By Jan Bergemann

Published September 16, 2022


The discussion about creating mandatory reserve funds for condos and HOAS has been a hot topic in many town hall meeting since 2003. I will never forget a Town Hall Meeting in North Miami in 2006, organized by Representative Yolly Roberson. Remember, that was after hurricane “Irma” devastated South Florida and created a sea of blue tarps covering former roofs. Folks realized that even with property insurance the cost of repairing roofs was rather expensive since most condos had a 5% deductible on hurricane damage. Owners were hit with high special assessments and these owners were very "unhappy". At that time reserve funds in most condos were non-existing.


But despite the fact that owners had complained about the high special assessments the had been hit with, the suggestion of panel members to fund mandatory reserves created a serious uproar among the audience. Representative Roberson had to threaten with calling the police in order to calm down the crowd.


For many years we heard mainly two arguments against the creation of fully funded reserves from many owners:

  1. I’m long dead before these repairs will be necessary.

  2. Our board will just spend the money for other purposes than intended.

The second argument was actually very true. Over the years we saw many boards spending the collected reserve funds for their pet projects and the owners again faced high special assessments when – for example – the roof needed to be replaced. In one case in Broward County the board actually bought palm trees with the money from the roof reserves and had to levy a big special assessment to fix a leaky roof shortly after the purchase of the palm trees.


Make no mistake: Reserve funds created in the past were more or less unprotected and absolutely nothing happened to board members who spent the reserve funds for other purposes than intended. And in all honesty: I think that this will continue even if the recently enacted Condo Safety Bill contains provisions to punish board members and/or CAMs for misuse of reserve funds. The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes will again ignore these provisions – business as usual: Let’s just ignore enforcement!

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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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