Published September 28, 2018
Over the years many court battles have been fought over campaign
signs posted by unit(parcel)-owners before elections. Free
speech isn’t free in community associations as many owners found
out. Remember: In this country contract law supersedes the
We have seen owners using all kinds of “tricks” to circumvent
the governing documents disallowing the posting of signs. From
inside of cars parked in the driveway to the inside of windows
in condo units.
No matter what, lawsuits have been flying. In one case even a
candidate for mayor got sued for posting her own campaign sign
in her front-yard.
But just in case you need to let your neighbors know who is the
candidate of your choice, you need to wait until 14 days before
the election to put up the sign – if you live in a
deed-restricted community with NO-SIGN rules. I have a big “Ron
DeSantis For Governor” sign in my front-yard, but I’m
not living in a HOA any more.
The big question: Why waiting until 14 days before the election
before posting the sign?
Easy explanation: The association has to give you a 14-day
written warning before they can levy a fine for violation of the
Both statutes -- FS 718 (CONDO ACT) and FS 720 (HOA
ACT) – have similar provisions in regards to fining: “A
fine or suspension levied by the board of administration may not
be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’
written notice to the parcel (unit) owner [FS
With other words: If you post the sign 14 days before the
election and remove the sign on the evening of Election Day you
circumvented the law because the association will not be able to
levy a fine for violation of deed-restriction because you
remedied the situation within the time given to you by the
Let’s just say: Sometimes you have to beat associations at their
||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