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CindiWass

trying to understand what's best to do with condo

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We are residents of Pennsylvania, but own property in Florida.  Specifically, a condo. I want to leave the condo to a charitable organization, so they can either use it as a rental, or sell it. But I am running into problems, because the condo association's lawyer says there is no way I can leave it to a corporation. My lawyer in Florida says that's not true. Any thoughts on this, because I'm confused as to what to do now. PLUS, I am learning that the condo ass'n has first rights as to whether to purchase the property after we die, even if we leave it to a person. OR if we sell it while we're alive. I think the condo ass'n can turn down a potential buyer, but what if there is no good reason for them to turn it down?

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Why ask anonymous strangers about your condo association's rights and powers.  There are a condo conditions and restrictions ,as well as bylaws, that are all potentially relevant and of which we are totally ignorant.  Anything we say would be a total guess.  If you have an attorney in Florida ask him or her.

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I did ask my attorney here in Florida. She said what the attorney for condo ass'n told me may not be true. I guess I'll have to ask for a copy of the condo ass'n rules. I wasn't thinking about this when we inherited the condo some years ago. That's why I'm asking here, maybe somebody knows the in's and out's of selling a condo or bequeathing it to a person. I was told by ass'n president the condo association has first dibs on the property.

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46 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

We are residents of Pennsylvania, but own property in Florida.  Specifically, a condo. I want to leave the condo to a charitable organization

 

First you say that "we" (plural) own a condo, and then you tell us what "I" (singular) want.  Who are "we," and do the other owners of the condo want the same thing you want?

 

 

48 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

the condo association's lawyer says there is no way I can leave it to a corporation.

 

Because...???

 

 

49 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

My lawyer in Florida says that's not true.

 

Because...???

 

 

49 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

Any thoughts on this, because I'm confused as to what to do now.

 

Sure.  First of all, if you are a joint owner of the condo, you can only leave your interest and cannot leave the whole thing.  Second, if you jointly own the condo as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, you have to destroy the joint tenancy in order to be able to leave it anyone.  You'll want to speak with a Florida real estate attorney about how to do that.  Third, the condo association isn't going to care to whom you leave your interest unless the CC&Rs and condo association by-laws impose some sort of restrictions on who may own the condo.  We obviously have no way of knowing what those documents say.  This is why it's important to know why the condo association's lawyer said what he/she said.

 

Of course, you can make your will and say that your interest in the condo goes to whomever you want, and after you die, this won't be your problem anymore.  However, even if you do leave your interest in the condo to a charity, I would imagine that most charities won't have any interest in jointly owning a condo with X-number of living persons (or those persons' heirs).

 

 

56 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

I am learning that the condo ass'n has first rights as to whether to purchase the property after we die, even if we leave it to a person. OR if we sell it while we're alive.

 

Well...that's obviously rather important and makes it such that anyone from whom you seek advice about this absolutely must read whatever document contains this right of first refusal.

 

 

57 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

I think the condo ass'n can turn down a potential buyer, but what if there is no good reason for them to turn it down?

 

What if?  You need to make sure your lawyer has and has read the relevant documents.  If your lawyer tells you X despite the condo association's lawyer telling you Y, then you get to decide whom to believe.  If your lawyer told you what you told us that he/she told you without having read the relevant documents, then it's meaningless.

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My lawyer was speaking from experience, since she does a lot of work with this particular association. "We" means me and my husband. "We" are together on this, and want to make the right decision for us in reference to the charity. We have no children. We have no siblings that need it and we (my husband and I) do not want to leave it to a relative.

We are together on this, we are joint owners. That means if I die before he does, he obviously can do whatever he wants with the condo and we will discuss this. I am sure we are of the same mind. If he dies before I do, I probably will want to sell it and move into an assisted living community if possible. And put the money in the bank and then give it to the charitable organization.

But the real question is concerning the charitable organization and how to give it to that organization if we do not sell it.

I will be asking for the condo rules next week so I can read them. as I said we inherited the condo a while back and at that time we were not focused on making a will.

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2 hours ago, CindiWass said:

I will be asking for the condo rules next week so I can read them.

 

Then put this whole thing on hold until you get those documents and get a copy to your lawyer.

 

Your lawyer's "experience" means nothing without a thorough study of the documents.

 

 

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Where there is a conflict between the condo ass'n rules and the statute the statute wins.

 

However, the ass'n rules can require anything that is not prohibited by statute.

 

Using your situation as an example, if the condo rules say the ass'n has first right of refusal in the sale of your condo and the statute doesn't say that the ass'n can't have first right of refusal, then it's legal for the condo ass'n to have first right of refusal.

 

There are several resources in the following search results that mention Florida condo first right of refusal.

 

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=florida+condo+cc%26rs+first+right+of+refusal&t=h_&ia=web

 

Might help you understand once you get the rules.

 

The rules, by the way, are called CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), which may also be accompanied by a set of By-Laws.

 

The Florida Condominium Act is at:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0718/0718ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2018&Title=->2018->Chapter 718

 

 

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OK, thanks again. So if we leave my condo, let's say, to my husband's brother, the condo can refuse that? Even if he financially qualifies? I mean it sounds ridiculous for them to do so, but apparently, if I understand this correctly, the ass'n can do that. OK, so let's say they refuse to grant it to my brother-in-law (when we're dead). Then what happens? Just so I understand. Because at this point, I'm thinking to sell it and go into an independent living place for old folks that serves meals, etc. does the laundry. I mean this is getting sadly very complicated. And I want to make out a will or something so that it doesn't go up in the air, because we have no heirs that need it. I don't enjoy living here so much so that I want to give the ass'n the condo when we die.

