The Real Deal Miami

Icon South Beach renter pursues class action lawsuit against condo association over application fees

Suit says board charges applicants $250 fee, $150 more than the Florida law allows

From left: the exterior and interior of Icon at South Beach

A recently filed lawsuit alleges the Icon South Beach’s condominium association charges non-refundable application fees in excess of what is allowed by Florida law.

The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by Icon South Beach renter Derek Schwartz, but could end up involving more than 100 plaintiffs, according to the complaint.

Attorneys representing Schwartz and Icon Condominium Association did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

In order to rent or purchase one of the 290 units at Icon South Beach, a 42-story luxury tower at 450 Alton Road, a potential buyer or tenant must fill out an application and seek approval from the condo association, the lawsuit states. However, the Icon board charges applicants a $250 processing fee that is $150 more than the Florida Condominium Act allows, the lawsuit says.

“This deceptive and unfair scheme was used by Icon to line its pockets at the expense of Florida consumers,” the lawsuit says. “The Florida Condominium Act prohibits condominium associations from charging transfer fees of more than $100 per applicant.

Schwartz is seeking unspecified damages for himself and anyone who qualifies for the class action, as well as an injunction from the court to stop Icon Condominium Association “from charging such illegal transfer fees in the future.”

The lawsuit also accuses the condo association of violating the state’s law against deceptive and unfair trade practices. If the court authorizes the class action status, anyone who paid the $250 application fee would be able to join the lawsuit.

Icon South Beach was completed in 2004 by the Related Group. According to Zillow, 16 units are currently on the market, asking between $678,000 and $4.5 million. Monthly rents average between $3,400 to $4,300 for a one-bedroom condo and between $5,800 to $8,900 for a two-bedroom unit.