I have a comment with regard to Santos's response.
It seems since no one could get financed to purchase the the association, it would deter those who did have cash to purchase if they had to contribute to a "capital contribution fee". Such fee may also be illegal since owners are only legally obligated to pay their proportionate share of the maintenance of the common elements.
Taking away parking permits and rights to use the common elements is illegal under Florida Statutes. Even if a unit owner is delinquent, you may not take away their rights to use the common elements are any appurtenance to their unit, i.e, parking permits, water, cable.
You may not feel it is right for an owner to not pay maintenance if they are in foreclosure, but even the economists now are advising people to do just that.
With all that I have just said you may think that I am against trying to collect, and that is not the case. As Managers and Board members, we have to be very careful that the means we follow in order to do is legal...otherwise with new laws, Board members can be sued personally.
In collecting, it is important to look at each delinquency individually, setup spending limits on pursuing and discuss the matters with all Board members at each step of the way.
For instance, if a unit is going into foreclosure, pursuing against the unit owner isn't going to make much sense since the bank only has to pay the last 6 months or 1% whichever is greater. That does not mean you should not pursue a lien, so you can guarantee collection. Furthermore complicating the matters is the long drawn out process which becomes even longer if the individual files bankruptcy. If the unit is worth less than someone purchased it for, it is highly unlikely the bank will want to foreclose and take on the responsibility of paying maintenance and maintaining the unit.
On the other side, there is the issue of having too many foreclosures and empty units, as this now places additional strain on the Association. Some associations are having to turn electricity on to units and maintain them in order to fight mold and leak problems which threaten the building's structure.
Collecting from units rented is an expensive task in and of itself since the Association usually has to prove the unit is leased and many in Florida know ways around that too.
>> There may be many reasons why >> the unit owners stop paying
>> their maintenance fees, but
>> none are justified, even when >> facing foreclosure.
oh YEAH? NO JUSTIFIED REASONS? (ya gotta be kiddin' me).
a contract goes both ways. MY condo association, unit owners, along with the lawyer-wanna-be are clueless as to what the bylaws, regulations, etc. are.
i think i'm the only unit owner that has EVER read these documents written in 1974. (believe THAT?)
my association fees come with a budget, and NONE of these itemized expenses have been performed. NOT EVEN THE GROUNDS KEEPING ! no termite bond, no pool maintenence, no laundry room maintenence, (oh, the retainer for legal counsel is contracted, if ya wanna call that idiot legal counsel) and they pay the management their dues, i suppose... (if ya wanna call those idiots management).
their is not only NO effort to perform the duties for which the condo fees are delegated, but they abide by very few of their own by-laws and don't have a clue what they are.
i stopped paying my condo fees when i asked (per their by-laws) for receipts or contracts proving the expenditures budgeted. there is a 10 day window of opportunity for them to provide me with this (per their by-laws, of course) and after 9 months of requesting this documentation, doing my own lawn maintenence, taking care of all the physical elements they are to provide and having no termite bond, no termite inspection report, no new years day or chocolate covered candy hearts ta give away......
i said "GO AHEAD, FORECLOSE ! ya put it in the paper 2 times, didn't show up for auction, and the 3rd will put me in a position to sue you a**holes for breach of contract."
how cute !
they don't have a deed, i'm all tight with my mortgage company, and that smoothe move by the condo powers that be's gonna cost'em the mortgage (which is more'n tha condo is worth) plus everything that is "mine" as opposed to "common" bein' jerked outta that property to the tune of hardwood floors, wall coverings, claw foot bathtub, all appliances, and basically everything but the kitchen sink ! (oh wait... i'm takin' that too.)
so when you say there's NO justification for non-payment of condo fees, think again.
they sued me for the money owed plus legal fees. i countersued for the 6 years of paid condo fees plus legal fees and i won.
NOW i'm lobbying against condo assn. fees while i'm soap-boxin' for the REAL condo assn. laws.
they're over the limit of rental units, over the limit of empty units, assessin' tha heck outta other condo owners that's stupid enough to try'n hang on the the american dream, and i'm sittin' back watchin' the property value go down.... down......... down.
i don't understand why ANYbody would go into a property ownership partnership with a condo association. mine was a parental deal and they didn't have very good legal advice and common sense wasn't the event of the season re assn. fees back 8 or 9 years ago.
sooooo... they foreclosed and have no deed. they think it's worth it? can ya sell a car with no title? and even if they took up the mortgage, between the appraisal, me taking my "own" contents out of the unit (per their by-laws, i reiterate)... they're gonna be singin' all tha way to tha "damn... we're stupid" bank.
such is life.
me? i'm lovin' life, i gave'em many chances, and makin' out like'ah bandit.
do i feel guilty? HELL NO ! would THEY? DO THEY?
no, no, and no.
TA DAHHHHHH !