Friday, July 6, 2012

Judge Orders Temporary Halt To HOA's Collection Of $15K+ Repair Assessment; Unit Owners' Suit Claims Fix-Up Charge Violates Condo Master Deed

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Sun News reports:

  • Judge Benjamin Culbertson has placed a temporary injunction on the homeowners association of the Ocean Forest Villas in Myrtle Beach to stop it from collecting payment from residents to repair the 30-year-old building.

  • Well it means that they are allowed to do the assessment but they have to hold off on collecting the money,” said the homeowners’ association’s attorney Mark Neill. Culbertson issued the injunction Monday.

  • Some residents sued the homeowners’ association over a letter it sent in May saying that each owner needs to pay $15,500 within three weeks to repair the building. About 81 people are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which represents about 50 of the 243 units at Ocean Forest. The repairs include rebuilding each balcony, supporting pilings, and fixing water leaks.

  • The homeowners’ association gave the residents the option of paying off the debt in installments during the next two years, if they couldn’t come up with the money immediately.

  • If they couldn’t pay, the homeowners’ association will add 8 percent annual interest and a $50 per month late fee to the total. If it goes unpaid beyond 60 days, the HOA will shut off the owner’s cable television service and add a $100 disconnect/reconnect fee.

  • The owners’ key point in their lawsuit is that these charges violate the master deed of the condos. The plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Nappier said the homeowners requested the injunction seeking immediate relief while the lawsuit works its way through the system.

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