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Overcharging and Inconvenience in Miami's Condo Application Process

Miami's condo association and property management industry needs help with property managers overcharging for application fees and making applying for a condo needlessly inconvenient. This issue affects buyers and tenants and the entire real estate market, as it creates unnecessary barriers to entry and harms the overall economy. The city must address this problem and enforce the law prohibiting condos from charging more than $100 in transfer fees per person or married couple.



According to Section 718.112(2)(i) of the Florida Statutes, all charges related to the sale or lease of a condo unit, including application fees, credit checks, background screenings, move-in fees, pet registration, and other charges, are subject to a maximum fee of $100 per person or married couple. This law is designed to protect consumers from being overcharged and to ensure a fair and accessible market for condo units in Miami.

However, many property managers in the city are blatantly disregarding this law and charging exorbitant fees that far exceed the legal limit.


The process is stuck in the past

Email response from a property manager explaining that they won't accept emails after not offering a digital application.
Email response from a property manager

Some property managers make the process difficult for buyers and tenants to apply for a condo by requiring that the application be handed in person and that the overcharged fee be paid as a money order or cashier's check. This is not only inconvenient but also costly and time-consuming.


To make matters worse, many of these property management companies are far from the condo buildings they manage. This means that applicants may drive long distances to submit their applications and wait up to four weeks to be approved. For instance, an applicant can apply to a condo in the Downtown area and must hand deliver an application in Doral. After being overcharged for the application fee, you must wait up to four weeks for approval. This unnecessary burden could easily be alleviated by offering digital applications and processing.


Overcharging for application fees and creating needless barriers to entry are not just inconveniences for buyers and tenants. Plenty of platforms offer digital rental applications with credit and background checks for less than $50, with instant access to reports. Why are property managers charging more than $100 to take weeks to approve an applicant?



The Importance of Digitizing the Condo Application Process in Miami

In addition to overcharging for application fees, property managers in Miami's condo association industry are making applying for a condo needlessly inconvenient by requiring applicants to fill out paper applications and submit them in person. This outdated process is problematic and risky, as it involves handling sensitive personal information in paper form.

There is a clear need to digitize the application process to address this problem. By offering digital applications, property managers can reduce the time and effort required for applicants to apply for a condo. Digital applications can be completed online from the comfort of one's home and submitted electronically, eliminating the need for applicants to physically travel to the property manager's office and submit paper documents.

Furthermore, digitizing the application process can also reduce the risk of errors and delays. Electronic submissions can be automatically processed and validated, ensuring all required information is complete and accurate. This can expedite the approval process, reduce the risk of errors, and make the overall application process more efficient and streamlined.


In today's fast-paced world, waiting 2 to 4 weeks for a condo application approval can be a frustrating and stressful experience for buyers and tenants alike. This can cause unnecessary delays in the rental or buying process, causing owners to spend more time on the market and potentially leaving tenants or buyers without a place to live. To address this issue, property managers should offer a digital application process that provides a same-day report to the owner.

Property managers can streamline the approval process and reduce the time it takes to get an answer by providing a digital application process that offers real-time results. This saves time and money for all parties involved and helps ensure buyers and tenants can secure a place to live as quickly as possible.



Conclusion

In conclusion, Miami-Dade must do more to enforce laws on application fees. They should require that all property managers offer digital applications and police companies that are overcharging for application fees. This will make the application process more convenient for buyers and tenants and ensure that they are not being unfairly charged for a simple process. It's time for Miami's condo association to step up and make things right for those looking for a new home in their city.

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