By Jan Bergemann

Published November 12, 2021


This year it is more important than ever before for boards to create a healthy budget – not a budget intended to guarantee re-election. Make no mistake: The ever increasing cost of living, the growing inflation and a serious increase in insurance premiums will cause the monthly maintenance fees to go up quite a bit.


Many families have to deal anyway with financial hardship caused by outrageous gas and grocery prices and really can’t afford to get hit with special assessments of thousands of dollars.


Boards have to make sure that all the line items are fully funded and estimated price increases are considered.


And board members working on the annual budget should take a close look at possible legislative changes that will be made in the next legislative session. The collapse of the Champlain Tower South was a serious warning signal and it will definitely reflect in bills that will be enacted during the 2022 legislative session.


Most likely there will be a serious discussion about fully funded reserves, removing the provision that allows owners to vote against fully funded reserves. But legislators have to make sure that these “fully funded” reserves are protected against abuse, meaning that the money can only be used for the purpose intended – meaning that criminal charges will be levied against any person(s) removing money from the reserve funds. The argument of the folks opposing fining or charging board members that there will be no more candidates at election time is nonsense. Board members have nothing to be afraid of as long as they don’t knowingly violate the provisions of the statutes.


Do people stop driving because there are laws that punish drunk drivers? If you don’t drink and drive – and follow the rules – you will have nothing to be afraid of. And that goes as well for members of community association boards.


Make sure you create a “FULLY FUNDED” budget in order to avoid nasty surprises in the upcoming financial year!

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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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