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FL residents win court case against high condo association fees

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Real Estate Transactions |

Condominium associations are commonplace in Florida. These associations can offer residents the comfort of community amenities and take care of many landscaping needs … for a price. Condominium association fees range depending on the community. Lawmakers have passed laws to help guide these associations and better ensure residents are protected from the potential for unscrupulous condo associations.

One example: transfer fees.

Condominium association charges fees more than legal limits

The Florida Condominium Act states associations can charge up to “$100 per person or married couple in connection with the sale, lease or transfer of a condo unit.” A couple filed a lawsuit against a Florida condo association, stating it charged more than the $100 limit when they applied to lease a unit.

According to the couple, the association charged a $150 screening and application fee upon move in. The association would also charge an additional $200 move-in/move-out fee. This translated to $350 in transfer fees — $250 over the limit set by the Florida Condominium Act. The condominium association ultimately agreed to settle the claim and agreed to up almost $350,000 to those impacted by the illegal fees.

Those looking to move-in to a condo can protect their interests

A recent report finds this case is not a lone wolf. Associations throughout the state are charging fees more than the $100 limit. In Miami-Dade counties alone, 4 in 10 condos listed for sale or rent charged fees over the legal limit.

Those looking to buy, rent or lease a condo have options. An attorney experienced in Florida real estate matters can review the contract and discuss the terms. This can better ensure the terms are within the bounds of the law.