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Homeowner fees 'like extortion,' homeowner says

Tampa Bay Online
Eugene W. Vrooman was ready to buy this home in the subdivision until he found out there were outstanding fees being charged by the HOA.

Eugene W. Vrooman was ready to buy this home in the subdivision until he found out there were outstanding fees being charged by the HOA.


WESLEY CHAPEL - Two days before closing on a house, Eugene Vrooman got bad news: If he didn't come up with $14,000, the homeowners association wouldn't allow his deal to go through.



In addition to unpaid assessments, the Bridgewater Community Association demanded money for cosmetic repairs to the home, which had been vacant for more than a year. It wanted the exterior of the 4-year-old house cleaned and painted, weeds pulled and new sod.

"My wife and I were just devastated," Vrooman said. "We've been working on this deal for six months. We planned to clean up the home, but we want to do the work ourselves, not some homeowners association. This just feels like extortion."

The neighborhood may be at the vanguard of a get-tough movement byhomeowners associations intent on restoration after the devastation caused by mass foreclosures. Experts know of few other associations this aggressive. But few neighborhoods have been hit harder.


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