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Condo Association Presidents Say FL Seniors May Face Rising Fees and Trouble Selling Due To New Law

Condo Association Presidents Say FL Seniors May Face Rising Fees and Trouble Selling Due To New Law

A new condominium safety law that will affect Florida condominiums was crafted following the Surfside, Florida condo collapse in 2021. A couple of provisions of the law require inspections of some condominiums as well as monetary reserves for future necessary repairs, according to Bay News 9 reporting in September 2023.

Both of these requirements mean, that in some cases, condominium associations may need significantly more funds in a relatively short amount of time, according to Florida-based Icard Merrill Attorneys and Counselors.

As a result, some condo associations have had to raise fees or implement special assessments in anticipation of needing those funds.

Unfortunately, Florida’s senior citizens, who are often on fixed incomes are being affected by this situation, since condos can be a popular choice for Florida retirees who would like maintenance taken care of for them.

Some Condo Association officers have warned that large increases in assessments may make condos difficult to afford and to sell.

The Potential For A Huge Increase In Tarpon Springs And The Potential Difficulty To Sell: Dan Severson is a retiree who currently serves as the president of the Dolphin Condominium Association in Tarpon Springs, according to ABC Action News reporting in late September of 2023.

Severson told the station that one of the quotes for insurance came in at around $600,000 but was “full of exclusions” and high deductibles.

He said that that type of increase could significantly raise the funds necessary to continue living in the condos, telling the station, in part:

“It could quadruple the cost of living in this condo. And that would be devastating to a lot of fixed-income senior people.”

Severson admitted that in the worst-case scenario, monthly dues could go from $500 per month to $3,000, which would make the units potentially “impossible to sell.”

Difficulty in St. Petersburg With A Large Special Assessment In The Thousands: Scott Rasbach is also a retiree who lives in St. Pete’s Paradise Shores and is also the association president. According to The Tampa Bay Times reporting in late 2022, Rasbach’s condo fees were $430 in 2019, but he pays $600 per month in 2023.

Rasbach told the publication that because the condo needs a new roof, residents may need to pay a special assessment of around $8,000. He explained:

“I literally have a woman that lives in the building across from me who’s 80 some years old, who went and got a job working in some sort of manufacturing plant in order to make the money to pay for the special assessment.”

The author is not affiliated with any condominiums or law firms.

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