Village Park residents are being asked to pay up to cover for their neighbors who aren’t paying their homeowners association fees.

A resident asked us to look into it using the Report It feature on our website.

The homeowners association sent a letter to residents saying everyone will have to pay an extra $80 by next month because too many homeowners have not paid their dues.

So how is this allowed to happen and is it legal to make the others pay?

By all accounts, it doesn’t seem fair, but experts say there really isn’t a better option.

The Village Park homeowners association tells us that because some residents have not paid their annual fees, there isn’t enough money to cover operational costs, so all residents will have to pay what’s known as a special assessment, or a one-time fee of $80.

View the full announcement to residents here.

“It’s not fair. We’re paying it on time, but why do we have to cover for somebody else?” said resident Virgil Espiritu.

“How hard would it be to get that extra $80?” KHON2 asked.

“For me, if I were to tell you how I struggle, it’s very hard. I struggle a lot,” said resident Grace Cabiles, who is 80 years old and lives on a fixed income.

We reached out to the management company, Cadmus Properties, which agreed to a phone interview.

“I think the hardest thing for the residents to understand is why they have to pay more because the other residents aren’t paying their share,” KHON2 said.

“I understand their concern and their frustration, but as a whole association, we have to do what is right for the whole association,” said Laurie Ann Hodges, Cadmus Properties management executive.

There are about 1,800 homes that belong to the association, and they are each charged $130 a year, which pays for security, landscaping, insurance, and other operational costs.

The company says about 200 homeowners have not paid their dues, which comes out to $26,000. The company is still trying to collect, which also means lawyer’s fees.

“The process is slow. We filed liens, but the last thing the association wants to do is take someone’s home from them. That’s not our intention at all,” said Hodges.

“So in other words, we’re paying the lawyer’s fees then. Oh my gosh, I don’t like it,” said Cabiles.

KHON2 spoke with real estate attorney Peter Horovitz, who says it is unusual for an association to charge a fee because other residents are not paying their share, but it’s perfectly legal.

“When you’re part of the association, you agreed to play by certain rules and to support it in a certain manner and this is part of it,” he said.

The association adds that certain services have already stopped, such as security and landscaping. The $80 fee will help restore those services.