Article Courtesy of ABC Action
News Tampa Bay
By Clifton French
Published April 10, 2017
RIVERVIEW -- Neighbors in a Riverview neighborhood are raising major concerns
about an abandoned home that's owned by their homeowner's association.
Neighbors say the property at 13522 Fladgate Mark Drive has been vacant for
years, but 4 months ago the South Fork of Hillsborough County III HOA purchased
the home, according to the property appraiser's website.
The outside of the home has several broken windows, mildew and other stains on
the walls, and a dead and weed infested lawn among other problems.
The inside of the home is covered in splattered food, feces and clothes. Vandals
have destroyed many rooms. One wall was almost completely bashed in.
"They're in violation of their own codes," Ed Prebel, who lives next door, said.
Prebel moved into his home in January.
"They already sent me violation for my mailbox being a little green," he said.
The next door neighbor on the other side of the home has received violations for
minor infractions. He says he was once cited for having a small oil stain on his
"But for this, nothing," neighbor Bill Nelson said.
HOA President Frank Hile refused to speak with us about the condition of the
home but referred us to a property management company that never returned our
calls. So, we went to an attorney to find out what rights homeowners have in
situations like this.
"They're pretty limited unfortunately," Attorney Jeffrey Lieser, with Lieser
Skaff Alexander, said.
Speaking in general terms about homeowner's rights, Lieser homeowners usually
have three options. He says they can sue the HOA for breach of fiduciary duty,
sue the homeowner (in this case the HOA) or recall the HOA board. Legal action
can be expensive and all three options are time consuming. Plus, if the
homeowner wins in court, the cost of the litigation would be passed down to
other homeowners in the neighborhood.
But, Lieser does say the HOA could be causing problems for itself in the future
if the board tries to take a homeowner to court for a violation.
"They run the risk of a homeowner raising this issue and claiming selective
enforcement," he said.