From the Record:
“Love thy neighbor” is under fire at The Glens in Pompton Plains.
Even before the economy nose-dived, Cathy Winterfield said neighbors were burdening neighbors with the cost of maintaining property they all enjoy. About 37 are behind on their homeowners’ association fees — some by years — at the 583-unit, mixed-housing development, running up at least $40,000 in delinquent bills that other residents have had to absorb through increased fees.
The complex also has had to put certain maintenance needs on the back burner, said Winterfield, president of the board of trustees at The Glens, a mix of town houses, duplexes and condo units that went up in the 1990s in Pequannock.
Delinquency has grown to the point where management intends to do something about it.
The Glens has already placed liens on debtors’ properties, she said, but that won’t bring in any cash unless the owners decide to sell and have equity. Delinquent households also were offered a payment plan to get back on track, but only one responded, Winterfield said.
So The Glens has reached out to the township to join in action against the worst offenders, since the bulk of the problem lies with those living in the fair housing units, which fall to an extent under the township’s Fair Housing Committee guidelines, Winterfield said.
But the township is not eager to join in any foreclosure proceedings — the strongest legal remedy left to The Glens.
“The concern of the township and the Fair Housing Committee is, in the event a unit is foreclosed upon, we could perhaps lose it as a fair housing unit,” said Township Manager David Hollberg.
“The only thing we’re permitted to do is make a friendly call and remind them they signed a paper that they would pay their maintenance fees,” he said.
“It must be a sign of the times,” that people are getting so behind, he said. “I don’t know. There’s some that just can’t pay their bills like others.”