NO INTEREST IN YOUR INVESTMENT?
Published September 8, 2023
I always wonder why just a few owners
are showing interest in the biggest investment of their lives.
For most folks buying a home/condominium is the biggest
investment of their life. Shouldn’t they be interested in what
is happening to this investment?
We all know that the slogan “EASY
LIVING” is just a sales-scam hoping to lure folks into
buying property in a community association. And many folks fall
Remember: The only ones
profiting from the existence of community associations are the
so-called service-providers – like attorneys and community
managers. And they are the ones fighting year for year
owner-friendly laws in Tallahassee, handing out campaign funds
to legislators with money coming from the owners.
Latest since 2007/2008 we all know
that the other sales gimmick “Preserving Property Values”
is absolutely wrong. The property values inside community
associations dropped much faster than property outside – and
many families lost their homes because they couldn’t make up for
failure of other owners to pay their maintenance fees.
People have to understand that they
put their financial fate into the hands of (in most cases) five
(5) board members who lack the knowledge to manage such a
multi-million project. Don’t forget: Many of these board members
serve because they think that it will lift their “social
standings”. They are ill-prepared to do the job and often
lack even a basic knowledge of rules and statutes governing the
association – not to mention the ones who run for the board to
achieve a personal agenda.
The disinterest of a majority of
owners shows every time when there is a board meeting. Just a
few owners normally show up, most of them because they have a
It normally takes a letter in the mail
stating that a special assessment in the amount of $10,000.00 is
due within 30 days (just an example). Then the whole community
is up in arms, wants to recall the board or make the whole
problem go away.
But in most of these cases it’s too
late to make changes. Contracts have already been signed,
contractors been hired – or lawsuits being lost. Many folks
think that the association is insured against legal fees. Don’t
forget: The insurance only kicks in if the association is being
sued, not if the association is the plaintiff. We have seen over
the years many examples where boards filed stupid lawsuits
against owners, only to lose in Appeals Court. And that is
getting really expensive. We have families losing their homes
because they couldn’t pay the special assessment necessary to
pay the legal fees.
Owners could take action to avoid all
these problems, if they would bother to attend the board
meetings and find out what’s happening before the disaster
Owners should never forget: Living in
a community association is a serious danger to the financial
welfare of your family: YOUR HOME IS COLLATERAL FOR ANY DEBT
THE ASSOCIATION IS GETTING INTO!
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