NOT MANY “VESTED RIGHTS”
Published March 8, 2019
Let’s be very
honest, no matter what rumors say, there are very few vested
rights for owners in community associations. When you sign on
the dotted line buying a property in a mandatory community
association, you are more or less signing a contract that forces
you to obey by the contract, even if the conditions of this
contract are changed without your approval.
Even if you think
that there are laws (Florida statutes) that are protecting your
rights you will find out very quickly that these laws only exist
on paper and are only available to you if you are willing – and
able – to spend lots of your money – and that of your neighbors
– to fight a lengthy – and costly – lawsuit.
One of the few, but
very important, “vested rights” are your voting rights. The
association, or the statutes, may be able to change the system
used for voting, but not your share of voting rights. If it’s
one vote for lot (or unit) it’s one vote for lot. We have seen
attempts by condo associations trying to change these rights
depending on the size of the unit, but these attempts have all
Make no mistake, the
election procedures in community associations are very weak, and
easily circumvented by a dictatorial board, but it’s one sure
right you have as an owner.
Looking at the big
picture, when buying into a mandatory community association, you
may still be the deeded owner of the property, but your “vested
rights” are barely existing. In short: You have the obligation
to pay your mortgage, taxes and maintenance fees, but others
have the right to tell you how your property has to look and how
you can use your property.
Ever figured that
out before signing on the “dotted line”?
I’m very sad to report that our long-time friend and blogger
Darlys Walker will depart from our Florida HOA & Condo Blog at
the end of the month. Darlys sold her business.
We are sorry to see her go, but wish her all the best for the
future! Thank you Darlys for writing very informative weekly
blogs for many years!
||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