JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Several local families have been living without power for weeks now.
Action News has learned they’re not only in the dark, they’re also facing fines for an outage they didn’t cause.
Nicole Cao's household duties are taking a lot longer than usual these days. There's no hot water, so she boils a pot before every bath. “Then my baby can take a bath and everyday it’s like that.”
The lights in her child’s bedroom are out and so is the air conditioning. She’s forced to take her family’s dirty clothes to a laundromat.
"I wash these clothes for six people in a week, not even a week, six to seven buckets of clothes cost me $80 to wash it,” said Cao.
Cao's family is one of three on the block living without power.
"This is the third time it has failed and each time it has failed, a pair of houses is affected by it,” said Terry Taylor.
Taylor is leading the charge to get power restored. He's fighting his homeowners association to make a fix. After days of being left in the dark, JEA came to investigate as our cameras were rolling.
Taylor says the contract states homeowners are not responsible for the power outage.
Action News Ryan Smith contacted the management company, Southern Oaks, who stated “The homeowners association referred the matter to an attorney, Dale Westling, to provide a legal opinion that the homeowner is responsible for the repair. We did research this with JEA and municipal code compliance and code compliance is issuing three citations to the homeowners requesting they initiate a repair within 48 hours."
Now, after nearly two weeks without power and paying hundreds in HOA fees every year, these families may be stuck paying for a costly repair themselves.
“We want our power back on and then I would like to inform everyone in the community that they could face the same situation we are and be without power,” said Taylor.
The homeowners tell Action News they are considering hiring their own attorney to review the contract before paying for repairs themselves.
Southern Oaks is seeking a second opinion on the contract from another attorney.