Name of Author withheld to Prevent Retaliation

August 5, 2009


Anyone considering buying into a community controlled by an HOA needs to understand the “Gestapo” tactics that exist in these communities today.


It’s really not as difficult for “control freaks” to gain and maintain control as you may think.  Mostly it’s the result of apathy on the part of the homeowners.  Many Florida communities are populated by elderly citizens that just want to live out their retirement years in peace; therefore, they don’t want to be involved in controversy.


This lack of involvement by the residents allows the self-serving little groups of like-minded individuals to form cliques and gain control by manipulation and intimidation of elderly residents that just want to live out their lives in peace.


Seven years ago as a new widow I made the mistake of buying into a development that was still under construction.  It appeared to be a widow’s dream.  Pay a small fee and have someone take care of all your outside maintenance.  And so the long nightmare began.


Over the past seven years I have encountered a level of evilness that I’ve never before seen in a residential community -- much of that evilness perpetrated by a woman that always professed to be “God fearing.” She gained the support of many residents by promising to hold the builder accountable for drainage problems and other problems. 


She was very persuasive.  She developed a group of supporters that was almost cult-like in nature.  Some of her male supporters were willing to threaten and intimidate the elderly at her behest and I soon became a target of that.  Early on, I had asked the builder not to allow a fence to be constructed on the community easement that would obstruct my access to my own backyard.  This led to threats from two of that woman’s male supporters.  One of her supporters sent out an e-mail stating he would run me out of the neighborhood at her request.  The other one sent me an e-mail containing such crude statements as, “If you had a brain, immigration would arrest you for smuggling fesses.” (I assume he meant feces?) And she herself stated to me that she would build her #*&$ fence anywhere she chose and other residents could, too. Actually she not only built her fence over the easement but over the next door neighbor's property line where it stands to this day.


After months of persistence and with a great deal of opposition from the association and no help at all from the property manager I finally convinced the builder to intervene and my fence problem was resolved.  


Over the past seven years I have tried to deal with such issues as unethical property managers, board members totally disregarding our governing documents and Florida statutes, serious discrepancies in the accounting, incompetent contractors, difficulty accessing association documents, malicious lies designed to discredit me, lack of action by DBPR when large amounts of money was missing from our reserve account.


And these problems continue to this day with no end in sight.  The new BOD is just as controlling and self-serving as the previous one and the new property manager is even more arrogant than the ones before him.


A wise person learns from someone else’s bad experiences.  Please don’t be deceived by the false promises of managed communities.  Claims that Covenants and Restrictions lead to a more attractive community and increased property values are a farce.  Board members have enormous power over how your money is spent and which covenants are enforced.   


HOAs take the neighborliness out of neighborhoods.