WEBSITE? SO WHAT?
Published January 18, 2019
No doubt, the idea behind requiring
condo associations to have a website where all official
documents are accessible for owners on a password-protected site
was great. It was supposed to limit the number of record
requests and the number of complaints and litigation for
associations not fulfilling these record requests in a timely
manner – or not at all.
These problems with record requests
are mainly caused by the fact that the Division of Florida
Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes under the so-called
leadership of Director Kevin Stanfield plainly ignores the fact
that FS 718.501(7) requires the Division to
issue a subpoena requiring production of the requested records
where the records are kept pursuant to FS 718.112 “if
a unit owner presents the division with proof that the unit
owner has requested access to official records in writing by
certified mail, and that after 10 days the unit owner again made
the same request for access to official records in writing by
certified mail, and that more than 10 days has elapsed since the
second request and the association has still failed or refused
to provide access to official records as required by this
It seems to me that
Stanfield thinks that his politically connected wife gives him
enough cover to ignore the laws created by the Florida
But, as usual, the
Florida legislature failed to add enforcement to this new law.
The wording of the law clearly fails to tell associations of
more than 150 units what happens if the website with all the
detailed requirements is not published on January 1, 2019. Most
likely nothing, because the Division will again find ways not to
get involved – or drag their feet without getting anything
achieved. I already received complaints from unit-owners looking
for the website of their association in vain after January 1.
Will this new law
turn out to be another waste of paper?
Let’s face it: The $4
paid by condo owners annually into the so-called Condo Trust
Fund (FS718.509) is just a waste of money and in
reality only serves the purpose of creating extra funds to be
spent by the legislature without being used for the purpose
intended.. Nothing has changed since I wrote in 2011 the Op-Ed:
CONDO TRUST FUND -- WHERE IS THE TRUST?
And if our new Governor Ron DeSantis is thinking of more
deregulation and making our government smaller, the
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
is most likely the place to start here in Florida. I don’t think
that there is another government agency here in Florida that is
wasting more money of Florida citizens without being in any way
useful for the people paying for the salaries of the Division
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
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
- 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
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