By Jan Bergemann

Published November 11, 2022


As predicted the new provisions for condos, enacted by the Florida legislature in a recent special session, is creating serious financial hardship for many owners living in these hi-rise condominiums.


But the collapse of the Champlain Towers South killing 98 people caused the legislature to create this bill that is putting a serious financial burden on the owners and there is no doubt that many owners will not be able to pay the much increased monthly maintenance fees and will either have to sell – real fast – or face foreclosure.


But in all reality the legislature had to act in order to prevent another catastrophe. Believe me, the media would have torn apart Florida’s legislators if another condo would have collapsed without the legislature adding safety measures after the catastrophe in Surfside.


But the financial hardship will especially hit the owners who for years voted down financial reserves in the budget planning. The fact that they were able to keep the maintenance fees artificially low is now coming back to haunt them. The provisions of the new bill will not really financially impact the owners of condominiums who have fully funded reserves in place and/or are located in counties that required 40- and 50-year inspections and had them done in a timely manner.


But it will be especially critical for owners in condos who year for year funded the reserves only to find out that the association misused these reserves for beautification and pet-projects of the board. This happened pretty often, especially since the Division  of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes failed to investigate complaints about misused reserve funds despite the fact that FS 718.501 clearly states that “the division has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to financial issues”.


But as I have said many times before: The Division is just another government agency that is not doing what they are being paid for!


And make no mistake: The vultures – a.k.a. developers – are already waiting to buy the units of owners who can’t afford the high maintenance fees for cheap!

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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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