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Check documentation before trying to ‘sell’ dock

February 15, 2019
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Mr. Feichthaler:

My husband and I moved into our condominium unit in 1994, which included a boat dock space. We both loved boating. My husband died last year, so I decided to sell our boat. A friend of mine, who has a boat, has offered to purchase my boat dock space for $20,000. I could really use the money. Can I handle this on my own, or do I need an attorney to assist?

- Gladys N.

Dear Gladys:

It sounds like you and your husband moved to Cape Coral to enjoy boating, one of many great reasons to live here. You certainly had a lot of great times with your boat. Now that you no longer have the boat, I can see why the sale of the dock would be very appealing. The main issue you face is what, exactly, it is that you own. The governing document of your condominium, the "Declaration of Condominium," is the first place to start to see how docks are treated. Some docks will actually be described as part of the condominium unit. These are known as deeded docks. The declaration will show whether the dock can be sold separately from the unit itself. In the majority of condominiums I have worked with, the docks are not deeded. Instead, they are considered limited common elements. This means that the use of the dock is reserved for a specific unit owner, but the dock is not considered part of the unit, and cannot be separately conveyed. Typically, the governing documents of the condominium provide that the dock spaces are assigned for use, usually based on a waiting list. When a unit owner that has a dock leaves, the dock space goes to the next person on the list. Still others assign a dock space to a unit owner, and allows that owner to convey the dock space, but only to another owner in the condominium.

So, prior to selling to your friend, you will want to review the condominium documents and speak with your association president or management company, who can provide insight as to what can be done. Given the amount of money involved, it may be a good idea to have an attorney review the condominium documents to confirm your rights to the dock. The attorney can also prepare the necessary documents to transfer the dock.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for over 30 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continues his service to the community through the Cape Coral Caring Center, Cape Coral Historical Museum, and Cape Coral Kiwanis. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for over 17 years, and they have four children together. He earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell for professional ethics and legal ability, and is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.

 
 
 

 

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