My understanding of chapter 720.3085(A) Florida Statue. is, if they did not file a lien for the previous debt then its no longer valid.
Residential Real Estate Lawyer
I have to disagree with my colleague. First, you are looking at the wrong statute, although the HOA Act and the Condo Act mirror each other for the most part on this issue. You need to refer to FS 718.116.
The statute says any purchaser is jointly and severally liable for the past due assessments of any previous owner. The association does not have to file a lien to claim the debt because the Declaration of Condominium provides for a continuing lien and the debt "runs with the land." Liens help the association get paid by putting everyone on notice so when there is a title transfer the purchaser knows to submit an estoppel or payoff letter to the association.
The statute provides you have 30 days to pay the association or they can and will foreclose on you. You can go after the previous owner for the debt, but this is usually a waste of money.
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The debt is valid against the prior owner.
Generally the new owner is not responsible for the prior owner's failure to pay fees and dues owed to the association.
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