City Resources for Mandatory Organizations

1. Why a Guide for Mandatory Organizations?

This guide has been created to connect and inform mandatory condominium, homeowners’ or property owners’ association board of directors of the many City of Orlando resources available to support mandatory associations. This guide is another tool to assist you and your board to maximize city resources in the operation and management of your association.

As board members and officers of a mandatory condominium, homeowners’, or property owners association, you have a much greater fiduciary and legal role than voluntary neighborhood organizations. Your primary responsibility is acting in accordance with your governing documents, specifically your bylaws and Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and Florida statutes. It can be a daunting and overwhelming role when you serve on the board for the very first time.

2. Connect with your City

Get to know your City Commissioner

Your city commissioner is your voice on City Council. Your commissioner has resources, knowledge and access to city resources you may need to maintain the quality of life in your neighborhood. It is important for your association to have a working relationship with your commissioner.

There are a couple of ways to establish and maintain a relationship with your commissioner:

  1. invite your commissioner to a board or membership meeting.
  2. set up an appointment with the commissioner in their office with the board to introduce yourselves and share some goals and vision of your association.
  3. keep the commissioner informed by sending them your newsletters or a brief email about what your association has been doing.

To find out about your commissioner, visit

Get to Know your Neighborhood Relations Team

Your neighborhood has a Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator assigned to connect, inform and involve you in our city government. Your outreach coordinator is your partner in keeping your neighborhood a great place to live, work and play. This team assists neighborhood organizations and residents in effectively accessing and using city services and other community resources.

Our team organizes, supports, mentors and guides citizens and neighborhood organizations in their effort to make and keep their neighborhoods strong. Connecting citizens to City resources, leadership and volunteer training and technical assistance for associations are our primary services. Email us at

City Resource Guide

This brochure is produced by the Neighborhood Relations team. It is a quick guide to key city services and programs for neighborhood organizations to use. It also contains list of the most commonly requested city phone numbers and contacts. To request one or a quantity of this brochure, email us at

City News

This weekly newsletter allows you to keep up-to-date with City events, programs and latest developments impacting our City Beautiful weekly. To sign up for City News, visit

Neighborhood News

This monthly newsletter is produced by the Neighborhood Relations team to keep associations up-to-date on what programs and events are happening in the City of Orlando. To sign up for Neighborhood News, visit

Watch City of Orlando on TV

Visit to watch City Council on TV or online and to view the council meeting schedule.

Open Data Website - Accessing City's Public Data Online

This is one more way the city increasing its government transparency and accountability by providing the public with immediate access to valuable city data including police, economic development and public works data. Visit for easy-to-use interactive tools allowing residents to dive into the data with the ability to run tailored analysis and generate visualizations of the data


3.  Frequently Asked Questions

 Our Neighborhood Relations team gets a lot of questions from mandatory associations. Here are the most frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between city ordinances and association declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&RS)?

The rules of the mandatory or deed restricted community are described in the association’s CC&Rs and are usually written and adopted by the original landowner, which in most cases is the developer. CC&Rs and governing documents are private restrictions governing the properties within the boundary of your mandatory association. By becoming an owner in the subdivision or condominium with CC&Rs, each owner automatically becomes part of an agreement to live by those restrictions and is a dues paying member of the association.

City ordinances are rules, laws or regulations that are enacted by City of Orlando. Ordinances address a wide variety of local issues, from local government structure, building codes, land uses, public spaces, parking, speed limits and sign sizes. When you move into the City of Orlando as a property owner, you are subject to the laws and ordinances of the city, as well as to other applicable county, state and federal laws. The restrictions and rules outlined in the CC&Rs are based in contract, while the law of the governmental authorities is public law. Property owners must follow their CC&Rs, public laws and ordinances. Some owner modifications do not require building permits but may still require association approval. An example would be changing the paint color of one’s front door, which doesn’t require a permit from the City of Orlando, but requires approval from the association as authorized in the CC&Rs.

Does the City have the authority to enforce our covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs)?

No, your CC&Rs are private rules adopted specifically for your community. The city only has the authority to enforce city ordinances.

How can we get the city's permitting division to require a letter from the association when owners are pulling permits?

Before issuing a permit, the city permitting techs look up the specific property address in the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office. If this property record lists a mandatory association, the permitting tech will require an approval letter from the association to attach to the permit. This letter must be submitted before the permit will be issued.

If the property records within your mandatory association boundaries do not list your association under the Community/Association in the Location tab, you need to contact the city’s Neighborhood Relations team at You will need to provide the city with your corporate name, board of directors and association boundaries. Once the information has been confirmed the Neighborhood Relations team will provide this information to the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office.

Where can I get a copy of my covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs)?

You may obtain a copy from the Orange County Comptroller’s Official Records Department. Go to and type in your association’s official name. Need additional help? Call the Comptroller’s Office at 407.836.5115.

Where can I find incorporation information for my association?

If you are trying to identify your Florida incorporated association officers or directors, or if you are trying to determine whether your association is incorporated contact the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations by visiting and typing in your association’s corporate name.


Is there a guide on how mandatory associations are supposed to function?

There isn’t an official guide, but your association is legally required to follow its own governing documents and Florida Statutes listed below:

1. Association’s Articles of Incorporation
2. Association’s Bylaws
3. Association’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
4. Florida Statutes 617 – Not-for-Profit Corporations
5. Condominium associations must follow Florida Statutes 718- Condominiums
6. Homeowner associations must follow Florida Statutes 720-Homeowners Associations

Can the city give us legal advice?

