By Jan Bergemann

Published July 5, 2013


The buzz about all the new laws that took effect this week is by far from over yet. Watch a lot of people trying to enforce these laws -- running against walls. It's a matter of time before everybody gets used to it.


But that leaves the question: What if there wouldn't be any specific community association laws -- no boards to make rules and enforce the statutes? You saw Eric's blog on Monday, who states in the end: "...there's no question that without laws there would simply be chaos."


Is that really true, or can't we just imagine to live without all these statutes, rules and regulations?


Let me tell you that there are other ways to live happily together without all these specific laws -- without this enforcement that allows neighbors to levy fines against neighbors. Take a look at this picture of a "condo":



The building is actually forty years old, built in 1973 together with two other buildings exactly alike. The picture was actually taken from a balcony on the 7th floor of Building 2. The buildings are managed by a professional (licensed) building manager. The owners have once a year a membership assembly. All serious decisions are made by membership vote. 


Guess what: Two lawsuits in the three buildings (60 units to a building) since 1973 and they dealt once with windows and once with TV service -- both quality issues! Some windows were leaking and the quality of TV picture was poor! Both settled before going to court. These lawsuits were directed against supplier, no fights among unit owners or board members.


The owners of these units: Most all of them sunbirds, normally residing in big cities, who populate these units in summer -- when the weather is hopefully nice and warm.


Otherwise, they all live happily ever after, say "Hi" to each other in the elevator and stop for a chat. No fights over parking, no towing. No fights over records, no nasty elections. There are rentals, short term and long term -- no problem. There are dogs -- no permit needed. The folks just enjoy spending their summer in a beautiful environment.


But I guess you figured it already out: These "condos" are not located in Florida -- they are in Germany, actually in St. Peter Ording at the North Sea. I took the picture from the balcony of my Mom's unit. She'll be there for the summer -- having fun! 


There are no condo associations, no specific condo laws in Germany -- and there are no HOAs either. It just shows: Life can be great -- especially without all these statutes regulating life in Florida's condos and HOAs.

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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:

Educational Website:

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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