THE PERFECT JOB FOR THE DBPR
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published August 29, 2022
As we have written about a million times, each condominium unit
pays $4.00 per year to the Department of Business and
Professional Regulation, Division of Condominiums, Timeshares
and Mobile Homes. That $4.00 is supposed to be spent on the
people who are paying it. The law states that:
All fees shall be deposited in the Division of Florida
Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund as
provided by law.
I don’t remember the exact figures, but roughly the Division
collects $12,000,000.00 and only spends $6,000,000.00 of it.
The unspent $6,000,000.00 gets swept into the general revenue
fund to be used by Florida’s legislators for anything they want
to use it for. Now all I know is that if I took money from my
“trust” account and did not give it to the client, I lose my
license and get arrested. Apparently, it’s OK however if The
Florida Legislature does it to all of you.
Florida just passed the most sweeping changes to condominium law
ever. It made full funding of reserves a must, meaning it can
no longer be waived. Here’s the problem………how is that going to
be enforced? Suppose the Board says “to hell with this new
crazy law, I’m just not doing it, I’m not collecting reserves
and I don’t care what anybody says.”
Remember, the purpose of this new law was to ensure another
Champlain Towers does not occur again. This law was a life
saving statute. But it’s a statute that nobody is watching.
The statute relies on condominiums policing themselves.
I have a better idea…….Let’s hire a bunch of new people at the
DBPR whose sole job it would be to ensure that every condominium
that is 3 stories or higher is passing a budget that complies
with the new law and contains fully funded reserves. Each
condominium association would be required to file their budget
annually with the DBPR and proof that the reserves are actually
being funded. If the budget is correct, and the reserves are
being funded, the association would get a letter saying so. If
the budget was incorrect, the reserves were not being funded or
the obligation to file the budget was ignored, the DBPR would
send out the appropriate warning letters. They would be there
to answer questions about this important live saving statute. If
all fails, they would be given the power to pursue
administrative fines and penalties against the Board members
directly inasmuch as the new statute makes it clear that failure
to follow these laws are a breach of the director’s fiduciary
AND WE HAVE THE MONEY TO DO THIS RATHER EASILY. ALL
WE HAVE TO DO IS ASK THAT THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE LEAVE THE
MONEY FOR THE PEOPLE THAT PAID IT. THAT’S IT.
This would be a very new and important task for the DBPR. So
Florida Legislature….next legislative session, give the DBPR
some power to enforce the new reserve statute and make sure the
Division can take the money to fund this new responsibility out
of their own trust account. Lives may depend on it.
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated
from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for three decades and is the owner of
Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a five attorney law firm with
offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
Eric is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in
Condominium and Planned Development Law.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze
and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at 11:00 a.m.
each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
Eric is the first attorney in the State of
Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium and
HOA residents as eligible to serve on a Board of Directors and
has now certified more than 20,000 Floridians all across the
state. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The
Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes
between associations and unit owners. Eric also devotes
significant time to advancing legislation in the best interest
of Florida community association members.