“Many states added a provision that the investor wouldn’t have to force every unit to dissolve the association to avoid a situation where there is one snag that could stop it, like if a person refuses to sell their house and there are skyscrapers everywhere. around them,” Mr McKenzie said. “If you get to a certain percentage of units that were owned by one investor, then the state could force other people to sell.”
The intention of these provisions, Mr McKenzie added, is to prevent a scenario where a single owner can prevent a large majority of owners from selling a building, particularly if it is dilapidated. “Without that provision, selling the building would require unanimity, which is very difficult,” Mr McKenzie said. “If an apartment building is seriously deteriorating, should one owner be able to force everyone else to stay locked into the project even if they can’t afford to fix it up, bring it up to code, etc.?”
Mr. McKenzie, who tracks deconversion in a database, said he has observed hundreds of apartments converted to condos in Illinois over the past decade. Legal requirements in Illinois for deconversion include a 75% ownership threshold for developments with four or more units.
The current version of Florida’s condominium law requires the approval of 80 percent of the total voting interests in the condo, with less than 5 percent dissenting, for a condo termination to proceed. In 1979, the law required consent from all unit owners, which was the case when Mr. Fellman bought his condo. The percentage of owners required to approve the termination was originally reduced in 2007 to help owners get out of failed housing projects that were damaged by natural disasters, but this eventually became a way for developers to more easily take over condominiums. In 2017, to help combat developers taking advantage of it, the state added that only 5 percent of owners would have to oppose the termination for it to be stopped.
In 2014, Republican Senator Rick Scott, who was the governor of Florida at the time, he wrote in a letter to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation that he was “deeply concerned” about the 2007 law. the financial burden of remaining mortgage debt after selling their condominium,” Scott wrote.