OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County woman felt her homeowners association crossed the line when it demanded she clean a dirty driveway during a pandemic.
She thought it had to be a mistake, but then she heard it had to be done by Friday despite stay-at-home orders.
Action 9 Consumer Investigator Todd Ulrich went to work on her case, and tells us how to respond to HOA demands during a health emergency.
Carol Yerdon, who is 78, lives with her daughter, Dana Yerdon. Dana led the challenge for her mom against the Association of Poinciana Villages. According to Dana, it sent her mom a picture of their dirty driveway and gave them an April 3 deadline to have it pressure-cleaned.
The demand letter from the HOA came even though Osceola County remains under stay-at-home orders to prevent virus spread. Dana Yerdon could not believe that.
“Really, just come on,” she said. “Have some compassion and common sense in this time of crisis we’re in.”
Dana called the association for her mom, who has a heart condition. She says the manager told her they were sticking with the deadline, and the family needed to send pictures of a clean driveway or face additional HOA actions.
“It defies common sense,” she said.
The Yerdons called Action 9. We contacted the association. The next day a neighbor found a company that pressure-cleaned the driveway. But Dana and her mom felt that an HOA enforcing violations at a time like this seems too extreme.
“I mean this is nuts. This is crazy.”
The association responded to Action 9 and said its board is abiding by deed restrictions and will continue to maintain safety and cleanliness.
And yet the board did contact the Yerdons and wanted to address her concerns.
An HOA attorney who represents homeowners told Action 9 that consumers need to object in writing.
She advises owners to send your association an email that says you will correct the issues when the emergency passes.
Right now, dirty driveways and weeds in your lawn are not considered essential services, but your good health is a top priority.
In response, Gary Martin, President, president of the Board of Directors for the Association of Poinciana Villages said:
"We are in the midst of increasingly challenging times during this worldwide pandemic. The Association of Poinciana Villages’ Board of Directors is abiding by our association’s bylaws and deed of restrictions, which dictate that our operations and notifications continue in order to maintain the safety and cleanliness of our community.
Our Board understands that our residents may be experiencing uncertainty, financial hardships or health issues due to the coronavirus. As soon as I was made aware of the issue with Ms. Yerdon, I reached out to our Management team who contacted her via phone to see how we could work with her to address her concerns. She advised that she has already had her driveway cleaned, which we greatly appreciate.
We are in this together, and the safety and well-being of our residents has and always will be our top priority.”
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