By Rafael Aquino

Published November 15, 2023  


In the wake of the Champlain Towers tragedy in Surfside, Florida, the conversation around condominium safety and financial management has taken a critical turn. While the incident was a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the structures we inhabit, it also served as a catalyst for legislative change.


The importance of adequately funding reserves is a subject that has long been debated within the realms of condominium management. While low maintenance fees may be attractive to residents in the short term, they can lead to severe underfunding for essential repairs and maintenance, jeopardizing the integrity and safety of a property. It's a management perspective that has been overshadowed by the immediate satisfaction of cost savings but is now being brought to the forefront of our industry.


The new laws mandating safety inspections and reserve funding in Florida are not just legal requisites; they represent a fundamental shift towards transparency and long-term planning. While this shift may present financial challenges initially, it is a necessary step to ensure the safety and durability of our living spaces.


For board members, the presence of fully funded reserves transforms decision-making. No longer must they grapple with the shortfalls of underfunding when facing significant repairs or improvements. Instead, they can act confidently, knowing the resources are available to address issues proactively rather than reactively.


It is crucial to acknowledge that these legislative changes, while challenging, are ultimately beneficial. They compel us to face the real costs of managing a condominium association and to plan accordingly. This foresight not only safeguards the physical structure of our communities but also fortifies the financial stability of the associations that oversee them.


We understand that the transition to fully funded reserves will be a process, one that will require adjustments and a reevaluation of what has been considered standard practice. Yet, it is a process that is vital. The path to proper financial stewardship of our associations is through education, understanding, and the willingness to embrace these changes for the safety and security they bring.


This is more than compliance; it's about adopting a mindset that values preparation and safety. Let us take this opportunity to recalibrate, understand the true cost of managing our communities effectively, and take pride in the fact that we are setting a standard for properties to be well maintained and ensuring the residents who call condos home can do so with pride and confidence.

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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 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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