The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Florida Homeowners Association. The issue is whether it’s legal for an HOA to discriminate against families with children. The Federal Government claims in its lawsuit that the Townhomes of Kings Lake HOA have a pattern of violating the Fair Housing Act by harassing and taking action against families with children.
In one such case, the HOA threatened to evict a couple and their six children because the number of children exceeded HOA covenants. The Justice Department claims by unduly limiting the number of children, the HOA was in violation of federal law.
Homeowners in the South Seas Condominium on Marco Island, Florida, may soon have to pay a hefty special assessment because of a particularly boneheaded decision by their HOA.
The Feds have consistently said that service dogs are covered under the ADA. An HOA doesn’t get to claim they are pets, if the dog is actually performing services for a disabled person. But this particular HOA obviously doesn’t ‘get it.’ They will.
Homeowners usually get the raw end of the deal when they try to fight the “Bigs” in the HOA industry. Some Homeowners in California are trying to turn that trend around. An HOA in Riverside County has sued three former property managers for “fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.” They had employed the management companies for eight years.
Canyon Lake Association then sued its own law firm, Fiore, Racobs & Powers, accusing them of “fraud and malpractice.” They say a lengthy investigation found “no cash management, no separation of accounting duties, credit card abuse by employees, employee salary increases that were not approved by the board.”
Florida has a new law that allows HOAs to evict a homeowner who’s behind on dues and lease the house to a tenant to make up for the lost money. The Bridgewater Community Association in Wesley Chapel has taken that to extremes.
Joanne McCarn says she missed a $225 dues payment in 2009 when her mother died. She claims she knew nothing about the overdue payment until recently. The HOA began tacking on late fees, attorney’s fees, and collection costs. By the time Joanne found out about her missed payment, the HOA was demanding $2,565, more than ten times the original amount. Joanne and her husband both tried to contact Association officials, who refused to talk to them.
The McCarn family had leased their home to a renter. But the HOA used the new Florida law to kick out the McCarn’s renter and put in a renter of their own. Joanne says it’s completely outrageous because the house hasn’t been foreclosed on.
“I still own this house,” she says. “The HOA changed the locks on the home and they call the sheriff if I come near the property.”
A Homeowners Association lawyer in Florida says the HOA’s actions are illegal. If so, then homeowners in the Bridgewater Association may be hit with a special assessment to cover a hefty lawsuit against the community.
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Every new guilty plea should bring a shout of joy from the thousands of elderly Las Vegas HOA members who’ve lost their life savings and home equity when this cesspool of crooks decided to start draining their neighbors of their savings.
This week Arnold Myers, a former HOA board member and a phony straw buyer of an HOA home, pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He’s the 27th. The judge ordered him to pay $277,000 in restitution.