By Jan Bergemann

Published September 28, 2018

Over the years many court battles have been fought over campaign signs posted by unit(parcel)-owners before elections.  Free speech isn’t free in community associations as many owners found out. Remember: In this country contract law supersedes the CONSTITUTION!

We have seen owners using all kinds of “tricks” to circumvent the governing documents disallowing the posting of signs. From inside of cars parked in the driveway to the inside of windows in condo units.  

No matter what, lawsuits have been flying. In one case even a candidate for mayor got sued for posting her own campaign sign in her front-yard.

But just in case you need to let your neighbors know who is the candidate of your choice, you need to wait until 14 days before the election to put up the sign – if you live in a deed-restricted community with NO-SIGN rules. I have a big “Ron DeSantis For Governor” sign in my front-yard, but I’m not living in a HOA any more.

The big question: Why waiting until 14 days before the election before posting the sign?

Easy explanation: The association has to give you a 14-day written warning before they can levy a fine for violation of the covenants.

Both statutes -- FS 718 (CONDO ACT) and FS 720 (HOA ACT) – have similar provisions in regards to fining: “A fine or suspension levied by the board of administration may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’ written notice to the parcel (unit) owner [FS 718.303(3)(b) and FS 720.305(2)(b)]

With other words: If you post the sign 14 days before the election and remove the sign on the evening of Election Day you circumvented the law because the association will not be able to levy a fine for violation of deed-restriction because you remedied the situation within the time given to you by the Florida Legislature.

Let’s just say: Sometimes you have to beat associations at their own game!

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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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