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Skyrocketing HOA dues causing worry among St. Pete, Florida condo owners

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The tough housing market has been especially hard for condo owners. 

Many are pressed with soaring HOA dues and assessment fees, and the perils of living in paradise are taking a toll on Rufina Cappelli.

Cappelli has lived in her St. Petersburg condo for 28 yards, but this month, she’s grappling with a new reality — the skyrocketing cost of her HOA dues.

“It was $376 for years,” said Cappelli. “Then, suddenly in October, they said it was going up 43 percent. What worries me is that I won’t have a roof over my head.” 

It’s a challenge that condo owners are facing across Florida.  

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A new state law is making sure condominiums across the state are more resilient after the Surfside condominium collapse, but complying with the legislation is pricing many condo owners out of their homes.  

Right now, many buildings across the state are going through a very stringent inspection process to determine if there are any structural deficiencies.

However, many condo owners are unable to pay for the large assessment fees to cover the cost of repairs. In many cases, the repairs needed to improve the structural integrity of the building are long overdue. 

“The Florida condos have allowed their reserves to get very low, and this condo is kicking the can down the road,” said Cappelli.

Condominium associations must have sufficient reserve money available to cover the cost of any structural repairs. The law also prohibits waiver of funding for certain structural reserves.  

These new mandates from Florida legislators are prompting many condo owners to sell their properties before the assessment fees are due.

“People are competing to sell their properties,” said Sara Taylor, a real estate consultant in Clearwater. “We’re seeing price reductions to entice buyers to come in, and we’re seeing people who just can’t afford it having to list their condos and find another place to move.”

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Source: WFLA

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