Condo Converter Accused Of Unloading Sub-Par Structure On Unwitting Apartment Buyers As Rampant Unit Foreclosures Now Threaten To Sink 96-Unit Complex
In Largo, Florida, The St. Petersburg Times reports:
- To most people, Brittany's Place in Largo looked no different than the hundreds of other blandly attractive apartment complexes built in Florida in the 1970s and '80s. To four Miami men, it looked like gold.
- As the condominium boom neared a frenzied peak in 2005, they hit on a plan: buy the 96-unit complex, spend a few thousand dollars per apartment on showy upgrades, then sell the units as condos at a tidy profit. It seemed like a fine idea, one that had enraptured developers all over the state.
- Now, five years later, buyers like Peggy Bodine have discovered just how wrong a condo conversion can go. So many units are in foreclosure that Bodine is one of the few owners still paying maintenance fees. There is no money in the budget to repaint the outside walls, to repair the cracked pool deck, to pay the insurance premium due this month. The clubhouse has been stripped of most of its furnishings.
- Worst of all, Bodine says, "they dumped the association on us.'' On April 30, the developers washed their hands of Brittany's Place. They transferred control to a condo association board made up of owners like Bodine, a math teacher who acknowledges she knows little about condo law or the duties of a condo board.
For more, see Rampant foreclosures leave condo owners stuck with fees.