EASY LIVING? WHAT A JOKE!
Published May 6, 2022
Eric talked on Monday about “FALSE ADVERTISING ON CONDO
LIVING” that dated many, many years ago. Don’t forget:
It is still going on!
Potential buyers, especially retirees coming to Florida, are
always being lured into buying condos by being told that it’s “EASY
Nothing is further from the truth!
It already starts with the developers who keep the monthly
maintenance fees artificially low in order to make potential
buyers believe that they can easily afford living in this nice
condo. Once suckered into buying the condo they are realizing
pretty fast that they are now part of a vortex of quickly
increasing cost. Latest after turn-over of the community from
the developer reality hits the pocket-book.
The newly elected board of owners (hopefully!) will realize real
fast that more and more bills are piling up, bills that have to
be paid. Only solution: Serious increase of monthly maintenance
fees – plus the “horrific” idea of funding reserves.
That goes for the new community associations.
With the older buildings it can get even worse. Folks from up
North, not familiar with condo rules, are buying condos and
homes without being told that the association they are buying
into failed for many years to fund the required reserves.
Result: In a very near future they are facing the fact that the
association has to levy a good-sized special assessment, money
not in the budget of the folks who just bought the home/unit.
Potential buyers often don’t understand that a “bad” board can
quickly ruin their personal finances by making wrong decisions –
like getting involved in a very costly lawsuit. Folks have to
understand that their homes/condos are collateral for all debts
the association occurs.
And that doesn’t even touch the problem of embezzlement or other
scams, a problem that seems to occur pretty often in Florida’s
community associations as many media headlines show!
If you buy into any mandatory community you can be sure about
one thing: “EASY LIVING IT IS NOT!”
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