Bulk buyer takes control of Palm Court condos at Wellington

The Palm Court at Wellington has been revived by a New York-based bulk buyer who bought over 90 units back in 2009 with the ideo of recycling the condominium units back into rentals in the $1200 per month range, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The $4 million-deal gave the buyer control of the homeowners association, including the power to raise fees, levy assessments, introduce new rules – and reject new buyers.

Owners and Realtors at the complex, near the intersection of Wellington Trace and West Forest Hill Boulevard, are now upset that the association has hiked dues and claim that the association is obstructing new buyers so it can snap up units for itself. The buyer argues it’s protecting its investment by blocking people without the sufficient finances.

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“We’ve taken the eyesore of Wellington and turned it into a very nice place to live,” said John Slattery, who, as director of acquisition for the bulk buyer, is president of the Palm Court homeowners association. “There were drug dealers, pit bulls, derelict cars, garbage everywhere. The place was a disaster.”

Jan Bergemann, a homeowner advocate who runs Cyber Citizens for Justice, a DeLand-based watchdog group, disagrees: “These bulk-buyer deals have given power to people with money who can trample rightfully and lawfully on the rights of owners unlucky enough to have bought at the wrong time.”

People who initially bought at the 120-unit complex for about $220,000 per unit, are now trapped with units valued at $43,600, the Post said. [Palm Beach Post]