By Jan Bergemann

Published October 25, 2019


Not only dictators can financially ruin whole communities, but so can the ignorance of board members. It’s amazing to see how folks “serve” on boards for many years, but fail to know the meaning of FS 718 (CONDO ACT) or FS 720 (HOA ACT).


Too many board members plainly rely on what they are being told by CAMs or association attorneys, without having even a basic knowledge of the rules, what’s right or wrong.


Many board members seem to forget that CAMs and attorneys are in it for the money, not necessary for the welfare of the community, meaning the owners.


The Florida legislature, in its infinite wisdom, recognized the need for board member education, but, as usual failed to do the “right” thing.


The wording of the statutes allows board members to serve, if they follow these ”education” rules: (FS 718.112(2)(d)4.b.) Within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board of an association of a residential condominium, each newly elected or appointed director shall certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has read the association’s declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies; that he or she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability; and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. In lieu of this written certification, within 90 days after being elected or appointed to the board, the newly elected or appointed director may submit a certificate of having satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered by a division-approved condominium education provider within 1 year before or 90 days after the date of election or appointment.

FS 720.3033(1)(a) reads about the same!


Allowing a board member to just sign a “certification” that he/she knows it all is plainly ridiculous – and actually defeats the whole purpose of the law.


Always remember: Board members can easily financially ruin whole communities, make owners homeless. Allowing board members in charge of the financial welfare of many families to rule these associations without even having a basic knowledge of the rules governing these communities is actually reckless.


In the very near future more than 50% of all Floridians live in some sort of community association – and their financial welfare could be in the hands of totally ignorant people.

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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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