Article Courtesy of The
By Mike Ferguson
Published April 14, 2018
POINCIANA — Another homeowners association election has passed and more
litigation has been filed by a Poinciana homeowner.
Victor Destremps, who was recently selected to represent Village Five on the
Association of Poinciana Villages master board, has filed an election complaint
with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation against APV. The
extent of Destremps’ complaint is four-fold regarding the Feb. 14 HOA election.
An injunction against Destremps was filed by APV in 2015 after he and Peter
Jolly went into an HOA office after hours and removed $1.6 million and placed it
into accounts only they could access. APV filed a lawsuit and successfully
recovered most of the money in June 2016.
Martin Negron, who like Destremps is a member of the civic group Friends of
Poinciana Villages, won an arbitration case in June against APV. The arbitrator
in that case, Terri Leigh Jones, said APV was capricious in the way it counted
votes and voided the results, forcing APV to hold a replacement election on Aug.
APV is one of the largest homeowners associations in the country with about
27,000 homes spanning Polk and Osceola counties. The community is divided into
nine villages, each governed by a five-member board. One member from each
village board is selected to represent the village on the APV master board.
Keith Laytham, a spokesman for Friends of Poinciana Villages, said elections for
Villages Two and Eight should not have been voided over the absence of a quorum.
APV contends that 10 percent of the voting interests must be in attendance.
Laytham argues that documentation says that the election can either be
rescheduled or ongoing until a quorum is reached.
“The 1983 documents talk about a quorum, but the 2016 documents do not,” Laytham
said. “Nowhere does it say the election can be voided.”
Part of Destremps’ complaint insists he was never notified that his candidacy
was valid. Laytham said the procedures require candidates be notified in writing
that their candidacy has been confirmed.
“Without notification that you’re a candidate, you can’t run a campaign,”
Representatives not meeting deadline
For undeveloped lands, the developer, AV Homes, or the corporation owning the
lots are given votes based on the number of homes that could be built on the
properties. Laytham said that for corporate representatives like AV Homes
executives or Felix Gratopp, director of Canadian investment company Fairhomes,
there was a December deadline required to show notarized documentation that they
represent the property.
Laytham said the documents show a Feb. 13 date. The election was held the
Procedures not followed by developer
The final item of complaint spelled out by Destremps insists that AV Homes is
not following procedures outlined by the circuit court. Destremps’ complaint
said that AV Homes is claiming areas like floodplains as developable although
they never could be based on county land development regulations.
“This one will probably be the toughest one for us,” Laytham said. “Items one
through three are slam dunks as we see it.”
The arbitration case is still pending. APV declined to comment on the matter.