By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Every once in a while, homeowners win small victories, and finally reach the end of their HOA nightmares. It happens when good people get involved and do the right thing. Today’s post shares three rare examples of HOA good news, and a glimmer of hope for millions of other homeowners and residents stuck in HOA hell.
FL mobile home park says Catholic resident can keep her painting of the Virgin Mary
Last fall, you may recall the news of Millie Francis, a resident of Tropical Palms Mobile Home Park in Bradenton, FL. Francis was embroiled in a dispute with Park Management over a painting of the Virgin Mary, which is covering up a window on her manufactured home.
Francis asked the Park Association for approval to cover up one of her windows, because she was bothered by security guards flashing lights into her home, according to previous reports.
The mobile home association had granted Francis permission to cover up the window. But the association disapproved of the painting of the Virgin Mary on the outside of the home. That, management said, was against the rules, and it would have to be removed.
The 85-year-old woman, a devout Catholic, stood up for her rights to religious freedom, and refused to take down the painting.
Well, I’m happy to report that, with some “outside help,” Francis and Tropical Palms Mobile Home Park have mediated a settlement, avoiding arbitration or a civil lawsuit.
The specific terms of the agreement are unknown, but the bottom line is that Francis gets to keep her painting of the Virgin Mary.
Apparently, Park management wanted the put the religious rights dispute, and the bad publicity, well behind them.
Don’t mess with the virgin.’ Painting of Mary on Bradenton mobile home will stay
BY MARK YOUNG
MARCH 21, 2019 12:00 PM, UPDATED MARCH 21, 2019 01:02 PM
NYC Co-op shareholders win fight on behalf of two on-call handymen
Shareholders of Clinton Hill Cooperative Association, a 1200-unit community in Brooklyn, scored a victory, when they convinced their co-op board not to evict two live-in handymen from their apartments.
Earlier this year, the board and management had decided that it was no longer fair to allow just two of their staff members to stay in their apartments without paying rent. One of the two live-in maintenance workers has lived in his apartment rent-free for 19 years.
In January, both men were handed eviction notices, with an April 15th deadline that was later postponed to July 1.
The announcement reportedly prompted co-op residents and fellow staff members to rally in support of the two employees. More than 700 residents signed a petition asking the board to allow both staff members to stay in their apartments. They also called for a special meeting to stop the evictions.
Local media picked up on the story, too, putting more pressure on the board to reconsider its stance.
Earlier this month, the co-op board negotiated an agreement with both staff members: they can keep their apartments, but from this point forward, they’ll have to pay rent, at a reduced rate, approximately 30% below market.
Clinton Hill Coop’s Evicted Handyman Will Get To Stay, Board Says
The coop’s board will allow a live-in handymen to stay, but pay rent, after a months-long battle by residents to stop his eviction.
By Anna Quinn, Patch Staff | May 21, 2019 2:26 pm ET
Central FL condo owners happy their Hurricane Matthew nightmare is finally over
In 2017, Ormond Heritage Condo Association was in crisis mode. The building’s tile roof had been ripped to shreds by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The water poured in, soaking walls and floors.
When insurance contractors began work, owners were told they had to evacuate the building until repairs could be made, due to a toxic mold infestation.
At the time, Paramount Disaster Recovery LLC made a $66 million insurance claim to Ariel Syndicate 1910, the association’s insurer. Ariel denied the claim, which they argued was overstated.
The condo board came under fire in 2017 for granting an Assignment of Benefits to Paramount. The old board was recalled, and a new board was elected. The new board hired Attorney Michael Ciocchetti to help the association recover the money it needed to make repairs.
Federal lawsuit intervention
When Ariel sued Paramount in federal court, disputing the excessive amount of its claim, Ormond Heritage intervened in the lawsuit.
According to a report in the Ormond Beach Observer, 20 condo owners hired their own experts, who testified that there was no mold in the wall cavities of their units, as Paramount had claimed.
In addition, Ormond Heritage’s flat roof was already covered under warranty, and should not have been part of Paramount’s claim.
In other words, the evidence showed that Paramount’s claim was grossly inflated.
(Paramount says that Noble Public Adjusting Group calculated the $$66 million repair estimate, according to a report in the Daytona Beach News Journal. Ormond Heritage is also suing the public adjuster over its excessive fees.)
Last December, condo owners celebrated a $2.5 million dollar claim settlement in the case between Ariel and Paramount. Repairs are well underway, and the condo board President reports things are finally getting back to normal at Ormond Heritage.
It only took about 2 and half years. ♦
Ormond Heritage $66 million hurricane damage bill headed off by residents
By Frank Fernandez, Daytona Beach News-Journal
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at 6:24 AM Updated Mar 12, 2019 at 9:01 AM
Ormond Heritage intervened in a federal court suit filed by its insurance carrier against Paramount, receiving a $2.5 million settlement for its claims.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor | Ormond Beach Observer | Feb. 12, 2019