So let's say the ass'n buys the condo, after refusing to give it to the desired heir. Who do they pay? The executor of the estate?

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You really have to stop asking "what if" questions. There is no way anybody can answer them without knowing the terms and conditions of the condo documents.

 

And if those terms and conditions make things too complicated then just sell the condo and live elsewhere, perhaps buy a small home where there is no association controlling your lives and you can do whatever you want with your property.

 

 

 

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I wish I could solve the problem, yes I will have to look at the condo rules, stipulations, by-laws, etc. Meantime, it becomes a problem in my mind because I'd still like to know what happens IF the ass'n buys the condo. Why would they pay a good price for it? I am going to ask when is the last time that happened. Maybe I'll ask. I am seriously thinking of moving into one of the retirement homes. But then I have my trepidation about that too. So I'll see. And -- maybe they'll decide to undercut any bids while I have while I'm alive, I guess under the rules that's possible, too.

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On 3/22/2019 at 8:40 PM, CindiWass said:

if Florida law is different than condo ass'n rules, who wins?

 

This is probably a moot point.  The law isn't likely to impose any restrictions on your transfer of your interest in the property.  The CC&Rs/by-laws might.  Nevertheless, the answer to your question is that it depends on the specifics of the provision of the association rules and the specific law in question.

 

 

On 3/23/2019 at 9:11 PM, CindiWass said:

So if we leave my condo, let's say, to my husband's brother, the condo can refuse that?

 

Depends on the particulars of the rules and any applicable state law.

 

 

On 3/23/2019 at 9:19 PM, adjusterjack said:

You really have to stop asking "what if" questions.

 

Agree.  No one here can solve your problem.  As I told you last week, you need to have a lawyer review the CC&Rs and by-laws.

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I wonder what the manager of the condo association meant when she explained that if I leave the condo to a friend, the condo does not have to accept that, they (the condo ass'n) can buy it at market value. Can someone explain to me what this means, because I am going to visit the lawyer soon in PA, but I found out that my lawyer here in FL (who is a real estate attorney of all things), did not know the rules of the condo ass'n here even though she's done work for them she still didn't know that we could not leave it to a charity. If the condo ass'n buys it at market value, I have two questions. How would that be according to the will if we leave it to a friend? Would he get the amount the condo ass'n buys it for? I am seeing the PA lawyer soon because you never know when we can die and I don't want this up in the air, I know I have to see a FL attorney when we move down here for good. Soooo many questions...

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41 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

I wonder what the manager of the condo association meant when she explained that if I leave the condo to a friend, the condo does not have to accept that, they (the condo ass'n) can buy it at market value. Can someone explain to me what this means

 

We don't have to explain it to you. You can read it in your CC&Rs which is something you should have already done. If you don't understand them have the lawyer read them because we can't read them from here.

 

42 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

I found out that my lawyer here in FL (who is a real estate attorney of all things), did not know the rules of the condo ass'n here even though she's done work for them she still didn't know that we could not leave it to a charity.

 

That's ridiculous. All that lawyer has to do is read the CC&Rs to figure it out. If that lawyer is not capable of understanding CC&Rs, get another lawyer.

 

 

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I went down to office to read the big document about condo bylaws or whatever. I could not understand it, and it was immense. So one of the governors asked me what am I looking for (they wanted $60 for a copy, said I received it when I first got the condo -- I don't remember getting it, but anyway -- I couldn't find what I was looking for, very detailed and legalese type talk.) So I asked him about first right. He said that I can leave it to anyone but in order for them to live here they must meet the qualifications. Income & age & background check. If the inheritor wants to rent it he must keep it for a year w/o renting it and pay the maintenance during that time. But! I still don't understand what it means the first right of ass'n to buy it at market value. He explained that they don't want to sell it to a corporation or charity because they don't know what they will do with the property. I didn't see that in the rules, but I'll ask where they are.

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On 5/27/2019 at 5:53 PM, CindiWass said:

I wonder what the manager of the condo association meant when she explained that if I leave the condo to a friend, the condo does not have to accept that, they (the condo ass'n) can buy it at market value. Can someone explain to me what this means

 

No one here is in any position to explain to you what some unknown person told you based on a document (or documents) we haven't read.  This was a pretty clear point of emphasis of both of my prior responses in this thread back in March.

 

 

On 5/27/2019 at 5:53 PM, CindiWass said:

If the condo ass'n buys it at market value, I have two questions. How would that be according to the will if we leave it to a friend? Would he get the amount the condo ass'n buys it for?

 

I don't understand what this means.  In one of your prior posts, you mentioned that the association might have a right of first refusal, but we know nothing more than that.  Again, one would need to read the CC&Rs and by-laws to know how they might impact your estate planning desires.  Please don't make important decisions based on what someone who is not your lawyer told you about what the documents say.  $60 is not a crazy price for an "immense" document (which CC&Rs typically are).  If you want this done correctly, pay it so that your lawyer can advise you intelligently.

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Have a very good day. And by the way, now I know what someone means when they say their lawyer did not do a very good job. Meantime, no one knows anything. :- Again have a really good day. 

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