By Deborah Goonan
A few days ago I told you about a military family that returned from deployment to find squatters living in their home. (In case you missed it here’s the previous blog)
An updated report confirms that Douglas and Lori Tupper were forced to move out of the home when they discovered it had been constructed with toxic Chinese drywall. They chose not to rent the home to tenants while they were stationed in the Middle East, to avoid exposing anyone to health effects from the defective drywall.
But, apparently, that didn’t stop strangers from breaking into the home and residing in it. Nor did it stop Sentry Management company from collecting $1000 per month rent from the squatters. Channel 8 News consulted a local HOA attorney, who maintains that the HOA should not have been collecting rent from someone who was not a legal tenant of the official owners (the Tuppers). So a criminal investigation has begun, to determine exactly what happened to the rent money allegedly paid by the squatters to the on-site manager for Sentry.
Did anyone on the Board know about the bogus arrangement to collect rent for Tupper’s property? That question remains unanswered. Ultimately, the HOA Board is responsible for oversight of the Manager. Even if the Board was unaware of what Sentry Management was doing, they will now have to participate in the criminal investigation, a possible criminal lawsuit, and probably a civil suit as well, in an attempt to prosecute Sentry and/or defend the HOA from counter claims.
It’s a perfect example of how easily HOA members are exposed to legal and financial liability, even if they follow all the rules and personally do nothing illegal.
As for the Tuppers, the nightmare continues.
Here’s the update report by Shannon Behnken, News Channel 8, On Your Side