Being elected to a condo or HOA board is a great feather in one’s cap, but it’s important to understand what the job requires. To encourage boards to be more proactive in dispatching their duties, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) came up with a set of guidelines to help them do just that.
Florida, in fact, is one of the few states that require board members to be trained. As of July 1, 2010, newly elected or appointed condo board members are required to submit a certificate of satisfactory completion of an educational course approved by the Florida DBPR, or an affidavit attesting that they read Florida Statute 718 and all of their governing documents.
“Several years ago there were concerns that more and more associations were experiencing fraud or problems of one sort or another. Several groups pushed the legislature for reforms including making education mandatory,” says attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger, a partner with the community association law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger (KGB). “The mandatory education component never passed, but the certification language we have today was the compromise position. While the data didn’t support the assertions of widespread problems, clearly most communities could benefit from having a knowledgeable board in place.”
New directors can become certified by either signing a certificate stating that they have read, understand and will work to uphold their community’s governing documents and policies to the best of his or her ability, and will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association's members.
Affadavits are great of course, but the more popular option is having new directors attend a state-approved educational course.