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Parking spot designation hinders condo sale

April 5, 2019
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dear Mr. Feichthaler:

I own three units in my condominium and live in one of them. Each unit has a specific parking space assigned to it. I recently signed a contract to sell the unit I live in, and the buyer agreed to the terms, which noted there was an assigned space. Just a few days before the closing date, the buyer said they were requiring the parking space I always parked in. Problem is, that space was assigned to another unit I own. The contract did not specify what space number was included. The buyer is now threatening to back out of the deal unless the space I normally park in is included. What are my rights?

-Jean R.

Dear Jean:

Condominiums can cause some complications during a real estate transaction not present in other transactions. Typically, with professional advice of Realtors or attorneys, these complications are easily managed. I often note that a well-written contract is the bedrock for a great transaction with no surprises. A quality contract defines exactly what is being sold. In your case, the contract mentioned there was a space, but didn't state which one it was. We need to determine how spaces are assigned. Is the parking space actually part of the condominium unit and deeded, or is it a limited common element that is assigned by the association? Part of the contract should have discussed the status of the space in the Condominium Addendum, which deals with and discloses matters like monthly assessments.

The first step will be to determine exactly what the contract says in the main body and through the addenda. If there is ambiguity in the contract as to what is included, the buyer may have the ability to cancel the contract. However, if it is clear what space is included, they may not be able to cancel. This could occur if the space is deeded, and it is included in the legal description. It also could be obvious if the condominium documents specifically show that a particular space is always attached to a particular unit.

Regardless of the answers to the above questions, I recommend a dialogue between the seller and buyer, either directly, through their Realtors, or between their attorneys. There could be a resolution that will be acceptable to both parties. If not, you may have the ability to claim the deposit they have made on the unit, or you may be able to sue them in an action for Specific Performance. In such a lawsuit, you sue to compel the buyers to complete the purchase.

I recommend you have an attorney review your contract and correspondence between the parties to determine your rights in this matter.

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 18 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.

Mr. Feichthaler can be reached at eric@capecoralattorney.com, or (239) 542-4733.

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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