Monday, December 16, 2013

Property Managers Behaving Badly



Quite often I receive complaints from homeowners about the behavior of the property manager, or community association manager (CAM) who manages the community.  These complaints can range from sloppy bookkeeping resulting in liens when there are no past due assessments to personal vendettas against a homeowner that lead to false police reports against the owner.

The first step to resolving these disputes, if negotiations with the CAM or the board of directors for the association are unsuccessful, is to verify the CAM and the company the CAM work for are licensed by the State of Florida.  You can do this by going to www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr and clicking on the "Verify A License" link at the top of the page.

If the CAM or the CAM firm is not licensed, that will be the primary complaint, with the poor behavior secondary.

Some pointers for filing a complaint:

1. Keep it simple -- do not ramble on.  If you need to vent, write it all down on a piece of paper and then fill out the complaint with only the critical points.

2. Attach any documents which are evidence of the bad behavior.

In 2013 the Florida Legislature enacted laws which provide for more stringent penalties for "any violation of Fla. Stat. Chapter 718, 719, and 720, as well as contracting on behalf of the association with any entity in which the CAM has a financial interest, and any conduct which is considered gross negligence or gross misconduct.  The threshold for proving gross negligence or gross misconduct is high.   See Chapter 468, Part IV of the Florida Statutes at:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0468/0468PartVIIIContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2013&Title=-%3E2013-%3EChapter%20468-%3EPart%20VIII


The complaint forms  to file a complaint against a CAM are available at:

 http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cam/documents/cam_complaint_package.pdf.

The complaint forms to file a complaint against a condominium association, mobile home park or timeshare are available at:

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/division/LSCMHComplaintFormIndex.html.

NOTE:  At this time the State of Florida does not regulate homeowner associations.  Please support the 2014 bill to create a regulatory agency, which will be proposed shortly.

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