Category Archives: Uncategorized

FLORIDA – Florida Man Fighting to Keep Emotional Support Squirrel  Florida Man Fighting to Keep Emotional Support Squirrel
Ryan Boylan says he rescued Brutis during Hurricane Matthew last year

A Florida man says he can’t live without his emotional support squirrel, but his condo association says the animal has to go.

Ryan Boylan received a notice last month that he needs to give up the squirrel, Brutis, or face eviction from his Clearwater Beach condo, WFLA reported.

Boylan says he and Brutis became inseparable after he rescued her last year during Hurricane Matthew.

“Ever since then I mean, oh my God, I can’t imagine not being around her,” Boylan said.  Boylan has a doctor’s note that says he’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident. He registered Brutis on as an emotional support animal.  Read more:

ARIZONA – Phoenix Landmark condo owners fight $15,000-plus HOA assessments – and win  Phoenix Landmark condo owners fight $15,000-plus HOA assessments – and win
Catherine Reagor and Jessica Boehm, The Republic
November 13, 2017

The bill arrived unexpectedly by email in May. It was from her Landmark Towers condominium homeowners association.

The midtown Phoenix tower’s air-conditioning needed a major fix, and her share to pay for it was $18,000.

Francine Hardaway said she “freaked out.”

“I was horrified and frightened,” said Hardaway, founder of Phoenix-based Stealthmode Partners. “When I bought my condo in 2011, it was at the height of the recession. I bought it for cash thinking that if everything went to hell in a handbasket, I could live there.”

She rents out the condo in the iconic 17-story tower and doesn’t own another home.  Read more:

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Woman ordered to pay $66K in restitution in theft case

The Conway Daily Sun:  Woman ordered to pay $66K in restitution in theft case
Daymond Steer
November 9, 2017

OSSIPEE — An Intervale woman has been sent to jail and ordered to pay more than $66,400 in restitution to a local condo association as a result of pleading guilty to theft.

Lynne Barry, 54, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft by unauthorized taking in Carroll County Superior Court on Nov. 3. She was sentenced to a year in jail with all but one month suspended for one year.

She also must pay $66,408 in restitution to Northbrook Condominium Association and perform 20 hours of community service.

According to the indictment, the theft was committed between April 2014 and August 2015.

“The defendant obtained U.S. currency, belonging to another, the Northbrook Condo Association, by depositing association members’ fees in her own business account, the purpose to deprive the owner of the property,” states the indictment filed by assistant County Attorney Kimberly Tessari.  Read more:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Is Landscaping Drama at the Root of Rand Paul’s Assault?

The New York Times: Is Landscaping Drama at the Root of Rand Paul’s Assault?
 The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.
November 6, 2017

WASHINGTON — The violent altercation last week that left Senator Rand Paul nursing bruised lungs and broken ribs began over a landscaping dispute between the senator and his longtime next-door neighbor, according to neighbors and three Kentucky Republicans familiar with what transpired.

The precise provenance of the dispute was still a matter of disagreement on Monday. But the back story of the fracas began to come into focus and with it, the realization that Mr. Paul’s injuries could keep him from Washington, where Republicans in the Senate hold only a slim majority, for some time.

Mr. Paul had just stepped off a riding lawn mower on Friday when Rene Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist who lived next door, charged and tackled him. Because Mr. Paul was wearing sound-muting earmuffs, he did not realize Mr. Boucher was coming, according to one of the Kentucky Republicans and a friend familiar with the altercation.

“Rand never saw him coming or heard him coming,” said the friend, Robert Porter, who visited Mr. Paul on Saturday.  Read more:

TEXAS – HOA law loophole leaves some homeowners powerless

KXAN.INVESTIGATES:  HOA law loophole leaves some homeowners powerless
By Brian Collister
October 30, 2017

AUSTIN (KXAN) — New neighborhoods are popping up across Central Texas at a staggering rate. Many of the new neighborhoods have homeowners associations that offer you amenities and help you preserve your home’s value. However, a KXAN Investigation uncovered there is a loophole in the Texas law that keeps homeowners from having control of their HOA.

Reinna Ortega and her family live in Bradshaw Crossing in south Austin. The mother of two worries her sons, Jonas and Jason, will get hurt when playing in their neighborhood park. “Sometimes when we come to the park and there will be broken bottles or beer tops, condoms,” says Ortega. All of it left over from people hanging out in the park at night when the park is supposed to be closed. Ortega says her husband was attacked earlier this year by a group of teenagers when he told them they couldn’t be there after dark. “As he turns to leave he gets hit on the side of the head with a branch and he goes down.”

