Condo Association Trend Seeking "Blanket Receiverships" In Attempt To Avert Financial Disaster Begins To Take Hold In Central Florida
- Condominiums in Central Florida are cutting back on things like tennis-court lights and are seeking help from the courts because so many condo owners are abandoning their fast-depreciating units and refusing to pay required maintenance fees. "It's a major crisis right now," said Bill Raphan, a supervisor with the state Division of Condominiums.
- Desperate condo associations are starting to seek court-appointed receivers — a trend that started in South Florida but has spread to this part of the state. It's a sign of how dire the situation is, said Donna Berger, executive director of the Community Advocacy Network, a nonprofit group representing more than 1,500 condo and homeowner associations. "The current economic downturn and foreclosure crisis have placed many associations on the brink of disaster," she said.
- Last week, state Circuit Judge Alan A. Dickey appointed Seth R. Heller and Co. to collect fees at the Villas. More than 60 percent of the 294 unit owners are delinquent, with individual tabs of as much as $11,000 for some owners of multiple units. Total unpaid fees: $720,000. If those condo owners or their tenants don't pay up soon, they will be held in contempt of court and at some point could face arrest. "Without this order, the association was really facing financial collapse," said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Stuart Zoberg, who represented the Villas board. "And all along you have these landlords laughing, because they are collecting rents, and they still siphon off as much money as they can from their renters without paying association fees."
For more, see Condos sic judges on owners for back fees.