Florida condominium associations, especially properties under the jurisdiction of the First District Court of Appeal in the panhandle and north Florida, have received a powerful new collections weapon with a recent ruling. The new First DCA opinion, which includes a certified conflict with several prior rulings by the Third District Court of Appeal, should be taken up by the Florida Supreme Court.

In Coastal Creek Condominium Association v. FLA Trust Services, the case hinged on whether the current owner’s shared liability with the previous owner for unpaid association dues was limited solely to the assessments that accrued during the ownership of the most recent previous owner. The unit involved in the case was acquired via auction after the mortgage lender’s foreclosure, and the company that acquired it transferred the property via quit claim deed to an LLC just six weeks later.

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