and Video Courtesy of
10 -- Just News -- Miami
January 8, 2010
Fla. -- A South Florida couple said
their homeowners' association has threatened to break into their home to
remove a sign posted in a window.
Elliot and his girlfriend, Mary Ann Frye, bought a single-family home in
Aruba at the Oasis in Homestead in 2007. The couple said the house is
infested with Chinese drywall, and they want Lennar to buy them out so
they can move on.
couple has posted two signs on their property -- one on
the front lawn, another in a window.
signs read, "For Sale: Shoddy construction, Lennar
toxic Chinese drywall."
have had appliances just stop working, computers,
television sets. Even my electric toothbrush has stopped
functioning. Both of us have had a lot of sore throats and
a lot of headaches. That's pretty much a regular
occurrence," said Elliot.
first Elliot's neighborhood association sent a friendly reminder saying he
could have no signs, displays, advertisements or lettering without
approval. Then, he received a lawyer's letter warning if the signs don't
come down, the association will come and remove them.
letter from Association Law Group said, "Should no one be home at the
time the Association comes, the services of a locksmith will be utilized
and you will be responsible for the cost."
would you feel if someone said they were going to come with a locksmith
and open your door?" said Elliot. "They're threatening to break
into our home."
have a right to tell people how we feel. This is what
America is all about," said Frye.
Local 10 has discovered something Elliot and Frye didn't
know. According to the by-laws that govern the
neighborhood, which Elliot signed when he bought the
house, the association does have the right to enter his
property and remove any violations after a written notice.
said he is a target because the association
like the message. He said that other neighbors have signs in their
one at M & E Associates of Miami, the company that manages the
property, would talk to Local 10.
Direktor, an attorney with Becker and Poliakoff, a firm that represents
4,000 condo and homeowners' associations, said it is unusual in a
single-family home community to have the association have the right to
break the lock and go into a unit.
don't want to have that confrontation, one that as you're questioning
first, could even turn violent. That's more damaging to the community than
the sign. You can deal with the sign through legal process," Direktor
said he has put the Homestead police on notice about what he said might
happen if someone enters his home.
take the signs down when things are settled," Elliot said.
has told Elliot and Frye that it is willing to gut the house and pay the
couple's rent for the six months it might take to remediate the issue.
Elliot and his girlfriend want the company to buy them out.