensed bookkeeper? I hate when I hear that. I have never seen a situation where the unlicensed “bookkeeper” is not performing services that only a licensed manager can perform for pay. To me, the simple answer is therefore NO.
Florida law not only requires the community association manager to be licensed, but if that manager is working for a company, that company must be licensed as well. One community I know recently found out that the company they contracted with was licensed, but the community association manager assigned to the property wasn’t. To me, clearly a violation of the law and a breach of the contract by the management company.
As many of you know, this year The Florida Legislature gave community association managers lots of new powers that used to be considered the practice of law. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that before deciding upon which manager or management company you decide to hire, get references and ensure that you verify the management firm is licensed and insured and that the manager assigned to your community is licensed as well. The right manager can brighten the smiles of the Board and all of the owners, and on the flip side, the wrong one can get the community into lots of trouble.