By Jan Bergemann

Published March 18, 2016


The Florida legislature tried, but the Florida Supreme court surely didn’t agree.


According to the Florida Supreme Court there are no equal rights created by the legislature, if the governing documents don’t contain the few magic words: “as amended from time to time.”


What a big difference a few words can make.


The story started in 2007, when State Representative Julio Robaina filed HB 1373, answering the calls from many condo owners who complained that a small amount of commercial owners had more voting powers than all the private owners together. Their main issue: Lots of the owners’ maintenance fees were used for the benefit of the commercial owners. The bill passed, but the commercial owners filed a lawsuit that went all the way to the Supreme Court. And the Florida Supreme Court upheld the “holy” contract right, much to the dismay of millions of owners of property in community associations.

The Supreme Court’s ruling: Only if the governing documents of the association contain the words “as amended from time to time” can newly enacted laws be applied for associations already in existence at the time when the bill was enacted by the legislature.


Julio Robaina’s comment after the commercial owners filed the “GRAND” lawsuit: “We heard so many complaints from owners that we thought it's high time to file this bill. But as soon as owner-friendly laws are enacted the industry sues."


I guess that sums up the fate of family’s living in associations.


I guess you all know what happened after the RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT, but do you know how it all started? If you want to read the whole story, please click here:


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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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