CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - People across the Carolinas pay thousands of dollars each year to their homeowner's associations.
These homeowners trust their money is being spent wisely, but questions are swirling in one Charlotte neighborhood and they’re asking FOX 46 Charlotte’s David Sentendrey to get answers.
At Prosperity Village, the homeowner's association has a board of directors which makes financial decisions and handles neighborhood operations. The board is elected and consists of people living in the neighborhood. There's also a management group which is hired by the board to assist with day-to-day operations.
People living in Prosperity Village have a lot of questions concerning a possible mismanagement of funds -- and they don't know who is to blame.
Every homeowner knows roof repairs can be expensive, but in this particular neighborhood off of Jessica Place people are worried that repairing their roofs is just an excuse for their H.O.A. board to take their money.
"No answers from either the HOA or the Board. Zero," said one Prosperity Village resident.
Now, a small group is organizing to fight what they call major issues with their H.O.A. board.
"A little over $438,000 just for roofing," homeowner Alice Davidson said.
Davidson reached out to FOX 46 Charlotte after her H.O.A. board called a special meeting where it tried to get homeowners to dish out a total of $438,525 for roofing replacements.
That's $2,990.40 per homeowner and they weren't sure if they needed roof replacements -- so FOX 46 Charlotte called in expert Charles Goss with Your Local Roofing Company.
"It's all hail damage or wind damage -- there's nothing wrong with the shingles or the installation," Goss said.
He said the roof is damaged, but it’s not the H.O.A.’s responsibility to fix it.
"There's five more years left on it so I would have to say it's not the homeowner's responsibility to pay but it would be the insurance company's responsibility,” Goss said.
Residents are wondering why the board tried to charge nearly half a million dollars for roofing when an expert says insurance should take care of the bill.
"It was, perhaps, a way for them to raise a lot of money very quickly," Davidson said.
Why would the H.O.A. board need to raise money? Well, records show they're tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
That’s only the beginning. In 2011, an insurance claim of $55,000 for minor roofing repairs was awarded but the board hasn't explained to residents exactly what happened with it.
Residents talking to FOX 46 Charlotte don’t recall any roof repairs being made.
"We're not getting any answers and we own the property,” one resident said
The biggest question is, of course, where's the money?
But here's the thing, Henderson Properties took over managing this community just over a year ago and says it inherited a financial mess from Cedar Management.
We tracked down Cedar Management. They tell FOX 46 Charlotte, they're willing to work with the current managers and look in their archives for any missing information, adding, they're "amazingly transparent."
Residents don't know what to believe, but they do know, the current board tried to stick them with a half million dollar roofing bill for something, an expert says can be fixed with insurance.
Since FOX 46 Charlotte began investigating, the previous H.O.A., Cedar Management sent an email to one of the residents saying they deposited that $55,000 for minor roofing repairs into a bank account back in 2011.
We're working to track exactly where it went from there. Also, the current H.O.A. said it's looking into an insurance claim for roof damages.