EDUCATION BE REQUIRED FOR ALL BOARD MEMBERS?
Eric Glazer, Esq.
November 12, 2012
few years ago, the Florida Legislature passed a new law
effecting board members of
condominium associations only.
The law states:
90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, each
newly elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to
the secretary of the association that he or she has read the
associationís declaration of condominium, articles of
incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or
she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best
of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully
discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the
lieu of this written certification, within 90 days after being
elected or appointed to the board, the newly elected or
appointed director may submit a certificate of having
satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered
by a division-approved condominium education provider within 1
year before or 90 days after the date of election or
first method of signing what I call a silly, meaningless,
self-serving affidavit that you can obtain from the DBPR's
website, is insulting to those persons who have taken the time
out of their lives to take an approved course.
The statute is so flawed, that it allows for self
certification without even acknowledging that you have read
Florida Statute 718 or even know that it exists.
other way of fulfilling the requirement of the statute is by
attending an educational course approved by the DBPR.
I am proud to say that I was the first attorney in the
to design a course that allows me to certify people to serve on
condominium boards. It
is my honor to teach it and I have now certified over 3,000
taught the course this past Thursday at The Hard Rock Hotel in
. To see what it
looked like, click here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.467452716640336.122686.110621888990089&type=1
course focuses on so many areas including fiduciary duties of
board members, budgets, reserve funding, financial reporting,
how to conduct board meetings, whether the new laws even apply
in your community, rules and regulations, access to records,
arbitration, mediation, collections and foreclosures, material
alterations, emotional support animals and more.
Needless to say, you don't learn any of this by signing
an affidavit. Despite
the fact that only condominium Board members are required to get
certified, so many HOA Board members attend and are eager to
the materials we hand-out at the conclusion of the course also
details how the HOA statutes treat each topic and when we teach
the course outside of
, we also teach the laws that apply to HOAs.
year, there was originally legislation pending that would have
required board members in HOAs to get certified as well.
That legislation eventually died.
Apparently, The Florida Legislature believes that it's
only important for condominium board members to know condominium
law, but it's not important for directors of homeowner
associations to know HOA law.
And if that wasn't enough of a beat down to HOA owners,
The Florida Legislature then took away developer warranties from
owners in an HOA, despite the fact that our courts ruled that
developers should be held responsible to the home owners when
they build communities that crumble.
a no brainer that condominium and HOA education should be
mandatory for all Board members.
The owners who the directors serve deserve no less,
especially when the education is usually provided for free and
only requires attendance for a few hours a year.
Education prevents costly mistakes and creates harmony in
the community, even in those communities where the Board members
think they know everything just because they've been on the
Board forever. Ironically,
I often times find that it's the longest serving Board members
who need the education because they are used to doing things
"their way" rather than the right or legal way.
the affairs of a condominium association or homeowner's
association is not simple. Many
budgets exceed seven figures.
There is no requirement under the law that any Board
member be an attorney, accountant, licensed property manager or
have any experience managing a business.
The very least that should be required is a few hours a
year of education. A
mandatory requirement would not deter those that are truly
interested in serving in the first place.
On the contrary, most people who are willing to serve on
the Board want to ensure they are at all times acting within the
law. They are
yearning for an educational opportunity. Furthermore, the
remaining owners want the peace of mind that their elected
directors have at least some knowledge of the law.
on most matters is often difficult to pass because it requires
bi-partisan support and lately our elected officials can't seem
to agree on much. This
issue however is a win-win for all Floridians who live in a
community association. It
doesn't cost the state a dime.
The Legislator who grabs the bull by the horns and lines
up in support of mandatory education for Board members of
Florida community associations will be looked upon as a hero to
the millions of Floridians who live in a community association
as will every legislator who supports such a bill.
anyone is interested in taking our Condo Craze Board Member
Certification Course, just visit www.condocrazeandhoas.com
to register for either