For all condominium associations, but especially for self-managed condominiums, any means to save time is essential. If a change in process means you are able to save money too, then it’s a no-brainer. Taking advantage of the Florida Condominium Statutes’ electronic transmission policy does exactly this. In today’s post I am going to outline when associations are allowed to communicate information with residents electronically (i.e. via email) and ways the association can take advantage of this method to save time and money.
Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes outlines all of the required written communications condominium associations must provide to residents (e.g. annual budget drafts, year-end financial statements, Board election information). In the past, these communications were typically delivered to residents via “snail mail” and, depending on the size of the community, associations were spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per year on paper, printing, envelope and postage costs, not to mention the countless hours of envelope stuffing and label posting involved. Using email can eliminate all of these burdens; however, there is one important step the association must take before shifting to electronic communication.
All association electronic communications must comply with Rule 61b-23.0029 of the Florida Administrative Code. As detailed in the rule, prior to providing communications via email to a homeowner, the homeowner must consent in writing to receive communications electronically. In this day and age, it usually isn’t difficult to encourage residents to agree to receive communications electronically as most prefer this method. The association is required to keep all consents as part of the official records. A simple form with the following language should suffice:
I agree to receive all communications from the Board of Directors of <Name of Condominium Association>, either directly or on behalf of the Association by the current Property Manager, in electronic format utilizing the email address provided below. Communications that are required to be provided in hard copy by Florida Statute will continue to be hand-delivered or sent by mail.
For those homeowners that have consented to receive communications electronically, the following communications can be sent via email according to the Florida Statutes (718.112):
- Notice of any meeting where nonemergency special assessments will be considered
- Notice of the Annual Meeting
- First and Second Notices of a Board Election
- Proposed Annual Budget
Two notable times where the Florida Statutes do not specifically allow email communication are:
- Notice for a special budget meeting when the proposed budget is greater than 115% of the previous year’s budget
- Year-End Financial Reporting
There is one more important thing to note about electronic communication. Per the Florida Administrative Code, it is the association’s responsibility to shift from electronic communication to traditional mailing if attempts to send a communication via email to a homeowner have failed two consecutive times.
If you haven’t done so in your community already, consider taking advantage of email! Your budget and the environment will thank you.