State law governs how Florida condominium associations manage their operations and conduct basic units. The way that they collect unpaid dues and assessment fees is subject to several important regulations.
In recent months, bills amending the Florida Condominium Act (1978) have passed both the House and Senate. These amendments have now taken effect as law. Here are some notable developments concerning collections practices and home foreclosure that Florida condo owners should be aware of.
Issuance of notice
Associations need to provide 30-day notices before moving an account to a collection or initiating legal action. In effect, the first notice that an owner receives must originate from the association, and the association must send the notice before advancing the collections process.
Method of service
In interactions with management companies and during collections proceedings, condo owners commonly report that they never received any notice that they owed dues or that the association levied an assessment. As a measure to address this type of situation, associations must now inform residents if they plan to change how they send communications in advance of sending a notice regarding someone’s account.
An association cannot record a lien against a unit until 45 days after proper service of notice to a unit owner. This changes the previous requirement of 30 days’ notice.
The 2021 amendments to the Condominium Act change several long-established standards, and some South Florida condo associations may not be aware of their new responsibilities. When an association takes action to collect dues, owners may need to consider verifying whether that action is consistent with current state law.