Homeowner associations face possible state regulation

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel

By Joe Kollin

Published July 16, 2008


Q. Should the state have power over homeowner associations?

A. Only if you decide you want it and legislators agree.

After successfully guiding a condo reform bill through the state Legislature earlier this year, state Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami, wants to do the same for the law that governs mandatory homeowner associations. But before he does, he wants to know what kind of change owners and directors want.

To find out, Deland-based Cyber Citizens for Justice, working with Robaina, has created an online survey at www.ccfj.net. The survey tentatively will end Aug. 31.

Robaina also invited other organizations to conduct surveys and send the results to him so "we can get a clear picture that isn't biased."

Although regulation of homeowner associations has been rebuffed by state lawmakers since 1981, it does stand a chance during the 2009 legislative session that begins in March, Robaina said.

"More legislators are seeing the need for something to be done about unregulated boards," agreed Jan Bergemann, president of the volunteer Cyber Citizens group. "They are being flooded with complaints from owners and in the last few years, owners have become better organized."

The main issue, Robaina and Bergemann predict, will be if the state should enforce homeowner law like it does condo law. But to have enforcement, owners must pay. Currently, every condo association pays the state $4 a year per unit for enforcement and education.

Reach state Rep. Julio Robaina at 305-442-6868 or Julio.robaina@myfloridahouse.gov; reach Jan Bergemann at 386-740-1503 or www.ccfj.net.

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