Condo Fees too High? Tenant Sues Association

A tenant is suing a Miami condo association over its excessive application and move-in fees, saying they violate state law.

The lawsuit is the first of several class-actions that attorneys say they plan to file against condo associations over high fees. In June, the Miami Herald reported that condo boards routinely charge consumers hundreds of dollars more than state law allows. Florida statute caps the amount condos can charge to apply and move in at $100 per person.

In a suit filed Friday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, August Lasseter says he was billed $625 in non-refundable fees when he signed a lease for a unit at one of the two high-rise towers at Quantum on the Bay last year. The charges broke down to $100 for a background check, $175 for "administrative review," $125 for registration and $225 for move-in.

"I questioned it at the time, but it's not like you really have a choice," said Lasseter, 37, who runs a modeling agency. "They say you pay it or you don't move in."

Attorneys for the board, which was highlighted in the Herald's initial story as the condo with the highest fees, said they had not yet been served and couldn't comment.