Avoid That Temptation at all Costs
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published October 6, 2014
this for 22 years now, I don’t get surprised that often any
longer by anything that takes place in the world of condos and
HOAs. This week
however, I was quite surprised.
Twice in the
same week, community association managers brought it to my
attention that companies that do business in
with community associations are offering community association
managers “referral fees” for each association client the
manager brings to the vendor.
The offers are not discreet, they are blatant.
One shows a picture of someone (presumed to be a licensed
) holding a pile of hundred dollar bills.
The second simply tells the manager “I will pay
are not referral fees…they are kickbacks.
Let’s not mince words.
So now, the question becomes, is this legal and secondly,
should we worry that community association managers won’t be
recommending the best vendors to their associations, but only
the ones that pay the manager a referral fee?
Both the condo,
HOA and co-op statutes state:
officer, director, or manager may not solicit, offer to accept,
or accept any thing or service of value for which consideration
has not been provided for his or her own benefit or that of his
or her immediate family, from any person providing or proposing
to provide goods or services to the association. Any such
officer, director, or manager who knowingly so solicits, offers
to accept, or accepts any thing or service of value is subject
to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d).
Statute 718, 719 and 720 are clear that a community association
manager can’t get a kick back from a vendor who provides goods
or services to the community.
If that isn’t enough, Florida Statute 468 provides that
a community association manager can face disciplinary
proceedings if he or she :
any provision of chapter 718, chapter 719, or chapter 720 during
the course of performing community association management
services pursuant to a contract with a community association.
if that isn’t enough, remember that effective July 1st,
2014 community association managers were given the authority to
perform many more tasks without being accused of practicing law
without a license. In
exchange for that increased responsibility, The Florida
Legislature imposed new standards for community association
managers and Chapter 468 now reads:
community association manager and a community association
management firm shall discharge duties performed on behalf of
the association as authorized by this chapter loyally,
skillfully, and diligently; dealing honestly and fairly; in good
faith; with care and full disclosure to the community
association; accounting for all funds; and not charging
unreasonable or excessive fees.
you’re a community association manager, and you receive kick
backs from a vendor, good luck explaining at your disciplinary
hearing that you were being loyal, were dealing honestly, fairly
and in good faith and were providing full disclosure to the
association you were working for.
Managers are wise to stay as far away as possible from
any company dangling that carrot in the form of a kick back.
Nothing is worth the loss of your license.
HOA & Condo Blog
||Eric Glazer graduated from the University of
Miami School of Law in 1992 after receiving a B.A. from
NYU. He is currently entering his 20th year as a
community association law and is the owner of
Glazer and Associates, P.A. an eight attorney law firm in
and Hollywood. For the past two years Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and
HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show on 850 WFTL.
He is the first attorney in the State of Florida
that designed a course that certifies condominium residents as
eligible to serve on a condominium Board of Directors and has
now certified more than 7,500 Floridians. He is certified as a
Circuit Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has
mediated dozens of disputes between associations and unit
owners. Finally, he recently argued the Cohn v. Grand
Condominium case before The Florida Supreme Court, which is
perhaps the single most important association law case decided
by the court in a decade.