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Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 60
Experience:  Managing Member at Perez-Mena & Gonzalez, LLC
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I have a condo unit in charlotte NC. The HOA is elected by

Customer Question

I have a condo unit in charlotte NC. The HOA is elected by majority. One Man and I repeat one man owns the majority of the units and has made himself president . Has upped the fees each year and now is pushing more things that give him more financial control. He rents a number of the units to section 8 and he is very wealthy. The place is not kept up properly. the court yard looks bad and is a safety issue. Myself and the few independent owners need help in fighting back. He has done things like this in the past. he pushes people out and then sales the property for a fortune . The area is turning around and the property value is rising in the area.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

Depending on the governing Condo documents, it appears that this one man is totally within his rights. Generally, each unit is considered an individual vote unless there is some limitation in the Condominium Documents where one entity or individual cannot cast more than a certain amount of votes for one candidate. Sometimes in mixed-use condominiums, the owners of commercial units can not control or pledge their votes for a majority of the board.

It seems unfair but appears correct. I would look to see if the collection of the ever-increasing fees are being enforced equally. For instance, this one man should be paying his share of assessment fees for every one of his units. You are entitled to an accounting of this to verify. Good luck.

Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 8 months ago.

Please accept my answer and be so kind as to rate me so that I may receive credit.

Thanks

Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

One potential option is threaten or file a slander of title action. Slander of title is a claim involving real estate in which one entity falsely claims to own another entity’s property. It can also be casting aspersion on someone else’s property business or goods. It can be defined as “a false and malicious statement, oral or written, made in disparagement of a person's title to real or personal property, or of some right of his, causing him special damage."

The essential elements of a slander of title cause of action "are the uttering and publication of the slanderous words by the defendant, the falsity of the words, malice, and special damages." [Donald M. Paterson, Inc. v. Bonda, 425 So. 2d 206, 208 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983)]In order to establish the elements of slander of title, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant has communicated to a third party a false statement disparaging title which has caused the plaintiff actual damage. [Residential Communities of Am. v. Escondido Community Ass'n, 645 So. 2d 149, 150 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994)

Malice is presumed if the disparagement of title to real property is false, causes damage, and is not privileged. However the presumption of malice can be overcome by the showing of privilege. A showing of privilege rebuts the presumption of malice and the plaintiff must then prove actual malice in order to recover in a slander of title action. The affirmative defense of good faith raises a privilege and creates a factual issue as to the existence of malice. Allington Towers Condominium N. v. Allington Towers N., 415 So. 2d 118 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982).

Please consult a local real estate attorney in your area to protect your rights and interests.

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