No. Attorneys hired by the city are paid with tax payer money to act in the best interests of the city entity (municipal corporation). Mandatory neighborhood organizations are separate entities and the city cannot operate on their behalf. Also, the city cannot use tax payer funds to provide legal advice to a private entity. Additionally, ethically there is great potential for a conflict by representing both the city and the association.

How do I check to see if our community association manager (CAM) is operating legally?

Your Community Association Manager or “CAM” is licensed through the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Visit to see the state regulations for CAMs.

When does a community association manager have to be licensed by the State of Florida?

A community association manager is required to have a Florida license when they receive compensation for management services when the association or associations served contain more than 10 units or have an annual budget or budgets in excess of $100,000.


4. City Resources for Associations

The following is a sampling of the city resources available to you and your association.

Association Leadership and Volunteer Training

The Office of Communications and Neighborhood Relations offers a variety of trainings designed to meet the specific needs of your association. For more information or to schedule training, contact the city’s Neighborhood Relations team at

Available training includes: 


This is an online comprehensive neighborhood leadership and organization management training resource. It consists of training guides accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Go to to view all the training guides.

Community Connections Workshops

These free workshops are usually held on the 2nd Saturday morning of the month. These workshops are designed to inform, connect, and involve citizens with a variety of topics. Each year there are at least two specific workshops for mandatory association conducted by attorneys specializing in association law:
1) Board Certification for Mandatory Associations
2) Legislative Updates

These workshops are a great opportunity for neighborhood leaders to interact and learn from one another. To see the Community Connections schedule or to register for the workshops go to

iLead Leadership Series

This is a small group, unique learning experience designed to take your leadership skills to the next level. This immersive 6-week session, lead by the Neighborhood Relations team, will help you sharpen your leadership skills, develop a targeted community action plan, and earn $250 for your neighborhood organization. This series is offered twice a year. For more information and to see when the next session is visit

Custom Board Training

Our Neighborhood Relations team will design trainings to address the needs of a specific association. To learn more about these customized trainings, contact

Mayor Dyer’s Neighborhood and Community Summit

This is an annual, one day training conference bringing together hundreds of city neighborhood, arts and cultural, civic, community and faith-based leaders and volunteers to share information and learn about community building, civic engagement and managing neighborhood organizations. The Summit is held normally in the late winter to early spring of each year. Go to for more information.

Mayor’s City Academy

The Mayor’s City Academy is a 12-week civic engagement program that takes you inside your city government to learn how city departments serve residents every day. For more information, visit

Funding for Neighborhoods

Mayor’s Matching Grants

The Mayor’s Matching Grant provides grant funds for neighborhood organizations. Neighborhood organizations may apply for up to $5,000 to implement physical improvements, public safety, sustainability or education projects and programs that benefit neighborhood residents. For more information, visit Mayor's Matching Grants.

Beautification for Neighborhoods

Green Up Orlando

Green Up Orlando will do tree planting and landscaping projects on association common property that are very public in the neighborhood and will even do projects in gated neighborhoods.

Here are a couple of exemptions that do not meet the eligibility of a Green Up project:
1) common property that is isolated and only benefits a few owners 
2) individual home frontage
3) within your pool area

Mandatory associations are asked to have a Green Up committee that approves all decisions of the Green Up project and recruit neighbors to do the actual planting of the trees and landscaping materials. The Green Up Orlando team will bring all the trees, plants, fertilizer, mulch and tools to make the project a success. The association brings the labor.

Green Up projects qualify for Florida Bright Future hours, which may be a great recruiting point for your teens. Many associations wrap up their Green Up projects with lunch or a food break. Food brings out people. For more information or to schedule a Green Up Orlando project, visit

Litter Prevention — Keep Orlando Beautiful

Keep Orlando Beautiful (KOB) is a non-profit organization administered by the city’s Streets and Stormwater Division of the Public Works Department.

Various beautification projects include: plantings, painting, litter and graffiti removal and general sprucing up. KOB will do projects on association common grounds, including in gated communities, but not on private property. KOB will work with the association to determine needs and coordinate a volunteer effort. All needed supplies and materials are provided by KOB and it is required volunteers from the association participate. Associations may also borrow supplies for follow up maintenance and/or ongoing litter removal. For more details, visit

Lakes – Lakewatch and Lake Alerts

Lakewatch volunteers collect and prepare water samples from city lakes to complement the city’s current lake monitoring program. Volunteers must have boat and lake access and dedicate approximately one hour per month to the program. The data collected is used by the State to help evaluate the health of the lake.

To be notified about lake water quality concerns, sign up for lake alerts.

Here are some additional resources that may be useful.

Lighting of Common Areas

OUC and Duke Energy offer programs to add new property lighting or upgrade existing common area light.

OUC Customers
Call customer service at 407.423.9018 to discuss lighting needs and specifications.

Duke Energy Customers
Call customer service at 407.629.1010 or 1.800.700.8744 and follow the prompts for businesses, then lighting. Duke Energy considers your association a business.

Finding an Association Attorney

Contact the Orange County Bar Association to request referrals for lawyers and law firms specializing in condominium or homeowner association law. Visit

Community Association Institute (CAI) - Central Florida Chapter

CAI is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI members include association board members and other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms, and other professionals who provide products and services to associations. For membership and more information, visit

Stay Informed, Connected and Involved