FIGHTING OVER NONSENSE!
April 3, 2015
be really honest: The Florida legislators are doing anything but
trying to enact bills that will help their constituents. They
fight over nonsense, create bills that make very little sense
and just fill up the book of Florida laws that create nothing
but more confusion and law suits.
year again they failed to even discuss the bills that would
finally create a regulatory agency to protect 2.65 million
families owning property in Florida's mandatory homeowners’
associations (according to the latest statistics of the DBPR)
against abuses and serious financial mismanagement.
the years the
legislature added provisions over provisions to FS
720 (Homeowners’ Associations) but failed to create any
tools that would make it relatively easy to enforce these rules
at the (very good) provisions created by the HOA Reform Bill H
7119 in 2013:
homeowners in the State of
to register with the Division of Florida Condominiums,
Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. I
know of many board members who plainly refuse to do so, because
nothing “happens” if they don’t follow the law.
to maintain insurance or a fidelity bond for all persons who
control or disburse funds of the association. The reasoning of boards failing to follow the law: Why should we spend
money as long as nobody forces us to follow the law?
follow more detailed turn-over requirements. The answer of many
developers: Why should we
follow the new laws? The owners are not organized enough and
don’t have the money to sue us to enforce these laws.
a few examples how little all these new laws really impact these
year, State Representative Halsey Beshears [Distr. 7 (R)],
the chairman of the House Business & Professions
Subcommittee, answered my question why he didn’t add our HOA
Reform Bill (H1263) to the committee agenda saying that
Representative Mike LaRosa didn’t have the bill ready for
hearing (???) and that there was much opposition to the bill.
Excuse me? Sure, there will always be much opposition to such a
bill – coming from so-called HOA service-providers -- because
owners protected by nearly unenforceable laws are much easier to
fleece -- and dictatorial board members who are afraid that a
regulatory agency will end their reign of terror and financial
play the numbers’ game: A few thousand loud-mouthed
service-providers oppose a bill that would help more than 2.65
million families here in
Florida. How about it? Shouldn’t honest legislators ignore the
campaign funds from these service-providers and enact bills that
would help millions of their constituents?
legislators waste their time with pushing bills that should not
have been filed in the first place – because these bills will
have very little impact – or just add to the confusion of all
1211/S 870 deals with
voting procedures and electronic voting in community
associations. In all honesty, the legislators should first
create reasonable rules in regards to elections. FS 720 leaves
it to the ideas of bylaws (meaning the interpretation of sitting
board members) on how elections in HOAs are conducted. Election
fraud runs rampant in
’s HOAs. Now legislators are willing to open more doors for
election fraud – and making elections more expensive without
creating the necessary safeguards to prevent wide-spread
611/S 736 deals with
the cost of estoppel letters. What a joke! An estoppel letter
should not cost more than $ 100.
statutes require associations to maintain a “current account
and a periodic statement of the account for each member.” This
account should tell anybody with just one look how much this
unit/parcel actually owes. The form letter creating the formal
estoppel letter should be kept as a template in the computer.
With other words, it shouldn’t take more than five minutes to
create such a letter. Wouldn’t that mean that $100 is already
overpaying for such a letter? Any Treasurer,
or Accountant who isn’t keeping these accounts up-to-date
should rather get fired than being allowed to charge extra for
are just some examples how Florida’s legislators are wasting
their precious 60 days of the annual legislative session,
instead of working on issues that would create much needed
protection against abuses and financial mischief for Florida
home and condo owners.
||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