By Jan Bergemann

Published September 25, 2020


In his blog on Monday Eric showed all of us the legal provisions that need to be taken care of when filling vacancies of the board. Vacancies on the board can be caused by many different reasons: Death of board member, sale of property, unpaid dues and/or resignation because of behavior of other board members.


We often see board members resigning in disgust because of controversies within the board. It happens pretty often that a “clique” on the board doesn’t allow other members to participate in daily board business, don’t allow them to see the records necessary to make decisions. I have seen examples of cases where a dictatorial board president harassed an unwanted board member until he/she finally resigned.


All this is possible because board members are indemnified unless they commit a criminal offense. I have seen newsletters sent out to the association membership – at the expense of the association – where other board members were libeled and slandered, called nasty names and/or otherwise insulted.


You might think: Oh, that person can sue for libel and slander. Yes, he/she can sue, but the chances to prevail are slim to none, since the injured party has to prove that these “insults” caused serious harm, mainly financial, in order to prevail in a libel/slander lawsuit. Just saying “my good reputation was harmed” or “my feelings were hurt” will not get the plaintiff anywhere in court.


In cases like that it is as well often very difficult to find volunteers to fill the vacancy. Who, in his/her right mind wants to be objected to such behavior?


Here is another scenario I have seen quite often over the years: A board is split in two opposing sides. A board member resigns, causing the initially odd number of board members to be even. Now the board, by majority vote, is supposed to appoint a replacement. How can there be a majority vote if the there is no majority? Remember: No Robert’s Rules of Order allowing the president to cast the decisive vote. In community associations all board members have only one vote, that’s it!


These are just a few examples why it may be pretty complicated to fill a board vacancy despite all the nice wording regulating the filling of vacancies on the board.


And RECEIVERSHIP? If your community hasn’t been bankrupt before it will not last long to get there if you allow a receiver to run the show. A receiver’s only interest: Make money at the expense of the owners! Don’t even think of going that way because nobody wants to volunteer to serve on the board.


This is just another example why “EASY LIVING” doesn’t exist in community associations.

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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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