and Video Courtesy of The
By Brenda Medina
October 18, 2017
Miami-Dade condominium owners who have complaints or
concerns about management at their condos, board elections or special
assessments will now be able to seek answers at a new office in Doral.
Florida’s government opened an office in Miami-Dade for the division of
condominiums, timeshares and mobile homes of the State’s Department of
Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). The office is located at
8240 NW 52 Terr., Suite 520, near Downtown Doral Park.
So far it has four employees but DBPR officials said
Monday that in the coming weeks three more staffers will join the team.
residents of the Greater Miami area had expressed the
need for a DBPR office dedicated to condo matters in
their area. Bureau employees in Doral said that on
Monday, the first day of operations, three people were
already waiting at the door when they opened at 8 a.m.
“As regulators and people who work in the industry it is
important for us to communicate with those who might
have questions or issues that the agency addresses,”
said Jonathan Zachem, DBPR Secretary, who was appointed
to the post by Florida Gov. Rick Scott over the summer.
“Being able to have a face in Dade county is crucial for
that to happen.”
Zachem was in Miami for Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Also
participating were Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle
and state senators René García and José Javier Rodríguez.
This is the first time that the DBPR condominium division has a bureau
in Miami-Dade although this is the county with the largest number of
condos and the highest number of residents who file complaints to the
division each year. In the past, Miami-Dade condo owners had to travel
to Broward County for the nearest office or file their complaints
In the Doral office, DBPR employees will deal with administrative
complaints that are within the division’s jurisdiction and refer reports
of alleged crimes to the police.
The initiative comes after the Florida legislature passed a
comprehensive reform of Florida condo laws in May, following the
investigative series Condo Nightmare by el Nuevo Herald and Univision
“When we reformed condo laws the idea was to have real changes and more
protection for Miami-Dade residents,” senator José Javier Rodríguez
“This office is an important step in implementing those changes and
enforcing new and existing laws.”
Condo Nightmare, launched in March 2016, is a multiple-part series that
has revealed fraud and abuse at some Miami-Dade and Broward condominium
associations. The issues occurred in part because of the lack of clarity
in the laws on what constitutes a crime and how it should be punished.
The reforms passed in Tallahassee seek to correct such offenses by
adding criminal penalties for certain actions, such as electoral fraud
in associations and manipulation of information.
Florida condo owners pay $4 a year for each unit, which is earmarked for
a trust fund. There are about 1.6 million condos units in Florida and
more are being built every day. But for years the state has diverted
that money to the general fund and uses it for non-condo issues.