By Jan Bergemann

Published May 31, 2024


Not one day goes by without the media – or upset condo or home owners – report about some sort of election fraud. It starts with Federal elections all the way down to elections in community associations.


Election fraud is very high on the list of arbitration and court cases – Number 2 behind record requests. In reality election law in community associations – especially in condominiums – is very detailed and shouldn’t be difficult to handle. But, as usual, fraudulent actions come into play, often caused by board members who want to stay in power.


Holding elections was even easier before the Legislature allowed electronic voting, another option to create a fraudulent election. Many of these electronic voting apps have all kinds of frills that invite fraud. How about having more ballots than owners?


But the worst enemy of elections in community associations is, according to the latest arbitration ruling in the case of Maureen Short v. Windhover Condominium 2024-00-4504, the Florida Supreme Court ruling in the case of SUSAN COHN vs THE GRAND CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC.. A wide majority of community associations don’t have the necessary Kaufman language in their declaration: “as amended from time to time”. If this problem is not corrected by the Florida Legislature we have total chaos in all the associations that don’t have the necessary language in their declaration.


Most all of the legal actions in these communities will be governed by the laws that were valid at the time when the governing docs were filed. Especially older communities, created before even FS 718 and FS 720 were created, will have a hard time dealing with statutes, rules and regulations. Who knows what laws were valid at the time the declaration was filed?


As long as the Florida Legislature is not correcting the Supreme Court ruling by adding the necessary language to FS 607 and FS 617, the lack of the Kaufman language in the declaration is creating total chaos. One sentence in these statutes would immediately restore legal sanities in these communities!

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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: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

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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