The Importance of “Policies and Procedures” for All Day-to-Day Operations of Any Association

This is why Solutions Property Management Corp strives to educate the importance of “Policies and Procedures” for all day-to-day operations of any association

The 2021 legislative session brought some significant changes to the Condominium Act, the Cooperative Act, and the Homeowners Association Act. These changes went into effect on July 1, 2021, and many of them impacted the collections and foreclosure process for community associations.

At the outset, we always recommend that community associations work with their association’s attorney to craft a written collections procedure. When an association has written policies and procedures regarding collections, it has a greater likelihood of success in its collections for a number of reasons. Among these reasons, written policies and procedures help ensure that the association’s collections are all pursued in the same manner. This cuts down on allegations of selective enforcement and/or preferential treatment. Also, written policies and procedures help in the smooth transition in management of the collections practices through board and management changes. Further, having set procedures helps owners understand the process and manage expectations as to what will happen if they do not keep up with timely payments. There are other reasons, but suffice it to say, it is a good idea to have these policies and procedures.

If yours is an association that already has these policies and procedures in place, note that several of the legislative changes will require these to be updated in a few ways.

The changes in the 2021 laws prescribes a new method of delivery of statements of account or invoices for assessments.

If an association sends out regular statements of account or invoices for assessments, this change affects how those statements of account or invoices for assessments are delivered to members. Please note that these changes do not REQUIRE an association to send invoices for assessments or statements of account. Further, unless the association’s documents provide otherwise (and they shouldn’t) sending out assessment “coupons” or billing statements is not a condition to collecting properly levied assessments.

If an association sends out invoices for assessments or a statement of the account, the invoice or statement must be sent by first-class U.S. mail or by email to the owner’s email address, as reflected in the association’s official records. This addition to the statute is of some concern because it does not clarify whether email may be used when the owner has not consented to receive other official notices by email. In an abundance of caution, if an owner has not previously consented to receive email notification, the invoice or statement should be sent via first-class U.S. mail.

Also, before an association can change the method of delivery for invoices for assessments or a statement of account, the association must deliver written notice of the change to each owner, at least 30 days before the association sends the invoice for assessments or statement of account by the new delivery method. The notice must be sent by first-class U.S. mail to the owner at the owner’s last address as reflected in the association’s records, and if the last address is not the property address, the notice must also be sent to the property address by first-class U.S. mail.

In addition, a unit owner must affirmatively acknowledge by email or in writing his or her understanding that that the association will change its method of delivery for the invoice for assessments or the statement of account before the association can change the method of delivery for that owner. The law offers no guidance on what to do if an owner fails or refuses to acknowledge.

Another change in the laws requires the association to send a 30-day notice of delinquency prior to turning an account over to an attorney for collections.

The change requires associations to provide delinquent owners with a 30-day notice of delinquency prior to turning the account over to the association’s attorney for collections. Failure to provide the delinquent owner with this 30-day notice of delinquency will preclude the association from recovering its legal fees related to a past due assessment, i.e., any fees incurred in a collection/foreclosure action.

The 30-day notice must be sent via first-class U.S. mail to the owner’s last address as reflected in the association’s official records, and if the last address is not the property address, the notice must also be sent to the property address by first-class U.S. mail. The notice is deemed delivered upon mailing and a rebuttable presumption that the notice was mailed as required can be established by a sworn affidavit executed by a board member, officer or agent of the association, or by a licensed manager.

Subsection (5) also provides a form for the 30-day notice, titled “Notice of Late Assessment,” and requires the association to list the delinquent assessments, interest, and late fees that are owed.

Finally, there is a change to the timeframes that an association has to notify an owner of its intent to proceed with collections and foreclosure and the timeframes that an owner has to pay the amounts detailed in the pre-foreclosure demand letters sent by the association’s attorney. There are actually two changes that were enacted, one of which affects both condominium associations and cooperative associations and the other which only affects condominium associations.

One of the enacted changes increases the minimum timeframe for a condominium association or cooperative association to notify an owner of the association’s intent to record a claim of lien from 30 days to 45 days. This change provides the owner with an additional 15 days to remit payment for the amounts demanded in the notice of intent to lien letter. The Homeowners Association Act already required this 45 day timeframe.

The second change increased the timeframe for a condominium association to notify an owner of the association’s intent to foreclose it’s claim of lien from 30 days to 45 days. This change provides the owner with an additional 15 days to remit payment for the amount detailed in the notice of intent to foreclose letter.

These changes will require associations to make significant changes to their current collections policies and procedures, especially if the board has a written collection policy in place. Failure to do so could result in serious legal ramifications for the association if the new statutory requirements are not properly followed.

If your association does not currently have written collections policies and procedures, it may be a good time to work with your association attorney to draft these. While the statute sets out minimum notice and other timeframes, the associations may be more lenient and allow even more time.

