Homeowners association replaces foreclosed home's roof

Article Courtesy of Tampa Tribune

By Michele Sager

Published October 15, 2011

Neighbors living in Fawn Ridge subdivision take pride in their quiet streets and manicured lawns.

But for three years they've watched an abandoned home deteriorate, creating an eyesore in the middle of their neighborhood, residents said.

After the house on Fawn Ridge Boulevard fell into foreclosure and the bank took it over, neighbors said the property went neglected. And while it isn't unusual for neighborhood associations to take over lawn care at foreclosed homes, Fawn Ridge residents replaced an entire roof.

"We took it upon ourselves to go forward and clean it up and make it look presentable so that those of us that are working hard to keep our homes looking good can look over there and not be ashamed of what we have in our neighborhood," said Mike Carter, the president of the Fawn Ridge Home Owner Association's board.

The association tried repeatedly to contact Bank of America, which owns the property, to fix the roof. Neighbors said it violated deed restrictions and posed a danger to residents. The bank placed tarps over the roof to cover broken tiles and leaking holes. The inside of the home suffered water damage.

Workers from Cardianl Roofing work on a roof that was only covered with a blue tarp after the residents abandoned the property. The Fawn Ridge Home Owners Association is paying to replace the roof in an effort to keep up property values and the neighborhood's standard of living.

The association voted to fix the roof and was able to go in and hire their own contractor, due to community bylaws. Bridget Jenkins Wilson, president of Cardinal Roofing, said the damage was extensive and the tarps weren't a long-term solution.

The association paid about $15,000 for the new roof and will place a lien on the home until the money is repaid. Carter said it's worth the investment.

"Hopefully, by fixing this home it will help some of the surrounding houses on the market sell and help our property values," he said.