Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 1375

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 686

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 693

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 686

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 693

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 1375

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 686

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 693

Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 4 in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 686

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/cscmsi/public_html/plugins/system/iubenda/iubenda-cookie-class/simple_html_dom.php on line 693
Recent blog posts - C&S Blog - Page 11

C&S 2013 Holiday Schedule

C&S follows the County Holiday Schedule.  For this reason, C&S holiday closings will sometimes be different than the State and Federal Holiday Schedules.

2013 C&S HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

New Year’s Day          January 1, Tuesday
 
Martin Luther King Day          January 21, Monday
 
President’s Day          February 18, Monday
 
Memorial Day          May 27, Monday
 
Independence Day          July 4, Thursday
 
Labor Day          September 2, Monday
 
Veteran’s Day          November 11, Monday
 
Thanksgiving Day          November 28, Thursday
 
Thanksgiving Day After          November 29, Friday
 
Christmas Eve          December 24, Tuesday
                                               
Christmas Day          December 25, Wednesday

Help Stop Crime

lighted buildingEveryone wants a safe place to call home, and our communities strive to make all residents feel secure. While the Boards of Directors and management are diligent in their efforts to reduce possible dangers in our communities, we can’t do it alone. It’s up to everyone to pitch in to keep crime rates down. Thankfully, taking a few simple steps can go a long way in keeping theft, vandalism and other felonies and misdemeanors out of our communities.
 
Know Your Neighbors. And not just the neighbors on your block or in your building, but also the neighbors from all parts of the community. At the very least, you’ll get a better idea of who actually lives (and in turn, who belongs) here. Talking with your neighbors will also give you the chance to find out if they have noticed any crimes or suspicious activity in the association recently so that you can be on the lookout as well. Consider creating and distributing a list with everyone’s contact information so that you and your neighbors can alert each other of any problems that arise. Of course, be sure to get your neighbors’ permission first to put their information on the list. Your specific community may already have a Neighborhood Watch program with a contact tree for whenever an alert needs to go out.
 
Leave The Light On. A good way to deter felons from breaking into your home is to make sure your front porch light stays on all night, even when you’re out of town. Not only does it signal that someone’s home, it also makes it harder for vandals to hide among the shadows. If you’re worried that you’ll either forget to turn the light on at night or off in the morning, you can purchase an inexpensive timer that will automatically do that for you every day. Also, if you see any street lights around the association that are burnt out, please let the board or management know so that it will be replaced for everyone’s safety.
 
Lock Up. If you want to keep unwanted guests out, don’t make your home inviting. Even when you’re around, it’s best to keep all doors, garages, (gates if you have them) locked at all times. It’s also a good idea to keep your windows closed and locked when possible, especially if they’re on the ground floor.
 
Put On Your Walking Shoes. Taking as stroll around the association isn’t just good exercise. You can casually patrol the community for anything suspicious or usual, as well as swap information about criminal activity in the area with other neighbors who are out and about. Also, when more residents regularly walk around the association, it can help scare off hooligans who are afraid of getting caught in the act.
 
Clean It Up. Picking up litter, not only makes the association look better, but also sends the message that our residents are diligent about keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood.  This can help discourage potential criminals from believing this would be a good location to steal from.
 
See Something, Say Something. If you notice a crime or a suspicious activity, regardless of how small the incident may seem, notify the community neighborhood watch if there is one, or the Sheriff’s Office/Police.  Of course, only call 911 if it is an emergency; otherwise, contact law enforcement on their non-emergency line.  
 
We all have a responsibility to our communities to help keep them safe, and incorporating even a few of these tips can go a long way. Do your part to make your condominium or hoa community a place you’re happy to call home. 

Community Survey Results

mom and girlWe’re confident that most residents are happy living in our communities—and we certainly hope that you are among them.

But how do the more than 62 million Americans who live in homeowners associations and condominium communities feel about their own associations? Are they happy with their elected boards? How do they feel about the rules? What about their association assessments?

The Foundation for Community Association Research, an affiliate of Community Associations Institute (CAI), sponsored a recent national public opinion survey to answer these and other questions.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 70 percent of residents in common-interest communities say they are satisfied with their community association experience, while 8 percent express dissatisfaction and 22 percent are neutral on the question.
  • 88 percent of residents believe their association board members strive to serve the best interests of the community, while 12 percent disagree or aren’t sure.
  • 73 percent say their professional managers provide value to their communities, while 21 percent say their managers aren’t an asset to the association and 6 percent say they aren’t sure.
  • 76 percent believe their own community association rules “protect and enhance” property values. Only 3 percent say the rules harm property values, while the rest see no difference.
  • 81 percent of residents say they get a “good” or “great” return for their association assessments, while 18 percent say the return is “not so good or bad.” The rest were unsure.


