WHY IS THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE PROTECTING CRIMINALS?
Published September 15, 2023
last Legislative Session the Florida Legislature again refused
to go after criminals in community associations. They more or
less killed the great provisions in the initially filed bill
cited as act “Community
Associations Bill of Rights” (HB
SB1114) and left very little protection for home-
and condo-owners in the bill that was finally signed into law
By Governor Ron DeSantis.
owners were totally snubbed, but were hit with mandatory funding
of reserves (SB
154) after the Legislature refused to protect these
reserves from abuse. Obviously our legislators think that there
is no crime in condominium associations?
many condo owners always voted against fully funded reserves
because many board members considered these reserves as their
private piggy-bank or used the reserves for other purposes than
amazing that our elected officials seem to protect criminals to
the detriment of the victims – in this case community
association members. It starts in Washington and continues with
State Attorneys. Now its even the Florida Legislature?
legislators passed a few tidbits claiming to protect homeowners
in HOAs (HB
919 -- Chapter 2023-203), but in all reality these
left-over provisions are pretty useless considering the fact
that the owners have to finance the investigation and have to
serve the proof of wrongdoing to the law enforcement agencies on
a silver platter.
reports permanently about embezzled money, presidents taking
kickbacks and reserve funds disappearing, leading to special
assessments many owners can’t afford.
Florida Legislature does absolutely nothing to protect more than
50% of Florida’s population living in community associations
against these criminals.
years the so-called “service-providers” (CAI,
specialized attorneys and CAMs) are arguing in Tallahassee that
laws creating government investigations into embezzling funds,
taking kickbacks and/or abusing reserve funds would deter owners
from serving on association boards. I have barely ever heard a
more stupid argument!
Remember: There are laws -- and serious punishment --
against robbing a bank. But does that deter people from using
banks? Only criminals have to be afraid of laws punishing
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