FLORIDA – Condo rip-off: Tenant sues association over high fees

CCFJ.NET: Condo rip-off: Tenant sues association over high fees

Article Courtesy of The Miami Herald
By Nicholas Nehamas
Published November26 , 2016

A tenant is suing a Miami condo association over its excessive application and move-in fees,
saying they violate state law.

The lawsuit is the first of several class-actions that attorneys say they plan to file against condo
associations over high fees. In June, the Miami Herald reported that condo boards routinely
charge consumers hundreds of dollars more than state law allows. Florida statute caps the
amount condos can charge to apply and move in at $100 per person.

In a suit filed 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 last year. 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.”

Attorneys for the board, which was highlighted in the Herald’s initial story as the condo with the highest fees, said they had not yet been served and couldn’t comment.

The Florida Condominium Actprohibits condo associations from charging fees of more than $100 per applicant “in connection with the sale, mortgage, lease, sublease, or other transfer of a unit.” (Married couples are considered one person and children are exempt.)

Such fees are known as “transfer” fees because they concern the transfer of a unit from one owner or tenant to another.

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