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Neighbors sue Florida man over property condition

A Florida man has been sued by his neighbors, who claim he has neglected to maintain his four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in Jacksonville, according to media reports.

The man, 63, gained possession of the 3,048-square-foot golf course community home, which is worth an estimated $615,000, when he and his ex-wife divorced in 2014.

The neighborhood property owners' association has filed a lawsuit against the man, seeking the following:

  • Chemical treatment of the swimming pool so that it doesn't attract mosquitoes
  • Replacement of dead grass
  • Removal of the mold on the roof or replacement of the roof
  • Removal of a dead tree that is lying on a fence
  • Payment of more than $11,000 in fees and charges that are in arrears

The case is scheduled to go to court on Oct. 15.

The man being sued is a local pastor who has faced financial difficulties in the past. He has filed for bankruptcy on two occasions, most recently in 2013. At that point, he listed debts of $1.22 million.

When he moved to the community, he undoubtedly signed papers acknowledging he had received a copy of the association's covenants, conditions and restrictions, otherwise known as CC&Rs.

The documents spell out just what owners can do with their properties and how they must be maintained. They often include rules such as no basketball hoops in the driveway and just what color owners can paint their front doors. This man could be in violation of his CC&Rs.

This property owner should seek advice from an attorney well-acquainted with homeowners associations and real estate law. The attorney could interpret the CC&Rs to determine if there has been a violation and offer the property owner his options.

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