Home Consumer Illegal Condo Fee Lawsuits May Offer Relief for Renters

Illegal Condo Fee Lawsuits May Offer Relief for Renters

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Condo Fee Lawsuits

Did your condominium association violate the Florida Condominium Act by charging improper transfer fees in excess of $100? For thousands of individuals, statewide, the answer could be, yes!

Class action lawsuits and claims are being filed across Florida — including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville — seeking damages and an injunction against condominium associations that have violated the Florida Condominium Act § 718.112(2)(i) by charging condominium renters and buyers improper transfer fees in the application process for condominium rentals and purchases. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0718/Sections/0718.112.html

In a class action lawsuit filed last Friday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, August Lasseter says he was billed $625 in non-refundable fees when he signed a lease for a unit at one of the two high-rise towers at Quantum on the Bay in Miami.

The charges broke down to $100 for a background check, $175 for “administrative review,” $125 for registration and $225 for move-in.  “I questioned it at the time, but it’s not like you really have a choice,” said Lasseter, 37, who runs a modeling agency. “They say you pay it or you don’t move in.”

As The Miami Herald reported in June, “Condo associations across South Florida are ripping off consumers with high application fees in violation of state law.”  While the associations are permitted to collect refundable deposits, a Herald investigation found that some renters and buyers were being charged between $125 and $625 in improper fees, a clear violation of the $100 limit set by Florida Statutes.

In addition, the Herald investigation found that nearly half of condo listings in Miami-Dade County showed application fees that exceeded $100.

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Aaron Resnick, Esq.

According to Aaron Resnick, Esq., one of the lead attorneys handling the class actions, “the Florida Condominium Act prohibits condominium associations from charging transfer fees of more than $100 per applicant in connection with the sale, mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit, including charges associated with applications, background checks, screening and move-in fees and pets.”

Resnick further notes, that “even then, such fees, which are limited to $100, must be clearly stated in a condo association’s governing documents.”

Resnick will be filing file class action lawsuits and claims in every major city in Florida for clients who were charged improper transfer fees by condominium associations over the past four years.

“We hope that our lawsuits will put an end to this practice and our clients will get back money they should never had been required to pay. Floridians work hard, and this unlawful practice must end,” Resnick stated.

Resnick advises that they will be covering all out of pocket costs for their clients and only receive legal fees from statutorily awarded fees or out of a recovery paid by the associations.

Josh Spector, Esq., co-counsel on the class actions along with Jonathan Feldman, Esq., explains, “Consumers in Florida should not be charged fees that are simply not allowed under the law. Simply put, a condominium association has no right to charge fees in violation of Florida and law, and we seek to put an end to this practice.”

For more information about the lawsuits, contact Aaron Resnick, Esq. at 305.672.7495, via email at aresnick@thefirmmiami.com, or go to www.condofeerecovery.com.