The September Issue Includes:

-      Using Background Checks for Leases – Risks Versus Rewards
-      Hold the Dates!
-      Coming Attractions (Seminars)
-      Executive Producer Highlight – Crown Roofing
-      Featured Pet Rescue - Endless Pawsibilities
-      Do You or Someone Else Deserve a Most Awesome Mug?
-      Need Help to Get Your Annual Meeting Right? Here is the Answer!
-      Need a New Management Company or Other Vendor? We Can Help!
-      Apopka Area Community of Neighborhood Associations
-      Ask C&M! Get Your Questions Answered
-      August Survey Winner
-      Vote for Clayton & McCulloh - The Florida Community Association Journal
-      Kudos
-      Quote of the Month
-      Celebrate!
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Using Background Checks for Leases –
Risks Versus Rewards
By Senior & Founding Partner, Neal McCulloh
Many associations not only perform criminal background checks on prospective tenants, but rely on the information contained therein to disapprove leases. Moreover, such disapproval of leases are often predicated on arrest(s), as opposed to convictions.

Due to developments in the law, Clayton & McCulloh generally recommends against our association clients performing criminal background checks on prospective tenants and using the information therefrom as the basis to deny leases. Unfortunately, obtaining and relying on the information within criminal background checks generates risk. Such risk, ostensibly, would escalate to the degree that a criminal background check discloses arrest(s) and/or criminal conviction(s) which become(s) the basis for an associations’ disapproval of a lease [i.e., the Association decides to disapprove a lease predicated upon such arrest(s) and/or criminal conviction(s)]. Such risk, seemingly, would escalate even further if the individual at issue is from a protected class (e.g., a minority) and/or if the disapproval was solely predicated on arrest(s), where no conviction(s) occurred. [1]

Unfortunately, developments in the law suggest that an association which bases its disapproval(s) on arrest(s) and/or conviction exposes itself to claim(s) of discrimination. Please understand that a disproportionate number of individuals that are arrested and convicted, fall within a “protected class” (e.g., are a minority) and are therefore protected from discrimination by the Federal Fair Housing Act. Consequently, if an Association is basing its disapproval(s) on arrest(s) and/or conviction(s), such disapproval(s) may provide the basis for discrimination claim(s) against the association. Moreover, such practice may be in direct violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Consequently, an association may be at risk and/or incur liability if it performs criminal background checks, and especially, if it bases its disapprovals on criminal conviction(s) or, even worse, arrest(s).

While Clayton & McCulloh must acknowledge the risk and such developments in the law, we likewise appreciate that associations and their boards are endeavoring to protect residents and preserve their communities. As such, while Clayton & McCulloh must acknowledge such developments in the law and the associated risk, we fully appreciate that some associations may continue to disapprove leases in an effort to preclude occupancy by individuals they believe pose a very real threat. [2]
While we cannot generally recommend such practice, we do acknowledge another development in the laws of the State of Florida, whereby condominium associations may have the duty to reasonably protect their residents from foreseeable harm resulting from known criminal activity in the area. Therefore, to the extent that there is criminal activity in the area, and to the extent the association may feel that authorizing such occupancy would place its residents in unreasonable danger or jeopardy, there may be at least a minimal basis for an association to at least claim that its actions were reasonable.

We, generally, cannot recommend relying on the potential threat of criminal activity in the area as a basis to justify disapproving a lease, as the association would still be basing the disapproval on the criminal background check. Furthermore, please remember that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a Federal law. As such, it trumps and takes precedence over the laws of the State of Florida. Accordingly, we would expect the specific prohibitions against discrimination in Federal law to trump and take precedence over the presumption of danger or perceived future criminal action.

