Before we purchased the home , I did a check with the local county and there were no liens on the property . Now that we have ownership , the association is saying that we are responsible for his past due fees . Apparently before we took ownership it was in the hands of a lawyer but nothing was filed with the courts at that point .
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If Florida is anything like New Jersey then the answer would be yes. Prior to closing you should have obtained a statement of accounts from the Association to determine what if any outstanding balances were owed by the Seller of the unit. Failing to do so leaves the new owner liable for the deficiency. The fact that no Condo Lien was placed on the unit in the county records means nothing. This is just another classic example of why it is important to retain counsel when purchasing real estate.
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Real Estate Attorney
I recommend retaining Florida counsel to resolve this issue. I suggest you do so quickly as I imagine the homeowners' association wants to resolve this matter quickly.
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Where you represented by counsel when you purchased the home? I would think an attorney would have inquired as to outstanding monies owed in addition to obtaining the by laws, rules and regulations and budget. As has been answered, if Florida is anything like NJ this would be your responsibility. I would therefore suggest contacting Florida counsel for advice. Good luck.
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