By Jan Bergemann

Published March 15, 2019


Once again we are talking about an important issue, important especially for snowbirds or folks who are absent from their condo-unit for quite some time.


We had the discussion about having to leave a key with the association, in order for the association having access to the unit in an emergency while you are away. The Florida Condo Act [FS 718.111(5)] gives associations the right to have access to your unit – in an emergency!


But that always causes problems, because all too often we have condo-owners complaining that somebody, with a key, entered their unit, watched TV, drank some of their liquor and/or left a mess in their unit while they were gone. Some of the “intruders” even had their pictures taken by surveillance cameras. Many condo owners just don’t trust the board members/managers enough to feel comfortable allowing them to have free entry to their home. I agree, because in many condo offices these keys are easily accessible and are often used for other purposes than emergencies.


So, if you are leaving for a lengthy period of time, make sure that you have the right insurance (HO-6 policy) and a friendly neighbor who is once in a while looking after your unit while you’re away.


Both these precautions can save you a lot of money!

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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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