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CASWELL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County woman says after she came to us with a story about a raccoon infestation, she became the target of her condo’s home owners association. Now she is trying to figure out how to keep her home while the original problem is still unresolved.

Susan Prater called WWAY in May complaining about raccoons in her attic and walls at Oak Island Beach Villas in Caswell Beach. After our story aired, Prater was told her two dogs broke the HOA’s rules, and they had to go. Prater found a new home for her dogs, but was then told she had to find a new place to stay.

“Within an hour and a half (of finding a place for the dogs), the owner of my condo received another letter, an advisory notice, stating if she did not formally disassociate herself with me, they were going to file a lawsuit against her,” Prater said.

Prater says she is sure the HOA did this in response to the media attention she attracted.

According to a report from the Brunswick County Health Department, the condo complex does have a raccoon problem. Prater says if the management would have just addressed the problem instead of ignoring it, none of this would have ever been an issue.

“This all started because the owner wanted something done about the raccoon issue,” Prater said. “Had she continued the fight, we wouldn’t be here today. This would be taken care of. She dropped the ball in the middle of it and then threw me under the bus in the process.”

We tried to talk to the condo’s owner, Ginger Harper, as well as the HOA and a representative from CAMS Property Management. No one returned our calls.

Prater went to court today to fight the eviction and won, because the judge said there were no grounds for her to leave.

Comment on this Story

  • I won’t tell

    I have reports that the HOA is calling local rental agencies and warning
    them not to rent to anyone who complains about the infestation issues on their properties. Be careful.

  • Guest01

    Eviction fails so now threats?? Anyone familiar with the HOA board or the sinister manager that CAMS has on this property would not doubt this. There is something seriously wrong when actions like this and others are tolerated and yet that manager and board remain in place. Property values are in crisis there and renters will be frightened off. Everyone seems to turn a blind eye to the corruption and intimidations at this property.

  • anne

    Good for her. The best way to deal with this type of situation is to get it out so that the public can see how this HOA is handling the situation. I have friends that live in an area where there is a HOA and some of the rules are ridiculous. He spent almost $1000.00 on a new door and they told him that it was the wrong color. I can understand some rules as in garbage pickup, yard maintenance, but when it comes to telling you what you can plant in your yard or what your house color can be, there is a line drawn there.

    Unfortunately, many of the beach communities are becoming nazi like in their demands on homeowners. Just seems so wrong to me that if I wanted to go and put a million dollar house there, that they can tell me what colors to paint or what to or not to plant in my yard. There has to be some type of restrictions I understand, but they can get out of hand.

  • Michael Pineau

    I have repeatedly complained about the raccoons living in my walls. They keep me awake as they thrash around in the walls all night. In addition several building are now infested with fleas. My unit has been bombed twice, but the problem remains. I had two raccoons sitting in front of my car. I didn’t dare shoo them away to get in my car for fear of being bitten. With the recent case of rabies reported on the island I don’t believe that it would be wise to get too close. My legs are still covered with flea bites and I don’t want to add rabies to my problems. The bottom line is that living in these condos is a health risk and the home owners association make a call to the health department. Maybe a lawyer might be in my near future.

  • Guest461

    It’s great to see you legally prevailed against a group of HOA NAZI’s!!! CAMS behavior and reputation is even further exacerbated by the exposure of this case! They are pointed, spiteful, vindictive and bully condo owners around at the association meetings as no more than helpless apartment dwellers. They are nothing but trouble and turn the condo charter into a fanatical word-for-word document where nobody can win but them…except this time! I hope to see more of this come forward with more people that have the guts Susan had to stand up.
    If anyone is even remotely considering living within an HOA situation and you find that CAMS is the management entity, RUN LIKE HELL, do not even consider it!!! Search for the changing of business names as well! It will be their next move to cloak their stellar reputation. These people will do anything for a dollar.

  • Guest789

    Way to go WWAY. I hope you follow up to see how the board explains this one to the owners at the Saturday morning July 21 open board meeting at the CAMS office in Wilmington.

