A homeowner who lost a house in the fire in San Antonio, Texas, in 2013 is fighting to recoup nearly $6,000 in lost property taxes.
In the latest lawsuit, the San Antonio-based San Antonio Condominium Association (SACCA) claims that after the fire, the owner of the property lost the entire value of his condominium complex and the San Antonians condo building.
The lawsuit alleges that when it became clear the condo building would be destroyed in the same fire, San Antonio residents were forced to vacate the building and take a mortgage on it.
The San Antonio condominium association says the condo complex was not insured, and the owners did not pay taxes on the property until years later.SACCA says the building has since been sold and has not been rebuilt.
It is suing the San Antonio Condominium Board for “a violation of the terms of its lease, failure to perform due diligence, and breach of contract.”
The San Antonio Fire Marshal’s Office declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The condominium board is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, and it has not responded to requests for comment.
San Antonio-area real estate broker Mike Smith says the San Antoneses condominium building had been under a series of insurance claims since the fire.
He said that because the insurance companies had not yet paid the money owed, San Antonees residents have to take out mortgage loans to pay the mortgage payments on the building.
He said San Antonio was already paying $500,000 a year in insurance on the condo buildings because of the fire and that many other condo buildings in the area are similarly situated.
He estimates that the SanAntoneses condo building owes about $1 million in insurance payments to the same insurance companies.SACCAs lawsuit claims that the condominium owners failed to file their taxes on time, but that the homeowner still had to pay property taxes on a portion of the $6.6 million that was lost due to the fire when the homeowner filed his 2014 taxes.SAACA is seeking a judgment for the homeowners, and a judge will hear the case on January 31.
Smith says that the condo owners had to sell their condominium because of their inability to pay taxes.
He says the condo owners were also unable to maintain the building because of lack of maintenance.
He noted that the building is currently undergoing major reconstruction and he says the owners are looking for new owners.SAACA says that since the owners failed in their duty to pay their taxes, it has lost money on the purchase of the condos building.SACA said that the property was “at risk of being destroyed in a fire” and that “the condominium is at risk of becoming uninhabitable as a result of the loss of the entire property.”SAACA has also sued several homeowners in San Diego and San Francisco for failing to pay back taxes on their homes in those cities, and has filed several lawsuits to recover taxes.
The lawsuits allege that the owners have been in arrears with the homeowners.SAOCA is asking for the property to be revalued by a real estate appraisal firm and for the condoaners to pay all property taxes and insurance charges.
The San Antónians condo complex is located at 821 E. San Antonio St. in San Antonio, Texas.