MEDIATION DOES IT WORK?

By Jan Bergemann

Published September 24, 2021

 

Mediation only works if both parties are willing to compromise and in many community association disputes that is not the case. I have seen it over and over again: Association attorneys drag out the mediation procedures, making the owners believe that they are willing to settle. Their clock is running and in many cases they know from starters that there will be no settlement. Remember: Even the best mediator is helpless if the parties are not willing to compromise. For many association attorneys its just the beginning of a tactic that aims at financially ruining the owner. In many of these cases associations dont really have a legal defense and know that they would eventually lose in court if the owner has enough money to get the case into the court-room.

 

Its all a matter of opinion, but from my experience owners should always pick mediators that only have a 1 (or 2) hour minimum and are close by. My suggestion to owners: Make your demands, but if there is no solution within the hour, have the mediator declare the mediation moot. Save your money to make it into the courtroom. Always remember: The association has unlimited funds partially your money and can drag a case out for a long time.

 

In summary: Im not fond of mediation since the system relies on two parties willing to find an agreement. And that is Im sorry to say often not the case.


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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: 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 in Florida !


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