By Jan Bergemann

Published February 17, 2023


Let’s face it: The so-called CONDO SAFETY BILL (SB-4D) will bankrupt many condo owners and/or make families homeless – if the Florida Legislature is unwilling to make significant financial changes to the time-lines.


Since 2003/2004 we were asking for mandatory fully funded reserves. Everybody knew that by keeping monthly maintenance fees artificially low by not adding reserve funds to the budget that there will be a heavy price to be paid – one day. And it seems the day is NOW!


Over the years the so-called service-providers were fighting hard to avoid fully funded reserves to the requirements by statutes. The lobbyists from the CAI, CALL, CONTINENTAL (now FSR), the DEVELOPERS and the FLORIDA BAR screamed “bloody murder” when the discussions about fully funded reserves showing up in proposed bills. There were heated discussions in the halls of Tallahassee between then State Representative Julio Robaina and our CCFJ folks on the side of fully funded reserves and the folks opposing these proposals: Peter Dunbar  (FLORIDA BAR), Donna Berger (CALL – Becker & Poliakoff) and Travis Moore (CAI and CONTINENTAL) – just to name a few.


But guess what? Now CEOMC President Debbie Reinhardt (Chief Executive Officer of Management Companies) suddenly states that “the industry is very supportive of reserve funding. They have been for years! They just want more time!”


Who is she kidding? The industry was fighting mandatory fully funded reserves for nearly twenty years – and spent a lot of money doing so! These statements are just hilarious!


Yes, I definitely agree that changes to the reserve funding provisions have to be made in order to prevent a disaster in the condo market here in Florida, but lying about it doesn’t really help the cause.


Why is everybody in this country so eager to blame everybody but themselves? Without the resistance of the industry we would have fully funded reserves since many years which would now come in handy in funding the required inspections and structural maintenance.


Boards and owners are only partially to blame for the momentary problems. They just used loopholes in the statutes to keep the maintenance fees artificially low – loopholes created by the same industry that now claims to have been very supportive of reserve funding. OUCH!

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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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