Court offers Miami condo buyers partial win

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A state appeals court has offered South Florida condo buyers some relief in the form of refunded deposits for units in developments caught in the real estate bust. Buyers whose contracts include a liquidated damages clause are entitled to 25 percent of their money back, the Third District Court of Appeal said, even if they are eventually are found to be in default. The decision backs a Miami-Dade Circuit Court ruling in a case filed by attorney Robert Cooper against Terra Group, in which about 20 buyers put down $80,000 each in deposits on units at Quantum on the Bay in Miami. They later backed out of the deal, saying the developer did not deliver on promised amenities and monthly maintenance. The latest ruling could have a major impact on condo buyers elsewhere, according to Joseph Altschul, an attorney who is representing buyers trying to get out of their contracts at Trump International Hotel in Hollywood. [SFBJ]

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