A recent report by the Jacksonville, Fla., ABC network affiliate exemplifies the calamitous results that can ensue when condominium associations and HOAs are inadequately prepared to meet the long-term maintenance needs of their communities. The station chronicled the battle that is taking place at the Fountain Gate Condominium, which is composed of a number of buildings that were originally built in the 1980s and now need their wood siding replaced.
According to the report, the association’s board of directors has approved the procurement of a bank loan for $1.5 million for the project. It would be repaid by imposing a special assessment of approximately $20,000 per unit, to be paid monthly over seven years.
One of the directors on the association’s board, Jody Kilgore is against the special assessment proposal, which met with an immediate backlash by the unit owners. She is quoted in the report saying that the owners, who are mainly retirees in their 70s and 80s on fixed incomes, “feel like we’re being railroaded.”
She goes on to say that the unit owners are being left out of the decision-making process, explaining that Florida law requires the approval of 75 percent of the owners for material changes such as this repair project. Instead, she notes that the board of directors alone voted to approve the changes.