This column has attempted to answer many questions regarding the homeowners association (HOA) industry in the past two years, but has never dealt with the specifics involved in becoming an Licensed Community Association Manager (LCAM). These individuals hold quite a bit of power in the average association, and so it is important to find out what exactly they did to gain this power.
A Florida CAM License is required when managing an association of more than 10 units and/or has an annual budget in excess of $100,000. Types of properties that hire CAM License holders are mobile home parks, planned unit developments, homeowners associations, cooperatives, timeshares, condominiums, or other residential units, which are authorized to impose a fee that may become a lien on the parcel.
Typical responsibilities of a Florida CAM Licensee are 1) controlling or disbursing association funds; 2) determining how or when to prepare budgets or other financial documents for an association; 3) determining how or when to provide notice of meetings or to conduct association meetings; 4) maintaining and/or having authorization to spend association petty cash; 5) coordinating maintenance for the residential development; and 6) performing other day-to-day services involved with the operation of a community association.
According to a report from Larson Educational Services, getting a CAM license is not all that complicated. Their program involves a 2-day, 18-hour course and costs $229. This is just the first of many fees that must be paid in the licensing procedure.
An applicant for a Florida Community Association Manager (CAM) License must:
a.) Be at least 18 years old
b.) Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
NOTE: Florida residency is not required.
The steps outlined below will begin the process to obtain a Florida CAM License. Application approval generally takes 15-60 days.
1. Submit a license application to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The application-processing fee is $228.
2. Complete electronic fingerprints with Pearson Vue for a background check. You can also contact the Pearson Vue customer support center at 1.888.274.2020 (TTY 1.800.274.2617) to register by phone. The fingerprint fee is $57.25.
3. Complete 18 hours of Florida CAM Licensing Education.
4. Pass the Florida CAM License Exam. It takes approximately 15-60 days from submission of your License Application and Electronic Fingerprints for exam approval.
5. After passing your exam, your CAM license will be mailed to you by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation within 10 business days.
Of course, there is no substitute for on the job training. In order to maintain their active license, managers must also complete continuing education courses each year. Some of the events that have been covered by this column also count as CE credits.
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