PEMBROKE PINES - Property owners paid mortgage, insurance and homeowners association fees but still fear being put out at Heron Pond Condominiums.
Pembroke Pines code inspectors found structural problems threatening safety in several buildings earlier this year. They issued mandatory evacuations. Those asked to leave do not know when they can return. Still, each owner must continue to pay all bills and fees, the property manager said.
"It's demoralize," Ted Victor, who bought his condo in the complex 17 years ago. "It's very, very sad."
Victor's home is across the breezeway from one of the evacuated buildings. His family feels next.
"The hardest part in full transparency is seeing my wife cry about this at night because she worries about the finances," Victor said.
His wife works two jobs. Victor is a teacher. They have two children. Victor said his family saw their complex slowly crumble over the years but were routinely promised repairs that never happened.
"I just really, really believed that somebody, maybe the management would be responsible," he said.
The homeowners association charges $550 a month in dues, Victor said. Despite this, he and others wonder how much goes into maintenance and they hardly want to pay any more fees until management provides answers.
CBS News Miami spoke with the property manager who declined to share any documentation, give a statement, or answer questions on camera.
She said every property owner needs to pay fees because the association remains responsible for care of the common area, and working amenities like gates and must pay insurance. If they do not, the complex is in jeopardy, the property manager said.
The city ordered engineers to inspect all 19 buildings on the property this summer. So far, every report showed fixable structural problems, the property manager claimed. It is not clear, though, when work could begin or how long repairs will take.
"The word is it could be six months or a year," Victor said. "I'm not necessarily sure we can survive that."
While searching for apartments with room for his family, Victor found most want $2,500 or more a month. So, he is looking for an overnight job to help save up for a move he can hardly afford.
"I don't believe that's fair and I don't believe that's right," he said. "Someone should have to answer to that. We've never been negligent. We're hard-working people and we should be able to remain in our homes safely. Everyone is afraid of a replay of (the) Surfside (building collapse). I understand that. But whoever is responsible for the negligence they should be able to pay for the situation."
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