By Rafael Aquino

Published January 18, 2023  


Florida's associations are facing a slew of increases in assessments that seem to have no end. The increase comes from all sides: increased insurance premiums, increased cost of labor, increased utilities, increased contract prices, mandatory reserves for condominiums, potential changes to the estoppel certificate, etc. 


One of the biggest challenges that Florida condos will face with the new reserve requirements is the cost of complying with them. To meet the new reserve requirements, condos must set aside a significant amount of money to cover future repairs and replacements. While I support the need to have mandatory reserves for condo associations, this can be a substantial financial burden for many condos, particularly those already struggling financially.


Another challenge that condos will face with the new reserve requirements is the difficulty of accurately estimating the cost of future repairs and replacements. To comply with the new reserve requirements, condos must accurately estimate future repairs and replacement costs. These estimates will be determined by a structural integrity reserve study that an engineer must conduct.


Further, discussions are being held by our legislators to eliminate the need to charge for an estoppel certificate. An estoppel certificate for a condominium association is a document that provides information about the financial status and obligations of the association. The estoppel certificate typically includes information such as the amount of any outstanding assessments or fees, any known upcoming special assessments, pending legal actions, parking space number, and any rules or regulations the buyer should be aware of. The certificate is typically used in real estate transactions when a buyer purchases a unit in an HOA/condominium complex. The management company or association will provide the certificate to the buyer through the seller. The estoppel certificate is essential for buyers to understand the financial obligations they will be taking on while purchasing the unit. If these fees are eliminated, management companies will have no choice but to pass on these expenses to their associations. Those self-managed communities that complete the estoppel certificate themselves will also need to increase assessments for the loss of income.


Lastly, I agree with Eric's point on Monday; how can all these changes to the law occur and Board Members still not be required to take a mandatory class? If a board member doesn't have four hours to dedicate to an online course that will teach you what you need to be aware of and the responsibilities/duties you have to the residents, I wonder if that person should be sitting on the board.


Florida community associations have a powerful voice when we come together to lobby our legislators to improve our HOA/Condo laws. By working together as a group, we can raise awareness about the issues that are important to us and make our voices heard by those who have the power to make changes. Whether addressing concerns about the new reserve requirements, mandatory board certification classes or leaving the status quo with the estoppel certificates, our collective action can make a real difference. To be effective, we all must get involved, stay informed, and make our opinions known to our legislators. Let's unite and make our voices heard so our community associations can thrive.

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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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