THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO MANDATE CONDO AND HOA EDUCATION

By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Published October 21, 2019

 

We all know that condo and HOA board members must get certified within ninety (90) days of getting on to their Board of Directors. Unfortunately however, Florida law allows board members to get certified either by attending an educational course or by signing a ridiculous, silly, self-serving, nonsensical affidavit that says you read your governing documents and promise to enforce them. If you live in a condominium, the affidavit does not require you to say you have read Florida Statute 718. If you live in an HOA, the affidavit does not require you to say you have read Florida Statute 720. In fact, many association documents contain illegal provisions. So leave it to the State of Florida to certify a director who promises to uphold and enforce the illegal provisions contained in their governing documents.

 

Just a few years ago a Miami Dade County grand jury delivered a blistering report about the state of condominiums in Miami-Dade County. It wasnít flattering. The grand jury report was on the contrary, a blistering report about just how bad things are in many of our associations. Kickbacks, stealing and conflicts of interest seem to be everywhere. In response to this grand jury finding, The Florida Legislature passed numerous new laws making certain actions a crime. If anyone knows anyone who knows anyone that was arrested under any of these new crimes, let me know because I havenít heard of anyone. I warned when these laws were passed that the local police departments have murders, rapes and robberies to solve, not election crimes. Sure enough, law enforcement rarely if ever gets involved.

 

One way that The Florida Legislature could have helped is by mandating that if you want to be a board member you must take an educational class approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. There is no requirement under the law that a Board member be an attorney, accountant, contractor, or have any prior experience in association matters of any kind. Yet, when board members are elected or appointed, they are given the keys to the kingdom and are often times in charge of budgets in the seven or eight figures. They need to immediately know some laws, rules, regulations and have a general understanding of their governing documents. When they donít, money is misspent. Lawsuits happen. Maintenance suffers and ultimately all the unit owners suffer financially. The lawyers do well however.
 

I have taught the Board Certification educational course to about 20,000 Floridians all across the state. These people wake up early, take time out of their busy lives and all want to become better board members and keep their association out of harmís way by attending a 3 hour class. It is embarrassing for me to tell them that they were not required to attend todayís class and instead they could have printed out a stupid form off of the internet, signed it, and have become certified to the same extent as if you took this seminar. Itís insane and itís insane that The Florida Legislature lets this shenanigans and this farce continue.
 

After having the honor and privilege of practicing in this area of law for 27 years I am delighted that The Florida Bar now recognizes Condominium and Planned Development Law as an area that is complicated and where attorneys themselves can become ďcertified.Ē I am honored to be one of a miniscule percentage of attorneys in the state to be certified in this area. Now itís time for The Florida Legislature to step up to the plate, realize that education must be mandatory and make sure that board members donít get certified by signing a dumb form. They have to attend a course for a few measly hours before they get to control millions of dollars in cash and real estate and potentially wreck the lives of their fellow owners. If they canít find the three hours of time to attend the class how are they going to find the time to attend meetings, pass budgets and solve the associationís problems?

If you agree with me, then make your voice heard today. Not tomorrow. Right Now.

Here is the website to find your local Florida Senator and House members: https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/find

Send them an e-mail today that says:

ďIím writing to demand that The Florida Legislature remove the ability of officers and directors of community associations to become certified by signing an affidavit. All Florida community association directors and officers must be required to attend an educational course approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.Ē
 

Let me know when you sent the e-mail and let me know if you receive a response.

Iíll do the same.


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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer 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 more than 2

decades and is the owner of Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa.

 

Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.

   

See: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.

   

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 10,000 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.


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