Residents of La Bota Ranch speak out on lawsuit ruling

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 2:21 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Homeowners suing the La Bota homeowners association got a major win in their lawsuit. Jurors sided with residents of La Bota Ranch.

The lawsuit filed back in 2017 began when residents say their HOA fees were raised almost 70% from one quarter to the next with owners even trying to collect the fee retroactively.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Zone Nguyen, says they’re now asking that the owners of La Bota Ranch not be allowed to remain in control of the homeowners association. Homeowner associations manage community areas in neighborhoods and collect dues from homeowners which is used to maintain common areas, like a park or pool.

Despite the win, plaintiffs say the current law does not do enough to protect homeowners from developers or HOAs that are not transparent.

Zone Nguyen, attorney for residents at La Bota Ranch says, “we have an abuse of the law where a developer says, ‘I’m going to stay. I’m going to keep using their money to benefit my development and just say that development is not done until I finish that 2000th house when we’re at house number 500 at year 30.’”

Vanessa Perez, councilmember for District 7 and a La Bota Ranch resident says, “if you don’t pay your dues, homeowner associations are one of the entities, other than government, that can actually foreclose on your home.” She adds, “one of the issues for us was that they set the amount and they doubled it or they tripled it, or whatever amount they tell you that you have to pay, without actually soliciting any feedback or including you in any kind of representation and then if you don’t pay, they’ll just start the lien procedure.”

Nguyen went on to say that many conflicts of interests were found while looking into the books, such as multiple companies owned by members of the Muller family that were being paid for services provided to La Bota Ranch. In essence, they were controlling both sides of financial transactions. Residents were also never allowed to see how the HOA fees were being spent.

The judge’s ruling on the new request will come after a date is set where both sides will be able to plea their case.

Below is the full interview:

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