Welcome to the October Edition of the Green Marble Newsletter

The October Issue includes:

- FLCAJ Nomination
- Insurance Exclusions During Hurricane Season?
- Upcoming Events, Seminars, & Meetings
- Do You Need to Regulate the External Appearance of your Community?
- 3rd Quarter Most Awesome Manager Winner 
- 3rd Quarter Most Awesome Board Member Winner
- A ccepting  4th Quarter Most Awesome Manager/Board Member Nominations
- What about those Halloween Decorations? 
- Reserves and Reserves Studies

Clayton & McCulloh is honored to be nominated for the 3 rd year in a row for the Florida Community Association Journal's Reader's Choice Award in the law firm category.   All of us at  Clayton & McCulloh would very much appreciate your vote by using the link in the logo below:

Vote for Clayton & McCulloh . . . the law firm that Embraces Community !

Flood and Overflow Insurance Exclusions 
in Hurricane Season

By Partner, Joe Stayanoff

Big winds usually grab the headlines. But as recent mega-storms such as Katrina and Sandy and the Texas deluges have shown the real punch of these storms comes in the form of rising water and water damage.  Very few property insurance policies provide flood/rising water coverage outside of a separate FEMA endorsed flood policy.  We all understand this fact.  But how many of us are aware that the new trend in property coverage is to exclude backup/overflow coverage?  Backup/overflow describes not water damage resulting from a broken pipe or a plugged drain within the property, it describes water damage to the property resulting from water backing up and overflowing  inside  the property where the cause of the backup is  outside  the property.

Upcoming Seminars/Events/Meetings

Get your education here! Here are our upcoming seminars and events that we are featured as a speaker:
Tuesday, October 25 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Melbourne Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m.  Partner, Brian Hess, will be presenting a "COA Board  Certification " program. A complimentary class with refreshments including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information or to register, please click here.

Thursday, October 27 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Maitland Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m.  Partner, Brian Hess, will be presenting a "HOA Board Certifcation" program. A complimentary class with refreshments including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information or to register, please click here.

Tuesday, November 1 - Hosted by BCAM (Brevard Community Association Management) 
"Open Question and Answer session" featuring Clayton & McCulloh Partner, Joe Stayanoff. We are the featured speakers at BCAM's October Q&A discussion at the Holiday Inn Conference Center at the intersection of I-95 and Wickham Road. BCAM does charge a small fee to attend. Registration starts at 6:00 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please click   here.

If you w ou ld like to suggest a topic for a future seminar, please do so by clicking here .
Do You Need to Regulate the External Appearance of Your Community

The Architectural Control Template (the "ARC template") delineates numerous standard provisions which  your Association can consider adopting as part of its covenants. The clarity of the ARC Template will greatly assist the Association with the regulation of the external appearance of homes, as well as with the approval and disapproval of alterations, changes and additions (i.e., architectural control of the lots). The ARC Template is usually an excellent starting point for the Association that wants to modify and enhance the clarity and ability to enforce the architectural criteria and ARC Template restrictions for the community.  Clayton & McCulloh has drafted the ARC template to assist our clients in limiting the costs associated with substantially revising an Association's architectural control provisions. For more information about the issues/topics specifically addressed in the ARC Template flat-fee service, please contact the Public Relations Department. 

Most Awesome Manager Contest Winner

Nominations came pouring in for the third quarter of our "Most Awesome Manager" and "Most Awesome Board Member" Contest.  Just as we suspected - there are a lot of really terrific, dedicated community association leaders in Central Florida.  
Presenting the 3rd Quarter 2016 Most Awesome Manager Winner: 
Carlos Borrero of Sentry Management's Clermont Office
Tim Hamilton, Vice President, and Steve Emmett, Director of the Reserve at Belmore Homeowners Association nominated their manager, Carlos Borrero. 
Tim Carlos citing the following praise in his nomination: "Dedication, hard work, and countless hours!!! The neighborhood recently completed its largest project - surface road repaving. Carlos handled logistics, issues, and communication effectively resulting in a successful completion and numerous praises by many of the 360 homeowners. Additionally, regardless of date or time, Carlos is responsive; demonstrating dedication to our community. This level of engagement is appreciated by the Board and the homeowners."  
Most Awesome Board Member Contest Winner

Presenting the 3rd Quarter 2016 Most Awesome Board Member Winner :

Janey Nieboer of Sweetwater Creek Neighborhood - City

Janey was nominated by her Association's manager, Rebecca Bray of Sentry Management's Kissimmee office.  In her nomination, Rebecca gave her reasons why Janey was an Awesome Board Member:  "Janey Nieboer is an exceptional Board President. She is involved, informed and compassionate with her fellow homeowners. She is not a pushover, but stands her ground, when necessary, and backs up her opinions and judgment with solid research and facts.

Make your nominations now for the 4th Quarter Most Awesome Manager & Board Member!  

The deadline for nominations is November 1.

Do you know of a manager or board member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty? The type of person who inspires others to overachieve? Well then, nominate them by November 1! 
What do they win?  Glad you asked!     For more Information, click here.

To nominate someone click the corresponding button bellow.

Halloween in Condos: It Doesn't Need to be Frightening?!?
By: Michelle Kelly of Sutherland Kelly, LLP

Yes, it is a bit early for this topic, but I love everything about Autumn, including Halloween! If you  have any Halloween enthusiasts in your complex you'll likely see the decorations 
out in the next few weeks (if your rules allow decorations) so it may be a relevant topic sooner than you think.

