COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INSTITUTE – FRIEND OR FOE?
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
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
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.
NOTHING FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
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.”
||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