By Rafael Aquino

Published April 1, 2020  


We still don't know what the full impact of the virus will be; however, based on what has occurred in other countries, we haven't even gotten close to peaking. If that is the case, many individuals will be without jobs, business income, and pay for a significant amount of time. As such, we can only imagine that it will impact certain associations financially.  


In times like these, it is crucial to face the facts but also exercises compassion. However, we have no choice but to face (with sensitivity and tact) this situation as a fact of dealing with community associations. The following are some simple points to think about: 

  1. Community associations are a non-profit corporation. 

  2. The Board of Directors has a fiduciary obligation to carry out the requirements in the community's governing documents.

  3. The governing documents establish the assessments as a legal requirement for compliance and fiscal reasons

  4. The operating budget is designed with very specific required allocations towards essential community services. 

  5. The assessments or, more commonly, the "fees" that every owner is charged pays for these services.

  6. The association has no other source of funds to pay for its bills to operate the community unless they have a robust operating account or decide to use reserves (consult an attorney.) 

  7. The Board of Directors does not have the authority to forgive or suspend the collection of assessments. 

  8. Any significant lack of payment of the assessments will lead to an operating deficit, which leads to other extraordinary circumstances such as special assessments, service interruptions, etc.


While large businesses, credit card companies, and mortgage companies can forgo profit, which is not a structural component of any community association, and they can also get federal assistance in the form of bailouts or influx of cheap federal cash. Associations don't have this option or sway with our politicians. The Board does have the authority to waive late fees and interest where appropriate, and it may also consider accommodations requested as a result of documented hardships, but that's it. 


This is not a time to panic, but more time to start strategizing. Should this go longer than expected, your association should already have some next steps outlined. I know at Affinity Management Services, as a team, will be working on extraordinary efforts to prepare for this potential economic situation. This working group will be baking into the operational plans for our community directives, such as reviewing redundant service, contracts, budget, etc. Further, we are starting to analyze and will soon be communicating three major risk factors that we must all pay attention to:  

1. Associations Current Liquidity

2. Associations Receivables/ Delinquency

3. Budget Elasticity. 


While some believe it’s too early to start thinking this way, we consider it our responsibility to prepare and protect now rather than later. As most, we are hoping it won't get like it did in 2008; however, we will be prepared and ready should it go that way. 


I'd love to hear from our readers... has any of this crossed your mind? Are you reviewing your financials to understand your current position? Should it go south, what do you have in mind to protect your association? 

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit www.ManagedByAffinity.com or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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