  • GaryBB

    It is almost impossible to buy a new home in North Carolina these days without it being ensnared by an HOA. The NC government has pretty much sold out the consumer on this one.

    The only way to escape an HOA is to build on your own land. Most people don’t know that, or understand just how grievously awful many HOAs are.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Wow! That’s the first time THAT ever happened, huh?

    The simple fact is that most HOA board members are insignificant little pustules who have never held a position of authority previously, have no formal training in leadership, and cannot logically reason through the simplest of problems. As soon as they find themselves with some power over you (which you, like a total idiot, gave them) they immediately start running rampant over your freedom and liberty simply because they CAN.

    “How dare you leef you trash can at zee curb past zee authorized hours? You drife zee “unapproved vehicle,” so don’t even tink about parking it in you own drifeway. Here are zee colors VE have approofed for YOU house. You grass is too long unt ve vill now fine you to show you vhat ve do to zee rule-breakers.”

    Every few months we read one of these HOA induced outrage stories on WWAY, yet people still blindly sign away their freedom because the idea of an HOA sounds so innocuous. Take my advice – if you’re looking to purchase or rent and you’re told there is an HOA, RUN! Why would you voluntarily accept yet another level of de facto “government,” more people telling you what to do, how to live, and how much money you must render unto them?

    Kudos to Ms. Prater for putting these pimples back in their place. The first time an HOA member even looks at her funny, here’s hoping she sues them for harassment.

  • taxpayer

    Classic! Loved it!

    “… cannot logically reason through the simplest of problems.”

    It does make one wonder how some board members of HOA’s are able to dress themselves.

  • Guest2020

    There are some people (especially in certain gated communities) who live and die by their HOA rules and some of the complaints they lodge are just ridiculous.

    I don’t care much for HOA’s in general, but I can’t complain too much about mine. Ours doesn’t regulate us to death and if a legitimate complaint is lodged they handle it very quickly and efficiently.

  • GuestX

    Good for her,so many HOA are run by ppl who preferr to use their positions to settle personal problems they have,than to solve and help the ppl who live there with actual concernes.

  • eGuest

    Good for you.You stood up for what is right and won.CAMS is the worst Property Management company there is.I say bully for Susan

  • fancygap1

    CAMS is the WORST and most unprofessional “management” company I have ever seen. The last person they had assigned to “manage” Oak Island Beach Villas was hauled off in handcuffs for embezzlement. Everybody who knows about CAMS contact your state Senators and Representatives to introduce legislation to have a regulatory agency and licensing board for these “management” companies! At present, they are totally unregulated by the state of NC and operate with impunity. There is NO agency to which you can file a complaint for violations of ethics or law!

  • CGM

    Good for her. These petty little Hitlers need to be attacked at every turn. They are nothing but people the NIMBY mentality. The name says homeowners. Not just the few in office. I hope this article goes everywhere and lets people know how these people work.

  • Guest2020

    I am glad she was able to successfully fight the eviction. These associations are bad enough, but when you have CAMS running things, they are the pits. Keep your chin up, Susan and keep fighting the good fight.

  • Guest421

    I am glad she won her case, but anybody that knowingly buys or rents where a HOA has authority, deserves whatever comes their way.

  • Guest01

    Sadly those new to HOA are not given a “buyer beware” and in NC there is no governmental oversight of HOA. They do as they please regardless of hurt to owners and those unable to pay tens of thousands to lawyers are unable to fight the corruption.

  • Ask Me

    Isn’t the owner a realtor? She could have backed down on pursuing this because it would affect her selling or renting the condos because she is aware of the varmit situation.

  • Guesttoo

    Sounds to me like the HOA should have put a little more effort into evicting the non-paying ‘coons rather that the rent paying leasee.

    I don’t think most HOA’s are *bad*. Some certainly are and I find it interesting that no one has defended the actions taken against this person.


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