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Florida condo buyers sue developers, citing construction delays

Tired of waiting for the completion of their new homes in a luxury condominium project in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, eight buyers have sued to get out of their contracts and be given a refund of their deposits.

The lawsuits have been filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. The 320-unit project is at 300-330 Sunny Isles Boulevard.

The complex started accepting deposits in 2014 with the promise that most of the units would be ready to move into by the end of 2017, with the end of 2018 as the latest possible completion date, according to the lawsuit.

One of the towers now has its certificate of occupancy, and deals are closing. The other tower remains under construction and is not ready for residents quite yet.

One of those suing is a resident of Brazil who put down a $500,000 deposit, representing half the purchase price.

Like other buyers, the Brazilian contends the wait has been too long.

The developer has a lengthy résumé when it comes to building in South Florida, having built everything from condos to a yacht club.

A representative for the developer said the delays in this project were caused by "unforeseen geological issues." He added more transactions should begin closing in a few weeks and that more than 100 units now are resident-owned.

He said that perhaps the delays aren't to blame for the lawsuits and that buyers instead want to escape the purchases because they either are having a hard time coming up with the balance of the money or because the market for condos has softened since they put the money down.

If you find yourself in a real estate contract that seems to be going nowhere, an attorney can review the contract and spell out your options for you.

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