Featured News 2014 Florida Condominium Law Causes Home Loss

Florida Condominium Law Causes Home Loss

In 2007, Florida state lawmakers amended the Florida Condominium Act to allow a condominium pact to be dissolved if 80% of all owners in the pact agreed to the deal. Before this change, 100% of owners needed to be in agreement. As a result of this change in law, owners of condos across the state are at risk of losing their homes to investment groups.

Investment Groups Take Advantage of Foreclosures

With the economic crash of 2008, many properties are either vacant or being foreclosed. These homes and condominiums are purchased by investment groups at a low price.

The setup of condominiums is what forces owners to sell. In these complexes, all buildings and land are commonly owned, with each individual unit being purchased by the individual. For example, a person may own a two-bedroom dwelling in a building with 10 dwellings. Each unit is individually purchased and the owners have full ownership rights to that apartment. The 11 owners of the apartments in the building may pay dues that go to upkeep of the lawn and outside of the building since this communal space belongs to all 11 of the units.

Because of this community space, investment groups can begin to edge out other homeowners in the shared building. As they purchase more and more units, they can gain more influence and control in the governing board of the condominium complex. When investment groups obtain 80% ownership in the complex, they are able to dissolve the condominium.

Once it is dissolved, the investment group forces out homeowners, paying significantly less than what the homeowner originally paid. They can do this since the group has majority ownership of communally owned buildings and common spaces. Homeowners whose mortgage was larger than the small price offered for the home can be left both without a home and deep in debt

Those living in condominium complexes have legal rights. If you begin noticing that many homes in a complex are being purchased by a real estate investment group, it is in a homeowner's best interests to obtain legal counsel before being forced out of their home.

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