Florida Law Misconstrued to Meet Different Ends

condo damage

Florida real estate law makes it easier on condo owners who have suffered damages from hurricanes to put the condo up for a quick sale.

According to an article recently completed for the ABA Journal, an amendment made to a Florida real estate law has allowed some to take advantage of the struggling condo market.  The original law allowed condo owners to terminate the building’s condo status; this was a desirable action for those who had suffered severe damage from hurricanes.  The law allowed for a quick sale of the building to a developer, who would repair the damage from the storm and turn it over to be rented.  Essentially, it allowed owners to get out from under a destroyed property value.  However, this could only be done through a unanimous vote from all who owned units in the condo building.  One single holdout could block the entire exchange.

An amendment was introduced in 2007 as a means of circumventing the holdout issue.  The amendment allowed for a termination of the condo status with the approval of eighty percent of the condo owners.  The amendment also allowed the law to be applied to dwellings that were intact—sans any damages from storms—as well as those who had suffered damages.  In the case of those who continued to holdout and were overruled, those owners were to be compensated with the market value of their unit.  However, this isn’t always the relief that owners wish for; one owner has filed suit, as the market value of the condo she paid over three hundred thousand dollars for has now fallen to a meager seventy four thousand.

There are other complications that have arisen from the amendment as well.  Many developers in buildings where the units remain empty are using this amendment to reclaim units and rent them as apartments.  These developers are attempting to force owners to sell their units to turn the property over for renting.  This issued ultimatum and pressure for owners to submit to the desires of the developers has created a mess of litigation, centering on arguing which side is interpreting the amendment correctly.

Lawsuit by Investors of Empire State Building Thrown Away

The Empire State Building is one ov New York City's most valuable and recognizable landmarks.

The Empire State Building is one ov New York City’s most valuable and recognizable landmarks.

Empire State Building investors claim to have been cheated out of millions by the real estate professionals, Peter Malkin and son Anthony, who were involved in a lawsuit that they ended up throwing out. Justice O. Peter Sherwood of the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan stated early this week that based on an agreement that was made between the Malkins and the investors in May of last year, the investors lost their privilege to sue them. This agreement was a settlement of $55 million in regards to the fortune of the Empire State Building.

The Malkins were accused of rejecting offers that were almost $4 billion, made by individuals looking to have share in the building, as well as the Empire State Building Associates LLC, ESBA. The Malkins were said to have abandoned the bidding war. This lawsuit took place in December 2013. The Malkins were also said to have taken other properties that were under their control and include them in the Empire State Realty Trust Inc. (real estate trust), and deceptively raise the value of those properties.

Sherwood went on to say that the plaintiffs had already asserted this claim against these defendants, and being that they had previously accepted a “covenant not to sue,” Sherwood said that this claim would be disallowed. As the lawyers of the investors clearly disagreed with the court’s actions and decisions, the lawyers of the Malkins, on the other hand, were thrilled.

It is no wonder that people are fighting to get a piece of this nostalgic, charming New York City landmark.  The Empire State Building is featured in countless movies and television shows, as well as famous lyrics, photos and other arts. It is a representation of New York’s strength and beauty. Also contributing to its city’s diversity, the Empire State Building changes its colors in celebration of holidays of all religions, special events, and other causes.

In 1961, 30 years after it’s opening, the Empire State Building Associates LLC was created by Peter Malkin’s father-in-law, Lawrence Wien and was supervised by Malkin Holdings LLC. The Malkins have a long history of being a part of this building.