By Jan Bergemann

Published May 6, 2022


Eric talked on Monday about “FALSE ADVERTISING ON CONDO LIVING” that dated many, many years ago. Don’t forget: It is still going on!

Potential buyers, especially retirees coming to Florida, are always being lured into buying condos by being told that it’s “EASY LIVING.”


Nothing is further from the truth!


It already starts with the developers who keep the monthly maintenance fees artificially low in order to make potential buyers believe that they can easily afford living in this nice condo. Once suckered into buying the condo they are realizing pretty fast that they are now part of a vortex of  quickly increasing cost. Latest after turn-over of the community from the developer reality hits the pocket-book.


The newly elected board of owners (hopefully!) will realize real fast that more and more bills are piling up, bills that have to be paid. Only solution: Serious increase of monthly maintenance fees – plus the “horrific” idea of funding reserves.


That goes for the new community associations.


With the older buildings it can get even worse. Folks from up North, not familiar with condo rules, are buying condos and homes without being told that the association they are buying into failed for many years to fund the required reserves. Result: In a very near future they are facing the fact that the association has to levy a good-sized special assessment, money not in the budget of the folks who just bought the home/unit.


Potential buyers often don’t understand that a “bad” board can quickly ruin their personal finances by making wrong decisions – like getting involved in a very costly lawsuit. Folks have to understand that their homes/condos are collateral for all debts the association occurs.


And that doesn’t even touch the problem of embezzlement or other scams, a problem that seems to occur pretty often in Florida’s community associations as many media headlines show!


If you buy into any mandatory community you can be sure about one thing: “EASY LIVING IT IS NOT!

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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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