By Jan Bergemann

Published April 17, 2020


Let’s face it: Many of us are always complaining about all the rules our government is imposing on us. But in all reality: Government is imposing a lot less rules on us than community associations.


Living in a community association means that your daily life is governed by rules, often imposed by dictatorial boards who have no clue what they are doing. These boards are only too often listening to attorneys and CAMs, whose views are more often guided by dollar signs than by common sense -- or the actual statutes and rules governing these community associations.


One of the most common reasons for lawsuits and/or arbitration are rules imposed by power-hungry boards. Many board members don’t understand that their rule-making powers are limited – and many of the rules they are trying to enact are actually requiring the vote of approval by a super-majority of the membership in order to become enforceable.


Especially HOA boards (FS 720) often ignore the fact that we helped in 2007 to enact the bill that created FS 720.3035 (Architectural control covenants; parcel owner improvements; rights and privileges). This provision in the HOA ACT severely limits the power of boards to create rules that are not based on provisions already included in the original declaration of covenants.


HOA board members – and owners – should read this paragraph in the statutes more carefully – and obey by it. Otherwise these board members may learn about it the hard way: A costly court ruling telling them that they made rules they were not entitled to make!

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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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