By Jan Bergemann

Published June 2, 2017

According to the website of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) the organization likes to describe themselves as: “CAI is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. With more than 34,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 62 chapters, including a chapter in South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in a number of other countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them.”

I would describe the organization totally different: The trade-organization of the service-providers of community association with the goal to create the necessary laws to make service-providers richer and homeowners poorer.

A few years back the membership wasn’t even half of what it is today. The reason why it doubled: We advocates made fun of such a “great” organization with such a small membership nation-wide. In order to change that they forced all their members’ firm to create individual membership – thus doubling their membership numbers.

The membership consists not only of attorneys and community association managers, but as well of bankers, insurance company executives -- and everybody who makes money from a system that creates a lot of havoc among the owners. Look at the countries listed above where the CAI is active: Lots of issues in the community associations! Look at Central Europe, where people live in the same kind of buildings, but where community associations are ILLEGAL. No trouble in these countries, barely any lawsuits or neighbors fighting each other with high-priced attorneys.

And yes, there are even some board members joining the CAI – often paying the membership fees from association funds. They don’t realize that they are just being used by the CAI lobbyists to explain to legislators that their organization is as well representing the interests of the community associations.


Wherever owner-friendly bills are discussed, the CAI lobbyists are opposing these bills. Remember: Most statutes regulating community associations in place all over the nation were initially authored by CAI attorneys – making sure that the laws in place are very difficult to enforce – or require the high-priced services of their members.

All homeowners’ advocates all over the nation have faced CAI lobbyists in their respective state legislatures. Homeowners have to understand: It’s US against THEM. In my opinion these folks are not interested in the welfare of the owners owning property in these community associations, they are only interested in their money. Never forget: A peaceful community doesn’t pay the bills of these “service-providers.”

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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:

Educational Website:

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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