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Aquarian Foundation, Inc. v. Sholom House, Inc

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.448 So. 2d 1166 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984)

Brief Fact Summary. The Sholom House condominiums required the written consent of the condominium association’s board of directors to any sale, lease, assignment or transfer of a unit owner’s interest. Bertha Albares, a member of the board of directors, sold her condominium to Defendant Aquarian Foundation, without obtaining the required written consent.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Despite the law’s recognition of the particular desirability of restrictions on the right of transfer in the context of condominium living, such restrictions will be invalidated when found to violate some external public policy of constitutional right of the individual.


Facts. The Sholom House condominiums required the written consent of the condominium association’s board of directors to any sale, lease, assignment or transfer of a unit owner’s interest. Bertha Albares, a member of the board of directors, sold her condominium to Defendant Aquarian Foundation, without obtaining the required written consent. The board of directors was expressly empowered by the declaration of condominium to “arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably” withhold its consent to any proposed sale, sued to set aside Albares’ sale of the condominium to Defendant Aquarian Foundation, to dispossess Defendant and to recover damages under the following clause, “In the event of a violation . . . by the unit owner of any of the covenant, restrictions and limitations, contained in this declaration, then in that event the fee simple title to the condominium parcel shall immediately revert to the association, subject to the association paying to said former unit owner, the fair app
raised value thereof, at the time of reversion. . .” The trial court found that Albares’ sale without the required consent triggered the reversion clause and that judgment should be entered for the association, declaring the conveyance to Defendant Aquarian Foundation null and void, ejecting Aquarian, and retaining jurisdiction to award damages, attorneys’ fees and costs after a determination of the fair appraised value of the property. Defendant appealed.

Issue. Does the clause in the condominium declaration constitute an unreasonable restraint on alienation such that enforcement of the clause is barred as against public policy?

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