Ortega and her neighbors turned to their HOA to ask for lighting to improve safety and to keep out vandals at the park but the HOA did nothing and the park still sits cloaked in darkness as homeowners continue to pay their HOA dues. Robin Callan has lived in another south Austin neighborhood called Colorado Crossing for nearly a decade. Since January 2016 her HOA increased residents’ dues by 33 percent to pay for an unfinished pool and amenity center. “We don’t have ownership of or control the HOA as homeowners in the community. So in a sense, it’s taxation without representation,” explains Callan.  Read more:

VIRGINIA – Lawsuit against an HOA: Forcing Landowner To Mow Meadow

The Loudown Tribune:  Lawsuit against an HOA:  Forcing Landowner To Mow Meadow
Kevin Shay
October 30, 2017

A Purcellville couple and homeowners association are preparing to battle it out in court over whether a meadow should be mowed.

In 2014, the association overseeing the Farmington on the Green development asked Michael and Sian Pugh to mow down a two-acre meadow that had existed since the home was built in 1989. The meadow on the 5.6-acre property – which is shielded from public view by trees – contains wildflowers, Monarch butterflies and other beneficial insects that make it worth preserving, said Pugh, who bought the property in 2005. The rest of the 3.6 acres is well manicured, he said.

“Like the two owners before me, I have [the meadow] bush hogged on occasion to keep the woody growth down,” Pugh said. “We get deer, foxes, rabbits, hawks and all kinds of butterflies, including Monarchs… It is an awesome and beautiful feature of the property.”

After being told to mow the meadow, the Pughs attended meetings and stated their views on wanting to retain the two-acre parcel’s wild features. The association refused to rescind the violation, while not putting a lien on the property.  Read more:

CALIFORNIA – Indio police investigating $110K in ‘financial discrepancies’ at Sun City retirement community

Desert Sun:  Indio police investigating $110K in ‘financial discrepancies’ at Sun City retirement community
Amy DiPierro and Alena Maschke
October 25, 2017
The Indio Police Department is investigating a tip from a massive Indio retirement community after its management company found “financial discrepancies” of $110,000 that they said were connected to a former employee.Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio is a 3,450-home development for people ages 55 and over, known for its golf courses, fitness facilities and clubs. It has a volunteer board of directors that runs its homeowners association, a nonprofit organization that residents join when they buy property in the community. But the complex is operated day-to-day by Associa, a for-profit management company that oversees 9,000 properties in North America.In August, Associa informed the Sun City complex’s board of directors that an internal audit had turned up a “financial discrepancy” in accounting records. The board turned over the final report to Indio police earlier this month, according to an email the board sent to homeowners on Oct. 18.  Read more:

FLORIDA – APV increases dues in Poinciana, blames lawsuits

CCFJ.NET:  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:

FLORIDA – Brooksville property manager faces charge of grand theft

CCFJ.NET:   Brooksville property manager faces charge of grand theft



Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

Published October 26, 2017


BROOKSVILLE — Police said a property manager pocketed tens of thousands in rent, fees and security deposits between May and September.

Maria Marriage, 35, is charged with grand theft. Police say she stole more than $45,000 from her employer, Freedom Gardens.

The company called the Brooksville Police Department in late September. After an internal audit and police investigation lasting four weeks, authorities formally charged Marriage. Authorities said she manipulated the company’s computer system in an effort to hide the thefts.

Marriage turned herself in to the Hernando County Detention Center on Tuesday. She was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.  Read:

FLORIDA – Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

CCFJ.NET: Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

By Susan Taylor Martin  

Published October 20, 2017

The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge’s order tossing out the sale.

On Monday, attorney Roy C. Skelton’s company Deutsche Residential Mortgage filed a notice of appeal with the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.

The action comes two months after Pinellas Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold vacated the sale of a North Redington Beach condo on which Deutsche held a mortgage because of what the judge called an “unscrupulous” and “conniving” schemed to dupe bidders at a foreclosure auction.

In August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde’s allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back.

“While I respectfully disagreed with the judge’s decision,” Skelton said at the time, “I will respect it and not file an appeal.”

The convoluted and controversial saga of Unit 514 in the Ram-Sea II condominiums began two years ago when another of Skelton’s companies, Outbidya, Inc., paid $157,8000 for the condo at a homeowners association foreclosure auction. Last year, shortly after Wells Fargo began foreclosing on the first mortgage, Skelton created Deutsche — no relation to the giant German bank — and took back a second mortgage from Outbidya.  Read more: