Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sen. Sobel's "Distressed Condominium Relief Act" Sails Through First Committee Stop

State Senator Eleanor Sobel’s (D-Hollywood) legislation to help stimulate the depressed condominium market cleared its first committee stop earlier this week, unanimously passing the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries.

“Florida’s housing market has obviously been one of the hardest hit in the country by this recession” said Sen. Sobel. “My bill makes it easier for long-term investors to buy units, providing relief to the condo market and much-needed fees for battered condo associations.”

The Distressed Condominium Relief Act (Senate Bill 840) eases some of the obligations placed upon a person who wants to acquire seven or more units, called a “bulk buyer.” Currently someone who wants to purchase in that amount is considered a “developer” and can be held liable for problems caused by the original builder, including construction defects. Redefining the potential liabilities of a bulk buyer makes bulk purchases more attractive to potential owners—owners who are willing and able to help shoulder the burden of rising fees and assessments that threaten to overwhelm current owners.

The bill is sponsored in the House by State Representative Julio Robaina (R-South Miami) and has already unanimously passed two committees in that chamber. The next stop for SB 840 is the Senate Committee on Community Affairs.

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