close
close

Orlando condo residents fear losing their home after HOA announcement

ORLANDO, Fla. – Residents of Regency Gardens Condominiums fear they will either lose or have to sell their properties after a recent announcement revealed a deficit of more than $17 million in the condo association's reserves.

The announcement, coupled with the upcoming assessments, has left many feeling blindsided and financially vulnerable.

Craig Hrabchak, a longtime Regency Gardens resident, worries about the fate of his finances.

“It’s just not right,” he said.

He is among the many owners struggling with the news.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

The notice highlights the impact of Florida's previous laws, which allowed chronic underfunding of reserves and left associations unprepared for emergencies.

Current state law now requires condominium boards to have fully funded reserves by December 31 to cover maintenance, inspections and potential repairs.

This follows the tragic Surfside condominium collapse in 2021, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people.

Regency Gardens' monthly HOA fees are expected to increase by approximately $900, in addition to flat amounts based on condo size.

Smaller homes will face payments of just over $11,000, while larger homes may be charged more than $22,000.

Jon Epstein, a concerned resident, questioned the viability of these assessments for working-class families.

“I just don’t know how they’re going to afford it,” Epstein said.

He asked, “What happens if they don’t pay?”

Attorney Keith Skorewicz, representing the condo association, responded:

“The goal is to adequately fund the reserves to ensure the safety of the property and comply with the law. The association understands its commitment. The Declaration (which controls the association) and Florida law provide a process for notice and a means for owners to make payments. And the Florida Legislature controls both the calculation of reserves and the process by which tax assessments are collected.”

Attorney Keith Skorewicz

“That’s not really an answer,” Epstein said. “The answer is: We will exclude them, we will drive these people out of their homes.”

For residents wondering why they have to pay the full amount by July, Skorewicz had this to say:

“Security. The unit owners have been enjoying artificially low tax amounts for years because the law allows for the waiver of setting aside such funds for rainy days. The rainy day is here. Again, work needs to be done on the property, and the residents certainly agree. Many of the deferred maintenance works, including but not limited to building facades, wood cladding and certain electrical systems, have no years remaining, according to engineers, so the work must be funded, staged and completed within a short time frame all official records of the association were and are available for inspection at any time under Florida law. Homeowners can simply submit the application and the association will be happy to assist you.”

Attorney Keith Skorewicz

Epstein said if this continues to happen in condos around Orlando, there will be a mass exodus.

“The lesson I’m learning is: Don’t buy real estate in Florida, don’t buy real estate in Orlando,” he said.

Get today's headlines in minutes Your Florida daily newspaper:

Copyright 2024 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *