“What Are We Paying You For?”

by admin on December 10, 2009

in Documents, Management, Statutes

In order to reduce costs and to save time, some Community Associations try to engage their property managers and management companies in what is known as “unauthorized practice of law”.  In 1996 the Florida Supreme Court provided an opinion that defines this practice.  All associations, their boards of directors and all property managers should be aware of this definition and Supreme Court opinion and act accordingly.

Property or Association Managers are allowed to perform the following items as they have been deemed to be administrative in nature:

1.         Changing and filing changes to the Registered Agent Status with the Secretary of State’s office.

2.         Filing any periodic reports with the Secretary of State’s office.

3.         Preparation of status reports, estoppel information and PUD questionnaires for lenders, title companies and sellers.

4.         Preparation of any meeting notices that do not try to interpret any state statutes, laws or governing documents.

The Florida Supreme Court determined the following Property Manager conduct to be the “Unauthorized Practice of Law”:

1.         Preparing assessment liens and release of lien documents.

2.         Responding to board questions concerning the application of law to specific matters being considered.  Also advising the board of directors on a certain course of action that may or may not be authorized by law or governing documents.

3.         Interpreting the statutes and governing documents for the board of directors.

4.         Drafting or preparing legal documents.

5.         Determining for the board of directors the interpretation and application of statutes and the association’s governing documents as it relates to the number of votes necessary and to take certain action.

The next time an association asks the manager to provide any of the above services or opinions and the property manager is reluctant to do so, you will understand that there are implications to both parties with this course of action.

Comments on this entry are closed.