We often times blog about how a Board member or a manager stole a few thousand dollars from the association and how they should be prosecuted for it.  If someone should be prosecuted for stealing a few thousand dollars, what should happen to the people that steal 16 million dollars from condo owners over the last five years?  Ask your esteemed Florida legislators, because it’s them that stole your money.

Florida Statute 718.501 reads as follows:

Each condominium association which operates more than two units shall pay to the division an annual fee in the amount of $4 for each residential unit in condominiums operated by the association. If the fee is not paid by March 1, the association shall be assessed a penalty of 10 percent of the amount due, and the association will not have standing to maintain or defend any action in the courts of this state until the amount due, plus any penalty, is paid.

All fees shall be deposited in the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund as provided by law.

As all of you know, the fees collected from each of you are placed into this Trust Fund, and must be used to help administer the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes.  The monies should be spent on resources, arbitrators, investigators, staff, educational materials, seminars and more.

Despite the fact that these monies are allocated to the DBPR each and every year, it is not getting spent in its entirety and each year there is a huge surplus of a few million dollars.  Instead of reducing or suspending the collection of these fees from condominium unit owners, or returning your money to you, The Florida Legislature has a better idea……..JUST KEEP IT AND SWEEP THESE FUNDS INTO THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND.

That’s right.  Condo owners are in effect paying monies to the state that were supposed to be spent on them.  The funds are not being spent on them and instead are going to whatever else the state wants to allocate those funds to.

I guess in all fairness, it was time for condo owners to take a punch too.  After all, The Florida Legislature won’t provide any protection for HOA owners and took away developer warranties from HOAs.  Now at least everyone is getting beat up a little bit.  It’s not enough that The Florida Legislature lets banks and “bulk” buyers who are really “developers” ride roughshod over condominiums in every county of our state.  Now, they are taking it further and actually reaching into your pockets, taking your money and spending your money on someone other than you even though the law requires that they spend it on you.

How about this?  If you’re outraged and want this theft to stop, respond to this e-mail and demand that it stops.  If we get a lot of responses, I’ll submit it to The Florida Legislature and keep the fight going.  If we don’t get responses, you apparently don’t care much about getting stolen from and feel free to leave your credit card information and bank account numbers below for all to see.

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