By Jan Bergemann

Published June 8, 2018


I know quite a lot of associations where the owners would just love to see the developer turn over the community to the owners and ride off into the sunset.


Over the years we have heard many outright horror-stories from owners fighting with developers who think that being in charge of the association gives them – or even their kids -- a life-long source of income.


I have seen developers stopping the sale of homes just before reaching the percentage of homes sold that would require the developer to turn over the community according to Florida statutes.


Other developers even think that the association funds are rightfully theirs and use them at their discretion.


Remember the developer who used the association maintenance funds to pay his private bills, and then even paid bail from association funds after he got arrested for embezzling association funds. I guess we are all looking forward to watch that trial supposedly set for autumn of this year.


Ocala and surrounding seems to be a hot-bed for developers that harass owners after purchasing homes in their communities. Some of the methods used by these “developers” are outright fraudulent, but it looks like they are getting away with it since Florida is “soft” on crime.


This goes mostly for HOAs and it’s absolutely necessary to change the existing statutes in order to protect the owners from fraudulent developers. There should not only be a percentage requiring turn-over, there should as well be a time-limit.


With other words: Before buying into developer-controlled associations make sure that you look into the history of the community! Don’t buy into a dictatorship run by the developer!

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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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