Stalled conversion leaves owners sweating

Developers who’ve never turned over converted condos to their homeowner associations have caused occupants of those units considerable uncertainty, often delaying repairs and renting unsold apartments without new tenants passing muster. Many owned units were purchased by would-be condo flippers, and those are in foreclosure. State law requires that one-third of condo board seats go to owners after 15 percent of a development is sold. According to the state Division of Condominiums, Timeshares & Mobile Homes, the number of conversions peaked between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, but the agency had no statistics about associations which were not turned over to owners. In Broward, conversions went from 22 in 2003 to 2004, to 106 the following year, up to 141 in 2005 to 2006, down to 49 in 2006 to 2007, and plummeted to 14 in the most recent year that ended last week. In Palm Beach County, it went from 39 in 2003 to 2004, down to 34 the following year, up to 72 in 2005 to 2006, down to 22 in 2006 to 2007, and fell to only eight in the most recent year.

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