Saturday, August 15, 2009

Townhome Buyer Sues Developer For Refund As Crime, Foreclosures, Questionable Sales, Unwanted Renters Plague Failed Complex

In Riviera Beach, Florida, the South Florida Daily Business Review reports:
  • When Pamela Hart paid $275,000 for a townhouse in one of Cornerstone Group’s new developments in Riviera Beach, she thought she was making a great purchase. The 59-year-old county employee said she received a $10,000 discount when she bought what she believed was the last unit for sale in Sonoma Bay. But in 2007 soon after moving in, she said she learned that most of the units were vacant and that she had moved into a development plagued by crime, foreclosures, questionable sales and some unwanted renters.

  • After trying to get out of what she describes as a “living hell” that makes her fear for her safety and unable to sell her unit, she recently filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach Circuit Court against Cornerstone’s Sonoma Bay Inc. seeking to return the unit and unspecified punitive damages. Hart claims the developer marketed the property as an owner-occupied community but turned it into a rental community that is poorly maintained and is dangerous to live in.


  • According to the lawsuit, Sonoma Bay has rented some of the 60 developer-owned units in the 302-unit community to low-income renters under the federal Section 8 program. The city of Riviera Beach has an ordinance that prohibits developers from renting to recipients of Section 8 vouchers, the lawsuit said.

For more, see Buyer wants money back for townhome ‘hell’.

For the lawsuit, see Hart v. Sonoma Bay, Inc.