By Jan Bergemann

Published April 12, 2024


There are lots of HOAs with million dollar budgets. But there are often treasurers who don’t know how many zeros go in a million and a budget? What the heck is that?

Let’s face it: HOAs are big business and have to be run as a business. But only too often you have amateurs as board members who never had any business experience in their lives. And that often causes serious problems!


I’m not talking here about “bad actors” – I’m talking about folks with good intentions, who just don’t have the necessary know-how.


And not even the well-intended provisions in HB 1203 can change that.


Only too often are these board members relying on the so-called professionals – community association managers and attorneys. But they forget that these “professionals” are in business to make a profit – they are not welfare workers “helping” board members with the best interests of the homeowners in mind.


Will the new provisions in HB 1203 change that? Most likely not, even if board members have to have now proof that they participated in a mandatory education seminar.


Financial transparency is a must – owners do have the right to know where their money is going. But will financial transparency make business people out of board members? I seriously doubt it – but time will tell!


Prohibiting debit cards being used in associations was long overdue. I will never forget the case in Palm Beach County where a HOA president used an association debit card to withdraw money from the ATM at the Hard Rock Café to pay for gambling – lots of times. Guess what? The State Attorney’s office refused to prosecute the HOA president, calling it a civil matter. The new law now calls it THEFT – will state attorneys follow the law?

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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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