Miami Condo Association Sued Over Excessive Fees
According to reporting from the Miami Herald, a local tenant is leading a class action lawsuit against a Miami condo association for allegedly excessive application and move-in fees. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in a Dade County court, the fees are in direct violation of Florida law. More specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the fees violate the terms of the Florida Condominium Act.
Florida Law Caps Condo Transfer Fees
The Florida statute on condo fees puts a strict cap on per person transfer fees. Property management companies may only charge a maximum of $100 per person per move-in. This applies to any situation in which the occupancy of a unit is transferred to another party, including the sale,
lease or sublease. The Miami Herald reports that several more similar lawsuits are expected to be filed against other condo associations and property management companies around the state in the near future. The plaintiffs’ attorneys claimed that companies are violating this law in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Orlando and everywhere in between. Though, the attorneys did note that the worst violations have been occurring in South Florida. Particularly, the city of Miami was highlighted as a hotspot for violations. For some reference on the frequency of violations, the Miami Herald conducted a comprehensive analysis of condo properties in Broward County and concluded that nearly 22 percent of property management companies were charging unlawfully excessive fees.
Property Management Companies Must Comply With State Regulations
Condo associations and other property management companies need to be proactive and ensure that they are always in compliance with all relevant Florida laws. Unfortunately, in many cases the $100 cap on transfer fees is far too restrictive to cover the full costs of provided condo transfer-related services. For example, for international buyers, a background check alone may cost as much $150. There is good reason to believe that this cap on transfer fees needs to be updated to fit the current economic climate. However, property management companies need to remain in full compliance of the law as it currently exists. The failure to do so can potentially lead to major legal liability. In the long run, violating state statutes will likely cost your company a lot of money. Of course, property management companies have every right to recoup full and fair fees for their services. These fees simply must be properly structured. This is why it is so important for landlords and property management companies to work with a qualified landlord-tenant lawyers. Your lawyer will be able to help your company ensure compliance with all Florida regulations.
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At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our landlord-tenant litigation attorneys have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of landlords throughout the state of Florida. If you are a landlord involved in a legal dispute with a commercial or residential tenant, we are ready to help. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm today to request your free case evaluation. We proudly represent landlords throughout southern Florida, including in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables.