Special Report Courtesy of 

Reporter Jennifer Leigh
Published November 11, 2007

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Brandon -- Today we are tackling an issue you may have already complained about yourself -- out of control homeowners' associations. Channel 8 already reported about a homeowner who battled his HOA to fly his American flag in front of his own home. He won, but as News Channel 8 Jennifer Leigh found out not every homeowner is successful and few have the stamina to stay in the fight!

Homeowner Stephanie Ball had a fight with her association -- TWIN LAKES OF BRANDON HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC. -- over a stained privacy fence. 

"I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe it! I could not believe with all the things going on in the world and all the things going on in this neighborhood that my fence was the most offensive thing in this neighborhood and they wanted to spend our homeowners' 

association dollars to take me to court!"

"We're not throwing the Constitution out of the window if we move into a deed-restricted community -- and we shouldn't be forced to."

A few doors down -- Virginia Havely. Her violation: Oilstains left on the driveway by the previous owners. Her very fitting comment: " These people have absolute power! And absolute power as far as I'm concerned corrupts absolutely!" "The only thing I'm looking for is reasonableness!"

Where are homeowners supposed to go if they have a dispute with their homeowners' association?
"Nowhere! Absolutely nowhere here in Florida," says Jan Bergemann, a homeowners' rights advocate. "There is no regulatory agency!"

The CCFJ, Inc. website educates and informs homeowners about their rights.
Next year a bill will be filed to make necessary changes to FS 720, which govern HOAs. main goal: Tighten the language and

creating a regulatory agency to settle disputes without lengthy court battles.


Freelance writer Richard White, who answers homeowners' questions every week in a syndicated column, says the burden is on homeowners. "If you don't get involved and you step aside a few are gonna' come in and take the power and control it!" Listen to his podcast that deals with homeowners association

Jennifer Leigh: "Hopefully other homeowners will read the writing on the fence -- so to speak -- and stand up too!"

Please took a look at the draft of the proposed HOA bill.



More changes are in the works, especially for FS 720.311. This years new mediation language has already proven to be useless and just increases frustration, time and cost of the dispute! Whoever came up with the idea of the PRESUIT MEDIATION OFFER must not have had peace, harmony or solution in mind!