By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
A young couple from Florida, about to bring home a new baby, recently discovered they had a leaky roof. They own a single family detached house, in Bird Lakes homeowners association in Miami-Dade County.
The leaks were so bad that Ivan and Krystle Paredes had to remove wall board from their bathroom, exposing mold. Rain water was collected in multiple buckets.
In early February, the couple had made a request to replace their roof. But months later, the HOA has yet to approve the repair. The Board keeps requesting additional information, including a sample of the new roof material to be installed. The Paredes say they have already provided the necessary information, and cannot understand why the HOA continues to deny their request.
After NBC 6 got involved (see video link below), the original roofing contractor returned a $4000 deposit check that he has been holding for months waiting for the HOA to approve the roof replacement.
The homeowners then hired another contractor to do the work without waiting for the HOA’s approval. The new baby just arrived, and all three are in their Bird Lake house with a brand new roof.
But the battle is not over. A mediation is scheduled with the HOA in a few weeks.
HOA Delays Couple’s Roofing Project By Alina Machado
Source: HOA Delays Couple’s Roofing Project | NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/HOA-Delays-Couples-Roofing-Project-382810861.html#ixzz4BZRAFReX
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About Bird Lakes HOA
Bird Lakes homeowners association has no online presence. No website, no apparent developer or management company affiliation.
But after a little digging, I discovered an article archived by CCFJ, an advocacy organization in Florida. The Miami Herald reported trouble for Bird Lakes back in 2007. It turns out the HOA was defunct, because single family homeowners and townhouse owners could not agree on who should pay for maintenance of common areas. No one had paid assessments for nearly ten years, common areas were not maintained, and the County issued over 100 code violations. The local court appointed a receiver to get the HOA active again.
Nobody wanted to serve on the board. The appointed receiver did not want the job. He tried to pawn it off on Rep. Julio Robaina. He didn’t want to touch this hot potato either.
The owners did not want an HOA either, but, of course, Miami-Dade County did not want to assume responsibility for cleaning up a mess that had accumulated over a decade.
Townhome group gets outside help
Article Courtesy of The Miami Herald
By JOSE PAGLIERY, Published August 22, 2007
Residents yelling a political SOS while reviving a defunct homeowners association at West Kendall’s Bird Lakes have received much attention from State Representative Julio Robaina.
Although Robaina does not represent the district, the representative said he had met with Miami-Dade County Attorney Tom Robertson and Mayor Carlos Alvarez with concerns that residents are being taken advantage of by their court-appointed receiver, Philip Shechter. He made his worries clear at Thursday’s meeting between Shechter and the community’s residents.
Townhome owners have not had association fees for a decade despite county laws requiring them to have one, causing them to ignore the landscaping of common grounds and payment of insurance for the local lake. Owners of single-family homes near the lake refuse to pay for it, and those living near the townhomes want to avoid paying for roads on common grounds. And while each schism holds back any possible transition of power, attorney’s fees continue to accrue.
Read more here:
In the end, Miami-Dade County agreed to loan the HOA $250,000 to pay off the receiver that had just wasted everyone’s time. If the homeowners were able to address code violations and resume collecting assessments on their own, the Mayor would waive repayment of their quarter-million dollar loan, funded by taxpayers.
You can read the Resolution here:
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A LOAN TO THE BIRD LAKES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION TO PAY FOR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF A RECEIVER FOR THE BIRD LAKES ESTATES AND ALLOWING FOR THE WAIVER OF THE REPAYMENT OF THAT LOAN UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
There is no public record to indicate whether the loan was ever repaid to Miami-Dade, or if repayment has been waived by the Mayor.
However, it appears Bird Lakes is still not functioning well, even 9 years after homeowners were more or less forced to revive their HOA.