DEADLINE: JANUARY 2026

By Jan Bergemann

Published June 2, 2023

 

SB 154 determined that each hi-rise building (3 stories or 75 ft.) -- condo or co-op Ė has to create fully funded reserves Ė like it or not -- starting in January of 2026.

 

But that doesnít mean that much higher monthly fees have to be paid by the owners immediately, paying for insurance, studies and engineering reports. Smart owners will already start building up reserves now, not just waiting to start at the deadline. We will see what happens when the owners are being hit with big increases of monthly maintenance fees.

 

We already pushed in 2006 for mandatory fully funded reserves, knowing that owners will take the easy way out, voting to not fully fund the reserves. But Floridaís legislators allowed owners to make this decision Ė and we see the results now! We were absolutely correct. Many of these older hi-rise buildings donít have any reserves worth mentioning, a disaster for the owners who, year for year, voted to not fund the reserves.

 

Iím already getting e-mails and telephone calls from owners who are already facing much higher monthly maintenance fees: Fees they canít afford!

 

But I have to say one thing, even if it isnít very popular among condo-owners in the moment: If you own real-estate property you have to pay for the upkeep, maintenance and repair of this property Ė no matter if you live in a condo or a single family home. There are only two options: Put money aside to pay for expensive repairs so you have it when needed (like a reserve fund) or be prepared to have enough money to pay for the maintenance and/or repair by writing a check (like a special assessment).

 

No matter what: The money has to be there when needed!

 

I know: Condo owners were promised: EASY LIVING! But buyers beware: Developers always keep monthly fees artificially low since property with low monthly maintenance fees is easier to sell, but in the end the owners have to pay the piper: Contractors who take care of maintenance and repair of the building.


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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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