By Jan Bergemann

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 it.


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 ohne Schrecken!” 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.

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida 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 Tallahassee - 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 Florida 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 in Florida !

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