Article Courtesy of The Palm
By Mike Diamond
Published August 17, 2020
The Valencia Reserve HOA filed a lawsuit in June 2016 alleging GL Homes built a
faulty irrigation system that left homeowners with either ‘parched or
oversaturated lawns’ among other concerns.
GL Homes has agreed to
pay $850,000 to the Valencia Reserve Homeowners Association
to settle a four-year old lawsuit alleging that the
homebuilder left the community with serious construction
The HOA declined to comment on the settlement but The Post
obtained a copy of an email that the Valenica Reserve HOA
recently sent to residents of the 1,073-unit community
explaining why it decided to agree to an out-of-court
settlement. The homebuilder and Valencia Reserve have been
locked in a bitter legal dispute since GL Homes turned over
control of the development to the HOA in 2015.
Most builders, including GL Homes, are able to address
construction defects with homeowner associations after they
complete construction. The HOA will usually present a list
of deficiencies it wants addressed and then negotiates with
the builder to fix them.
But in the case of Valenica Reserve, the
parties could not come to an agreement. The HOA ultimately
filed a lawsuit in June 2016 alleging GL Homes built a
faulty irrigation system that left homeowners with either
“parched or oversaturated lawns.”
The clubhouse and swimming pools at Valencia Reserve
in suburban Boynton Beach.
addition, according to the lawsuit, the builder failed to install root barriers
around hundreds of oak trees that caused issues to sidewalks and streets. Those
two issues alone were expected to cost more than $4 million to repair. There
were also issues with the air-conditioning system in the clubhouse.
GL Homes, however, responded in legal papers by putting the blame on the HOA for
poor maintenance and argued that the HOA waited too long to file its lawsuit.
In explaining to its residents why it settled, the HOA said it “could not gamble
large amounts of homeowners’ money on winning in court and risk the loss of the
settlement funds. Thus, we feel that this was both a very good legal settlement
and a wise business decision.”
The HOA looked at the GL Homes’ offer as being $1,050,000 because the builder
agreed to give up $200,000 in legal fees that it was already legally entitled to
collect from Valencia Reserve. The HOA argued GL improperly received special
one-time fees from home buyers while it was building the development. The HOA
wanted the money but a state appeals ruled in GL Homes’ favor in October. At
stake was $867,243. Potentially, though, tens of millions of dollars were at
stake as GL and other Florida builders have been routinely collecting the fee
The Valencia Reserve HOA was able to convince GL Homes, as part of the
settlement, to forego collection of the $200,000 in legal fees. The HOA noted
that the settlement avoids the huge legal expenses of going to trial which could
have cost nearly $400,000.
GL Homes, in a prepared statement, said it was confident it would also have
prevailed at trial on the construction defect lawsuit but decided to settle in
an effort to resolve a matter that had lasted more than five years. It noted
that had it prevailed, it would have been entitled again to collect reasonable