By Jan Bergemann  

Published May 26, 2023


If condo owners have hoped that the bill – supposedly clarifying lots of provisions that were enacted by the so-called CONDO SAFETY BILL SB-4D, signed into law after last year’s special session – would give them some financial relief are definitely disappointed after reading the final version of this bill: SB 154 (CS for CS for SB 154, 2nd Engrossed).


Actually the bill adds one serious financial burden for owners who want to sue the board for violating Florida statutes: PRESUIT MEDIATION! Most association attorneys are using presuit mediation to add a lot of billing hours, knowing full well that they don’t want to settle – just creating billing hours. My suggestion to all owners: Pick a mediator with a 1-hour minimum, go to mediation, make your demand and if the association attorney is unwilling to give in to your demands, have the mediator declare presuit mediation moot and go home. You followed the law and you got away with just paying the mediator for ˝ hour. That saves you money for the actual litigation which will be expensive enough. Remember: In most of these cases the owners are correct, the board violated rules and/or statutes. That leaves association attorneys with only one defense: Dragging out the lawsuits by filing motions over motions without getting into the real court hearing, hoping that the owner will run out of money paying his/her attorney. Believe me, that tactic often works! Presuit mediation added even more cost to already very costly litigation.


The promise of some legislators that the very high cost of all these new provisions will be addressed next year, will not help many families, especially folks who live on social security. These owners have only two options: Sell their home or face foreclosure! Is that the option our legislators had in mind?

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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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