Please appreciate that Clayton & McCulloh must ethically present the risk associated with proceeding with such disapprovals. Nevertheless, we compliment associations and their boards for their efforts to protect their residents, and appreciate that, at times, despite the presence of legal risk, associations and their boards may decide to act where they believe that such actions are necessary to preclude an unreasonable danger and/or to protect their residents.
1 Note – as you may know, in criminal law, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty (i.e., a conviction, not an arrest)
2 Note – we understand that such disapprovals may be predicated on the perceived risk, and the fact that the association and the board believe the risk and danger to be too great to otherwise approve such occupancy.
Hold the Dates!
Our Embracing Community Gatherings have been scheduled for 2020 and they are going to be the living end! Next year, we will be featuring a 1950’s theme for all of our seminars. Our website is not ready to accept reservations yet, but here are the dates and cities our Saturday morning seminars will be held:

Saturday, January 25 – Melbourne
Saturday, February 22 – Orlando/Winter Park
Saturday, March 14 – Leesburg
Saturday, March 28 – Celebration

You can get extra chances for the numerous door prizes awarded by dressing in 1950’s attire and/or bringing a cash donation for one of the pet rescues featured next year.

While we have not finalized our 2020 weekday seminar schedule yet, we will be hosting our Community Connect Chats in the following cities:

Daytona Beach
New Smyrna Beach

We are still searching for additional sites in the Four Corners area and Ocala. If you have a clubhouse that we can rent or know of a venue (no hotels or convention centers, please) give us a jingle.

You dig Daddy-O? Be there or be square! Save the dates and join us for a morning of 1950’s hit music (you can cut a rug if you want) and a brand new topic that every Board Member and Manager will want to attend.
The Magnificent Board Members:
2019 HOA Board Certification Class
These are your last chances for the year to attend a HOA Board Certification class. C&M will not be hosting any other Board Certification classes for the balance of the year.  
Attend In Person or via Webinar.
Date:  Thursday, September 12 th
Speaker:  Senior Collection Attorney, Alan Schwartzseid
Location:  Orlando Office: Maitland - 1065 Maitland Center Commons Blvd., Maitland, FL 32751
Class Time:  6:30 pm - 9:00 p.m.
Make a Reservation :   Click Here
Special Note:  While we still have plenty of webinar spaces, we only have two spaces left for the live presentation. If you previously registered and there was not a webinar option at that time and you would like to attend via webinar, please call us ASAP so we can open other spaces for those wishing to attend in person

Attend In Person or via Webinar.
Date:  Tuesday, September 24 th
Speaker:  Senior Collections Attorney, Alan Schwartzseid
Location:  Melbourne Office: Suntree/Viera - 1301 Bedford Drive, Suite 102, Melbourne, FL 32940
Class Time:  6:30 pm - 9:00 p.m.
Make a Reservation:    Click Here
Special Note:  While we still have plenty of webinar spaces, we only have two spaces left for the live presentation. If you previously registered and there was not a webinar option at that time and you would like to attend via webinar, please call us ASAP so we can open other spaces for those wishing to attend in person.
The Ten Contract Commandments
Vendor contracts are an everyday occurrence in community association operations. A contract can either ensure smooth sailing or plunge you into disaster. So what makes a good contract? What elements should be included to ensure the desired result? What should not be included? Should there be a time frame included in the contract? Depending upon the contract, what warranties should be in the contract?
Attend In Person or via Webinar
Date:  Thursday, September 19 th
Speaker:  Partner, Russ Klemm
Location:  Orlando Office: Maitland - 1065 Maitland Center Commons Blvd., Maitland, FL 32751
Class Time:  6:30 pm - 7:30 p.m.
Make a Reservation Click Here
Special Note:  While we still have plenty of webinar spaces, we only have three spaces left for the live presentation. If you previously registered and there was not a webinar option at that time and you would like to attend via webinar, please call us ASAP so we can open other spaces for those wishing to attend in person
The Never Ending Collections Story
Follow the Never Ending Collection Story with its journey of learning the nuances of collecting assessments. No Association can withstand their owners not paying their assessments. Without income, the Association simply ceases to exist. Our Senior Collections Attorney will take you on a personal journey from prologue to the final chapter.
Attend In Person or via Webinar.
Date:  Thursday, October 10 th
Speaker:  Senior Collections Attorney, Alan Schwartzseid
Location:  Orlando Office: Maitland - 1065 Maitland Center Commons Blvd., Maitland, FL 32751
Class Time:  6:30 pm – 7:30 p.m.
Make a Reservation:    Click Here
Special Note:  At this time, we still have room for our live presentation. This class is also now available via webinar. If you previously registered and there was not a webinar option at that time and you would like to attend via webinar, please call us ASAP so we can open other spaces for those wishing to attend in person
Executive Producer Highlight
This month, we are highlighting one of our Executive Producers, Crown Roofing. Crown Roofing specializes in new construction, re-roofing, maintenance, and all of your roof service related needs.

