Condo Parking Spaces are Limited Common Elements
I recently completed the closing of the sale of a condominium unit in the Brickell area of Miami for a client. The client owned 2 parking spaces in the building, one of which came with the unit when he acquired it from the developer and one which he purchased from another unit owner sometime after he purchased the unit. The additional parking space had been properly assigned to the client and registered in the records of the condominium association. At the time of the closing, the client did not mention the second parking space to me or my legal assistant and we prepared the warranty deed, conveying the unit and the undivided share of the common elements.
Later, the client contracted me to tell me about the second parking space and that he had not intended to convey the second parking space and his buyer agreed and acknowledged that he had only purchased 1 parking space. The client had continued to use the second parking space when he was in Miami and wanted to make sure that his rights were properly documented but he was having difficulty with the association. Further, the Buyer had recently sold the unit and there was a new owner. My client wanted to be clear that he owned the 2nd parking space and the he could use it or sell it to the new owner or even a third party.
Pursuant to the Declaration of Condominium, parking spaces, no matter when acquired, were limited common elements and could not be sold or conveyed separately from the units. The parking space could be transferred only to other unit owners, but were not otherwise alienable to outside 3rd parties. At best, the current owner of the unit could grant a license to my client to use the 2nd parking space, but like all licenses, the license would be revocable. It would automatically terminate if the licensor sold the unit. And, a license would be subject to the association’s consent and there was no guarantee that the association would agree.
The client learned that he should have charged his buyer something extra for the value of the 2nd parking space at the time he sold the unit. Despite the fact that the 2nd parking space was obtained a later date and for additional consideration, it became a limited common element of the unit and it was automatically transferred when the condominium was sold. The subsequent attempt at a cash grab was not and could not be successful.