My wife and I purchased a Lennar Townhome in the new Hawthorne Ridge Community in Lancaster PA. When we purchased the Home, we were informed that there would be a community center, swimming pool, walking trails, tot lot and playgoround. At that time, we were told that this Lennar community would consist of 297 units. We were the first to move into this community in July of 2007. As of this date, only 20 units have been sold and I was told by the Lennar Baltimore Office President, that the decision has been made to only build a total of 77 units. We have also been informed that Lennar will not be putting in the pool and to offset the cost of what we paid for the pool in our purchase price, Lennar has offered to pay for a 3 year membership to the County Pool at the rate of $57.00 per year. We feel that this is an insult to us and in part we purchased this Home for the pool facility-to be able to walk a short distance to enjoy the pool facilities whenever we want and not have to drive to the local community pool. We also hoped to be able to enjoy this pool for years to come and not for the 3 years Lennar is proposing. The selling features that sold us on this community (stated above) are not materializing and we feel that we have spent money on ammenities that were only selling features and not fact. According to the Township, the plans submitted by Lennar never included a pool facility. In a conversation with the President (Baltimore Area) of Lennar, it appears that the Community Center quite possibly won't be built either. There were other communities that we looked at that didn't have these ammenities, were less money, but with the promises from Lennar-advertisements, signage and verbals from the sales associates we went with Lennar, only to be deceived. We could have had what we purchased here, at one of the other communities for less money. We are basically still living in a construction site. We have been charged $82.00 HOA fees per month for pool, community center,grounds, street light maintenance etc. of which none of these exist as of yet. Also, to date this hasn't been turned over to the Homeowners Association and my understanding won't be until the complex is approximately 80% completed. The fees have been going to a management company of which $75.00 of the $82.00 is going to this company for their administrative fees. We received a letter stating that these fees will go down to $28.00 per month (these fees go towards administrative fees for the management company and to pay for electricity for the street lights that don't exist) because Lennar has been maintaining the construction site and surrounding area from the very beginning. I contacted Lennar to see if we were going to be reimbursed the difference and they said that the management compay set the fee and to contact them. I contacted the management company and was told to contact Lennar as Lennar had set the fee. I also asked how much was in the Homeowner Associate Account and I was basically told that it was none of our concern that Lennar controls everything in the community and when you sign the HOA Booklet/Rules (which doesn't exist yet) whatever Lennar states, we have to abide by. This is the third home we have owned but the first dealing with a national builder/HOA
and any advice/help would be appreciated. These are our specific questions:
1. Do we have any monetary recourse for paying for the ammenties promised and not receiving, pool etc.
2. Due to the fact that there isn't a HOA as of yet,
should the monthly fees and capital improvement fees charged at settlement be placed in a Trust Fund to be turned over to the HOA when it is established.
3. Nothing has changed as far as the maintenance
is concerned (we cut our own grass, pull weeds, shovel snow) are we entitled to ask for the difference of what we were paying and what the new rate is.
4. As a current homeowner, do we have the right to know where the monthly fees are going and the distribution of the funds and who has control of it.
Again, thanks for any help/suggestions you may have.