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Condo association, owner at odds over Heritage Inn condition

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

By Ken Jackson
Staff Writer
The situation at the Heritage Park Inn on East U.S. Highway 192 turned into a “he said, she said” matter between the owner and the condo management association this week.
At a Osceola County Code Enforcement Board meeting Wednesday, officials gave the 2050 Condotel Inn Condominium Association one month to rectify violations that stemmed from November, and two months to take care of

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock
Despite no water or power, people are still living at the Heritage Park Inn on East U.S. Highway 192.

others like replacing landscaping and restriping the parking lot. It was while hammering out those details that property management made the problems clear.
Currently, there is no water or power at the inn.
Attorney Scott Newsom representing Excellence Holdings and owner Sarah Boughanmi said the management group allowed other individuals to invest and run it like a hotel, which was “a miscalculated gamble,” Newsom said. Over the last 18 months, the property “devolved” when Boughanmi could no longer to afford fronting the utility payments, and now those units can’t be rented.
“The issue is utilities are off and the units are uninhabitable, unrentable,” Newsom said. “The association was contacted in October about the violations and did nothing up to now but minimal things.”
Property Manager Hector Novoa agreed Heritage Park Inn is now “an environment where we can’t get renters to pay fair market value,” he said, and that Excellence “ran that condo association into the ground.”
A foreclosure hearing against Excellence was scheduled for Thursday but postponed at least 60 days. Novoa said that action would put the property in the hands of the bank, which would make the $28,000 monthly association payments that would allow for the utilities to return.
“It would serve as an injunction to get (Boughanmi) removed as the owner,” attorney Patrick Willis said. “She is the sole reason why the complex is in the situation it’s in.”
Rent payments, which included utilities and cable, were made to ownership. Novoa said the payments should have been made to the association.
Meanwhile, about 20 units remained occupied this week even after utilities were cut. On Tuesday night, Richard Anderson had a generator running outside his unit, powering the television and cellphone chargers. He’s on the back-side of the complex, adjacent to another apartment complex with lights, but the units behind him are veiled in darkness after sundown.
He said he, like the others still there, have nowhere to go. He used to work maintenance at the complex, so he feels a connection to the place.
“If they expect me to leave, they have another thing coming,” he said. “We’ve seen the county folks here. We ask about how they can help and it’s, ‘We’re having another meeting.’ There’s still families here, and kids can’t live like this.”
Willis said the association asks tenants remaining to either leave or cooperate with rules and pay their monthly assessments.
“We’ll be sending notices to all the tenants remaining,” Novoa said. “We have some squatters, and we’re working to identify them.”