The Heather Walk By-laws provide for the board of directors to determine and administer the maintenance fee to fund the costs of maintaining the common elements. The following areas are where most of the revenue is applied: sewer, water, trash pickup, electricity for common areas, insurance for common areas, plumbing for common areas, pool maintenance, lawn maintenance, parking lot monitoring, professional management, reserve contributions and for the employee who cleans the common areas. The assessment is calculated on the percentage of ownership in the unit. For example, a two bedroom unit has more square footage than a one bedroom unit therefore is charged a larger monthly fee.
Sections 718.112(2)(f)(2)(3) Florida Statute in part states; In addition to annual operating expenses, the budget must include reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance unless the association membership waives such a requirement.
Florida Administrative Code 61B-22.005(6) requires the reserve account must be fully funded unless properly waived or reduced. The definition of a fully funded reserve can be confusing, find it explained here.
Ever wonder what happens when a September coupon is mistakenly submitted for an August payment? Answer: With a current account it will be business as usual but not so much when the account is delinquent.
You see the State of Florida has addressed that situation with Section 718.116(3) Florida Statute which in part states:
Any payment received by an association shall be applied first to any interest accrued by the association, then to any administrative late fees, then to any costs and reasonable attorneys fees incurred in collection, and then any delinquent account and lastly to the current month.
So for delinquent accounts, even though a payment is accompanied by a current monthly coupon, the state statute controls the actual application of the funds to the account, rather than the date of the coupon sent in.
To sum it up payments are applied in this order: interest, late fees, associated costs, attorney fees, oldest delinquent monthly amount and then any remaining funds may be applied to the current month.
The Heather Walk annual year end financial report is a comprehensive report of the financial activity that occurred throughout the preceding year. The annual report is intended for people interested in the associations financial performance. The association is bound by the financial reporting requirements set forth in Section 718.111 (13) Florida Statute. It states in part that at the end of the fiscal year on such date as provided in the associations governing documents, the association shall make available to each unit owner a copy of the financial report on receipt of a written request.
Every September the board of directors will prepare a budget for the following year, and - we can not afford an increase in maintenance fees, - is the most common excuse heard from owners when it comes to increasing the monthly assessment. One of the most difficult parts of preparing a budget is trying to convince unit owners on why it’s a good idea to increase the monthly fee. Sometimes board members do not agree that an increase is needed and the monthly fee could remain the same over the years but the cost for capital projects and repairs do not – they always increase. Monthly maintenance fees should be increased each year, if only to factor in the inflation rate for the reserve account. By maintaining a fully funded reserve unit owners can reduce the chance of a special assessment.