IDEA GOOD, LANGUAGE BAD!
Published September 22, 2023
I agree with Eric about
HB 437 – many homeowners are welcoming this new law,
but it would be even more welcome if the language would be clear
and precise. The way the bill was written was definitely cheered
on by certain association attorneys who immediately pictured
lots of extra income when reading the bill signed into law by
Governor Ron DeSantis.
The part about flying flags was great – the language will
definitely help reducing the number of lawsuits we see in
regards to flying flags in community associations.
But the language of the part of the bill “relating to
property owners’ right to install, display, and store items”
definitely needs improvement.
I hope every attorney is reading the legal meaning of “Visible
from Adjacent Property”:
“with respect to any given object, that such object is or
would be visible to a six-foot tall individual standing at the
same natural grade at which the object is standing level on the
The money of owners in community associations is supposed to be
used for maintenance – as the name maintenance fees clearly
states. It’s not supposed to make attorneys rich because some
board members have a weird “visibility”. I am sure we will see
lots of crazy interpretations of the wording of this provision (FS
720.3045), but hopefully not too many costly
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