Q&A: Could I Be Forced to Sell My Unit?

Q. A real estate investment company is buying up our units one by one. We are a small condo building. Can they force me to sell? What will happen if I hold out? Where do I get the proper information before spending money?

                             —Don’t Wanna Leave

A. “The Distressed Condominium Relief Act enacted in 2010 included the ability to terminate a condominium for ‘economic waste,’” says attorney Russell M. Robbins of Basulto Robbins & Associates LLP, which has offices in Miami Lakes and Coral Springs. “Developers lauded it as an opportunity to terminate aging condominiums to make way for more grandiose designs.  However, the law does not apply retroactively; thus if your condominium requires unanimous approval to terminate the association, it will require your approval, along with all of the other owners, to terminate the condominium.  However, it is possible that this investment company could gain control of the board, drastically increase maintenance and/or reserves, and effectively force everyone to sell their unit by increasing the carrying cost of the unit. Once they control a majority of the units, they could effectively out-vote the other unit owners and control the composition of the board.”

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