Legal Counseling

Florida law very clearly prohibits the “Unauthorized Practice of Law”, also known as UPL, either by the Board of Directors, or the property management company.


This is a very delicate issue, often overlooked by Boards or the property management company. One that may have undesired consequences for the Association and the community’s interests.


Usually the UPL occurs when the law is interpreted by people who read the Florida’s Statutes and then act upon such readings and interpretations, disregarding the consultation of the Association’s lawyer, who is often deemed as “unnecessary”. However, there is no substitute for legal counseling.


It is never overemphasized to remind Boards of the importance of the Association’s lawyer, who is, usually, thought as being important for collections only. She (He) is like a guardian who protects the Board from anyone challenging their fiduciary responsibility.


Gold Property Management & Associates, Inc. would always recommend Boards to consult the Association’s lawyer for any issue that may affect their fiduciary responsibility.


This is the reason why Gold Property Management & Associates, Inc., networks with several leading attorneys in the areas of Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Condominiums & Homeowners Associations, Insurance Claims and Collections.


Depending on the case, we recommend to the Board highly rated lawyers who either have recovered or saved millions of dollars to several condominiums under our management, adding in the process, protection to the Board and the Association.


Another very relevant aspect of the relationship between the lawyer and the Association is the follow up of legal cases by the property management company. This is fundamental.


The Courts have several cases where legal matters were not dealt with the required care by the management company, leading in some cases to the appointment of a Receiver (or the loss of assets). The consequences in these cases are devastating for the interests of the communities affected.


These are the areas where legal counseling is very important:


  •  Legal opinions
  •  Covenants enforcements
  •  Construction defects
  •  Litigation
  •  Insurance
  •  Contracts
  •  By-laws interpretation
  •  Difficult residents
  •  Disputes with vendors


Naturally, legal counseling has a cost. This cost should be budgeted and contracted either on a retainer basis, in case there is litigation, on an hourly basis, also known as per consultation, or on a collection basis. The latter should not be charged to the Association but to the violating party.

Successful Meetings

Meetings are extremely important to conduct the business of an association. So important that a large portion of the Florida Statutes is dedicated to them. Gold Property Management & Associates, Inc. strives to help ensure that your Board’s meetings are efficient and effective.


These are some ideas that we recommend to the Board in order to have meaningful and productive meetings which would translate into benefits for the community.


Prepare an Agenda

1. An agenda should be developed for the meeting and handed out to all Board members before the meeting so that they know which topics are going to be considered and they can come prepared. Meetings that do not have an agenda tend to be lengthy and off focus, weakening, in many instances, the Board effectiveness in dealing with the core issues of the community presented at the meeting.



2. We recommend that the Minutes of the last meeting should be  in advance so that they can be reviewed by all Board members before they come to the meeting. The Minutes should collect the spirit of the meeting, and be faithful to the discussed and approved topics. It should always be presented at the next meeting by the property management company.


An association should never allow its property management to be behind, even for one single meeting, with the presentation of the Minutes. Time tends to erase or fade human memory, thus preventing  the reproduction of what was agreed collectively for the benefit of the community.



3. Good communication is essential in a meeting. One of the courtesy principles calls for only one person to speak at a time, with the audience listening attentively and without interrupting. Humans are trained to write and speak. Listening is a forgotten lesson that often causes misunderstandings and undesirable situations. In Gold Property Management & Associates is our goal to always listen to people, especially when they complain, since, we understand, this is the only way to stay focused in the problems presented by owners at the meetings or in any other situation, even if they are very angry or agitated.



4. It is important to respect others’ point of view. Never, ridiculing another person’s opinion. Insinuations should have no place at a Board meeting. If it seems that there is an unspoken meaning behind the words being used, it is the Chair’s job to work with the speaker to identify his/her message to avoid misunderstandings.



5. It is always useful to set time limits. For example, the meeting will start at 8:00 p.m. and adjourn at 10:00 p.m. No more than 30 minutes should be spent on the financial report. The topics and the contracts under consideration regarding the community’s schedule, for example, will be discussed and concluded in a predetermined amount of minutes. If a minority of the members wish to continue beyond the agreed upon time limit, there should be a procedure for checking to see if others on the Board are willing to continue the discussion.


Free Discussion

6. The Chair, which is the parliamentary word used to designate the person conducting the meeting, must understand his/her role. It is the Chair’s responsibility to encourage free discussion of the topic being  considered, to keep the discussion moving forward, identify the issues relating to the topic and to define the decisions that must be made.



7. The meetings should be adjourned on time and the business conducted written down for the next Minutes