Legal Matters – S. Kyla Thomson
Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross respond to questions about Florida community association law. With offices in Naples, Fort Myers, Coral Gables and Delray Beach, the firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.
Q: I have heard that there have been recent changes in the law that requires a condominium association to send a special late notice to owners who are delinquent in payment of their assessments. Can you provide more information regarding the recent changes? J.C., Bonita Springs
A: There was an amendment to the Condominium Act, which took effect on July 1, 2021. Prior to July 1, 2021, each condominium association, depending on the requirements of its Declaration of Condominium or Bylaws, would send a delinquent owner a late notice letter with a specific number of days to remedy the delinquency or be subject to additional action, including legal action. The issue here is that there was no consistency to these late notices. Most condominium association documents did not require these late notices and if a condominium association chose to send the late notices, it was usually in the board’s discretion to determine the number of days to provide the owner to remedy the delinquency.
As of July 1, 2021, a condominium association may not require the payment of attorney’s fees related to a past due assessment without first delivering a written notice of late assessment to the owner. The notice of late assessment must specify the amount owed, late fee (if applicable), any interest incurred, and the total amount owed to the condominium association. The notice of late assessment must be sent via first class mail to the unit address and to the owner’s last mailing address as provided in the condominium association’s records, if any. The language of the notice of late assessment must provide the owner with thirty (30) days from the date of the notice to pay the amounts owed or further collection action will be commenced. In order to assist the condominium associations, the Florida Legislature provided a form of the notice of late assessment in Section 718.121(5), Florida Statutes.
The board of directors should consult with its legal counsel regarding implementing these changes into the condominium association’s collections process. Additionally, it is important to note that these changes also took effect for Homeowner’s Associations (720.3085(3)(d), Florida Statutes) and Cooperatives (719.108(3)(c), Florida Statutes).
Q: Our homeowner’s association (HOA) would like to pursue enforcement of its restrictions by fining and suspending the use rights to our amenity center (pool, fitness center, etc.). However, we cannot find enough people to serve on the fining/suspension committee. Is this committee required or can the board move forward with…
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