By Jan Bergemann

Published January 20, 2023


As much as I liked Rafael’s headline on Wednesday: “WE MUST STAND TOGETHER…!” – that will never happen. Since I went first to Tallahassee in 1999 there were always to opposing sides when it came to discussing and/or enacting community association bills: On one side the COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INSTITUTE (CAI) and on the other side the owners.


And no matter what the CAI is trying to tell you, this organization is the national trade organization for all the folks who make money from community associations, claiming to provide services to these communities. Starting with attorneys (our worst opponents), developers, community association managers, insurance agents, landscape companies, contractors – and the list goes on. There even some board members listed as members, board members who most likely love to be dictators and hope to get protected by CAI attorneys. And guess what, financials of some communities have shown that these board members even pay the CAI membership fees from the association account.


And yes, all these folks use the money they are making from these community associations to pay for lobbyists to lobby against the owners’ interest.


We will see in the near future some bills filed for the upcoming legislative session that are definitely OWNER-FRIENDLY. But I can already assure you that these CAI lobbyists will fight these bills claiming that it is not in the interest of owners to punish board members who violate the statute, abuse reserve funds and ignore record requests. Their argument: “If this happens there will be no volunteers willing to serve on the board and the whole system will collapse! I have heard that only too often in the last twenty years.


There is no difference to real life: If you don’t violate the laws, you are – normally – not accused of violating the law. With other words: An honest board member, who follows the statutes, doesn’t have to fear some sort of prosecution. If you don’t rob a bank you don’t have to be afraid to be prosecuted as a bank robber! Isn’t that how life works?

As far as I know we will – so far – looking at bills that will deal with:

  1. Spreading out the FINANCIAL BURDEN of condo-owners in hi-rises over more years.

  2. STRICT ENFORCEMENT of record requests

  3. A WORKING enforcement agency for Condos and HOAs

  4. PUNISHMENT for board members for knowingly violating the statutes, especially for abusing reserve funds

  5. MANDATORY EDUCATION (Seminars – no more stupid forms that say “I know it all” to be signed)


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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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