Condo Owners At Risk of Forced Sales

brokenIf you’re a condo owner in the state of Florida, a law change that happened in 2007 could allow you to end up homeless.

The law is not very well known. I’m a real estate broker and I wasn’t even aware of this until I read about it this morning. And because of the negative impact it can have on condo owners, I felt compelled to write about it.

Apparently, prior to the change, in order to dissolve a condominium association you needed 100% vote. That meant that every single unit owner had to agree to the dissolution.

But in 2007 all that changed. The law now states that only 80% of the unit owners have to agree. And while “majority rules” makes sense most of the time, this is one time that it does not.

This new law leaves room for investors who purchase 80% of a condominium to dissolve it and force the 20% to sell their units, at deeply discounted prices. I’m thinking elderly people who have owned units, and are living in them, being forced to sell, end up homeless, and not even have enough money from the sale to pay off the mortgage. Young families can end up on the street in the same way. Imagine a young family, struggling to make ends meet forced to sell their condo and walk away owing the bank money because the sale did not cover the amount owed.

This is wrong. There are good reasons to dissolve an association; most relating to property damaged beyond repair by a storm. But allowing investors to do this simply because of a loophole leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

This law needs to change…and soon. Contact your legislators and let them know your thoughts.

Read more about this here.

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