Miami Legal Tips Blog

Florida Law Could Force Condo Owners to Sell

Home OwnershipPart of the American dream is the chance to own and live in your own home. It’s something that many people work for over the course of many years. However, a Florida law could force some of those people to sell the homes they’ve worked so hard to obtain.

A Tampa Bay Times report profiles some of the residents of a local condominium complex known as Grand Oasis, which is in the unincorporated community of Carrollwood. One person is described as a young nurse who hails from Bulgaria; her condo in Grande Oasis has served as something of a home-away-from-home, as she doesn’t have relatives in the U.S. On the other end of the chronological age scale, there’s an older couple that is well past the retirement age. They’d like to continue to call Grand Oasis home for as long as they live.

But they, like other Grand Oasis residents, may no longer have that option. Just as the young Bulgarian may no longer have her “second” home.

Recently, says the Times, an investment company that has ties to a billionaire from Texas has been purchasing units at Grand Oasis. The firm owns almost 800 of the 1,000 units that comprise Grand Oasis. Which means that, according to Florida statutes, the company could compel the rest of the complex’s residents to sell their homes – even if doing so causes those condo owners to lose money as a result.

And why, exactly? Reportedly so that Grand Oasis could then be changed over into an apartment complex, where renters would stand to have less security than owners.

The Bulgarian nurse points out to the Times that she arrived in the U.S. over a decade ago with nothing but a packed bag, and worked diligently “to achieve the American dream.” She says that she believed that she would always be able to hang on to her home, despite what life might throw her way. And even though she’s invested all that she has in her home, she notes, “…I realize I’m going to be kicked out and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

But there should be. Otherwise, the American dream becomes little more than a nightmare.

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