Displaced condominium owners frustrated with time frame of repair work, evictions


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A new beach season is on the horizon but dozens of homeowners in Carolina Beach are still displaced from Hurricane Florence.

Condominium owners on the island’s north end are beginning to get frustrated with how their eviction was handled.

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“It’s a nightmare,” said Trudie Duart who has retired to the area. “Beginning of April they’re talking, ‘we’re going to evacuate everyone’.”

Duart retired to her home at Carolina Beach thinking it was a dream come true. Her roof was damaged during Florence. However, she says she never had to leave while those repairs were underway.

“So in December they roofed it. The city inspector came in certified my unit for occupancy. So I was fine,” said Duart.

Duart says 74 of the 78 units at the Seascape and Courtyard Condominiums were damaged out of the storm. Repair work was happening, but when the new year came, she says it all stalled.

“They stopped working and the homeowners started panicking I think,” said Duart.

That panic she says is due to the fact a majority of the units are vacation rentals. The property board of directors hired Velocity Services Group back in September to make repairs.

“It basically signed away rights for us,” said Patti Mohr. “I’ve had to refund 9 different reservations week long reservations and that’s not been a fun process.”

Mohr is one of those owners relying on rental income from her Seascape condo. Duart says she’s heard from neighbors who have lost around $12,000 due to the evictions. This all began however in February according to Mohr.

“Right at the end of February the town inspector sent a letter to Seascape saying that nobody is supposed to be in any of the buildings, nobody is supposed to be living in any of the buildings,” said Mohr. “So many of the units were missing walls, it wasn’t safe, it was a fire hazard.”

Mohr and other neighbors question the work of the contractor.

“I don’t understand how they couldn’t get the walls up because they had been paid $100,000 in November. And then another at the end of January even after they had shut down, they got a check for $250,000,” said Mohr.

Mohr says she hired out another contractor to fix her rental unit and that resulted in backlash from Velocity crews. She says it led to a town inspector coming in, but actually certifying and approving the work she privately contracted.

WWAY’s Andrew James reached out to the contractor, property board of directors as well as the property manager. The board of directors issued a statement to WWAY saying:

The Seascape HOA has and will continue to work with our management company and hired contractor to move this massive project along as quick as possible. As stated in the latest HOA update on 5/23 we are hoping to have CCs for all buildings within a 3 week time frame at which point the fences can be removed and units with COs can return or rent. It is the town building inspector who issues safety certifications. We understand the frustration of those interviewed as we also are owners and occupants at Seascape.

WWAY has reached out to the Carolina Beach town inspector for more information regarding the evacuation notice.