RESERVE FUNDS MANDATORY – BUT ARE
Published June 29, 2018
I know that a majority of owners is favoring well-funded
reserves. It’s definitely easier to pay a few bucks more in
monthly maintenance fees than to cough up a huge amount of
dollars for a special assessment within thirty days.
And even owners who are against funding reserves should consider
that their homes/units are more valuable if a potential buyer
knows that the reserves are well funded and he/she doesn’t have
to be afraid to get hit with a special assessment in the near
But many owners are afraid that wayward boards are misusing the
reserve funds, spending the money for other purposes than
intended – leaving the owners again vulnerable to special
We have seen that happening a lot in the past – and nothing ever
happened to the board members that spent the reserve funds for
some pet projects.
The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and
Mobile Homes has in many cases refused to act on
complaints from owners regarding the wasteful spending of
reserve funds claiming lack of jurisdiction.
We all know in the meanwhile that the Division “picks” what they
claim is within their jurisdiction. Despite the fact that FS
718.501(1) clearly states”.. the division
has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related only to
financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to
association records pursuant to s. 718.111(12)” we have seen
many cases where the Division plainly refused to investigate
complaints regarding the “disappearance” of reserve
funds. We all know that the Division under the leadership of
Director Kevin Stanfield has turned into nothing but a joke,
harming the welfare of Florida’s condo owners.
I am pretty sure that a lot more owners would favor mandatory
reserve funds if they would know that the money is safe and that
it can only be used for the purpose intended. It’s time that the
Florida legislature enacts laws that hold board members liable
if they spent reserve funds for their pet projects.
||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