Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Panama City Beach deals with Concord and AUM's ripping off residents!


Update:  The Concord Mgmt Reg Mgr has been instructed by the BOD to have Concord pay the bills directly, not via AUM.

Although NCC is not mentioned in the actual article you get a good idea of what the paper and the City think about how AUM (still our utility management firm) and Concord Management operate.  Take a look at the comment section and remember that there is a BOD meeting with this as one of the topics on Sat. Nov 10, 10 a.m., at the Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 219 N. Alf Coleman Rd. in PCB.
 
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PCB closes loophole on water charges
Article at: http://tinyurl.com/9okjm69

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 19:34 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The Panama City Beach Council has closed a loophole on an ordinance that allowed apartment complexes to overcharge residents for city utility services.

A city investigation into individual meter readings at Stone Harbor Apartments on Alf Coleman Road showed some residents were billed $9 to $10 per 1,000 gallons of water used, nearly three times the city rate.

The ordinance, which prevents the resale of city water and sewer services by any third party, was amended at the Oct. 11 council meeting, adding language to prohibit landlords from taking utility cost from vacant units or the common areas and distributing it among tenants.

“They weren’t breaking the law, but they weren’t following what we intended the ordinance to do,” Utilities Director Al Shortt said of the complex, which outsources billing to American Utility Management (AUM). Residents “were essentially paying for stuff that should have been absorbed by the community.”
Shortt said the complex, a Concord Management property, was allowing residents to pick up the bills for vacant units and also for the irrigation water in common areas.

The amended ordinance prohibits landlords from charging any more than the city would have charged the tenant, with the exception of an administrative charge not to exceed $3.

“Having the other tenants pay what is the landlord’s obligation, the landlord is making money,” said City Attorney Doug Sale, who provided clarification at the council meeting.

The amendment to the ordinance was prompted after Councilwoman Josie Strange received complaints from residents at Stone Harbor regarding utility bills.

Although the complex runs off one master meter, AUM sets up individual meters at each unit, allowing city officials to determine that many residents were being overcharged for their usage amount.

The city sent a notice of violation and cease-and-desist order to the complex in August, requesting documentation of the actual cost of operating the utility and also information from the third-party bill processor.

Shortt said Stone Harbor residents should see a reduction in their utility bills during the next billing cycle.

“They’re well aware of what they need to do,” Shortt said of AUM. “Now that the ordinance is in place, it should take care of those issues.”
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   Comments Section: 
Waterstone Suckz · (Bill Harris, Nautilus Cove Condo)
Actually Nick, Nautilus Cove has an interesting history with AUM. We also had high bills and in my own case I found in comparing my bills over a 15 month period that the bandits at AUM had charged me for extra usage for 7 months when I was not in residence in my condo.

That is really creative bookkeeping, there were other complaints at our 168 unit condo and Concord Management made a big deal of firing AUM and going from individual billing to just an increase in condo dues to cover water and sewer.

You would think all was well since AUM was gone wouldn't you? Well 3 weeks ago I found out that for the last 4 years we were using them in secret. Right, they were fired for providing bogus bills to Owners but they really were NOT fired.

Concord Management will have some explaining to do at the Nov 10th BOD meeting. AUM is without question going this time and Concord's management contract is up next year, they won't be far behind. We don't need theives like AUM or a third rate management firm like Concord! For details see: http://nautiluscondosrules.blogspot.com/.

The Board has asked Concord to provide info as to what fee we have been paying them in secret for the last 4 years, so far Concord has managed to not provide the info to us.

Bill Harris #708 at Nautilus Cove.Posting as Waterstone Suckz
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Nick Long
  • Finally, someone addressed this. Glad that Stone Harbor/Nautilus Cove is going to be paying their own bills now.


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    Misc FYI: 27 pages of letters and email regarding the City taking action against AUM and Concord are at the bottom of the below referenced site, they would take up to much room to put them on top. The names and email addresses of those who complained about Stone Harbor are redacted. Direct link: http://aumsucks.blogspot.com/2012/10/posted-by-picasa.html