The Hammocks Residents Seek Legal Help After 400% HOA Fee Increase

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A South Florida community is taking legal action against their homeowners association after a steep increase in fees. Residents at The Hammocks met Saturday to discuss their plan and collect money to pay a lawyer.

“We’re gonna go to court to ask for help to put them out,” resident Ana Tanton said. “We tried the election, it didn’t work…The Hammocks doesn’t deserve this. The people from The Hammocks, they don’t deserve this.”

At the meeting, many wanted to ensure the group chose the right lawyer in an effort to stop a 400 percent increase in HOA fees.

“This could be historic,” Tanton said.

The group also received guidance from District 11 board member, Christian Cevallos.
Cevallos attended the meeting and urged the residents of The Hammocks to get organized and united.

“We as a community, we are together against someone who is not good to the community,” Cevallos said.

“Our next step is going to court,” Tanton said. “What we are doing is this fundraiser to collect money to pay this high-end law firm that’s gonna put us in front of a judge.”

Earlier this year, the lawyer representing the homeowners association told NBC 6 they hadn’t raised their fees in seven years.

“They’re catching up,” lawyer Hilton Napoleon said at the time.

The Hammocks resident Ana Tanton says the group is asking for three things.

“We need a judge to rule here," Tanton said. "We’re looking for a receivership, temporary receivership. We’re looking for an injunction in this budget and we’re looking for a court registry so homeowners can go to court and pay their fees.”

In the meantime, Cevallos says, this can cause a ripple effect.

“If Hammocks gets organized as they should and this is successful, and they are able to receive a fair treatment of them as homeowners, this could be an example to follow all over Dade county,” Cevallos said.

Though many residents had doubts about where the money is going or if there will be extra fees in the future, the group has raised about 70 percent of the $100,000 they need to start the legal process.

“That’s what we’re looking for. We’re desperately fundraising to go to court and stop the nonsense right there,” Tanton said.

Residents say this steep increase in HOA fees is forcing people to move away from the neighborhood, where some had lived for decades.

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