By Jan Bergemann

Published October 21, 2016


I thought that the Florida Supreme Court made it very clear in its “ADVISORY OPINION -- ACTIVITIES OF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS” dated May 14, 2015 how CAMs are limited in providing “legal advice” to members of the community they are working for.

The real problem we see daily in our community associations: CAMS either haven’t read the Advisory Opinion of the Florida Supreme Court or just chose to ignore it.


I get nearly daily e-mails from owners forwarding me e-mails from CAMs that clearly contain a “legal opinion” – contrary to the advisory opinion of the Florida Supreme Court.


I think we have here the exact same problem that we encounter daily when dealing with the Florida Statutes regulating community associations: Nobody cares, because there is really nobody to enforce these laws. And very seldom anything happens to the violators of these laws and rules, besides -- maybe -- a light slap on the wrist.


I always wonder why our government officials – including the Florida Supreme Court – create statutes and rules, only to see these rules being ignored by the same folks these rules are created to regulate?


But the real issue starts if board members follows this “legal advice” they are getting from their CAM, only to get sued by an unhappy owner who happens to know the laws and rules.


Then comes the question: Who is paying for the damages caused by this “legal advice” that actually falls under the category of “Unlicensed Practice of Law”?


Normally the owners who are unlucky enough to be owning property in this community. And that is definitely wrong!

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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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