By Jan Bergemann

Published July 26, 2019


Well, I know that common sense is not really fashionable any more nowadays. But for maintaining the property and paying for it COMMON SENSE should still be used.


Everybody knows that property, especially the buildings, have to be maintained. Itís just a matter of time when maintenance and repairs are needed. When itís done in a timely manner the cost is normally reasonable. Itís an old rule of thumb: The longer you wait the more expensive it gets.


And a little reminder for folks who like to be frugal with spending money: A well-maintained property is easier to sell than a run-down place. That's where property values come into play!


And regarding the cost of maintenance and repairs: Remember the paragraphs regarding reserve funds in the Florida statutes? Every part of the property has an estimated life-span. Thatís why a reserve-study should be done before funding any reserves. A reserve-study determines the years the association has to collect the necessary funds for repair or replacement.


Reserve funds protect families and their homes. I still remember the times in 2003/2004 when we fought with the Florida legislature -- and the property owners-- to establish reserve funds.


Many, especially elderly owners, were dead-set against reserve funds. And then came WILMA Ė and many families lost their homes, not because of the hurricane damage, but because they couldnít pay the special assessments to pay for the repairs. I can still hear the arguments from many owners: Isnít that why the association has insurance? Remember the word: DEDUCTIBLE?


Itís not really about OVERSPENDING or UNDERSPENDING Ė itís all just about COMMON SENSE!

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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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