To correct an alleged violation of the Montgomery County condominium law, the country's Office of Consumer Affairs has ordered that the residents of the 220-unit Fairways condominium in Silver Spring be given an additional 120 days in which to decide whether to purchase or leave as their development is converted.
The reprieve resulted from a June 9 cease and desist agreement with the building's owner. ADC Fairways Corp., a subsidiary of Arlen Development Florida Corp. It is the third such agreement reached since the county's condominium law went into effect in 1974.
ADC Fairways also agreed to pay the county $2,500 to settle the alleged violation, which involved the filing of a property report, the consumer office said.
Notice of conversion was first served on Fairways residents a year ago. State law requires 180 days notice, while county law also requires that a property report be given tenants at the same time. This report is supposed to contain information for prospective buyers, such as an engineer's report, warranties, and the manager's contract.
According to Steve Silcox, a condominium specialist with the office of consumer affairs, the property report was not given the tenants at the time of the conversion notice and only recently was filed with his office. He noted that no tenants had complained about the missing report.
Silcox said it was impossible to tell how many tenants would have decided to purchase rather than to move out in the intervening year if they had had the property report. Of those who received the original conversion notice, residents of 60 units remain.
It is not known how many vacancies there were at the time, but tenants entering since then have been informed of conversion plans. The units are expected to sell for between $20,000 and $34,000.