LICENSED CAMS AND MANAGEMENT FIRMS?
Published May 31, 2019
As usual – there are good, there are bad and in this case there
are even horrible management firms. The real problem: There are
only a very few real good managers and firms.
Never forget: Community Association Manager is not a job you
learn in college or make an apprenticeship. All it takes to get
a community association manager license is passing a relatively
easy test – after listen for a few hours to a seminar. And
KABOOM – you are a licensed community association
manager. Armed with a license, but with very little knowledge
and even less experience, the newly licensed managers are
quickly in charge of the finances of the association and the
elected board members, often with even less knowledge than the
newly licensed manager, rely on the mostly overpaid manager to
do things right. After all: The manager has a license.
And this is where the problems really start: Managers are given
too much power, and often even abuse the power they have been
handed to them by board members who love the title (Call
me Mr. President!) but have no knowledge what they are
supposed to do.
Many of the mistakes we see being made in community associations
are caused by total incompetence of CAMs who even think they are
experienced attorneys and hand out legal advice like candy. No
matter what the Florida Supreme Court said, we hear it all too
often that managers give legal opinions at association meetings
and many of the owners are impressed because the CAM has a
license, issued by the State of Florida.
Even many board members are impressed by the fact that their
hired CAM has a license – and often allow them to work pretty
Board members seem to forget that they are the ones in the end
being blamed for any serious mistakes, because the CAM will use
the “Nuremberg Defense” if a complaint is filed
against his/her license. While the court in Nuremberg didn’t
accept the defense: “I just followed orders” -- the State of
Florida does accept the CAM's defense: “The board told me to do
it!” And the board members end up being blamed for the mistakes
of the “licensed” CAM!
||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