Published November 11, 2022
predicted the new provisions for condos, enacted by the Florida
legislature in a recent special session, is creating serious
financial hardship for many owners living in these hi-rise
collapse of the Champlain Towers South killing 98 people caused
the legislature to create this bill that is putting a serious
financial burden on the owners and there is no doubt that many
owners will not be able to pay the much increased monthly
maintenance fees and will either have to sell – real fast – or
all reality the legislature had to act in order to prevent
another catastrophe. Believe me, the media would have torn apart
Florida’s legislators if another condo would have collapsed
without the legislature adding safety measures after the
catastrophe in Surfside.
financial hardship will especially hit the owners who for years
voted down financial reserves in the budget planning. The fact
that they were able to keep the maintenance fees artificially
low is now coming back to haunt them. The provisions of the new
bill will not really financially impact the owners of
condominiums who have fully funded reserves in place and/or are
located in counties that required 40- and 50-year inspections
and had them done in a timely manner.
But it will be especially critical for owners in condos who year
for year funded the reserves only to find out that the
association misused these reserves for beautification and
pet-projects of the board. This happened pretty often,
especially since the Division
of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes failed to
investigate complaints about misused reserve funds despite the
fact that FS 718.501 clearly states that “the
division has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to
But as I have said many times before: The Division is just
another government agency that is not doing what they are being
And make no mistake: The vultures – a.k.a. developers – are
already waiting to buy the units of owners who can’t afford the
high maintenance fees for cheap!
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