Blog

Corporate Transparency Act – Do You Need to Take Action?

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), aka the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) reporting rule, is a U.S. law that was passed in 2021. It requires certain businesses to disclose ownership information to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The federal law was created to increase business transparency.

There are civil and even criminal penalties for those who willfully violate the BOI reporting requirements. Possible violations include deliberately failing to file a beneficial ownership information report, deliberately filing false beneficial ownership information, or deliberately failing to update previously reported beneficial ownership information.

Any domestic reporting company created before January 1, 2024, must file an initial report no later than January 1, 2025. There is a list of required information to be submitted.

While some entities are exempt from beneficial ownership information reporting requirements, community associations are not.

Your company’s beneficial ownership information is reported electronically through FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website https://boiefiling.fincen.gov/.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the act’s requirements, it is prudent to consult your attorney or CPA for guidance.

James Bourassa

VP of Property Management

Seacrest Services Inc.

Preventative Maintenance – No Longer Optional

By James Bourassa

WHAT IS PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE?

Preventive maintenance refers to the routine maintenance tasks performed on the association’s physical assets and mechanical equipment
components. It is prudent to have preventive maintenance items on a
recurring schedule. Preventive maintenance is performed to help extend
the life of the different assets and equipment within the community’s property, decrease repair costs, limit liability, and prevent the likelihood of equipment failure and unplanned downtime. Examples of preventive maintenance include a detailed inspection of the assets and equipment, cleaning equipment regularly to limit dirt and dust buildup, lubricating equipment to limit premature wearing optimizing energy efficiency, and making repairs and comprehensive preventive maintenance programs are key components to a successful partnership between the association and the management company.

STAYING AHEAD OF ISSUES
Traditionally, maintenance is more reactive than proactive. This is no longer sufficient to cope with the ongoing maintenance issues an association experiences.
In January 2022 Florida lawmakers advanced Senate Bill 1702 stating that a mandatory structural inspection program for multi-family and residential buildings taller than three stories and larger than 3,500 square feet must be established. The Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants also states that condominiums with elevators or escalators must be inspected yearly, and buildings with balconies must be inspected every three years.
Even if the association does not fall under these categories, it’s crucial to conduct regular inspections. Inspections can spot any early issues in a building’s foundation, structural and electrical systems, and more. Spotting issues early on can often save hundreds of thousands of dollars and can also protect residents and visitors.
Unexpected repairs can be costly, cause unwarranted headaches, and skew the budget. Why wait? It is best to get ahead of problems as much as possible, Boards are impressed with, extensive and detailed planning It becomes a feather in a property manager’s hat.

WHO EXECUTES A PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE PLAN?
A combination of on-site staff and vendors perform the necessary tasks outlined in a schedule developed by management. A maintenance supervisor plays a vital role in making sure that the community buildings, facilities, and equipment are maintained properly. His/her responsibilities include developing HOA maintenance plans, overseeing repairs, managing maintenance staff, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. In combination with the property manager, the supervisor also coordinates with outside contractors and vendors, manages the maintenance budget, and schedules regular inspections.
Examples of what the on-site staff can do include detailed insper-tons with documented results and the completion of minor repairs Larger items such as HVAC maintenance, fire equipment maintenance, landscape hazards, roads, generator maintenance, and roof inspections require the expertise of a reputable vendor. An engineer may also have a role in the process, HOAs, condominiums, and high-rise condominiums all require preventive maintenance on different components.
The impact of a maintenance supervisor on the community is significant By maintaining the functionality and safety of buildings and facilities, the supervisor helps to create a positive and secure environment for the community It is critical that the supervisor and property manager effectively communicate and collaborate. Well-maintained facilities also contribute to the overall aesthetics of the community, enhancing its appeal to residents and visitors.

Additionally, the supervisor’s role in confirming compliance with safety regulations and standards helps to protect the well-being of community members, Overall, the work of a maintenance supervisor directly impacts the community by providing a well-maintained and safe environment for all who live, work, and visit the area.

PUTTING TOGETHER A SOUND PLAN
The first step in putting together a plan is to identify, all the components
and assets that should be added to the list of items to be maintained. Robust software
options such as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) are available to assist with the process of developing a plan. The system automates inspection work orders and preventive maintenance tasks and documents on-time completions. A CMMS also helps support regulatory compliance when it’s time for an audit.
The reserve study can be referenced as part of the process as it serves as a checklist. Vendors and manufacturers can be consulted to determine an inspection frequency.
Age of the components is a significant factor. The determination of which items can be completed by on-site staff vs. an appropriate vendor should be made.
Establishing a system for recording and storing the data that comes as a result of the inspection and resulting maintenance is paramount. Accurate record-keeping is crucial. This is an area where the use of software can be effective.

