Phase Three for Reopening Florida was put into effect by Governor DeSantis. This is assumed by many to mean that the state of Florida is completely open again but that is not the case. We still have some restrictions throughout the state in some cities and counties that still mandate such things as masks and social distancing in some cases. Your association should consult with the association attorney to see what restrictions still apply in your area, particularly southeast Florida.
We have included a link to the Phase Three Reopening guidelines below.
There are a number of issues that boards and managers must consider in protecting the welfare and safety of the owners and residents to the community associations. The Covid – 19 virus has not gone away according to all the medical experts. And it is projected to be with us for who knows how long. So, vigilance is required by the associations and boards.
We have received numerous questions about conducting annual meetings in the fall and beyond. Currently, the state is still under The Governor’s State of Emergency order which is as of today scheduled to expire November 3, 2020. The State of Emergency provision allows community associations to operate under the section on each law giving Emergency Powers to the Board to do what is necessary to cope with the situation which includes rescheduling or cancelling meetings. If the State of Emergency is not extended, we will revert back to normal operations as far as annual meetings and board meetings go.
If you intend to hold an annual meeting, be sure the association complies with whatever directives are issued by the state with regard to social distancing and the numbers allowed to gather in a group setting. I have talked to some associations who are planning to hold the annual meeting outside on the grounds of the association. Be sure you and your boards plan accordingly.
Many associations have been holding board meetings on one of the many virtual platforms available. There is no reason the association cannot continue holding board meetings using virtual platforms. As we have stated before, the association still has to comply with the notice requirements for board meetings and devise some method of allowing the owners who so desire to hear the board meetings and participate which means allowing them to speak on items on the agenda for the board meeting.
The following link takes you to a page referencing a number of the virtual platforms that are available for board meetings.
The association and board should devise policies and procedures concerning safe use of the common facilities such as the pool, clubhouse, card room, fitness facility or other areas where numbers of people gather. If you have elevators, there must be guidance on how many passengers are allowed for example. The association may require masks even if the local government does not require masks. The board also must implement sanitizing policies and procedures to do as much as possible on the part of the association to limit the exposure to the virus. The association also needs policies and procedures regarding guests, the number of guests, contractors coming to do work on units, and the contractors performing work on common areas. There should be polices and procedures regarding masks, personal protective equipment and any other concerns the board may have.
If the association has short term rentals, the board needs to provide guidance on how to handle the issues caused by a transient population as well.
The board is responsible for the welfare of the community residents and guests with respect to the use of the common property and should be proactive in taking measures to limit the exposure to and spread of the virus. We highly recommend consulting with the association attorney for guidance in instituting the necessary policies and procedures to protect your residents and guests.
We do not have any live continuing education courses scheduled at this time, but we do have correspondence courses for all 15 hours or single courses if you are still in need of continuing education. We offer the electronic version of our courses and hard copy correspondence courses. You can register for any of these at our website, www.graysystems.com or by calling our office at 800-223-5457.
We are still offering the Prelicensure Course classes using the Zoom platform. The schedule may be accessed at the following link.
Question: It is nearing budget time and I have received questions about reserves as we do every year. One question is “does the membership vote to approve fully funded reserves?”
The answer is no. In condominiums and cooperatives, the board is required to budget for fully funded statutory reserves each year. In a homeowners’ association, if reserves were established by the developer or by a majority vote of the membership, the board must budget for fully funded reserves. If the board is empowered to adopt the budget, it does not need a membership vote to approve fully funded reserves. After the membership has been presented a budget with fully funded reserves, the membership may vote to waive or reduce reserves. This would be done at a membership meeting where a quorum is present. The vote can be in person or by limited proxy.
Please let us know if we can provide additional information on any of the subjects contained in this newsletter or on any other issues related to community association management in the state of Florida.
Thanks for using our services.