We’d like to think that we can do even better than the national averages, so please tell us what you think we can do to make our communities a better place to live.   If you’re especially pleased about your community, share that too! It’s always good to know we’re on the right track.

Ducks Unlimited Sponsor

ducks for blogC&S is proud to again be an annual sponsor of Ducks Unlimited, the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Ducks Unlimited started in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows.  Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form the organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited.  Thanks to decades of abiding by that single mission of habitat conservation, Ducks Unlimited is now the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization.

Hurricane Isaac Notice

hurricaneHurricane Isaac:  Storm Preparedness Plan Activation Notice

We have activated our Storm Preparedness Plan (SPP) in order to manage potential items related to the inclement weather conditions approaching the Florida west coast.   Our operations have been placed on high alert and we are prepared to support your Association’s needs due to the storm.

Additional backup procedures have been completed today to secure computer data.  For further updates, as they occur, please log on to the C&S Management Website .

Board Member Certification Course

Chris Brown was an instructor for the Board Member Certification Course today in Sarasota covering Condominium Elections: Requirements and Best Practices. The Certification Course is one of the two options that new Board members have available to them to fulfill the State requirement within 90 days of becoming a Board Member. The other option is to sign the Certification Form affirming that they have read the association's Declaration, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and will uphold the Documents. The two hour classroom Certification Course was presented by the West Florida Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI). Below are a few candid photos from the class.


cai2
Chris is being introduced by CAI West Florida Chapter President, Gail Stephens.

cai0
Chris with CAI West Florida Chapter Executive Director, Vicki McClenathen.

cai3

Chris talking with President Gail Stephens.

FEMA Stops Insurance Rebates

fema

For many years C&S Management has worked with their association insurance providers of flood insurance to provide associations with a significant rebate (10% or more) on their flood insurance premiums. This has saved associations tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately the federal government has decided to end this practice effective October 1, 2012, passing on this additional cost to those associations needing flood insurance. To read the letter from the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA click here.

Citizens Insurance and Assessments

citizensA.M. Best Company, Inc., has filed this report regarding Citizens Insurance.

Florida lawmakers have passed — only a few minutes before their session ended — a bill that changes the way Citizens Property Insurance Corp. issues deficit assessments.

The bill, H.B. 1127, was voted on by the Florida Senate March 9 at 11:35 p.m. and the legislature adjourned for its regular session at 11:59 p.m., according to the Florida Office of the Senate Secretary. It streamlines the three layers the state's insurer of last resort uses to issue assessments to cover deficits on its three accounts — commercial, personal and coastal.

It gets rid of two layers of regular assessments by eliminating them on commercial and personal lines accounts, according to the bill. Regular assessments will still be levied for the coastal account, but it reduces that assessment to 2% of premiums from 6% and lengthens the time limited apportionment companies have to pay the bill. Regular assessments are levied on nearly all property/casualty policies in the state, but not on Citizens' policies, according to the bill.

If Citizens runs out of money, it will now issue assessments first to its own customers on future policy premiums; then by regular assessment for deficits in the coastal account; then by emergency assessments on both Citizens' and nearly all other property/casualty policies in the state up to 10% of the annual premium. The three accounts calculate deficits and assessments independently, so assessments can be levied when any or all of the three Citizens’ accounts has a deficit.

Regular assessments can significantly impact private insurers' cash stores, Lynne McChristian, Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute previously told Best's New Service. She said that places a burden on private insurers because those companies are already paying claims from a catastrophic event (Best's News Service, Feb. 29, 2012). Jack McDermott, spokesman for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, said the OIR supported the bill because "it will attract investment."

Citizens was formed in 2002 by combining two residual-market associations and was supposed to be the insurer of last resort (Best's News Service, Dec. 11, 2011). The company has taken recent steps to shrink their share of the Florida market and cut $1.5 billion from its exposure. The company has previously told Best's News Service they want to get down to 800,000 policies from their current 1.5 million.

CFO's ON GUARD for Seniors

onguard

State of Florida Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, has started a new website to help protect senior citizens.

Florida’s seniors are inundated with investment offers and requests for charitable contributions and are being exposed to targeted fraud opportunities. The result - financial decisions can be overwhelming. CFO Atwater is committed to ensuring seniors have the information they need about insurance, reverse mortgages and financial transactions, so they can stay on guard and ask the right questions to make sound financial decisions.