Effective planning includes proper budgeting. While some may wish to avoid maintenance issues as much as possible, emergencies can arise when least expected. Whether dealing with a ruptured water line, broken HVAC system, or a kitchen fire, it is crucial that the association has an emergency fund.
Setting this healthy budget can prepare you to act quickly to resolve the problem and provide the safest experience for residents.
In conclusion, a successful preventive maintenance program requires preparation, planning, and proactive scheduling. A diligent management company can assist in creating a successful program customized to any association. A successful plan is one that provides peace of mind.

Your Essential Hurricane Readiness Checklist

Preparing for hurricanes as a South Florida resident is crucial for your safety and the protection of your property. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get ready: 

  • Develop a Family Emergency Plan 

Create a plan with evacuation routes, emergency contacts, meeting points, and communication methods for family members in case of a hurricane. 

  • Assemble an Emergency Kit 

Prepare a comprehensive emergency kit with essential items like food, water, first aid supplies, medications, flashlights, batteries, cash, important documents, and supplies for infants, the elderly, or pets. 

  • Prepare Your Home 

Secure outdoor items, trim trees and shrubs, and reinforce garage doors and windows to protect against damage from high winds and flying debris. 

  • Review Insurance Coverage 

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy for sufficient coverage for hurricane damage, including windstorm and flood insurance. Understand deductibles, coverage limits, and exclusions. 

  • Stay Informed 

Stay informed about weather by monitoring forecasts, using reliable sources like radio, TV, weather apps, and signing up for emergency alerts from local authorities. 

  • Evacuation Planning 

Ensure you know your evacuation zone, have a plan, identify shelters, learn evacuation routes, and arrange transportation and accommodations for yourself, your family, and your pets if needed. 

  • Protect Important Documents 

Create digital backups of essential documents like IDs, insurance policies, medical records, and home ownership proofs in a secure place for protection. 

  • Secure Your Property 

If you’re not evacuating before a storm, secure your property by turning off utilities if advised, moving valuables to higher ground, and using sandbags to prevent flooding. 

  • Stay Safe During the Storm 

Stay indoors, away from windows. Use flashlights, not candles, if the power goes out. Avoid using generators indoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

  • After the Storm 

Wait for authorities to declare safety before returning home. Beware of hazards like power lines and floods. Document property damage for insurance. Be patient while waiting for utilities and recovery efforts. 

Get Hurricane Ready with Seacrest’s Personalized Planning 

Seacrest helps associations create personalized hurricane preparedness plans tailored to their specific needs, breaking down steps and setting actionable goals for full readiness during hurricane season. 

 

By, Cliff Cameron 

Director of Landscape Services 

Marty’s Game Time! (Or Being Ready When the Other Shoe Drops)

Game Time! What a Great Mindset! 

Communities are often faced with difficult decisions that come in many different forms. Usually, the unexpected most concerns us. While we cannot predict these challenges, we can regulate precise actions to minimize their impact. 

Seacrest already has the safety protocols you need to follow in the event of emergencies and injuries. Please familiarize yourself with them. 

Safety Protocols for Emergencies and Injuries 

Being prepared is often associated with foreseeable circumstances and is important for maintaining a well-run community. But how do we handle issues we have never experienced before?  

  • As a professional manager, you should first gather all the information about what happened and its impact. This should include calling witnesses and staff and visiting the location, even after the event. Keep hearsay separate from the facts.  
  • For mechanical breakdowns, conduct a thorough one-on-one interview with the repair person to understand the exact cause. This way, you can intelligently answer questions later, elevating your standing with the board. No one should know more about your property than you! 
  • Strive to be the person in your community who knows every aspect and can provide every answer. Your value expands as your knowledge encompasses all that you survey. 
  • As a manager, you should communicate the issue to the full board based on the facts presented and your knowledge of the property. Your suggestions should be presented as an option for the board to comment on and alter. A strong, well-researched recommendation shows the board you are competent, caring, and loyal to the community. 
  • If the board receives it well, it’s a testament that you’ve done your job and earned their trust. Also, always inform the board when you negotiate a good deal or find ways to save the community money. Boards appreciate managers who think about lowering expenses and showing they care! 

  

That’s Game Time! 

Marty Wainer, LCAM

Regional Director of Property Management