We asked Carrie Jensen, Account Executive for Crown Roofing, how her company can assist your Association:

Q:        How can our associations benefit from your service?

A:       We offer free roof leak estimates and replacement proposals, paid roof inspections, tarping, repairs, and roof maintenance programs.

Q:       What is the one thing that people probably won’t know about your service?

A:       We provide a very detailed report with pictures and full description of deficiency and scope of work to be performed to repair the problem, with cost as well as the life expectancy left on your roof.

Q:       From your experience, what advice would you give to an association?

A:        It is very important to be proactive not reactive; being proactive with your roofs by having a maintenance program will save the Association money.

Q:       How can an association save money by using your service?

A:       By establishing with us a roof maintenance program, we will catch roof issues before they become a bigger expense.

Q:       What sets your company apart from your competition?

A:       Customer Service and our detailed reports set us apart!

To learn more about how Crown Roofing can help your Association (or your residence), contact Carrie Jensen at (407) 988-5020 or .

Pet Corner
Endless Pawsibilities Animal Rescue
Endless Pawsibilities is a Central Florida non-profit pet rescue that was founded by Miriam Atehortua and Lillie Falco in 2017. The rescue is able to operate with help from volunteers and donations. The main objective of this rescue is to help abandoned and homeless animals find a loving home. They rely on volunteers to help foster the animals, take them to vet visits and improve the quality of life of the animal until they are able to find a permanent home with a loving family. Endless Pawsibilites has currently saved over 200 cats and dogs.

Adopting a furry companion is one of the most rewarding things you can do. The benefits of having
a companion animal are endless and can even include such emotional benefits as reduced anxiety. It has been shown that people who own pets live longer on average, too. Adopting a pet from a rescue or a shelter may also save the life of the animal, as many animals in shelters are scheduled for euthanasia.
Contact Miriam at or Lillie at . The rescue website is: .
Meet "Mitsy"
Mitsy is extremely shy and afraid when she first meets you, but has her moments of wanting to give kisses and love. Having her with us now, she is blossoming into the perfect little girl and showing more trust in humans. Once she opens up she will become attached and is a little shadow that will follow you around all day. Mitsy’s also shown to be a quick learner (she’s learning a lot from her foster sister). One of the foster parent’s favorite things about her is her curiosity of everything going on around her. The rescue doesn’t know her past but they can tell you she wasn’t given much love and attention, if any, because she absolutely soaks it up and LOVES cuddling and giving kisses. She deserves the best home and to be spoiled!

Do You or Someone Else
Deserve a Most Awesome Mug?
Do you know an outstanding Board Member who is just doing an awesome job? A great way to show the Most Awesome Board Member they're doing a great job is to give them a "Most Awesome Mug." The Most Awesome Mug is a beautiful gold metallic ceramic mug that will warm your Awesome Board Member's heart and keep their hot beverage hot.

The Most Awesome mug is available for purchase at our seminars or pick up at our office, or attorney meeting for $7.00 (tax included). If you would like the mug shipped to you, the cost is $15.75 (tax included).

If you would like to buy a mug for your Most Awesome Board Member (or just for yourself because you are feeling awesome) please click here .
Annual Meeting Package Service
Holding an annual meeting of the membership for the purpose of electing directors/officers is an important requirement of your Governing Documents, as well as a statutory requirement of Florida Law for all Associations. We are proud to present our Annual Meeting Package Service . We will prepare the necessary documents for your Association’s Annual Meeting. Properly prepared documents, coupled with legal advice of the correct procedures and time frames that must be followed by your Association, can avoid election and Annual Meeting challenges for the Association. If you would like more information on this service, please call us:

If you are a client, contact: David Batan, our Coordinator of Client Services, at x151 or ( ).
If you are not currently a client, contact: Arlene Ring, Director of Public Relations, at (407) 875-4429 or .

Additional contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.
Time for a New Manager or a New Vendor?
We Can Help!
It's that time of the year again when Associations are thinking "Wow! This is more work than I want to do" or "Not sure about our present manager - maybe we should look into possibly hiring a new one?" Does this describe how you are feeling?

