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Condominium owner discovers serious problem

Melbourne, Florida, is known to be a popular place for real estate development. The area has an array of properties for both permanent residents and those visiting the state as tourists or on business. When something is seriously wrong with one of those properties, one or more affected parties may pursue real estate litigation. That happened recently over a condominium in Coral Gables that was overrun by rodents.

A man who bought a unit in the waterfront condominium is suing the previous owner, the listing agent and the brokerage involved in the transaction for breach of contract, fraud and negligence. The condominium association, the inspection company and the appraisal company connected to the condominium are also named as defendants.

The man, a Coconut Grove lawyer, paid $383,000 for the condominium, which has two bedrooms and is right at the waterfront. The sale closed on July 14, 2016. After that point, the man discovered the rodent problem. He says that the previous owner and the listing agent already knew about it but did not tell him prior to the sale closing.

The lawsuit says that the man first discovered the problem after hearing noise at night, and a noxious odor, just days after he moved in. He investigated the problem and found the extensive rodent infestation in the walls, the AC system and the drop ceiling. Finding that the unit was unlivable, he moved out, and says that the unit would have to be completely rebuilt to be suitable for human habitation.

Upon investigation, he learned that in 2015, the previous owner had rented the unit to tenants who experienced the same problem. At that time, several efforts to address the problem were made, all of which were unsuccessful. The tenants were allowed to get out of their lease and get their security deposit back. However, instead of addressing the problem, the previous owner put the unit up for sale, resulting in the current lawsuit.

Source: The Real Deal, "Miami-Dade State Attorney’s son sues over rodent-infested condo in Coral Gables," Francisco Alvarado, Sep. 22, 2017

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