By Jan Bergemann

Published January 8, 2021

I’m not much into resolutions. I have realized over the years that resolutions are as fast forgotten as they are being made.

But I have priorities – and these are my priorities for this year: FIGHTING FOR MORE OWNER-FRIENDLY STATUTES!

About half of Florida’s population lives in so-called community associations. There are lots of statutes regulating these communities, but enforcing these statutes and rules is tricky and often very expensive. Owners face deep-pockets – actually their own money – and often face dictatorial boards backed by attorneys whose priorities are money, not the law – or what’s right or wrong.

But owners have to understand one thing: Just winning in court – or arbitration – means just winning a single battle – the war is still being waged.

And some of the statutes are just a joke. Take a look at the election provisions in the HOA Act – for example. It allows sitting boards to manipulate the elections and legally keep other owners from having a fair chance in elections. What good is an election if a board (or a committee appointed by the sitting board) can decide whose names will be on the ballot? If the association uses mail-in ballots, the provision in FS 720.306: “… a member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting where the election is to be held; provided, however, that if the election process allows candidates to be nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not required to allow nominations at the meeting” says it all.

So, if the board – or its committee – decides that a candidate is not qualified – or simply disliked – the owner willing to run for the board has lost before even given the chance to campaign.

We have in this country anyway issues with elections, even if we are arrogant enough to send former presidents to other countries to supervise their elections.

I guess it’s just a matter of time before the CAI campaigns for using Dominion voting machines to count the ballots in community association elections.

But we need to fight for more owner-friendly laws – laws that are easy to enforce. Otherwise we should just try to convince our legislators to enact a law requiring each community association to post a big sign at the entrance, saying: “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN ZONE!”

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
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 !

Join the 

CCFJ Email List

For Email Marketing you can trust