By Jan Bergemann

Published June 3, 2022


During the special session the Florida Legislature passed two bills that were quickly signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis:


·       SB 2D – Property Insurance

·       SB 4D – Building Safety


Both bills were quickly pushed through House and Senate – without really long debates.


The big question still remains: Will these bills really help? I guess TIME WILL TELL!


A lot of provisions were packed into these two bills – provisions that already got mixed reviews. It will be especially interesting to read the different interpretations of these bills since the language is not always very clear and/or easy to understand.


The Building Safety Bill – the response of the Legislature to the collapse of the Champlain Towers South – contains a lot of good safety measures, but the fact that the legislature ignored in the past to create these kinds of measures – especially mandatory funding of structural reserves – will now come back to haunt the associations that year-for-year voted no to fund the reserves. Despite warnings by a lot of experts the non-funding of reserves was allowed by the legislature since more than 20 years.


Now the owners failing to fund reserves for many years will have to pay up in big chunks. Not only will the monthly maintenance fees go up quickly, serious special assessments will be on the horizon in order to pay for all the necessary structural repairs if the owners want to avoid that their building will be red-tagged and they have to leave their homes on short notice.


On the other hand I predict a lot of foreclosures because many owners, especially the elderly living on social security, will not have the money to pay for the seriously increasing maintenance fees and the special assessments.


Owners, who didn’t opt for fully funded reserves often relied on the fact that in the past the cost for these very expensive repairs was covered by bank loans. That option is pretty much off the table since bank loans are nowadays very difficult to come by and will only be granted if the association can jump through a lot of new hoops created by banks after the Surfside disaster.


We can already agree on one thing: CONDO-LIVING IN FLORIDA WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!

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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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