Owners at a condominium complex in Jacksonville are feeling the strain after being notified of substantial payments needed for improvements by the upcoming summer.
Mike Distefano and Sandy Sherman, longtime residents of the Rose Creek Condo in Lakewood, are among those feeling the financial pressure. They’ve resided in the complex for 13 years but are now grappling with the possibility of relocating due to a recent special assessment.
The Board of Directors greenlit a special assessment totaling nearly half a million dollars, translating to some units facing payments of nearly $13,000 by June 30.
Residents like Distefano and Sherman express frustration over the lack of clarity regarding where exactly these funds will be allocated. Sherman articulated, “We understand it’s going for structural repairs, but what structural repairs specifically, we don’t know.” She emphasizes that the current situation could have been avoided if proper maintenance had been conducted over the past few decades.
News4JAX accompanied Distefano and Sherman on a tour of the complex, revealing neglected areas such as a tarp lingering on a condo building’s roof for several months. Additionally, concerns were raised about roof damage caused by misdirected water, along with evident issues of wood deterioration and general disrepair.
Another significant grievance voiced by residents pertains to the clubhouse, which has reportedly remained inaccessible for the past 20 years. This extended period of restricted access has deprived residents of basic amenities on the property.
The Florida Condo Safety Act Bill, a response to the tragic collapse of the Surfside Condos in South Florida in June 2021, has introduced stricter inspection requirements for older condo buildings. It also mandates that condo associations maintain healthier financial reserves.
According to Barry Ansbacher, an attorney specializing in condominium and real estate law, while the legislation aims to ensure better property upkeep, it also entails increased financial obligations for condo owners. Ansbacher stresses that failing to meet these financial demands could lead to foreclosure for residents unable to afford the special assessment.
Efforts to obtain further information from the association president regarding the assessment costs were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.