Condo owners in South Florida are selling their homes due to high special assessments

Many South Florida condo owners are facing financial hardship as they are hit with six-figure special assessments after the 2021 Surfside condo collapse led to stricter safety standards and more frequent inspections. For example, the Cricket Club condominium tower recently proposed a special assessment of nearly $30 million for repairs, causing financial pressure for condo owners such as Maria Tkachun and Ivan Rodriguez. Many owners find it difficult to pay for these unexpected costs and instead choose to sell their condos, leading to a significant increase in the number of condos for sale in South Florida.

The increase in the number of condos for sale in South Florida has been attributed to rising insurance costs and repair costs for older buildings that fail inspections. Real estate agents in the region have noticed an increased number of condos on the market and a rise in association fees, deterring potential buyers who fear they will be hit with additional assessments. As a result, sellers like Ivan Rodriguez have to significantly lower their asking prices in order to sell their properties. The situation has caused uncertainty and nervousness among potential buyers, who are wary of the possibility of encountering unexpected costs.

Many older condominium buildings in Florida have historically forgone reserve financing, but new laws now require them to increase costs to adequately cover maintenance and repairs. It is important that potential buyers carefully consider the financial stability of the HOA’s reserve fund before purchasing a property to avoid being blindsided by a large special assessment. In cases where owners are faced with high fees, they can attempt to file a complaint with their board, although success in reducing the assessment amount is not guaranteed.

The special assessments at the Cricket Club have caused tension among residents, with some able to pay the costs and move on, while others were forced to sell due to financial constraints. The situation has prompted some residents to gather documentation in an attempt to prove that fees should be lower. The uncertainty and financial pressures facing condo owners in South Florida highlight the challenges of homeownership in a high-risk area that is prone to unforeseen expenses. The increase in the number of condos for sale, along with rising association fees and special assessments, is creating a challenging real estate market for both buyers and sellers in the region.