Home Buying in 33312>Question Details

Linaresnah, Home Buyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL

I signed a contract to purchase a condo and received condo documents June 17. They have pet restrictions and our 2 pets are not allowed, now seller

Asked by Linaresnah, Fort Lauderdale, FL Tue Jul 6, 2010

is trying to sue because we did not execute contract. My real estate agent never told me of pet restrictions and I applied to the HOA requesting 2 small dogs hoping that since I was a buyer they would agree. They said no, I have proof via email but nothing with signature. What do I do ?

Help the community by answering this question:


Your contract should have been contingent upon your review and approval of the condo documents. I'm assuming you had such a provision, that you received the condo documents in a timely fashion, but that you did not cancel the transaction within the allowable time frame.

However, first, DID you receive the condo documents in a timely fashion (as specified in the contract)? If not, you may have an "out" there.

If you did have such a contingency and invoked that contingency within the allowable time frame, again you should have an "out."

However, if you received the documents but decided to ask the HOA to permit the two dogs--without invoking your contingency--then you're in a difficult position. Hint: HOAs put pet restrictions in not to discriminate against renters, but to discriminate against (restrict) pet owners--whether or not they're renters or owners.

So, yes, you do have proof via e-mail that the HOA won't waive its regulations. I'm sure they'd be delighted to provide you a document with a signature. That's not really the issue. The issue is whether you had a provision that your contract was contingent upon receipt and review of the HOA documents. If not, you're out of luck. If you did, and didn't raise a red flag with the seller in a timely fashion, you're out of luck.

Ask your Realtor for guidance.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
There is an owner who has moved in a person with criminal background and the Association requires a background check on renters, he claims she is a girlfriend. Does he have the right to let her stay.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2015
Linaresnah - Just to clarify, if you are being sued by the seller, then it goes without saying that you will need legal representation and you should get an Attorney asap, as repeated no less than four times by other Realtors on this forum. What I was trying to get at and I guess I didn't do a good job, was to find out from other Realtors what they thought about looking at the side where you need Condo approval in order to close.

John, thank you for responding as I would never have thought in those terms, and am glad I was able to explain myself .

Best regards,
Angela Jensen
Coldwell Banker
(954) 465-1388
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Since you asked to hear from us Angela,

I think we need to leave the interpolation of Florida Law to those folks
who have a law degree and Florida Bar admission.

Not sure, "no way out" as I would be rendering an opinion of law. I can think of 3 or 4 different things I might inquire a lawyer about, but not a single one I would advise Linaresnah about.
Folks, we need to be very careful as we advise people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
WOW, Linaresnah, what you need right away is a Florida Lawyer, all this is above the pay grade of Florida Real Estate Realtors, this has become a matter of law.

I have no Idea what people in New York, and VA know about FS 718 but what you need at this point
is a Florida Real Estate Lawyer.

Normally what the flow would be - 1. you get docs and see pet restrictions
2. You get back to them in writing right away that you can't buy ( your Realtor should assist here) because of pets.

3. This is not your fault nor Sellers fault, but it seems someone ought to be covering the details of all this.

Anyway, the only way you are going to be able to sort this out at this time is to obtain the services of a good attorney.

Realtors, have certain duties we owe our clients, and if we do not preform as necessary you have recourse, but only an attorney of law can help you right now.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
You need Condo Approval in order to close. Did the Condo Association approve your Application? If they did, then you have no way out except to close and then decide your options, otherwise you will have to forfeit your deposit. Like the other Realtos said, you are way past backing out since it you didn't take advantage of the three-day-right of rescission. Need to hear from my other Realtor friends out there - if they agree.

Best regards,
Angela Jensen
Coldwell Banker
(954) 465-1388
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Gary has the same answer I do.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Hello Linaresnah,

I assume you are buying in Florida. You need to look at your purchase documents and see if a FARA-10 addendum is included. It is the comprehensive addendum to the residential sale and purchase contract. You are looking for 2 pages, the condominium addendum. Near the top of the first page it will say "Association Disclosure". If you have the addendum look on Page 2 and see what box is checked. You should have 3 days from the time you recieved the documents to cancel. It's obviously past 3 days now but if you objected within the 3 day period you might have a case. The two agents in question should be trying to work this out or what is going to happen is the seller is going to sue you for non preformance, you are going to sue your agent for negligence, your agent is going to sue the listing agent for negligence and that agent is going to sue the seller for not telling him pets weren't allowed. The only people who are going to be happy are the lawyers. At some point an attorney is probably going to have to get involved but I would try to work it out yourself first. Also make sure you request your escrow deposit back immediately if you haven't already. The seller may also be making a claim on it. One final thing. Have you talked to the agents broker? I would find out who the broker for the office is and talk to them directly. The agent may be out of his or her element on this problem whereas the broker can sometimes get things done. I've seen brokers from different offices get together and work out a small problem before it became a big one. It's worth a shot.

Good luck and email me if you would like a couple of names of Real Estate Attorneys. Hopefully that will not be necessary.

Gary Benson
EcoBroker Certified
SFR Resource

Keyes Company

Cell: 561-445-2331
Web Reference: http://www.cbarronhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
I need help with this too! Thanks Gary. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a FAR comprehensive addendum, I found a blank form here.
Flag Tue Feb 17, 2015
Was your agent aware of your pet situation---At this point, your best source of information is an attorney who specializes in real estate--consider a consultation, have all related documentation reviewed and go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010

With your offer there should have been a Condo Disclosure document that may spell that if you don't meet association approval the offer cannot go through. It is pretty clear that association has rejected you as a buyer based on the dogs. Call your local Real Estate association and ask for the number of an affiliate Real Estate attorney, then call them an ask if they do a free initial consultation. If you feel comfortable with what the attorney says, then you found someone to represent you if it cannot be resolved based on the initial consultation.

Tony Vega
Charles Rutenberg Realty

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
is it a condo or HOA? In Florida, you have a 3 day right of recision with a condo by law. No such jproytection with an HOA that I know of. the pet restrictions should have been spelled out in the docs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
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