The relative affordability and attractive amenities that condominiums offer make them appealing to first-time buyers and retirees alike. In Florida, condos are so popular that the state passed the Florida Condominium Act in 1963 to protect buyers when making a residential purchase.
Under this act, both developers and nondevelopers must disclose certain documents before a contract becomes binding. Examples of mandated disclosure documents include association bylaws and rules, financial statements and a current copy of the declaration of condominium.
However, the requirements for resale condominiums through a nondeveloper differ in a few important ways.
1. Buyers must request disclosure documents
Both developers and nondevelopers must, at their own cost, provide a comprehensive sale prospectus to potential buyers. However, while the law requires developers to deliver these documents to the buyer on their own initiative, nondevelopers only need to provide them at the written request of the buyer.
2. Resale contracts must include disclosure language
The law requires nondeveloper sale contracts to include notification of disclosure in conspicuous type. The contract must either state that the seller has provided all mandated disclosure documents or else notify the buyer that the law entitles him or her to receive them. The contract should also notify the buyer that, upon receipt of disclosure, there is a strict time limit on canceling the contract.
3. Purchasers have 3 days to review documents
When buying a unit from a developer, purchasers have 15 days after receiving disclosure documents to decide whether they want to terminate the contract. However, during a resale condominium transaction, the buyer has only three business days after receipt of all documents to cancel a contract.
Unfortunately, nondevelopers may not be as familiar with disclosure requirements as developers. This may lead to a failure to provide all necessary documents, even when the purchaser requests them. That makes it especially essential that a buyer of a resale condo review the disclosure packet carefully before confirming a contract.