By Jan Bergemann

Published April 14, 2017


I guess nearly every board member knows that the association is governed by their specific documents: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and CC&Rs. But most of them don’t care reading these governing documents, much less follow their rules.


In my opinion the problem is not the lack of board members reading these documents, it’s the attitude: Who cares what these documents say?


Board members know that it’s outright difficult for owners to enforce the rules of the governing docs, much less to hold board members responsible for outright ignoring these rules – even if these board members are on record saying that they don’t care what the documents say.


We obviously live in a society where it’s “politically correct” to not hold people responsible for any violations. That’s especially common in community associations where the rules even indemnify these board members – no matter how badly they ignore statutes and governing documents.


Let’s face it: We are all human – hopefully? And if we know that we can violate the rules without having to fear any punishment – we will do it!


No matter how much money the association spends on keeping the governing documents up to date: The failure of many board members to follow the rules of the governing docs makes this expense a waste of money!


As long as there is no punishment for violating rules and laws we will see rules and laws being ignored!


Remember kids’ behavior? They will try anything to find out how far they can go without facing punishment!


I guess many board members are like kids!

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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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