Condo Owners: "We're Being Forced Out"


 Watch VIDEO


Article Courtesy of

First Coast News

By Victor Blackwell
Published March 24, 2007

AMELIA ISLAND, FL -- A group of senior citizens at Marsh Cove Condominiums say they are being forced out of their homes by a group of investors.

"We're just sick. I can't go to sleep at night. It's on my mind every minute," said Gail Oliver, who has owned her condo for three years.

According to Property Management Systems, Inc, the company that represents the condo association, a group of investors under the name The Amelia Group LLC bought 104 of 120 units at Marsh Cove during the past year.

Although owners of 16 units say they were offered more than double the value of their property, they refuse to sell.

"It's not about money. I want to keep my unit. I love my unit. These developers are doing everything that they can to force us out," said Dorothea Stillwell.

Stillwell says the remaining 16 owners are being forced out through maintenance fees that have doubled and three special assessments. The latest is roughly $5,000. That's more than some residents can afford.

"Some people out here have gotten foreclosure notices. We all have gotten a lien taken against our properties. They pretty much scare everyone out here," says Patricia Margain, who has owned her unit for 20 years.

According to the Florida Condominium Act, a company that purchases the majority of the units at a complex often is allowed seats on the board of the condo associations. If members of the board make a proposal, it must only be passed by the majority, which the company owns. Often the minority has little or no power.

"As far as the Florida Condominium Act requirements, stipulations, guidelines -- the association is being managed well with in those guidelines," said Property Management Systems, Inc. President Terry Powell.

"Just because we own something that someone else would like to have doesn't give them the right to take it away from us at any cost," said Stillwell.

Our calls to The Amelia Group LLC were not immediately returned.

Several of the 16 owners have sought the advice of an attorney. They have not decided on legal action.