People living in several South Florida communities are all fed up with the same property management company.
“We all try to achieve that American dream that turns into a nightmare dealing with companies like this,” said a woman named Carol who lives in the Colonies Two complex in Lauderdale Lakes.
Neighbors at different communities describe their pools being shut down for years, trash piling up uncollected and unpaid utilities.
Patti Krotenko lives in the Cypress Gardens complex in Hollywood. Local 10 News obtained records showing a lien of around $60,000 as of late January, stemming from code violations dating back to 2021. The community also has a past due water bill for approximately $45,000.
People living at the Colonies Two community in Lauderdale Lakes said they had to fight to review financials for their community.
“I wasn’t able to bring my phone in,” explained owner Ed Guminski.
When they did get access, they noticed glaring discrepancies. One copy showed a deposit of nearly $300,000 related to a Hurricane Irma insurance settlement back in 2020, but a different copy shown to Guminski omitted the Irma deposit. Meanwhile, Guminski said years later, BDM Property Management has never told them the money was paid.
“Hey, you know, what’s going on with the Hurricane Irma claim?” he said he asked. “They said, ‘Oh, well, it’s still in federal court, so you know, nobody’s going to be able to get to see it.’”
Financials also revealed two unexplained large credits to the board president and vice president. The amount is roughly equal to a year’s worth of maintenance fees.
“I went through a lot with Mr. Curtis,” said Carol, referencing a property manager named Mike Curtis. She inherited her unit at the Colonies Two after her mother passed away of brain cancer in 2019, but she said Curtis immediately began trying to get her out, telling her the association did not approve her to live there.
“He kept saying he’s going to auction it out,” she said. “He’s going to get me out of there. And I’m like, ‘I just lost my mom.’”
Several neighbors told Local 10 News that Curtis targeted them for eviction, they believe in an effort to take over their units. That included towing their cars from right in front of their homes.
“Thirteen times to be exact,” said Carol.
Records show the towing company is owned by a man who actually co-purchased a unit in the very same complex, along with the same property manager, Curtis.
“I said ‘Wow, isn’t this amazing?’” Carol said.
Back at 3 Horizons East condo in North Miami, frustrated owners said association-owned units have been secretly sold out from under them, with no indication where the proceeds went.
One 84-year-old renter said she got a knock on her door and was told by the board president they were conducting an inspection on her unit. In fact, she learned the man at the door was an appraiser who she says pushed his way in when she turned her back.
“I was alone with that guy in,” she told another unit owner in a video shared on social media.
Her next rent check to the association was sent back with a letter from BDM telling her she now had a new landlord, another resident living on the same floor. That resident closed the door and declined to answer questions when Local 10 News knocked, asking about the purchase.
As 3 Horizons recently got slapped with more liens over delinquent payments just last month, Curtis appeared to be living a lavish lifestyle.
Residents point to his social media posts showing pricey vehicles, an RV, boats and other toys. What’s more, records show since 2019, Curtis has bought over $260,000 worth of property in Highlands County, Florida.
Just last week at Colonies Two, owners showed up for what should have been their scheduled annual meeting, according to their bylaws, desperate to elect a new board.
“There is no meeting being held,” said Guminski. “We are out here, waiting.”
The same thing happened the week before when Cypress Gardens owners were told in an initial notice to drive to BDM’s office in Pompano Beach for their annual meeting. But when they got there, someone from BDM told them the election was now being held on zoom. As owners protested, saying the notice told them to vote at the office, the door was shut and locked in their face.
Owner Julian Londono expressed frustration.
“Helplessness because not even the department wants to help us,” he explained to Local 10 News.
Londono and other owners went to see an investigator with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Fort Lauderdale but were told to go online and make a complaint.
“So why are we paying taxes in the state of Florida to have an office here in Broward County with investigators if they’re not going to investigate anything?” asked friend Petra Bouwen, who was there to assist a widowed owner.
Several other homeowners echoed that sentiment.
“You report to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, you report to the mayor, you report to the commissioner,” said Carol. “You’re on the news, and nothing is done. No one seems to care.”
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has filed several administrative complaints against Curtis in recent years, but has not revoked his license. In an email to Local 10 News, Director of Communications Beth Pannell wrote, in part:
“Complaints against Mr. Curtis are still under review and there has been no change in his license status.”
Local 10 News reached out multiple times to Curtis, and his attorney responded, demanding we cease and desist from contacting him.