New Condo Bills Could Help Associations Clean Up

Article and Video Courtesy of CBS4, Miami

By David Sutta

Published April 24, 2010

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DORAL (CBS4)  For years, Oscar Garcia has struggled to keep his Doral Condo Association at Doral Gardens II alive. With more than half the community in foreclosure or delinquent in dues, he's had to get creative.

"It would nice to get the sprinklers going," he admitted to CBS4's David Sutta. "Sometimes it's difficult to pay the water bill or even the insurance is very expensive."

But relief could be on the way for him and other struggling condo owners throughout South Florida. A new condo law possibly coming out of Tallahassee is packed with new rules that will impact associations, tenants and landlords, like barring owners from using their pool if they don't pay their association dues.

Two bills in Tallahassee would allow condo associations several new possibilities:

  • They could collect 12 months of past dues when a bank takes over a foreclosure. Currently, they get just six months.
  • Associations could prohibit delinquent owners from using common areas like pools, gyms and tennis courts.
  • Associations would be able to collect rent from deadbeat owners.

"When an owner is 90 days past due on their maintenance obligations, then the tenant will be demanded to pay the rent to the association," Association Law Group attorney Ben Soloman explained. "And if they don't pay the association will have an eviction right against the tenant."

Solomon said that these changes could clean up a condo's finances. "Legislation like this will finally start addressing these problems and it's going to take that to get associations revived and back on their feet again."

After years of failed attempts, it remains to be seen if the measure will pass.


"I'll tell you what the word on the street is that we got a good chance this year," Wendy Murray told Sutta. Murray is part of the Community Advocacy Network, a group of associations pushing for this to pass.

"We came together and we went out in force in different counties. We talked to commissioners. Got city and county resolutions," Murray said.

They then took the resolutions to the Governor, who has given them his support.

Oscar Garcia is hopeful. "I'm excited for the condo association because there are a lot of good honest

hard working homeowners who live here that deserve the full level of services that they pay for."

Before the associations can collect, the House still needs to vote and the Governor would have to sign off on it. If that all happens, the law will go into effect this summer.