By Jan Bergemann

Published February 23, 2024


The list of provisions in the statute that are not mediated or litigated is very small – or rather non-existing.


I get daily e-mails and telephone calls from folks who complain about serious problems in their community.


We already see a myriad of lawsuits and arbitration filings, but the real reason why we don’t see even more litigation: Owners just don’t have the money to pay high-priced attorneys to file lawsuits or start arbitration.


Even in cases where the evidence of violations by boards and CAMs is documented, owners decide not use the legal way to go after these violations once they hear the possible cost of such lawsuits.


Even if the owners win and may get reimbursed for all the legal fees they spent before getting a favorable ruling, they just don’t have the $15,000 - $30,000 it takes to get the case into the court room.


Law firms, knowing full well that the board violated the law and will lose in the end, are filing motions over motions – or appeals (see: BOCA VIEW CONDOMINIUM) – hoping that the owner will run out of money to pay his/her attorney and will be forced to settle.


Our Florida Legislators are filing each year lots of community association bills and the length of the Florida statutes for community associations is growing each year, but as long as all these provisions are not strictly enforced by a government agency – preferably under the umbrella of the Attorney General’s office – all these newly added provisions are not really helping the owners.


Just look at the huge amount of embezzlement cases – just the ones that are prosecuted – and you see how easy it is to break the laws in community associations – criminal and civil.


Adding more “helpful” provisions each year doesn’t really protect the owners from abuse and financial “mismanagement”.


As we see with the crime wave in our nation, only serious punishment of the guilty party will more or less stop all criminal and civil violations. Punish the guilty parties, not the associations for the violations committed by individuals.


We have seen board members, who didn’t even get a parking ticket in their life, violating the laws, because they know – or are being told by attorneys and CAMs – that they only get a slap on the wrist – if they get caught!


THIS HAS TO CHANGE – if our legislators are really willing to protect the families living in community associations.

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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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