Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HOA Residents Threaten Lawsuit Against Developer For Allegedly Hoarding Control Of Association, Doubling Maintenance Fees & Using Proceeds For Matters Unrelated To Community Upkeep

In Schertz, Texas, the San Antonio Express-News reports:
  • Residents of a neighborhood in Schertz are threatening to sue local developer Chris Price, who they say has hoarded control of their homeowners association, hiked their annual fees and used the proceeds to build another master-planned community.

    In the past two years, annual homeowners fees have almost doubled, to $540 from $275, at Sedona, a modest neighborhood of 169 homes that’s mostly quiet except for the occasional roar of a jet from nearby Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Residents don’t see where the money has gone — their drainage ditches are inadequate, causing streets and backyards to flood during storms, they say. A small park is poorly maintained, with rocks tumbling off a water fountain that hasn’t worked for years.

    The residents, many of whom are elderly or ex-military, say the higher fees have hurt their property values and caused them to cut back on groceries and visits to their grandchildren.
    ***
    Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, a nonprofit that offers legal services to homeowners, has accused Price and his partners of breaking state HOA laws. The nonprofit sent a letter to Price’s attorney this week offering to open negotiations for a settlement, according to Legal Aid attorney Molly Rogers.

    The residents want control of the HOA, a reduction in their fees, a limit on future increases and the return of some of their previous payments. If the negotiations fail, Legal Aid plans to help the residents take Price to court.

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