An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.   

Published June 2, 2018


My public record request dated April 19, 2018, showed again how unorganized the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes really is. They charged me $ 30.94 (claiming two hours of work were needed to collect the requested info) to send me some info that should be readily available - “normal” businesses keep these kinds of files for their payroll.


I requested a “list of all employees of the Division, including Condo Ombudsman, Arbitration Section, Bureau of Compliance etc. -- with the complete information of their job titles and tasks they are supposed to perform.”


These are the only documents I received after paying the amount of $ 30.94:



I expected a lot more staff considering that our government collects annually about $9.000.000,00 (estimated) into the so-called Condo Trust Fund from the owners of these named community associations to run this Division. But I guess part of the money is being used for other purposes – definitely not for the purpose intended.


These employees must have a pretty calm work day considering that it takes forever to get responses to complaints, even if it’s in the end only a form letter stating that no wrong-doing could be found. I always laugh when I read these useless form letters knowing full well that the investigators failed to look into the proof – and the witnesses – supplied by the complainant.


Attached is an example how bad -- and slow -- the investigation process is actually handled:
See the list of
CTMH Open Complaints Inventory


Twenty-six (26) pages of open complaints as of February 1, 2018 – and that doesn’t even count the endless number of complaints rejected by form letters stating that the Division has no jurisdiction.

This is the paragraph in the Condo Act that regulates the “jurisdiction” of the Division:

FS 718.501  Authority, responsibility, and duties of Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.--

(1) The division may enforce and ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules relating to the development, construction, sale, lease, ownership, operation, and management of residential condominium units. In performing its duties, the division has complete jurisdiction to investigate complaints and enforce compliance with respect to associations that are still under developer control or the control of a bulk assignee or bulk buyer pursuant to part VII of this chapter and complaints against developers, bulk assignees, or bulk buyers involving improper turnover or failure to turnover, pursuant to s. 718.301. However, after turnover has occurred, the division has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related only to financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to association records pursuant to s. 718.111(12).

That sure includes financial issues. But some Division investigators obviously don’t like dealing with ”reserve funds”— clearly a financial issue. We have seen owners who had filed complaints regarding the “misuse” of reserve funds receiving the “infamous” form-letter saying that the Division had no jurisdiction: CASE CLOSED! In my opinion: JUST AMAZING!

This all is absolutely unacceptable for the owners whose money is being abused by financing a government agency that is clearly dysfunctional.

In my opinion the leadership of the Division is clearly failing to do the work they are being paid for – and should be replaced by folks willing to do the job.

Having a dysfunctional agency overseeing the welfare of millions of owners of community association property in a retirement state like Florida (our Sunshine State has the highest age-average in the nation) is unacceptable.

Our legislators should take the necessary action instead of making empty campaign promises. We put them into office to protect the welfare of the citizens of our State.