However, you should keep in mind that the longer the association delays in starting the collection process, the longer it will take for the association to collect the funds necessary to operate the community. As with all things, balance is important and perhaps the simplest way to manage this is to stick to the timelines set out in the now more lenient statutes.

To read the original FLCAJ Magazine article, please click here.

Insights Into Your Role as a Board Member | Oct 14

Insights Into Your Role as a Board Member: Fiduciary Duty & Business Judgment Rule

Where: Zoom

When: October 14, 2021 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT

If you agreed to serve on your board, you will want to be sure you have the tools and information necessary to understand your responsiblities, discharge your duties in accordance with the applicable law and your governing documents, and avoid any potential liability associated wiht your new role.

Topics of discussion include:

  • The fiduciary duty of a board member to the association
  • How to protect the association and themselves from liability while conducting association business
  • The most frequent mistakes made by board members


1 IFM or 1 ELE Credit


Provider: #0000811

Course: #9630161


PLEASE NOTE: Instructions to receive certificate of completion or CEU credit will be emailed 1-2 days after the class has concluded.


Becker - Joseph Adams
Joseph E. Adams

Becker - Jay Roberts
Jay Roberts

Who is Responsible for a Limited Common Element?

The sidewalk, the road, the park bench, the elevator, the streetlights, and more belong to and benefit everyone in a homeowners association. These common areas or common elements are shared property maintained by the association and enjoyed and used by all residents. The money for repairing and replacing these elements comes from the community’s operating budget or reserves, which are funded by everybody’s collective annual assessments.

Condominium balconies, parking spots, roofs, and sometimes even windows and doors—while designated for the exclusive use of one resident—also are considered part of a community’s infrastructure. But who is responsible for maintaining and repairing a common element that’s used by only one household?

The resulting disputes happen more often than you might imagine and are diverse and complicated to resolve. But according to some attorneys in this business, the answer to most of the conflicts are readily available.

Defining Limited Common Elements 

“There’s exactly one thing that determines if something is a limited common element,” says Adam Cohen, an attorney with Pullman & Comley in Hartford, Conn. “And that’s if the (association’s) declaration says it is.”

“Maintenance, repair, and replacement of a limited common element is usually the responsibility of the association except to the extent the declaration shifts that duty to the unit owner,” writes Cohen in “What Exactly Is a ‘Limited Common Element?,’ ” a 2012 article in Common Interest magazine, a CAI Connecticut Chapter publication. “Some declarations make the unit owner completely responsible for replacing windows and doors, while other declarations say the unit owner need only remove leaves and snow from the front porch but is not responsible for substantive repairs.”

It’s essential that board members, attorneys, and community managers look to an association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) for the definition of their limited common elements—and who has the responsibility for their upkeep.

State statutes also are good resources in identifying limited common elements and who’s responsible for them, says Marshal Granor, principal at Granor Law Firm in Horsham, Pa., and a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers. “A limited common element’s definition can vary based on the original builder or developer’s concept,” says Granor. “It also might have been changed over time by the association.”

Granor also concedes that it’s possible an association’s CC&Rs—or even the state statute—were written in a way that gives the association board the authority to assign limited common elements. “I like this approach because it’s awful if you have to get a super majority of owners to vote that Mrs. Smith’s deck is a limited common element,” Granor says. “You just don’t get that kind of (owner) involvement most of the time.”

Obvious Limited Common Elements

Although Cohen is adamant that “a limited common element is whatever the declaration says is a limited common element,” he concedes that Connecticut’s statute also indicates that “certain things are presumed to be common elements unless the declaration says otherwise.”

“Balconies are the most recognizable limited common elements,” according to Colin Horner, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, former general manager at Fairlington Villages Unit Association in Arlington, Va.

Unseen Limited Common Elements

But who—unit owner or association—is responsible for the wiring or plumbing pipes found throughout a condominium? The owners who live within such a community expect them to work. After all, the pipes transport hot and cold water and gas into a unit and remove wastewater, and the wiring provides electricity, cable, and internet service. The pipes and wiring run throughout the building and, at some point, enter the unit within the studs.

Assuming an individual’s ownership in a condominium is from the studs in, who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the plumbing or wiring beyond the studs? Also, critical, if the association is liable for remediating a leaky pipe, does it have the right to access it through an individual homeowner’s property to make repairs? If an association’s CC&Rs are ambiguous, it’s essential for homeowners to correct that and make them more specific. explores questions and comments from community association members living in condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives. We then assemble trusted experts to provide practical solutions to your most commonly asked, timely questions. We never use real names, but we always tackle real issues. Have a question or comment about your community association? Submit here for consideration:

Submit a form.

