WHO OPPOSES HOA REFORM?
July 21, 2017
Let’s just face it: HOA reform fails in most legislative
sessions because the HOA advocates face the strong opposition of
the Community Association Institute (CAI) – the “ENEMY”
of all homeowners. This “trade-organization” of
“service-providers” – look at the long list of members – is led
by so-called “specialized” attorneys who are making their money
from the misery of homeowners. But do they really provide a
“service” to the owners? I doubt it.
Remember: Associations are promoted claiming to provide peaceful
“easy” living. Guess what: A peaceful environment wouldn’t
create a big cash-cow for these attorneys – it wouldn’t even pay
their office rent. So: What’s their service? Eating up huge
amounts of maintenance fees fighting often lawsuits that in
reality serve nobody and will have no winners but the attorneys?
I always get a good laugh when I hear owners supporting this
organization, claiming that the CAI works in the interest of the
owners. Any owner-friendly reform bill faces the strong
opposition of these folks who make their money from the misery
of property owners – and renters.
If you have ever participated in one of the so-called
conferences where all “parties” to the community association
bills meet with the bill sponsors – these conferences take place
behind closed doors – you would know that the CAI members are
always represented in huge numbers and are working hard on
derailing any bill that would help to stop the scams,
embezzlement and abuse in Florida’s community associations.
Their arguments are often ridiculous, but they often work due to
the CAI presence at fundraisers of our legislators. They use the
owners’ money to work against their interests.
See this year’s example at the conference of the Condo Reform
Bill (HB 1237) – a bill that was later dubbed the “CONDO
CRIME BILL.” Their argument trying to remove criminal
prosecution of board members who are seriously violating the
laws: “Associations will have a hard time finding volunteers
serving on the boards if these provisions pass!” Let’s face it:
Every owner in his right mind can really do without “volunteers”
who are afraid of criminal prosecution of serious financial
crimes. Actually, I have barely ever heard a more “ridiculous”
argument – and in this case it obviously didn’t work with the
sponsors of the bill.
Homeowners have to unite in order to get reforms enacted. “UNITED
WE STAND!” is the only way to have success. Attorneys
often try to turn board members against owners – and vice versa.
That’s definitely the wrong approach. It has to be: Owners and
board members together against the enemies of our wallets.
Remember: Owners have the numbers, but not the money to convince
our legislators that reforms – with strong enforcement – is
desperately needed in order to finally stop all the “nonsense”
we are reading about daily in the media – or experiencing it
And never forget: The money used to defeat our pleas in
Tallahassee comes from us – the owners. In reality we are
enabling our “enemies” to defeat us by filling their coffers.
||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