|Renewal of association manager license proves costly|
The September 1, issue of the St. Pete
Times "Action" column by Nancy Paradis, is must read for all residents
of any homeowners association nationwide. After millions of residents have
been fleeced into bankruptcy by greedy managers who raised assessments,
late charges and even forfeiture under the pious "duty calls" license to
steal...now comes a Florida Manager, named Patricia Cooper, complaining
the Department Of Business and Professional Regulation had the audacity
to raise her manager's renewal fee from $15.50 to $305.00!
|By NANCY PARADIS,
Times Action Columnist
Article Courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times
Posted September 1, 2002
When I renewed my inactive community association manager's license in 2000, the cost was $15. I received my renewal notice in the mail a few days ago, and the cost is now $305. I have e-mailed the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and have tried to call several times, but I cannot seem to speak to anyone about this fee. Can you help? Thank you. Patricia Cooper
Response: Thanks for sending us a copy of the e-mailed response you received from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's call center in Tallahassee. For reasons for the increase, it directed you to the newsletter on its Web site, accessed through www.myflorida.com (click on the following links: Find an Agency, Business and Profess. Reg., Professions, Comm. Assoc. Manag., CAM newsletter).
According to the newsletter, "the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers is currently facing a severe budget deficit. . . . Statutory fee limits, established when the CAM program was housed in the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes, were set without much study on the regulation of the profession."
The program was transferred to the Division of Professions in 1996, but the fees received from license applications, renewals, disciplinary action, etc., have not generated sufficient revenue to meet the council's expenditures. Because Florida Statute 455.219 requires all professional boards and councils to be financially self-sufficient and maintain a reasonable cash balance, one step the council has taken is to raise the biennial fee to $105, plus collect a special one-time assessment fee of $200 from all licensees.
The newsletter also suggests that not all community association managers are outraged: "The department has received numerous calls, letter and e-mails speaking against deregulation and supporting the increase of fees to maintain regulation of CAMS."
With regard to your statement that the department lacks fiscal responsibility and is passing on its error to you, we can only suggest you contact your legislators. Remember also that one of the best ways to affect change in the government is at the polls.
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