APATHY OF OWNERS
Published March 26, 2020
Let’s be very honest: Many of
the problems we are seeing daily are caused by the apathy of
owners – owners who don’t want to get involved into the
community association’s politics.
Many of the owners are acting
like the three famous monkeys: SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL
and TALK NO EVIL. These are the folks who only start
complaining when it’s too late. I often get calls and/or e-mails
from owners who received special assessment letters. The normal
question: “Can they do this?”
Yes, they can, if they follow
the regulations created by statutes and governing docs. I
normally ask: “Have you been at meetings where these special
assessments were discussed or voted upon?” In many cases the
answers are: “I don’t have time to go to these meetings” or “I
didn’t want to get involved.”
Let’s face it: The community association system is built upon
owners’ participation in the whole process. Bad boards can only
continue to function if a majority of owners either doesn’t want
to get involved – or just doesn’t care. Remember: Statutes and
governing documents give the majority of owners the power to
remove “BAD BOARDS.” And owners just have to use
this power to protect their personal finances. Many owners
always seem to forget: A board making bad decisions can ruin
your personal finances and you may end up losing your home over
Many owners seem to be afraid
to take decisive actions against their board. Yes, a board has
certain powers, but they still can’t send you to Siberia, even
if certain attorneys seem to like that idea.
There is an old
saying in German: “Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Ende
Translated it means: “Better an End with Horror than
Horror without End!”
Please remember that the next
time when you are contemplating not getting involved in the
“politics” of your community association.
||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