EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL ASSOCIATIONS?
March 18, 2016
The Florida legislature tried, but the
Florida Supreme court surely didn’t agree.
According to the Florida Supreme Court there
are no equal rights created by the legislature, if the governing
documents don’t contain the few magic words: “as amended from
time to time.”
What a big difference a few words can make.
The story started in 2007, when State
Representative Julio Robaina filed HB 1373, answering the calls
from many condo owners who complained that a small amount of
commercial owners had more voting powers than all the private
owners together. Their main issue: Lots of the owners’
maintenance fees were used for the benefit of the commercial
owners. The bill passed, but the commercial owners filed a
lawsuit that went all the way to the Supreme Court. And the
Florida Supreme Court upheld the “holy” contract right, much to
the dismay of millions of owners of property in community
The Supreme Court’s ruling: Only if the governing documents of
the association contain the words “as amended from time to
time” can newly enacted laws be applied for associations
already in existence at the time when the bill was enacted by
Julio Robaina’s comment after the commercial
owners filed the “GRAND” lawsuit: “We heard so many complaints
from owners that we thought it's high time to file this bill.
But as soon as owner-friendly laws are enacted the industry
I guess that sums up the fate of family’s
living in associations.
I guess you all know what happened after the
RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT, but do you know how it
all started? If you want to read the whole story, please click
||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