Author Archives: Beanie

GEORGIA – HOAs are supposed to protect your home but some homeowners feel like hostages instead

11ALIVE.com:  HOAs are supposed to protect your home but some homeowners feel like hostages instead
Author: Rebecca Lindstrom
Updated: April 17, 2018

Georgia – Taxation without representation! It had the early colonists so fired up, we went to war over it. Now some homeowners say it’s time once again to draw the battle lines, except this time the war will be fought in our own neighborhoods.

The problem, some homeowners say, is they’re paying thousands of dollars a year in dues to developers that don’t pay a dime or give them any say in how their communities are being managed.

In Georgia most developers craft the HOA covenants with the help of an attorney and continue to manage the HOA of the community until it’s finished being built. Covenants usually include a date when the community will be turned over to the homeowners to manage or a clause to transition it sooner if the development is built faster.

Most homeowners have no issue with that. The developer wants a thriving community so he can sell more homes.

But the intent of an HOA is to look out for the needs and home values of everyone. Homeowners in several subdivisions owned by the developer David Pearson, believe he’s only looking out for himself.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Condo resident charged with arson in fire that caused about $4M worth of damage, killed three cats

CCFJ.NET:  Condo resident charged with arson in fire that caused about $4M worth of damage, killed three cats

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
By Paula McMahon

Published April 11, 2018
Two hours before a fire caused $4 million worth of damage to 28 condos in Coral Springs earlier this year, investigators say one of the residents bought a red plastic five-gallon container at a nearby gas station and filled it at the pump.

 

On Monday, Nathan Counts, 39, pleaded not guilty to an arson charge in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. He has agreed to remain jailed while the case is pending.

Prosecutors say the former Ramblewood East condos resident poured the gasoline around the unit, where he had lived for several years with his longtime fiancée, then used a cigarette lighter to ignite the lunchtime blaze.

The couple’s three pet cats died in the fire, and dozens of residents were forced to move out of the building, which was damaged by flames, smoke and water.

Several witnesses told investigators they heard Counts arguing with his fiancée outside the building and that they heard the woman blaming Counts for the massive fire.

Counts initially denied any responsibility but, three days later, authorities said he called law enforcement and left a voicemail admitting that he had bought gas and started the fire in Unit 207. He later gave a full confession with more details, they said. Read more:

http://www.ccfj.net/condoArsonCharge.html

South Carolina – Summerville HOA and others sued for breach of contract

NEWS 2:  Summerville HOA and others sued for breach of contract
By Stetson Miller
April 3, 2018

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – A Summerville subdivision homeowners association, along with others, has been sued for breach of contract and other claims.

In a lawsuit that was filed on March 20 in the Dorchester County Court of Common Pleas, Halcyon Real Estate Services owner David Peterson claims that the White Gables neighborhood homeowners association broke a new contract for landscaping and a contract for property management for the neighborhood. It then alleges that the contract was given back to its former manager, Community Management Group.

There are also claims of harassment, stalking, libel and slander against Peterson. According to the suit, there were “activities to undermine the contracts between the [neighborhood] board and Halcyon [that] degenerated into abusive behavior by members of the White Gables community, including harassment, stalking, slander and libel.” The activities allegedly came after residents questioned the past actions of one of his employees. The employee is not named in the lawsuit but is also his fiancee.  Read more:

TEXAS – Homeowner trying to grow bluebonnets is frustrated by HOA fines

kxan.com:  Homeowner trying to grow bluebonnets is frustrated by HOA fines
By Alyssa Goard
April 2, 2018

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) – In the thick of bluebonnet season, a man in Buda trying to grow the Texas state flower in his yard says his homeowner’s association has gone too far with fining him for yard violations.

Jimmy Schmidt, who has lived in the Garlic Creek neighborhood since 2007, is a native Texan who has grown bluebonnets and other native Texas plants on his yard since that time.

“I love wildflowers, I was raised in the country out at Creedmoor and my grandmother when I was a kid, she had a whole field of bluebonnets,” Schmidt explained.

But in the last two years, his homeowner’s association has begun fining him for how he’s kept his yard, Schmidt says.  Read more:

OHIO – Franklin veteran fighting HOA to keep flag outside his home

FOX19 NOW:  Franklin veteran fighting HOA to keep flag outside his home
By Amber Jayanth, Reporter
April 2, 2018
FRANKLIN, OH (FOX19) –

A Franklin veteran feels his patriotism is under attack after his homeowner’s association asked him to take down the flag in front of his home.

Wayne Marchant feels a sense of pride every time he walks past the American flag.

“I feel good about it,” said Marchant.

On Friday, though, he says he was disgusted when he got a letter in the mail from the Manager of the Renaissance Homeowner’s Association stating that the flagpole is a violation of the community rules.

“They have HOA members that periodically drive through the neighborhood looking for anything that might be a violation of the HOA rules. They noticed that in their words ‘the flagpole had been erected in our front yard,'” said Marchant.

The letter says the flagpole needs to be removed or modified. He’s not sure what the modification would be, but he says this flag has been outside of his home for the past eight years. It was a gift from his wife.

He says this new rule isn’t just about him but the entire community.

“I feel like its an attack on everybody’s patriotism, the love of their country,” said Marchant.

