DO YOU OWN YOUR CONDO OR CO-OP OR DO YOU LEASE IT? ARE YOU
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published February 1, 2021
In about 25 years a crisis is coming to the condo and co-op
world that will be shocking to say the least. Here is the
problem. Many of you think that by purchasing your condo or
co-op, you can live there forever, as long as the mortgage,
taxes and assessments are paid. You may be wrong. Very wrong.
Florida condo and co-op law basically say: Leaseholds.ó
(1) A condominium or co-op may be created on lands held under
lease or may include recreational facilities or other common
elements or commonly used facilities on a leasehold if, on the
date the first unit is conveyed by the developer to a bona fide
purchaser, the lease has an unexpired term of at least 50
Thatís right your condo could be built on land that you donít
own. Land that you are leasing and someone else owns and who is
simply leasing the underlying land to the condo association for
99 years. After the 99 years are over, the lease may require
that all property built on the land (meaning all of the condo
units) revert back to and becomes owned by the owner of the
land. In other words, after 99 years, you lose your home.
Many of these 99 year leases began in the 1960s. So, in about
40 years, lots of buildings will be faced with this fiasco if
they donít do something about it before then. As the date gets
closer to the expiration of the 99 year lease term, the value of
the unit keeps going down. How can you sell a unit to someone
if in 5 years it reverts back to the underlying land owner?
That unit is valueless.
Itís amazing how many people have no idea that this is going to
happen. How many people thought that once they paid off their
mortgage, they were safe and secure. They were wrong. One day,
the underlying land owner will be able to make you purchase the
unit all over again if you want to stay. Or, simply kick
everyone out and build something new or sell to a new developer.
The law should never have allowed condos or co-ops to be built
on leased land. But, this is Florida Ė the land where
developers call the shots.
If you live in a community with such a land lease, you want to
see if you can buy it out and obtain a deed to the land. That
will avoid the potential disaster that awaits. The Florida
Legislature better start thinking about this coming crisis and
not wait for it to creep up on everyone.
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated from
the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for more than 2
decades and is the owner of Glazer
and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in
Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples,
Fort Myers and Tampa.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host
of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs
at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
He is the first attorney in the
State of Florida that designed a course that certifies
condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium
Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000
Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit
Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated
dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric
also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the
best interest of Florida community association members.