THE MAGIC WORD: MANAGER!
December 16, 2016
Before getting really into it letís start
with the disclaimer: There are many good community association
managers (CAM), doing an excellent job!
That much said, letís get started: There are too many
incompetent CAMs with a private agenda and open pockets who
think they are in charge of the community they are only supposed
Board members donít seem to understand that
they will in the end be held responsible for the actions of the
CAM who they allow to make decisions with serious financial
impact on the community.
And since boards seem to sign contracts
without reading or understanding them, the board members find
out too late that they signed a contract stating that they have
to pay the legal fees if a complaint against the manager is
being filed with the DBPR.
Only too often you see the association
attorney filing the response to the complaint: In my opinion a
clear CONFLICT OF INTEREST. The reason: Most of
these responses contain the so-called Nuremberg defense:
Adolf told me to do it! In this case it reads: I acted on
orders of the board! Meaning: They are blaming the board members
for violations of rules and statutes.
That should be a clear warning to all board
members that they just shouldnít allow the CAM to run the show
and make the decisions Ė if they donít want to be blamed later
for any serious problems.
And then there are the many CAMs who think
that their income needs an extra boost: They ask the vendors Ė
behind closed doors Ė to give them a percentage of their bill --
either for getting them the contract or for "supervising" it.
Some management contracts even contain clauses that require the
association to pay the manager a certain percentage of the final
bill (often for construction jobs) for supervising the job.
Thatís in my opinion a joke: Too many mangers barely know the
basics to do the job they are hired to do, much less having
knowledge about construction. How do you supervise something you
know more or less nothing about?
And then there are the management companies
who own other service companies and donít disclose to boards
that the service company they are pushing are actually part of
their corporation network? Thatís the worst kind Ė and they are
doing a lot more financial damage to associations than
incompetent board members.
Letís say one thing here at the end of this
year: Community associations are very tricky to run Ė especially
considering the fact that managing such a community takes lots
of skills Ė skills many of the folks in charge of these
communities donít have.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Ė that sure is a fact in Floridaís Community Associations!
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking