Miami, FL – Condo owners in Miami are facing a new wave of scams and pressure tactics from developers and property managers who want to buy them out of their homes. CBS Miami has reported on several cases of condo owners who claim they are being forced out of their properties they own by fraudulent or coercive means.
The Alleged Biscayne 21 Miami Condo Scam
One of the cases involves Biscayne 21, a high-rise condo building that was bought by Two Roads Development, a company that plans to demolish it and build a new luxury tower. According to CBS Miami, the condo owners at Biscayne 21 received a notice last Friday that their building services would be discontinued and that they had to move out by this Friday.
However, some of the owners refused to leave without a fight and filed a lawsuit in mid-May against the company. The lawsuit alleges that the unit owners “manipulated, bullied, deceived and pressured” them to sell their units to the developer.
The Alleged Palm Bay Yacht Club Miami Condo Scam
Another case involves the Palm Bay Yacht Club condos, where owners are being asked to pay $175,000 each towards their 40-year recertification, a process that requires an engineer to inspect the building for structural and electrical repairs. However, the owners suspect that the property manager, AKAM, is inflating the cost of repairs, and wants to hire its sister company, Project Management Group, to do the work.
The owners hired a different engineer who estimated the repairs at around $23 million, less than half of what AKAM claimed. The owners have hired an attorney to fight against AKAM, and its alleged conflict of interest.
The Alleged Homestead Miami Condo Scam
A third case involves dozens of families in Homestead who were scammed by fake realtors who advertised homes for rent on Facebook Marketplace. The scammers asked for bank statements, background checks, and deposits from the victims, who thought they had found their dream homes.
However, when they showed up to move in, they found out that the homes were either occupied by other victims or not for rent at all. The scammers have been identified as Priscilla Marie Contreras, Yordani Carriles Diaz and Deinoser Bravo, who are still at large and wanted by the Homestead Police Department.
These cases show that condo scams are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated in Miami, especially after the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside last year, which raised concerns about the safety and maintenance of older buildings.
Condo owners are advised to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with developers, property managers, or realtors who offer to buy or rent their units. They should also seek legal advice and independent verification before signing any contracts or making any payments.