Reserve Expenses vs Operating Expenses

One of the most common questions we get is, “Can I pay for this through Reserves?” If you are still unclear on what qualifies as a Reserve expense, watch the video above!

Understanding Reserves

Click Here to Download Chapter One for Free!
Understanding Reserves is a comprehensive Reserve Study guide for board members and community managers. Besides answering common questions related to Reserve Studies, we thoroughly address each facet of the Reserve Study process. Download Chapter One to get a glimpse at the book that could serve as your go to Reserve Study resource!


Landlords of Brevard County – Emergency Housing Program

In a partnership between HUD, the Housing Authorities and Brevard Homeless Coalition we would like to invite you to participate in a limited program.

There are only a total of 117 participants in this program throughout Brevard County, so do not wait!

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me directly.


2021 Legislative Update – Condominium Associations

As you may be aware, the Florida legislature was quite active this year and passed several bills
affecting condominium associations. These laws took effect on July 1, 2021. The following
provides a brief summary of some of the more significant changes made of which you should take
note (this is not an exhaustive list). Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact

§ 718.111(12)(a)11 and (b), Florida Statutes
Bids for work or for materials, equipment, or services must be kept at least 1 year after receipt of the

§ 718.111(12)(c)1 Florida Statutes
An association cannot mandate that unit owners provide reasons to inspect official records.
Renters must be given access to the declaration, bylaws and rules, but they have no rights to other
official records.

§ 718.112(2)(d)2, Florida Statutes
Board member 8 year terms limits shall run from the first day of any term beginning on or after July
1, 2018. Clarifies that the 8 years does not include any time served prior to July 1, 2018.

§ 718.112(2)(d)2, Florida Statutes
Members of an association’s board of directors can be disqualified only for a delinquency in the
payment of assessments instead of “any monetary obligation” (which was the previous language,
and included fines).

§ 718.112(2)(f)1, Florida Statutes
The board must adopt the association’s annual budget at least 14 days prior to the start of the
association’s fiscal year. If a board does not adopt a new budget as required, the prior budget shall
stay in effect until a new budget it adopted. Failure to timely adopt a budget twice shall be deemed
a “minor violation” and could subject the association to monetary penalties as set forth in the Florida
Administrative Code.

§ 718.112(2)(I), Florida Statutes
If authority to charge a transfer fee is set forth in the governing documents, the upper limit for the
transfer fee is raised to $150.00 per adult applicant. The amount of the fee will increase in
accordance with the Consumer Price Index every 5 years.

§ 718.116(6), Florida Statutes
Notices of an association’s intent to lien, and its intent to foreclose, must now provide 45 days to
comply instead of 30.
Before sending a delinquent account to the association attorney, a new, form 30-day courtesy notice
must be provided to the owner.

§ 718.1255, Florida Statutes
A party may now choose whether to pursue an arbitrable dispute via non-binding arbitration, or
alternatively via presuit mediation followed by a lawsuit. Previously, arbitration was the only and
mandatory choice for arbitrable disputes.



6 minute video explaining the current situation.
The CDC Eviction Moratorium has been struck down by the Supreme Court but it is crucial to stay informed. Updates are found on 
All evictions can be filed as normal, and the special “notice” advising the tenant of the CDC Order protection no longer needs to be provided.

The latest guidance from HUD regarding the CARES ACT states that IF the property is covered under the CARES ACT, the 30 Day Notice of nonpayment of rent must be used rather than the usual 3 Day Notice. 

The final step (removal by the Sheriff), can now occur if an eviction was held up by a CDC Declaration.  
Most nonpayment cases were already moving through in most counties and will continue to do so.


1. If you want to file an eviction, confirm you did not sign any Assistance forms stating that you would wait for funds and hold off on filing an eviction.
2. Confirm if you are CARES ACT covered or not.
3. Confirm your 3 (or 30) Day Notice is correct.
4. Confirm your 3 (or 30) Day Notice does not have excessive accumulated late fees.

Confirm you have NOT accepted any funds during any open and held up eviction.  We are confirming this with you prior to having the Writ of Possession issued.


In most cases, these evictions have been moving through fine and will continue to do so.
You still have options with your Tenants.
CASH FOR KEYS – This is often a viable method.  Download the form we provide if needed.
AGREEMENT TO VACATE – Many Tenants will indeed sign an Agreement to Vacate form.  Please see the video we have on this topic and download the form if needed.
Money is still being allocated by the government for rental assistance funds to the Tenant and directly to the Landlord. Keep seeking these funds out.

If an eviction is OPEN, contact us FIRST before accepting any assistance or signing any assistance paperwork.

Nothing is stopping you from accepting partial rent or entering into payment plans.  If you are dealing with a CURRENT OPEN EVICTION, contact us first before accepting any money so we can get you a STIPULATION.