Monday, June 09, 2008

Subdivision In Need of Help

We received the following e-mail asking for some help and advice. This situation may not be as unusual as one may think as many builders often start a subdivision and do not end up finishing it. What are your thoughts about this situation? Drop us a note at: and we will publish and forward your suggestions. Or you can click on COMMENTS below to post your thoughts. Thanks.


I own a home in a subdivision where the builder has gone out of business, not bankrupt just closed the doors, with 9 homes occupied out of 44 lots. We do not have a homeowners association at this time as the builder still had control.

The builder also built villas in a development next to our subdivision under a different name where we share amenities such as a pool, part of this development is still active. At this point we are looking for advice as to whether we should be trying to form an association?

Under our covenants there is a successor clause where the builder can transfer the rights to another builder or whoever owns the vacant lots. At this point we do not know who owns the vacant lots, the bank or if the builder has retained title under a different name, but they now need to be mowed. Accurate information is hard to come by so if you have any suggestions as to where we can find answers let me know.

The homeowners all in our subdivision all want to protect our investment but we need advice as to what we should be doing.


  1. Anonymous6:32 PM

    I am no legal expert, however I think it would be fine to form an association. Although it wouldn't have any legal standing, it would be nice to have the pieces already in place for when everything gets ironed out.

    Take up a collection from willing homeowners, and mow the vacant lots. Nobody in their right mind would sue you for mowing.

  2. Anonymous10:37 PM

    We had the same thing happen to us. City & Village Tax Office handled all our annual fees - billing, collections, disbursement and filing of liens on deadbeats who dont pay up. And I called them and they were very helpful on what we could do to establish control of our own destiny. For us it was pretty simple -- as soon as all properties changed legal ownership on their titles, we could have an election and elect 3 trustees. And we did. And we've been in control ever since.

    (This is really important -- have City & Village sign an agreement that no bills be paid out of subdivision fees unless there are 2 trustee signiatures on the Authorization For Payment letter from the trustees. This saved us $3500 when the developer (i.e. former Trustees) tried to get reimbursed for $3500 worth of development expenses. Plus they had tried to back-bill us for several years' worth of subdivision assesments prior to that, in order to create an even larger pool of money to then try and rip off later.) Our '2 signiatures needed' agreement with C&V kept that from happenning. Good luck, if you need to talk, email me.

    Win Bowman. or call 314-846-4631