If so we can help. Whether you are a client or a non-client, we provide a complimentary Management Company Referral Service to help you find a Manager or a new Manager! If you have a Manager presently, we always recommend trying to work it out with them as you have a history which is quite valuable. If you are uncomfortable about approaching your current Manager or Management Company, as one of our clients, we can contact the company or manager to see if we can assist in resolving the issues.

Do you need a landscape, insurance, painting, or roofing company? We can help! We also offer a complimentary Vendor Referral Service to help you find vendors who work with associations like yours. We have many vendors that we can refer to you and your fellow board members to help make your job easier.

For more information on this service, please call our Director of Public Relations at any of our offices via extension 129 or at (407) 808-2553 after hours/weekends. You can also make a request on our website .
Apopka Residents -
Here's An Organization Just For You!
If your community is in Apopka, there is an organization your Association should consider joining - Apopka Area Council of Neighborhoods Associations (AACONA)! AACONA meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 205 North Park Avenue, Apopka (Old Florida Hospital - North Building) at 6:30 p.m. The monthly meetings feature guest speakers from the city, county, and/or private industry. Members have the opportunity to network with other communities and share possible solutions to problems that they are facing.

If you are interested in joining AACONA or would like more information, please complete this brief form and an AACONA representative will get back to you.
Get Your Legal Information for Free!
Each month in our second newsletter, “C&M Update,” we take one question from our readers that they would like to pose to an attorney and feature the answer in that newsletter. If you would like to submit a question, please respond back to this email address with your question, your name, and the name of your association or management company in the next five business days.

Congratulations to Clayton & McCulloh’s
August Survey Winner

Congratulations to Sandra Martinez, President of Breckenridge Landowners Association, Inc. Sandra won a Publix gift card simply by filling out a survey in our newsletter!

We value the feedback of our readers to help us plan things like our Seminar series for the upcoming year. Watch for future surveys and maybe your picture will appear here soon!
Please Vote for Clayton & McCulloh
The Florida Community Association Journal’s Reader’s Choice Awards
We’ve been nominated once again for the Florida Community Association Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards! If you think we are deserving of your vote, we would greatly appreciate it if you took the time to vote for us. Simply click on the button below, and follow the instructions on the page.
Quote of the Month

A Very Happy Birthday to the following Board Members and Managers! May your special be filled with laugher, friends, family, good times, and cake!

1 st – Amber Ucci – Leland Management
4 th - Holly Flinchum – Sentry Management
5 th - Abe Abramczyk – AR Choice Management
7 th - Kristina Renick – P & R Housing
9 th – Van Moore – Advanced Property Management of Central Florida
11 th – Debbie Weage – Sentry Management
15 th – Greg Buehler – Leland Management
23 rd – Marlene Belcher – Sentry Management
27 th – Julia Casanova – Sutherland Management
30 th – Betty Walsh – Seaport Master Association

4 th – Mary King – Sentry Management
5 th - Frayda Morris – Central Association Management
6 th – Cheryl Drake – Leland Management
10 th - Nandine Randolph – Intracoastal Bookkeeping and Management

Your birthday is joyous day to us and we want to celebrate it. Please send us your birthday (just day and month – no year) and we will publish it on Facebook (with your photo if you supply one) and in our newsletter. Send your birthday information and/or photo to

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Orlando Office: Maitland
The Clayton & McCulloh Building
1065 Maitland Center Commons Blvd.
Maitland, FL 32751
Phone: (407) 875-2655
Fax: (407) 875-3363 
Melbourne Office: Suntree/Viera
Baytree Corporate Park
1301 Bedford Drive, Suite 102
Melbourne, FL 32940
Phone: (321) 751-3449
Fax: (321) 751-3450
Toll Free: (888) 793-1486
After Hours - 24/7: (407) 808-2553
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If you elect to be removed from this e-mail service, we will no longer be able to send you seminar invitations, information on changes in the law concerning Community Associations, newsletters, or any other information regarding the Community Association industry. You will not receive solicitation for business unless you have requested that information. We sincerely hope we can continue to assist you with the challenges that face Community Associations today through this service. 

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