It has been a long time since we blogged about whether or not officers and directors of our Florida community associations should get paid for their service to the community. I certainly don’t know if payment to directors would cut down on theft of association funds and get more people to participate in the affairs of the community. Here is what I do know however. Crime in condominiums and HOAs, simply doesn’t stop. It’s not getting better and seems to be getting worse.
There is never a decent stretch of time that goes by where we’re not reading on the internet or watching on the news some officer or director who took the association funds when he or she thought nobody was looking. Sometimes it’s used to pay off their own mortgage default like in Bartow last week, other times it’s used to simply go on a gambling spree at a casino like what happened in Hollywood last year.
Florida law is pretty clear. Directors serve without compensation unless authorized in the governing documents. HOA law would also allow payments to an officer or director if voted on in advance by a majority of owners at a properly called meeting where a quorum is present. The bottom line…..compensation is prohibited unless expressly authorized.
Have we reached the point where the job of a director is deserving of compensation? Now, they need to get certified. They put in countless hours trying to better the community. They hear endless complaints from their neighbors at all hours of the day or night. They’re criticized even when they’re doing a great job and have to face their neighbors on the elevator or at the pool, who they also happen to be suing them. And that’s just the job perks!
Why in their right mind would anyone take on this responsibility for zero compensation? At least if you do charity work at a local organization you’re not criticized for it and you’re not woken up in the middle of the night by people complaining about a water leak.
Is it possible that time on the job builds resentment? At some point, do some Board members say to themselves that they’re going to take some money because they feel they simply deserve it for putting up with everybody else’s B.S.? Or, is that simply an excuse for justifying the reprehensible act of stealing from your neighbors?
Would some form of payment attract more qualified candidates? Would it prevent theft of association funds? What is the proper amount of compensation? Free assessments? Are your Board members deserving of some form of compensation? Would you do their job for free?