Dover Neighborhood in Rent Battle With Owner - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Neighborhood in Rent Battle With Owner

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The Wild Meadows neighborhood in a legal battle about rent prices with its own. (Photo: WBOC Ryan Stanley) The Wild Meadows neighborhood in a legal battle about rent prices with its own. (Photo: WBOC Ryan Stanley)

DOVER, Del.- Wild Meadows neighborhood is in a legal battle with its owner, December Corporation. 

The development is a leased land property and sits just east of Route 13 near the Dover International Speedway. 

Residents say they own their houses and lease the land from December Corporation.

Fred Neil lives in the development and says it is about money the homeowners should not have to pay. 

The debate is about rent prices, and it began with a disagreement about $102,000 in drainage repairs. Neil says the development was built on wetlands and there have been problems with the way the developer installed drainage systems. 

"The problem is if they didn't have the drains in place [originally], they couldn't build a single house here. But they built the houses...You have to pay for [those drainage] repairs forever," he says. 

Residents told WBOC the rent was permanently raised about $40 per month. According to Neil, once the drainage repair costs are recouped the rent will not go back down.

Neil says their homeowner's association took a case to arbitration and won. The developer appealed, and their case currently sits in superior court with a decision expected to be handed down in May, according to Neil. 

Joan Santelli also lives in the development and says it is especially difficult for seniors like herself on a fixed income. She says the main problem is that the homeowners do not own the land on which they reside.

"If I have to repair my house, I'm not going to send you a bill for it. If you have to repair [your] land, you don't send me a bill for it either. This is the agreement I had with you," she says. 

WBOC reached out to the December Corporation today for their side. Our calls and requests went unreturned. 

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