FLORIDA – APV increases dues in Poinciana, blames lawsuits
Article Courtesy of The Ledger
By Mike Ferguson
Published October 23, 2017
POINCIANA – Homeowners’ association dues are rising in Poinciana and litigation is to blame.
That’s according to Fernando Dominguez, senior vice president of FirstService Residential, which is an association management company hired by the Association of Poinciana Villages.
“The legal costs to the association have skyrocketed over the last three years,” Dominguez said. “Due to all the litigation that’s going on, the association has gone over budget by $650,000 the last three years.”
Dominguez said legal fees have actually been $860,000 over budget the last three years, but APV has been able to recover about $210,000 in legal costs. Residents will see an increase of almost 10 percent annually as dues go from $252 per year to $276 – an increase of $2 per month.
APV is a community of about 27,000 homes that spans parts of Polk and Osceola counties. The community is broken up into nine villages with each village represented by a five-member board. One member from each village board is selected to serve on the APV master board.
Recent litigation against AVP has come from residents Martin Negron, Peter Jolly, Victor Destremps and Annette Brown-Best. The cases dispute the election practices of APV with the claim that the community’s developer, AV Homes, manipulates vote counts for unplatted lots to maintain control over the community.
Negron won an arbitration case brought before the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in June, but AV Homes, more commonly referred to as Avatar, sued APV in circuit court to get maximum density votes. Jolly, Destremps and Brown-Best currently have a circuit court case pending against APV that alleges the HOA violated the terms of the 1985 agreement.
“If they wouldn’t keep protecting Avatar’s right to control everything, they wouldn’t have legal fees,” said Keith Laytham, a spokesman for the civic nonprofit Friends of Poinciana Villages. “They wouldn’t be being sued by these homeowners. Avatar doesn’t pay a nickel to this community.”
APV was also forced to file an injunction against Jolly and Destremps, former village board members, in 2015 after the two men took $1.6 million from the HOA after hours and placed it into accounts only they had access to. APV was granted the injunction and later recovered the money. Read more: