SETTING MONEY ASIDE FOR RESERVES?
September 29, 2017
Let’s face it: Many
of the foreclosures after Hurricane Wilma were caused by the
lack of reserves. Associations had to levy special assessments
in order to cover the extra cost caused by the need to remove
debris from hurricane damage and to cover the high deductibles
of the insurance policies. Many of the owners – especially the
elderly living on social security – were unable to pay the
special assessments and lost their home to foreclosure.
We’ll see in the
near future if boards learned from this horrible experience – or
if we see another wave of special assessments causing havoc in
Florida’s community associations.
During town hall
meetings in 2003/2004 we could hear the reluctance of many
owners to put money aside. At occasions we were even verbally
attacked, mostly by senior citizens, for even suggesting to
create “RESERVE FUNDS”.
“I will be long dead
before our condo needs a new roof. Why should I spend my limited
resources on reserves that will not be needed during my
life-time?” That was one of the most common comments we heard
during these town hall meetings.
The need for a new
roof came much faster than anticipated by many owners – and with
no reserves in place special assessments had to be levied –
special assessments quite some owners were unable to pay.
THEY LOST THEIR HOME TO FORECLOSURE!
Recently we saw
articles in the media complaining about the high cost of
retrofitting the condo building with a sprinkler-system. But
this dead-line was known for more than twelve (12) years –
that’s how long this law was floating around in the Florida
legislature. If the boards would have shown some common sense –
instead of using association funds to lobby against the bill –
they should have added just $1 or $2 to the monthly maintenance
fees for a retrofit-fund. The money to pay for retrofitting
would be in the bank and no special assessment would be needed.
And we wouldn’t have to listen to the bitching of certain board
presidents and lawyers who didn’t show common sense and failed
to create the necessary reserve funds!
||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