Halloween can cause all kinds of headaches for boards and managers in condominiums. There are safety and security concerns with young children going door-to-door and running around on the property. Maybe you have rules prohibiting decorations.  Maybe you have a very diverse group of residents with different ideas about Halloween. Maybe you've had issues with vandalism in the past on the day before Halloween (sometimes called "Devil's Night" or "Mischief Night"). Whatever the issue, Halloween in your condominium doesn't need to be frightening for the board or manager. 

Halloween, like other holidays and celebrations, can mean different things to different people. The best way to make sure everyone is on the same page is to have guidelines (i.e. rules) that explain the expectations of all residents. Will decorations be permitted on the units or common elements? If yes, how many? For how long? Can they be affixed to the doors? What about the balconies? The windows? These are issues that should be clearly set out in the rules to prevent damage to the property or annoyance to the other residents.

Another big issue in condominiums with Halloween is trick-or-treating. With townhouses or single detached units trick-or-treating is similar to traditional subdivisions - if you want to participate you decorate (i.e. lights, pumpkins) so children know that you are offering treats and if you don't want to participate you keep the house dark. 

With apartment condominiums the issue is a bit trickier. Some owners have chosen an apartment style for the extra security afforded by a secure main entry. Permitting strangers to enter the building on Halloween can be a real concern for  these owners. A solution that I've seen work well in many buildings is to restrict trick-or-treating to occupants of the units (and sometimes their grandchildren or friends).  Others permit trick-or-treating only at the security/concierge desk. In apartment condominiums how do residents indicate that they don't want to participate so they don't end up with people knocking on their door all night? In one condominium I know of one of the directors (who happens to be an avid scrapbooker) made cute little cutouts (i.e. witches, pumpkins) for owners to place on their doorknobs so the children know that they are offering treats. If they didn't want to participate they didn't hang anything on their doorknob.  The cutouts were left in the lobby for residents to pick up if they were interested in participating.

Some condominiums even hold Halloween parties on the common elements. Like any celebration hosted or sanctioned by the condominium you need to be careful about permitting or serving alcohol; ensuring proper food safety; supervising employees or contractors; and protecting the property from damage. Parties can be a great way to improve the community, but you need to make sure you have the proper people, procedures, and insurance in place!

Lastly, reminding the residents of the rules regarding Halloween (or any holiday or celebration for that matter) is always a good idea. You could send them notices in a newsletter, post it on a bulletin board, or put a notice up on the condominium's website. However you do it, just be sure you do it.
Kelly, Michelle. "Halloween in Condos: It Doesn't Need to be Frightening?!?". Sutherland Kelly LLP.
20 Sep. 2016. This article was re-printed from Facebook in its original form and C&M does not have authorization to edit, correct, or modify this article. C&M felt that this was an informative article that our clients would find value in.

Reserves and Reserve Studies - Part I
By: Matthew C. Kuisle of Reserve  Advisers

Got reserves?  Here are a few common questions from 25 years of experience working with over 1,500 Florida Associations.  The answers are provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.
How much should we set aside in reserves?
There is no "one-size-fits-all" amount that should go into reserves.  Each association is unique with different property components.  Some associations have very limited common elements such as entry signage and sidewalks only, while others maintain swimming pools, a clubhouse, docks, tennis courts, and other amenities.  The latter will certainly have much higher reserve assessments to pay for the wear and tear on all of those common elements.  Even with two identical properties built by the same developer, the homeowner boards might have very different philosophies about how to maintain them.  One board might have an aggressive maintenance policy for regular seal coating, gutter cleaning, roof inspections, etc., while the identical property has no maintenance programs whatsoever.  While the latter property might save money in the short term, they'll end up spending a lot more money over the long term because many of their common elements will require replacement much sooner than if they had maintenance programs in place all along.  The reserve funding is dependent upon the size and complexity of the common elements of the association and how well they are maintained by the board or management.
What items should be included in our reserve schedule?  For Florida Condominiums and Cooperatives, the reserve schedule must include funds for:
  • Roof replacement
  • Building painting
  • Pavement resurfacing and;
  • Any other capital expense of over $10,000. 
  HOA's are only required to fund reserve components that were established in one of three ways:  
  1. They are required in the governing documents,
  2. They were established by the declarant prior to turnover OR;
  3. They were established by a majority vote of the owners at a duly called meeting.
Every reserve study begins with a review of the governing documents.  These documents will identify the property components the association is responsible for maintaining.  We see many schedules that omit major common elements with replacement costs greater than $10,000 such as concrete restoration, plumbing, electrical systems, fire alarm/life safety systems and storm water drainage and collection systems, to name a few.  A qualified professional engineer can help an Association identify these specific items to help the Board avoid surprises.

- Part Two will continue in the "Green Marble" November edition.. 
Mr. Kuisle is a frequent speaker and author and can be reached in the firm's Florida office at (800) 980-9881 or Matt@reserveadvisors.com.

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Join Us In Celebrating These October Birthdays!

Mary King - Sentry Management's Longwood Office - October 4
Frayda Morris - Central Association Management - October 5
Ayesha Antoine - Leland Management's  Orlando Office - October 13
JoAnn Beck - West Cove Management, Inc. - October 21 
Anita Roberts - Premier Association Management - October 21
Nancy Nangle - All Coast Realty Management - October 25
Claude Beach - Southwest Property Management of Central Florida - October 25
Debra DeRoy - AMG - October 31

Editor's Note: We apologize for the grammatical errors in the article on credit bureaus in our August issue. There are times we find an article from an outside source that has some very valuable information which we think is of importance to our clientele.  However, unless the original author gives us authorization to edit their article, we are unable to correct their errors.  In this instance we did not receive authorization.
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Maitland, FL  32751

Phone: (407) 875-2655

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