Joint Ownership on deed 7/27/09 to 1/20/10. Removed my name. Husband then sole owner. Prior to death he turned in keys to the bank as house less than 1/2 purchase value and bank turned down several short sales. It never foreclosed that I know of. Until now, I've never received a bill directed to me from HOA. HOA now claims I am personally liable for past due HOAs from 5/1/09 to 1/20/10. HOA dues billed quarterly. Am I liable or did transfer to my husband make him 100% liable for past dues? Is there a statute of limitations or laches on this claim from the HOA? Without my husband things are very tight financially.
A Florida lawyer would be best to answer this question. I can answer in general from what would happen in Illinois. Until a deed is transferred the persons on the deed are liable for the homeowners dues. Laches is usually not a winning argument in most circumstances. If you were on the deed at the time of the HOA dues then likely you are liable for the debt.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.
You will be liable for all the dyes levied against the property during the time you were a owner and listed on title. However, after your names was removed from title, you will not be liable for any dues after that date. As far as statute of limitations, the claim for the delinquent dues is usually considered a contractual claim because it is governed by the Association's declaration and governing documents. Check with an attorney in Florida to see what the statute of limitations is on a claim based under contract. Usually, a contractual claim will not expire within only two or three years though.
Unfortunately, under Florida law, you are probably personally liable for both the HOA dues on the property while you were the owner and for those that accrued before you owned the property. If you received title insurance when you bought the property, the past HOA dues should have been collected at the closing. You may be able to recover these from the title agent or the title insurer. It will probably be difficult for you to escape liability for the time that you were an owner of the property. If you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.