By Jan Bergemann

Published April 8, 2017

Yes, I can absolutely understand when some attorneys argue that certain provisions in the Condo Reform Bill (H 1237 + S 1682) have to be changed.

William Sklar, an attorney representing the Florida Bar, argued that existing law should be used to prosecute violators -- not laws added to the condo statutes. Guess what? It never worked before! Does he think it will work in the future because he says so? He is asking for clarification. The bill clearly clarifies it: The criminal prosecution is now part of the condo statutes – no more excuses! What more is there to clarify?

The argument from Yeline Goin, attorney from the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff is even more ridiculous: “We don't want the laws to be used to punish people who make unintentional mistakes.”


This argument can only come from an attorney who is afraid of losing their cash cow. Remember: The bill has provisions avoiding “unintentional mistakes!” Here is the wording in the bill: “Any director or member of the board or association who knowingly, willfully, and repeatedly violates subparagraph 1. 148 commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “repeatedly violates” means more than two violations within a 12-month period.”


How unintentional can that be? For me that argument borders on absolute stupidity!


Make no mistake: These attorneys are making big bucks trying to help board members hiding records from the view of “nosy” owners who would like to see what’s happening with their money.


What’s even worse is the fact that Senator Greg Steube is allowed to vote on this bill. In case you don’t know: He works for the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff and the bill, if enacted, will have a direct impact on his income. How would you define: CONFLICT OF INTEREST? As you can imagine: He voted NO on the bill – together with Senator Jeff Brandes, a realtor from Pinellas County, another hotbed of condo fraud and scams. Obviously Brandes loves to see condo scams to continue in his district!




Another nonsense argument: Associations will have problems finding  volunteers for the board if criminal charges are threatened for “knowingly, willfully and repeatedly” violating the laws? Honestly: Condo owners can really live without “volunteers” who knowingly and willfully violate the laws!


In my opinion these attorneys are making a laughing stock out of themselves by  arguing such nonsense in front of a Senate Committee!

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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:

Educational Website:

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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