By Jan Bergemann

Published June 29, 2018


I know that a majority of owners is favoring well-funded reserves. It’s definitely easier to pay a few bucks more in monthly maintenance fees than to cough up a huge amount of dollars for a special assessment within thirty days.


And even owners who are against funding reserves should consider that their homes/units are more valuable if a potential buyer knows that the reserves are well funded and he/she doesn’t have to be afraid to get hit with a special assessment in the near future.


But many owners are afraid that wayward boards are misusing the reserve funds, spending the money for other purposes than intended – leaving the owners again vulnerable to special assessments.


We have seen that happening a lot in the past – and nothing ever happened to the board members that spent the reserve funds for some pet projects.


The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes has in many cases refused to act on complaints from owners regarding the wasteful spending of reserve funds claiming lack of jurisdiction.


We all know in the meanwhile that the Division “picks” what they claim is within their jurisdiction. Despite the fact that FS 718.501(1) clearly states”.. the division has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related only to financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to association records pursuant to s. 718.111(12)” we have seen many cases where the Division plainly refused to investigate complaints regarding the “disappearance” of reserve funds. We all know that the Division under the leadership of Director Kevin Stanfield has turned into nothing but a joke, harming the welfare of Florida’s condo owners.


I am pretty sure that a lot more owners would favor mandatory reserve funds if they would know that the money is safe and that it can only be used for the purpose intended. It’s time that the Florida legislature enacts laws that hold board members liable if they spent reserve funds for their pet projects.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
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 !

Join the 

CCFJ Email List

For Email Marketing you can trust