About Us

Welcome!

We are Emily Shaw and Ryan Koski. Since 2009, we have owned a condo on Tampa’s Harbour Island.   Having lived in single-family homes for the majority of our lives, it was certainly a change to move into a multi-family condominium complex.  Every condominium association function, from the most simple (like obtaining a parking pass) to the most complex (like repaving the asphalt), seemed to be handled inefficiently and inconsistently. We learned quickly that a poorly run association can have a significant negative impact on the residents’ quality of life as well as the property value of the condominium.

In time, we did manage to acclimate ourselves to our new condo lifestyle and we set our sights on improving the management of our community.  We began attending Board meetings and it wasn’t long before Emily became a member of the Board of Directors.

As a member of the Board, Emily was (and still is) actively involved with the condo association.  Initially serving as its Treasurer, Emily served as President through 2014.   Frustrated with the lack of care displayed by multiple professional management companies, she encouraged the Board to self-manage the association in 2011.  During this transition, Ryan began volunteering his time and skills to the condominium association as well.

Since the Association became self-managed, it has, among other things, improved communication with residents; strengthened its financial position through active collection efforts and improved reserve funding methods; completed multiple major projects including a full repainting of the property; created consistently-applied rules & regulations; and ensured compliance with the association’s governing documents as well as the Florida Statutes.

Having spoken to many association Board members and unit owners over the years, we realized that it would be helpful to share everything we’ve learned with others involved with condominium associations. As such, we decided to write this blog. It is important to note as you read our posts that we are not offering legal advice here. We are simply providing some of the information we have learned from homeowners, contractors, property managers and attorneys along the way.

In 2013, Ryan and Emily partners with a licensed community association manager and began a full-service management company, VERA Property Management, serving condominium and homeowners associations in the Tampa Bay Area. The firm also provide financial and consulting services to all Florida community associations. Click here to visit their website.

A bit more about Ryan…

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. I earned a B.S. in Accounting and Masters of Accounting from Stetson University as well as a law degree from Stetson University College of Law. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and member of the Florida bar.

A bit more about Emily…

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia but moved to Clearwater, Florida with my family when I was very young.  I earned a B.A in Financial Mathematics and was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

7 Responses to About Us

  1. Hello,
    First of all Great Article. And Secondly what actions do you think I can bring against my Condo Board Members if they have not been complying with the compilation report for the past 4 years. I live in a Condo with 90 units and we each pay $120 monthly. (Total $129,600) I have requested on several occasions to have an independent CPA review our financial statements, but they always ignored me and claim that they don’t have to. No votes have ever been take to waive the compilation requirements. Also the Department of Professional Regulations claims that they have no Authority over the matter.

  2. I have sent a certified letter today to my condo association: The issue is clear, I have owned since 2006 and the complex has always had a security system, wired through the common elements and a part of the “common cost” in our monthly fee. Last July, 2013 the board voted to terminate the contract with the security company and KEEP the money that we pay for the service. We are now required to get “our own” service at additional cost. They, the board, voted to redistribute the “savings” to other common element and expense costs. The board members had not signed up for the security services so they did not care that 40 + others were using the service since turnover from the developer.

    I believe the unit owners would have needed to vote on this issue to pass it, and the board members had conflicts of interest as they had no cost as the did not avail themselves to the service in place for 10 years…
    Can the board do this in your opinion…I do NOT…? THanks

    • Hi Bert –

      This is a very complicated situation. If your board were wise, they would have solicited an attorney’s opinion prior to terminating this service. If they did, then this record would be considered part of the association’s official records and you would have access to it.

      Just because an association has offered a service in the past does not necessarily mean they need a membership vote to terminate it. Developers will often offer special services to encourage potential unit owners to purchase a condo. Associations will then cancel the service down the road as it is not cost effective. I had this experience with a trash removal service (trash was picked up from in front of my unit door while other units did not have this service) and the association was well within its rights to cancel it. A good first step for you would be to review your governing documents (check the declaration of condominium) to see if it makes any reference to the security system. I would then recommend soliciting the advice of an attorney specializing in condominium associations. I’ll gladly supply a recommendation for an attorney if you’d like.

      I may be able to provide additional guidance with more information. If you’d like to discuss this further, feel free to email me.

      Emily

  3. david jackson

    What is the effective date of an HOA covenant amendment. Is it correct that the meeting minutes do not become the official minutes until reviewed, approved and signed by the secretary of the Association after approval at the next Board meeting. Does this mean that an amendment is not enforceable immediately after the first meeting when voted upon?
    what is the section of the 718 Florida Cono code that applies.
    thanks for your guidance.
    DAVID

    • Hi David –

      Meeting minutes become official records once they have been approved by the Board (typically done at the next Board meeting) but this should not have any bearing on when an amendment becomes effective. When you say amendment, I assume you are referring to an amendment to the documents that has been properly voted on by the homeowners? If so, according to 718.110(3), an amendment is effective when properly recorded in the public record of the county where the declaration is recorded.

      Does this answer your question?

      Thanks,

      Emily

  4. Emily, the unit above me had a leak in the shower drain pan that came down through my shower ceiling on July 11, 2014 as of today nothing has been done to fix the problem. The manager had a plumber scheduled to make necessary repairs this past Monday, then cancelled it citing in an email that, ” until the proposed repairs have been approved by all parties, the work can not proceed.” This email was sent to me on July 18th. When I inquired as to who was not approving this, I was not given an answer. This situation has worn thin and seems terribly drawn out. So my question to you is this; what are FL condo laws regarding making repairs in a timely manner ? I’ve lived in two other condos in Indianapolis, and never encountered such a long delay in addressing fixing a problem. Respectfully, Pam