2019 COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION BILLS
Published March 22, 2019
The 2019 Legislative
Session is in full swing. The newly elected leadership obviously
wants to bring some “fresh air” into the process – and our new
Governor Ron DeSantis got so far lots of praises from all
sides. The newly appointed DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears
has made quite a few changes to the staff of the Division
Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes,
but we have to see if these changes will have the hoped for
impact. Please give him a little time to create the changes he
Lots of bills
related to community associations have been filed. You find them
all listed on our
PRIORITY BILLS webpage. But in all reality the only
one really useful is
filed by State Representative
and the similar
SB 610 filed by Senator Jason Pizzo.
This bill is aiming at stopping the misuse of funds from the
Condo Trust Fund (it’s about time!) and provides
criminal penalties for financial crimes, kickbacks,, use of
association debit-cards, election fraud and certain violations
relating to official association records. It’s about time to
treat criminals like criminals – and not let them get away with
a slap on the wrist. The bill has in the meanwhile been dubbed
the “LOCK-THEM-UP BILL”.
As expected this bill isn’t well liked by Donna Berger –
according to the CALL-newsletter of the law firm
of BECKER (& POLIAKOFF). Understandably so,
because in my opinion – and that of many others – this firm is
partially making a living of protecting dictatorial – and
otherwise unwanted – board members. I consider it a
mass-production of so-called “Cease and Desist”
letters mailed to owners who criticize these boards. As far as I
was told, board members can’t use association funds to defend
against criminal prosecution – and the association funds
normally guarantee the payment of the legal fees.
This bill will hopefully find its way to the Governor’s desk for
Next week I will talk about the
myriad of bills filed in regards to
Community Association Fire and
Life Safety Systems. Amazingly enough, the Florida
Legislature has failed for more than 15 years to find a final
solution to this hotly debated issue. DO LIVES REALLY
||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