Published July 15, 2022
think there is any doubt that the provisions contained in the
CONDO SAFETY REFORM BILL SB 4-D were absolutely
necessary in order to avoid another catastrophe like the
collapse of the Champlain Tower South that cost the lives of 98
financial impact on these older hi-rise condos will be immense
and will most likely create a financial chaos in these
mistake, in order to fulfill the requirements of this bill big
amounts of money will be needed Ė money most of these
associations just donít have.
see reports of huge special assessments these associations will
levy, assessments many of these condo-owners plainly donít have.
And, as we have seen during the real estate crisis in 2007/2008
it will have a domino-effect. \With many owners defaulting on
the payment, the other owners will have to pay even more,
causing even more owners to default.
remember: Some of the owners in the Champlain Tower South
received a letter shortly before the collapse requiring them to
pay up to $ 70,000 on short notice. I can assure you, many of
these mostly elderly condo owners donít have this kind of money
beginning, shortly after the bill passed and was signed into law
by the Governor, nearly everybody was gung-ho, praising the
legislators about a job well done. Remember: The vote in House
and Senate was unanimous!
that condo-owners all over Florida begin to realize what
financial impact this bill will have, we are seeing more and
more media reports with condo owners expressing their concerns
about the feasibility of actually coming up with the money
required for all the safety provisions in the bill.
as I understand these concerns, this will mostly hit the folks
who year for year voted to NOT FUND the reserves. This will now
come back to haunt them Ė and they might even lose their homes
I have to
say one thing: Many owners were unwilling to fund the reserves
because they saw their reserve funds disappearing for other
purposes than intended, This happened a lot more often than many
folks are willing to admit and the total lack of enforcement by
the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares & Mobile Homes didnít
help the cause. A bill trying to rein in fraud and embezzlement
in community associations (SB 274 and
HB 811) was ignored by the legislature, meaning that
this will just continue to happen.
fact that the legislature again put the enforcement of the
provisions of SB 4-D in the incompetent hands of the Division of
Condominiums, Timeshares & Mobile Homes makes me seriously doubt
that everything goes as intended by the Florida Legislature.
REMEMBER: EVERY LAW IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS ENFORCEMENT!
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