By Jan Bergemann

Published March 8, 2019


Let’s be very honest, no matter what rumors say, there are very few vested rights for owners in community associations. When you sign on the dotted line buying a property in a mandatory community association, you are more or less signing a contract that forces you to obey by the contract, even if the conditions of this contract are changed without your approval.


Even if you think that there are laws (Florida statutes) that are protecting your rights you will find out very quickly that these laws only exist on paper and are only available to you if you are willing – and able – to spend lots of your money – and that of your neighbors – to fight a lengthy – and costly – lawsuit.


One of the few, but very important, “vested rights” are your voting rights. The association, or the statutes, may be able to change the system used for voting, but not your share of voting rights. If it’s one vote for lot (or unit) it’s one vote for lot. We have seen attempts by condo associations trying to change these rights depending on the size of the unit, but these attempts have all failed.


Make no mistake, the election procedures in community associations are very weak, and easily circumvented by a dictatorial board, but it’s one sure right you have as an owner.


Looking at the big picture, when buying into a mandatory community association, you may still be the deeded owner of the property, but your “vested rights” are barely existing. In short: You have the obligation to pay your mortgage, taxes and maintenance fees, but others have the right to tell you how your property has to look and how you can use your property.


Ever figured that out before signing on the “dotted line”?


I’m very sad to report that our long-time friend and blogger Darlys Walker will depart from our Florida HOA & Condo Blog at the end of the month. Darlys sold her business.


We are sorry to see her go, but wish her all the best for the future! Thank you Darlys for writing very informative weekly blogs for many years!

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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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