Before the flag was put in place his wife says she got permission from the Homeowner’s Association. However, in the past few years, the board members of the association have changed and the person who approved it is no longer there.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Fort Lauderdale woman dupes disabled man into buying condo, putting her name on deed

CCFJ.NET:  Fort Lauderdale woman dupes disabled man into buying condo, putting her name on deed

Article Courtesy of Local 10 News
By Peter Burke

Published March 29, 2018

FORT LAUDERDALE – A Fort Lauderdale woman duped a disabled man into buying a condominium and putting her name on the deed, police said.

Althea Johnson, 66, was arrested Monday on a charge of elderly exploitation.

According to a Fort Lauderdale police report, Johnson was caring for Richard Shellene between October 2014 and December 2015 after he suffered a stroke and now gets around with the help of a wheelchair.

Police said Shellene listed Johnson as co-owner of the condo that he bought in March 2015 as part of a verbal agreement with Johnson.

In exchange for putting her name on the deed and giving her a $2,000 monthly salary, Johnson was supposed to move in with Shellene and be his caretaker.

Police said Shellene paid the entire amount for the condo out of his bank account and fully furnished a room for Johnson, paying for everything in it.

Instead of moving in, however, Johnson refused and tried to get half the value of the condo from him, police said.  Read more:

CALIFORNIA – Former HVL golf pro awarded $2 million in damages

Record-Bee Community News:  Former HVL golf pro awarded $2 million in damages
Pritchard testified the bottle of alcohol was not Clark’s but his … a gift to Pritchard from a member during Christmas.
By Lori Armstrong
February 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO >> Earlier this month, after eight full days of proceedings, a jury unanimously awarded Wayne Clark a total of $2 million in a defamation of character case against the Hidden Valley Lake Association.

The Northern California District Court, located in San Francisco, was the platform for the court proceedings. Clark was the Golf Pro at HVLA, until he was fired by General Manager, Cindy Spears April 15, 2015.

Because Clark was hired under “at-will” employment, he sued the HVLA not for wrongful termination, but for defamation of character.

There had been several derogatory postings on the Hidden Valley Lake Forum Facebook Page after the firing of Clark — posted, the court said, by Michelle Wade, a member of HVLA.

Wade testified that all of this information came from rumors that she was hearing, which she referred to as a “Little Birdie.”

Julie Vonada, the Human Resource Director at HVLA, testified Spears was “feeding” information to Wade.

The Facebook postings were brought into the trial and during the proceedings, Wayne Clark’s Attorney Victor C. Thuesen directly read some of the posts.  Read more:

TEXAS – The Vision for the POA

The Island Moon: The Vision for the POA
By Marvin Jones
March 10, 2018
Padre Island – On Saturday, March 10, 2018, a page was turned in the book of history for the Island. Three new 1st time Board Members were elected to represent the POA members. The voters spoke out demanding a new direction for their POA. I am honored and humbled to have been elected by the Board as President. Where do we go from here??
1. Inclusion-Members of the POA Community will be included in the decision-making process. The new direction of the POA, we will have opportunities for all to be heard and participate. There will be town halls, interactive informational meetings, committees, roundtables, and social events to mix and mingle.
2. Transparency- POA Board Meetings, committee meetings, and other official functions will be open to members unless prohibited by law. Financial information regarding the operation of the POA will be available to all unless prohibited by law.
3. Your Money- Competitive bidding, shopping, negotiation, and common sense will be the hallmark of protecting your money.
4. Restructuring-The business office practices and procedures will be studied, reviewed, and if need be improved to provide efficient and economical best business practices.
5. Communication-The communication with members will receive an immediate upgrade. The goal is to communicate any and all information to the point members may get tired of hearing from the POA.
6. Accountability-Members must hold their Board accountable. Your Board works for you! In six months, I will provide a report card to be graded on the 7 points mentioned here.
7. Civility & Respect- The election cycle is over. I ask islanders to be civil and respectful to one and all. How about we go to the beach, we go fishing, and we lay back in the no tie zone!  Read:

NORTH CAROLINA – Homeowner wants answers to accusations of HOA mishandling funds

FOX 46:  Homeowner wants answers to accusations of HOA mishandling funds
By David Sentendrey
March 7, 2018

 – People across the Carolinas pay thousands of dollars each year to their homeowner’s associations.

These homeowners trust their money is being spent wisely, but questions are swirling in one Charlotte neighborhood and they’re asking FOX 46 Charlotte’s David Sentendrey to get answers.

At Prosperity Village, the homeowner’s association has a board of directors which makes financial decisions and handles neighborhood operations. The board is elected and consists of people living in the neighborhood. There’s also a management group which is hired by the board to assist with day-to-day operations.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Citizens, hit with $12.7 million verdict, acted in ‘monumental bad faith” homeowner says

Tampa Bay Times:  Citizens, hit with $12.7 million verdict, acted in ‘monumental bad faith’, homeowner says
By Susan Taylor Martin
March 14, 2018

PALM HARBOR — In 2007, residents of the Cloverplace Condos began to notice unmistakable signs of sinkhole activity.

Walls were cracking, stucco was peeling off, doors no longer closed as they should. Depressions formed alongside units. Yet even as claims were filed on more than 100 units and property values plunged, the community’s insurer, Citizens Property Insurance, never paid a cent.

Citizen’s conduct shows “monumental bad faith and (is) a textbook example of how not to deal with a insured customer,” complained homeowner Dennis McKenna.

Last week, a Pinellas County jury agreed, announcing one of the largest verdicts ever against state-run Citizens — $12.7 million. That’s the estimated amount it would take to stabilize 83 of the homes.  Read more: