When you buy a condo your property rights are restricted. Mabye the Condo Association will say you can’t have a heavy dog, over-night-guests, BBQ etc.  What if you tell the Association that it can’t restrict how you use your condo because the Bill of Rights says you have the right to life, liberty and property (eh, hem, to use your property how you want!)

Sorry, that won’t work, but lucky for you most State’s laws give you a Study Period, time to read and understand the restrictions and decide if you have a done deal or want your deposit back before your finalize your purchase.

For a list of common restrictions in Condo Docs, read: Professor Real Estate® Urban Legends: Condo/Co-op Series 1: Learn the Rules of A Foreign Country: Your Condo!

States provide you this Study period because they know Condo Docs take you time to read.  They are long, weigh as much as a brick and are written in legalese.  It takes baby steps to read and understand the important provisions of the Docs.

Use your rights! Use the Study Period to read through your Condo Docs and make sure the rules work for you!

You want to look out  for restrictions on: renting your unit, selling your unit, having friends stay in your unit, having pets in your unit and making repairs to your unit.  You should also pay attention to how monthly maintenance is calculated, what it includes/excludes and how assessments are made.

If you don’t understand these issues, call the Association and make sure you understand everything before the Study Period is over.

The law doesn’t like it if you sleep on your rights, so if you don’t want to purchase the condo, you must send the Seller written notice within the Study Period or you lose your right and deposit!

In Florida according to Florida Statute 718.503, the Study Period works like this:

If you sign a contract to buy a condo directly from a Developer, you have fifteen (15) calendar days from the day the Developer provides you the Condo Docs to cancel your purchase contract with no penalty and get your full deposit back.

If you sign a contract to buy a condo from another owner (who is not a Developer)  you have three (3) business days from the day the owner gives you the Condo Docs to cancel your purchase contract with no penalty and get your full deposit back.

Florida gives all buyers these rights when they buy a condo in Florida. It doesn’t matter if the Buyer is from another state or another country. It just matters that the condo is in Florida.

If you are buying a condo in another state, I bet that state also offers a time period to allow Buyers to review the restrictions on property uses.  Search for it in the state’s laws before signing your purchase contract so you know the rules and time frame for the Study Period.

Be sure to read your Condo Docs to make sure that you agree with the rules before your purchase.  This is your one time to cancel and get your full deposit back!

Contact me if you have questions or would like more info about this!

**Stay Tuned! The upcoming Professor Real Estate® Urban Legends Condo/Co-op Series blog is about the rights and obligations renters have in a condo v.s. owners.

P.S. Check out the new jobs posted on the Professor Real Estate® Job link!  

Disclaimer: Professor Real Estate® written materials apply generally to real estate subjects and are not intended to apply to specific legal issues.
This is the second blog in the Professor Real Estate® Condo/Co-op Series.
Copyright © 2012 Suzanne Hollander, Professor Real Estate®
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