Pinellas condo owners fighting to keep homes will get their day - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Pinellas condo owners fighting to keep homes will get their day in court

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Stephanie Krasowski isn't going down without a fight.

She paid nearly $163,000 for her condo at Madison Oaks in Palm Harbor. Investors offered her $50 grand, and she doesn't want to sell. But she may not have a choice.

(Related content:  Palm Harbor condo owner fights to keep developers from taking over complex)

Five investors from Miami bought up more than 80 percent of the units at Madison Oaks. They want to kick out the individual owners and turn the place into apartments. And the law may be on their side, because of a loophole in state law. State law says a condo can be terminated if at least 80 percent of the owners agree. But it also says that if 10 percent oppose the termination, the condo can't be terminated. In this case, both sides argue that point. The investors say the condo declarations protect them, and they are within their rights to terminate the condo.

Frustrated and helpless, Krasowski sued to halt the condo termination.

"This will hopefully call attention to this loophole and allow the lawmakers to come and correct their mistake," Krasowski said.

(Related content: Pinellas condo owners could be forced to sell at a loss)

The investors moved to dismiss the case. The judge decided last week to sleep on the decision, but now Krasowski has learned the case will move forward.

"A week later we are extremely happy with the outcome," she said. "We have an uphill battle, but we know this is a step in the right direction."

This is one battle in a war, but this decision means Krasowski and her neighbors don't have to pack up this week.

This is a court case thousands of other condo owners will be watching. State records show thousands of condo owners across the state are in the same boat. Investors are buying up units with the intention of running apartments.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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