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Old 03-21-2014, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm buying a condo in Florida, in cash. The seller has already accepted the offer.

The Condominium Association there says that they have to approve the sale, so I have to fill out an application.

On the application they want:

- my social security number
- bank account number
- copy of birth certificate
- copy of driver's license
- previous address etc
- references
- and two more pages of information

And an interview. I don't even live in Florida yet, so I'm assuming a phone interview will suffice. I've already met some of the condo association members when I visited, so it's not like they haven't met me.

I'm paying cash. The previous owner's estate has already accepted my offer. I'm obviously not insolvent. THe monthly condo fee is low and I would be responsible for my own utilities. It's not a rental property. So, much of this information seems unnecessary and also none of their business, and leaving me at risk of identity theft if the information gets in the wrong hands. They seem very casual about their record-keeping and I have no assurances about how they would store this information.

For example, I don't mind if they phone my bank and my bank is allowed to tell them I have a bank acccount and enough money to cover say a year or two of condo fees, but to provide them with my account number?

This is not a professionally managed property management company but a homeowner's association, who do not seem to be very good at record keeping, given that they cannot seem to come up with any of the documents I am supposed to be supplied with. When I asked for a copy of the by-laws and rules they said "can't you get that from the previous owner?" --- it's an estate sale and she's dead.

I had a condo in Kentucky for years, and I never had to go through any of this B.S.

Is this typical, does anyone know? Is it even legal?
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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There is no way in hell or on gods green earth I would give that info to a condo association. There is absolutely NO reason for them to have or need that information
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Florida -
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From another thread: Financial requirements for condo board approval?

Of several condo's we've owned (two of which I was on the board), only one had any 'pretense' of an HOA approval of buyers. Generally, these are only a 'meet and greet' type of thing -- and certainly not an actual 'approval.' I know of no legal authority allowing HOA's the right to refuse ownership. (Some do reserve the right to approve renters and lease agreements).

It's the bank's business, not the HOA's, to approve people financially. Once the bank approves a buyer financially, the HOA has no financial basis for refusing ownership. Further, I can't imagine any condo willing to face the litigation responsibility that would likely fall-out of any attempt to refuse ownership.

Recent legislation has strengthened the ability of Condo HOA's to collect delinquent HOA fees (Tri-party leases, extended bank payback periods, shutting off amenities /access (this one is very tricky)). In summary, the "HOA must approve potential buyer's" ... really has no teeth.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
There is no way in hell or on gods green earth I would give that info to a condo association. There is absolutely NO reason for them to have or need that information
Thank you for your reply. But I'm wondering how I can communicate this to them politely. My elderly father, who knows these people, and will be staying in the condo for a month or two in the winter, is extremely concerned that I might "offend" the association members and that they will then nix the sale. Could they even do that?

Oh, and I forgot to mention, they also want to know who else might be staying at the condo, and also their information. Now unless I'm planning to bring in 20 illegal immigrants, what's that to them?
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:55 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 8,136,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
From another thread: Financial requirements for condo board approval?

Of several condo's we've owned (two of which I was on the board), only one had any 'pretense' of an HOA approval of buyers. Generally, these are only a 'meet and greet' type of thing -- and certainly not an actual 'approval.' I know of no legal authority allowing HOA's the right to refuse ownership. (Some do reserve the right to approve renters and lease agreements).

It's the bank's business, not the HOA's, to approve people financially. Once the bank approves a buyer financially, the HOA has no financial basis for refusing ownership. Further, I can't imagine any condo willing to face the litigation responsibility that would likely fall-out of any attempt to refuse ownership.

Recent legislation has strengthened the ability of Condo HOA's to collect delinquent HOA fees (Tri-party leases, extended bank payback periods, shutting off amenities /access (this one is very tricky)). In summary, the "HOA must approve potential buyer's" ... really has no teeth.
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Yes, but wasn't Madonna not approved for a condo in New York because the other owners thought her presence would attract too much paparazzi and be a nuisance?

The bank has nothing to do with it, since I am paying cash. I have no debt whatsoever (again, not that that is any of the association's business), and owned a condo in Kentucky for 10 years with no problems.

OK, I went and read parts of the link, and it mentioned a criminal records check. Which is no problem, but I don't think they need my social security number for that, and also, can't I myself go to the court house and obtain that?
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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I would get a real estate attorney to look over all documents and write your letter letting them know what documents you will provide and what documents you are not legally required to provide.

I would not provide that info to a bunch of neighbors.

It would be worth the couple hundred dollars the attorney would charge you for this advice.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Florida -
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You are not renting, but, are a buyer with all of the rights that any other home buyer has. It would likely be discrimination if the SELLER refused to sell to you, ... but, for their neighbors to refuse, borders on an over-inflated sense of self-importance.

Contact your Realtor/Broker/Attorney and tell them to inform the seller/Realtor/Broker that you are thinking about backing-out of the sale, because you do not intend to provide the HOA with the invasive personal information they are asking for. I have little doubt that the involved HOA board will quickly get the message that their pretense of authority has overstepped the reality of their actual boundaries ... and to 'back off' or face legal action.

Last edited by jghorton; 03-21-2014 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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Also, the personal references thing is ridiculous. Of course I'm going to get friends as references, so of course they will say nothing but nice things about me. But what difference would it make if I wasn't beloved by all and had an unpleasant personality. There are lots of unpleasant people who own condos or houses!
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:09 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 8,136,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
I would get a real estate attorney to look over all documents and write your letter letting them know what documents you will provide and what documents you are not legally required to provide.

I would not provide that info to a bunch of neighbors.

It would be worth the couple hundred dollars the attorney would charge you for this advice.
Good advice. I'm thinking of doing that. This was a private sale between the estate and I, no realtors involved. I've talked to the estate's lawyers, but obviously they are not looking out for me.

So far I don't have anyone, not a realtor, nor a real estate lawyer to advise or help me. I've just been winging it, and relying on my father who is in Florida and who has bought and sold a number of condos there. ANd he is dead set against spending the additional few hundred bucks to consult a lawyer so I would have to go behind his back. I am relying on him to send me all the documents I need since I'm not there.

Also, they sent the contract today via e-mail and wanted me to sign the contract and send a deposit check by March 25th. That's two business days! I wouldn't even have time to do anything.

And there's all kinds of confusing stuff in the contract about flood plains and flood insurance which I know NOTHING about. I asked the seller's attorney about it, and he said, "ah, don't worry about it, it's just standard on all contracts in Florida." Well, how do I know that?
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:11 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 8,136,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
You are not renting, but, are a buyer with all of the rights that any other home buyer has.

Contact your Realtor/Broker/Attorney and tell them to inform the seller/Realtor/Broker that you will likely have to back-out of the sale, because you do not intend to provide the HOA with the invasive personal information they are asking for. I have little doubt that the involved HOA board will quickly get the message that their pretense of authority has overstepped the reality of their actual boundaries ... and to 'back off' or face legal action.
There are people lining up to buy this condo, it is an extremely good price, so if I back out no one will care.

I have no realtor, broker, or attorney, but it sounds like I should consult a real estate attorney.
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