By Jan Bergemann

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 for it!


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 complaint.


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 strikes. 


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!

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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:

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 !

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