Unfortunately, the situation you face in Miami Beach is certainly not unique. We have entire condo communities here in California where similar foreclosure and short-sale problems threaten the entire building.
First, let me clarify that once a unit forecloses, the bank/lender who takes over ownership will pay the monthly assessments of the homeowners association. In some cases, the lender may be forced under state laws to pay assessments for a portion (from 6 months to 9 months) of the delinquency of the previous owner as well. In a short sale, the association is best served by protecting the dues owed through liens and court actions that will provide payment on the assessments at close of escrow.
For those still living in the community, it is likely that available amenities such as janitorial, pool services, clubhouses, etc., will be scaled back or eliminated. In the future, the losses sustained by the Association will result in higher assessments for everyone including the lenders who own the foreclosed properties and the new owners of short-saled homes.
It will take time to correct the financial problems created by the loss of homeowners at your building, but it can be done. Wtih 200 condominium units available, a turn-around in financial standing is far easier to accomplish than it would be in a much smaller homeowners association.
I wish you good luck and if you have any other questions, please feel free to write.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
co-Author, "Homeowners Associations: A Guide to Leadership"
BLU 401 is not the only building with issues in Miami Beach, it does seem to be one of the worst in regards to being abandoned and neglected.