Published February 22, 2019
The statutes for the variety of community associations (FS 718,
FS 719, FS 720 and FS 723) differ – and that’s not only when it
comes to lawsuits. But these differences are not only caused by
the fact that the buildings are different, they are as well
caused by the fact that the service providers – mainly attorneys
and community association managers – are strongly lobbying
against owner-friendly protection.
Let’s face it: Unprotected owners are a lot easier to fleece
than owners whose rights are easily enforceable with the help of
a government agency that takes its job seriously – unlike the
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes.
In all reality, it’s nice to have written laws called the “HOA
ACT” – but an owner has to be rich to enforce the rights
given to him/her in this “HOA ACT.”
So, what good does it do for the owners if FS 720.303(1) states:
commencing litigation against any party in the name of the
association involving amounts in controversy in excess of
$100,000, the association must obtain the affirmative approval
of a majority of the voting interests at a meeting of the
membership at which a quorum has been attained.”
What’s an owner going to do if the board and the association
attorney plainly ignore this provision? Does anybody honestly
believe that the attorney, who should know about this provision,
will force the board to get this vote of approval from the
membership – and maybe lose the income of such a juicy lawsuit?
Waste more of his own money to sue the association and see more
good association money wasted making the lawyers even richer?
Don’t forget: Attorneys get paid – WIN or LOSE!
Lawsuits are necessary to feed the lawyers’ bank accounts – at
the expense of the owners. And in my mind there are quite some
attorneys out there who “cause” lawsuits by giving board members
“debatable” opinions knowing full well that these opinions may
cause lawsuits. But we should never forget: Attorneys sell their
opinion (without warranty) – NOT JUSTICE!
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking