This sad story has been replayed over and over again across the country. Condo owners and board members don’t have access to their Official Records to watch their money and a trusted board member, treasurer steals their money. This time it was the Fawn Ridge Condominium Association in Connecticut where long term, trusted treasurer Derek Jette, took $137,000 over 5 years. The new president came in and stumbled upon the embezzlement after getting access to bank statements. No one was watching the condo’s financial records so it was easy for the treasurer to steal and use the money for his personal expenses.
This is exactly why states like Florida are toughening their laws. Last year Florida not only raised sanctions by including stiff money penalties, but also made certain conduct criminal. In Florida, condos and other community associations like HOAs are required to maintain a laundry list of Official Records which owners are supposed to be able to inspect within 5 days. This year Florida is close to giving condo boards and their management a little more time to respond, but they must be able to do so or suffer the consequences. Because of rampant fraud, the Florida lawmakers went a step further and required condos with 150 or more units to have a web portal available for owners to access some Official Records whenever and wherever they desire. This web portal requirement is a huge deterrence because treasurers like Jette would think twice before stealing under the watchful eyes of owners.
Office of the Board makes it very easy for any community association to comply with the toughest laws and avoid the risk that people will steal from them. An Office of the Board creates instantly with a unique web portal, document management system and many more features designed to protect the association, board members, owners and people who work with them.