Palm Harbor condo owners fear losing their homes

A small group of condo owners in Palm Harbor fear it is a matter of time before they are forced out of their homes even though they've done nothing wrong.
 
"I made an investment in my future. So I thought," Stephanie Krasowski said while holding a sign on the side of Tampa Road.
 
Krasowski and a handful of other condo owners stood on the side of Tampa Road in Palm Harbor holding signs and waving at drivers who honked as they drove by.
 
Krasowski and the small group that surrounded her has been caught in a fight to save their homes for a year.
 
"I stand to lose the $60,000 I put down, the $25,000 I put in to remodel, and I'll still be stuck with a mortgage of about $40,000," said Karen Rehs.
 
Rehs was one of the first people to buy a condo at Madison Oaks in 2007.
 
She and others fear a legal loophole will allow a company who owns the majority of the condos in her complex to force her out, allowing that company to turn them into apartments.
 
The majority of the condos at Madison Oaks are owned by a company called Madison Oaks Partners LLC. As long as they control at least 80 percent and no more than 10 percent of the remaining owners object, it can force Rehs and this remaining few out of their homes.
 
"I don't see how that's legal. It's ethically and morally wrong. and it should be legally wrong," said Nick McNeil, who lives in Madison Oaks.
 
Many have been offered fair market values for their homes, but say that's not nearly enough to cover what they still owe or get back what they paid.
 
State Rep. Carl Zimmermann says it's unconstitutional and reached out to Gov. Rick Scott more than a week ago asking him to put a stop to it.
 
"The only thing I've received is an email acknowledgement that he received the letter," Zimmerman said Thursday.
 
"I don't believe that the governor really cares," Rehns said.
 
Scott's press office emailed ABC Action News a letter Scott sent to the secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Thursday.
 
In the letter Scott asks Secretary Ken Lawson to "review the matter thoroughly and develop recommendations for how we can work with the Florida Legislature in the upcoming session."
 
A spokesperson for Madison Oaks Partners said Thursday the only item on the agenda for the owners association meeting Friday is to elect board officers.
 
He said homeowners will not lose their homes.
 
 
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