The website is www.myfloridacfo.com/onGuard

2012 Session Ends Without Help

rm0c2436

The 2012 Legislative session ended Friday without any real legislation to help associations still trying to survive from significant delinquencies and foreclosures.

The Senate failed to take up SB 680 by Senator Bogdanoff.  This was the Senate companion bill of HB 319 by Representative Moraitis.  These bills would have postponed costly elevator upgrades, removed the requirement for a member vote in order for condominium board members to serve two-year terms, and clarified the amounts paid by persons and in particular banks, when taking title to a foreclosed unit. It has been suggested that the bills would have significantly discouraged litigation and excessive collection fees and helped to prevent any unnecessary delays of foreclosed unit re-sales.

The Legislature also failed to approve SB 1890/HB 213 which would have given associations the right to expedite stalled mortgage foreclosure cases through an order to show cause.  This procedure would have been similar to a "motion to compel" which we presently use but unfortunately when we file a motion to compel, it has only had limited success.   This bill would have created real force.  There was an attempt to place the order to show cause language in SB 670/HB 671 pertaining to residential liens, but the Senate failed to also take up SB 670 and the order to show language was never adopted.   In my opinion this was one of the most important steps to help associations that the Legislature was considering.   It is very unfortunate that it did not find its way through to become law. 

More Books Heading To Buddies

Book Club 2

C&S team members continue their support of the Literacy Buddy Project of the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County. Above is a picture of some of the C&S team getting the books ready to be sent off to their Literacy Buddies. The purpose of the Literacy Buddy Project is to teach children about correspondence, communication, and promote early literacy while providing children with quality books that they take home. The project also supports parents as partners in their children’s learning. For many of the children, a Literacy Buddy provides the only opportunity for them to have books of their own at home.

Anyone, any age, anywhere can become a Literacy Buddy and it doesn’t take much time, but makes a large impact in the life of a child. Exchanges occur three times per year. For more information about the Literacy Buddy Project and the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, please check out their website: http://www.earlylearningcoalitionsarasota.org

books

C&S Is Set Up For CA Day 2012

display 1

The C&S booth is all set up and ready for CA Day 2012, tomorrow March 9th from 8:00am to 3:00pm at the Manatee Convention Center. Stop by and visit with your home town management company! Also fill out an entry form for a $100 Publix Gift Card that C&S is giving away. See you tomorrow!

CA Day 2012

ca day 2012

 
C&S Management is very proud to be a major sponsor of CA Day 2012

Community Association Day 2012 Spring Training
Free Trade Show & Educational Expo presented by CAI West Florida Chapter


Board Member?  Home or Condo Owner?  Don your baseball caps and jerseys, Training Season is here!  Plan now to attend the 2012 Community Associations Day Spring Training sponsored by the West Florida Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI).  This FREE annual educational expo and tradeshow event is having a spring training baseball theme this year and will be held on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at the Manatee Convention Center located at One Haben Boulevard, Palmetto, FL.
 
Who should attend? Anyone living in, serving, or managing community associations such as condominiums, cooperatives, and home owner associations. That means Board Members, Community Association Volunteers and Association Managers. FREE Educational seminars will run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Vendors supporting community associations will have over 150 booths set up during the show with experts on hand to address your questions. Food will be available and prizes will be awarded!
 
Board members and CAMs who are looking to satisfy credits toward educational requirements can register for the FREE Board of Directors Certification Course and Community Association Managers continuing education courses offered throughout the day. Come prepared to ask questions and visit with industry experts!
 
Save the date and plan to attend. Admission is FREE but Seminar seating is limited. Pre-registration is recommended. A limited number of tradeshow booths are still available for vendors serving the community association industry. For more information or to pre-register, please visit www.caiwestflorida.org, or call (941)927-1910.


CAI West Floridais the local Sarasota-area chapter of CAI, a national organization that provides education and resources for community associations.
 
CAI (Community Associations Institute)is a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious common-interest communities. Founded in 1973, CAI and its 59 chapters provide education, tools and resources to the volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them.

Care When Using Space Heaters

new picture
Our insurance agent forwarded us information for using space

heaters and we thought it was good information to pass on.
-----------------------------------------
With the cold weather we've been having, we thought it would be a good idea to share some safety tips for those of you with space heaters.

Please read!

  • Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from household combustibles.
  • Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the home's heating system.
  • Do not use extension cords with space heaters unless absolutely necessary.
  • Inspect the heater's cord periodically to look for frayed wire or damaged insulation. Do not use a space heater with a damaged cord.
  • Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced by a qualified technician. This could be the sign of a potential home wiring issue.
  • Heaters should be placed on a flat, level surface. Do not place heaters on furniture since they may fall and become damaged or break parts in the heater.
  • Unless the heater is designed for use outdoors or in bathrooms, do not use in damp, wet areas.
  • Look for the UL Mark on your electric heater. This means representative samples of the appliance have met UL's stringent safety standards.
  • If you have a liquid-fueled space heater, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. The wrong fuel could burn hotter than the equipment was designed for and cause a serious fire.
  • When refueling, turn off the heater and let it cool down completely before adding fuel. Wipe away any spills promptly.
  • Before you buy a kerosene heater, check with your local fire department to ensure that it is legal

Check A License Phone Apps

bottomlinehead

Have you ever been out with only your cell phone and want to verify that a contractor or professional has a current license?  Well the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) offers iPhone and Android apps.  You can search for state licenses by name or license number, enabling people to check instantaneously whether an individual has a business or professional license in the State of Florida.

The iPhone app is available in the Apple iTunes marketplace, online at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dbpr-mobile/id421389533?mt=8

The Android app is available in the Android marketplace, online at: https://market.android.com/details?id=us.fl.state.dbpr&feature=search_result

The DBPR licenses more than one million businesses and professionals including Community Association Managers, Accountants and Contractors. More information about the department and its divisions is available online at hhtp://www.MyFloridaLicense

CAI Educational Program in Bradenton

Chris Brown, President of C&S, will be one the panelists for the January 12, 2012 CAI Educational Program "What Every Association Board Member Needs to Know". The program is for both condominium and homeowner associations. Below is information from CAI along with a link to CAI to register.

header

January 12, 2012 - FREE to Members and Non-Members

What Every Association Board Member Needs to Know
 
Board Meeting Structure
Understanding Association Documents
Communicating With Homeowners
Financial Reports and Obligations
 
Location:
Renaissance on 9th
1816 9th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34205
 
Check-in begins at 8:00am
 
8:00am - Registration/Refreshments and Mini-Trade Show
8:30am - 11:00 Education Session with one 30 minute break
 
CAI website to register:   CAI Calendar and Registration
 
(Any questions regarding registration,
please call CAI office 941.927.1910)  

Presented by:

Kevin Edwards, Esq. - Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Jack Gages, CPA - CondoCPA, Inc.

M.H. Chris Brown, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
C&S Condominium Management Services, Inc. AAMC

Chris Harrington - Beachside Resorts Vacation Rentals (Moderator)
 
Participants must pre-register. Class size is limited! 

Preparing for Emergencies in 2012

fema

FEMA has launched a campaign which urges Americans to make preparedness a new year’s resolution.  The prioirty campaign is named: Resolve to be Ready in 2012.  More than 20 disaster declarations covered much of the southeast U.S. in 2011. All of these events have served as important reminders that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones.

“One of the most important lessons we can take away from this year is that disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the country we live in,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. “Resolving to be Ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year.”

By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, Americans can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes or businesses. To take the pledge, visit www.ready.gov/resolve.

C&S 2012 Holiday Schedule

C&S follows the County Holiday Schedule. For this reason, C&S holiday closings will sometimes be different than the State and Federal Holiday Schedules.

holidays2

Email Server Maintenance

The C&S email server will be down for scheduled maintenance from 9:00 AM, Saturday, December 31st to 10:00 AM, Sunday, January 1, 2012.  Any email sent to C&S while the system is down is not lost and will be delivered when the system is back online.

Update:  Email is back up and running several hours ahead of schedule.

DBPR Enforcing Unlicensed Activity

bottomlinehead

Ken Lawson, the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is asking all Floridians to help in the enforcement of unlicensed activity in all professions. "Unlicensed activity is illegal and can result in misdemeanor or felony charges if an individual is convicted. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440."

For the complete letter from Secretary Lawson, click Secretary's Letter.

Bradenton

4301 32nd Street West
Suite A-20
Bradenton, Florida 34205
Phone: (941) 758-9454
Fax: (941) 753-3062

Sarasota

31 Sarasota Center Blvd
Suite B
Sarasota, Florida 34240
Phone: (941) 377-3419
Fax: (941) 377-6218

Saint Petersburg

111 2nd Avenue North-East
Suite 900
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701
Phone: (727) 456-0027
Fax: (866) 890-0548

Venice

871 Venetia Bay Boulevard
Suite 230
Venice, Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 786-3552
Fax: (866) 890-0548
©2017 C & S Community Management Services, Inc., AAMC All rights reserved.