Entire board of a Florida homeowners association resigns after dispute over $60,000 special assessment — what happened

Entire board of a Florida homeowners association resigns after dispute over $60,000 special assessment — what happened

Entire board of a Florida homeowners association resigns after dispute over $60,000 special assessment — what happened

Homeowners in the Villas of Carillon neighborhood in Feather Sound, Florida, are trying to understand a request from their homeowners association board for a $60,000 special tax.

The homeowners received notice of the assessment in early June, which detailed how the Homeowners Association’s reserves had never been fully funded in the Association’s 20-year history, leaving the community facing a “significant financial challenge going forward.”

Each household was expected to pay about $60,000. The exact payment plan was voted on June 20.

“There’s going to be a lot of people losing their homes, having to sell them or not being able to make the payments. There’s going to be mortgages on their homes, there’s going to be foreclosures,” Tammy Rodeffer, a homeowner, told WTSP at the time. “I’m worried about the whole community.”

However, during a special meeting, the owners showed up en masse to convince the board to postpone the decision.

“You need to come together, this problem is not going to go away,” said resident Robert Regan. “And apartments, they need to have 100% reserves.”

And then, in an email after the June 21 vote, the entire board announced that it had resigned, effective immediately.

Following the 2021 Surfside collapse, which killed 98 people in Miami due to construction defects, regulations now require more frequent inspections of apartment buildings, while many condo associations are raising fees to create a larger reserve for repairs.

Now, Florida’s state reforms require reserve and milestone studies and mandate annual contributions to reserves, but they apply only to units that are three stories or higher. The townhomes in the Villas are not condos — and they are only two stories high.

The board of the Owners’ Association indicated that insurance companies would no longer insure the complex in a few years if there were not sufficient reserves to pay for new roofs.

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However, Patricia Staebler, a certified reserve specialist in Sarasota, notes that the time investment of a project should be banked before the renovation if the association wants to avoid special levies.

Staebler says these reserve studies should help the board plan for the next fiscal year and beyond, building in annual increases over a 30-year period. And while it’s not necessary for reserves to be “fully funded,” it is critical that these annual assessments be met with proper full funding.

“There’s a difference between being 100 percent funded and 100 percent funded of your reserve requirements for the coming fiscal year,” she says. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years. In my entire career as a reserve specialist, I’ve never seen an association that’s 100 percent funded.”

In the meantime, homeowners in the community hope that delaying the vote will give them more time to understand why the special tax levy is so high.

“So we can get additional documentation, look at all the financials and see how they arrived at these numbers,” Rodeffer said.

This article provides information only and should not be taken as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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