Karen Arbutine & Associates

Proposed Bill Offers Relief for Condo Market

Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 12:25PM

With the hundreds of empty condo units in the downtown Orlando area, a new bill proposed by Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami, and Sen. Elanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, may offer some relief to the distressed condo market in the state of Florida.  This proposed bill will make it easier for investors to buy condos in bulk with having to worry about assuming certain responsibilities in place under the current law.  Currently, the Florida law states that owners of seven or more units in a single condo complex assume the responsibilities of the developers; i.e., condo associations and other owners can make them party to lawsuits involving defects and issues with common areas.   This bill would exclude residential bulk condo buyers from that liability.

This bill is a positive note for both the buyers and the condo owners who have been paying for fees owed on the distressed units by themselves.   The association fees will be distributed more evenly with more condo owners to help pay them.  

In 2009 there were 650 new condo and condo conversion units sold in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.  In 2008 the number of sales was significantly higher with 982 sales.

Even though this bill proposes a glimmer of hope to the condo real estate market, the downside to the bill is whether bulk buyers can get the financing to purchase unless they are paying cash.

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