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2015 Florida Statutes

SECTION 108
Rents and assessments; liability; lien and priority; interest; collection; cooperative ownership.
F.S. 719.108
719.108 Rents and assessments; liability; lien and priority; interest; collection; cooperative ownership.
(1) A unit owner, regardless of how title is acquired, including, without limitation, a purchaser at a judicial sale, shall be liable for all rents and assessments coming due while the unit owner is in exclusive possession of a unit. In a voluntary transfer, the unit owner in exclusive possession shall be jointly and severally liable with the previous unit owner for all unpaid rents and assessments against the previous unit owner for his or her share of the common expenses up to the time of the transfer, without prejudice to the rights of the unit owner in exclusive possession to recover from the previous unit owner the amounts paid by the unit owner in exclusive possession therefor.
(2) The liability for rents and assessments may not be avoided by waiver of the use or enjoyment of any common areas or by abandonment of the unit for which the rents and assessments are made.
(3) Rents and assessments, and installments on them, not paid when due bear interest at the rate provided in the cooperative documents from the date due until paid. This rate may not exceed the rate allowed by law and, if a rate is not provided in the cooperative documents, accrues at 18 percent per annum. If the cooperative documents or bylaws so provide, the association may charge an administrative late fee in addition to such interest, not to exceed the greater of $25 or 5 percent of each installment of the assessment for each delinquent installment that the payment is late. Any payment received by an association must be applied first to any interest accrued by the association, then to any administrative late fee, then to any costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred in collection, and then to the delinquent assessment. The foregoing applies notwithstanding s. 673.3111, any purported accord and satisfaction, or any restrictive endorsement, designation, or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. The preceding sentence 1is intended to clarify existing law. A late fee is not subject to chapter 687 or s. 719.303(4).
(4) The association has a lien on each cooperative parcel for any unpaid rents and assessments, plus interest, and any administrative late fees. If authorized by the cooperative documents, the lien also secures reasonable attorney fees incurred by the association incident to the collection of the rents and assessments or enforcement of such lien. The lien is effective from and after recording a claim of lien in the public records in the county in which the cooperative parcel is located which states the description of the cooperative parcel, the name of the unit owner, the amount due, and the due dates. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a lien may not be filed by the association against a cooperative parcel until 30 days after the date on which a notice of intent to file a lien has been delivered to the owner.
(a) The notice must be sent to the unit owner at the address of the unit by first-class United States mail, and the notice must be in substantially the following form:

NOTICE OF INTENT
TO RECORD A CLAIM OF LIEN

RE: Unit   (unit number)   of   (name of cooperative)  

The following amounts are currently due on your account to   (name of association)  , and must be paid within 30 days after your receipt of this letter. This letter shall serve as the association’s notice of intent to record a Claim of Lien against your property no sooner than 30 days after your receipt of this letter, unless you pay in full the amounts set forth below:

Maintenance due   (dates)       $ .

Late fee, if applicable     $ .

Interest through   (dates)  *     $ .

Certified mail charges     $ .

Other costs     $ .

TOTAL OUTSTANDING     $ .

*Interest accrues at the rate of   percent per annum.

1. If the most recent address of the unit owner on the records of the association is the address of the unit, the notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the unit owner at the address of the unit.
2. If the most recent address of the unit owner on the records of the association is in the United States, but is not the address of the unit, the notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the unit owner at his or her most recent address.
3. If the most recent address of the unit owner on the records of the association is not in the United States, the notice must be sent by first-class United States mail to the unit owner at his or her most recent address.
(b) A notice that is sent pursuant to this subsection is deemed delivered upon mailing. A claim of lien must be executed and acknowledged by an officer or authorized agent of the association. The lien is not effective 1 year after the claim of lien was recorded unless, within that time, an action to enforce the lien is commenced. The 1-year period is automatically extended for any length of time during which the association is prevented from filing a foreclosure action by an automatic stay resulting from a bankruptcy petition filed by the parcel owner or any other person claiming an interest in the parcel. The claim of lien secures all unpaid rents and assessments that are due and that may accrue after the claim of lien is recorded and through the entry of a final judgment, as well as interest and all reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred by the association incident to the collection process. Upon payment in full, the person making the payment is entitled to a satisfaction of the lien.
(c) By recording a notice in substantially the following form, a unit owner or the unit owner’s agent or attorney may require the association to enforce a recorded claim of lien against his or her cooperative parcel:

NOTICE OF CONTEST OF LIEN

TO:   (Name and address of association)  :

You are notified that the undersigned contests the claim of lien filed by you on  ,   (year)  , and recorded in Official Records Book   at Page  , of the public records of   County, Florida, and that the time within which you may file suit to enforce your lien is limited to 90 days from the date of service of this notice. Executed this   day of  ,   (year)  .

Signed:   (Owner or Attorney)  

After notice of contest of lien has been recorded, the clerk of the circuit court shall mail a copy of the recorded notice to the association by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address shown in the claim of lien or most recent amendment to it and shall certify to the service on the face of the notice. Service is complete upon mailing. After service, the association has 90 days in which to file an action to enforce the lien. If the action is not filed within the 90-day period, the lien is void. However, the 90-day period shall be extended for any length of time during which the association is prevented from filing its action because of an automatic stay resulting from the filing of a bankruptcy petition by the unit owner or by any other person claiming an interest in the parcel.

(d) A release of lien must be in substantially the following form:

RELEASE OF LIEN

The undersigned lienor, in consideration of the final payment in the amount of $ , hereby waives and releases its lien and right to claim a lien for unpaid assessments through  ,   (year)  , recorded in the Official Records Book   at Page  , of the public records of   County, Florida, for the following described real property:

THAT COOPERATIVE PARCEL WHICH INCLUDES UNIT NO.   OF   (NAME OF COOPERATIVE)  , A COOPERATIVE AS SET FORTH IN THE COOPERATIVE DOCUMENTS AND THE EXHIBITS ANNEXED THERETO AND FORMING A PART THEREOF, RECORDED IN OFFICIAL RECORDS BOOK  , PAGE  , OF THE PUBLIC RECORDS OF   COUNTY, FLORIDA.

  (Signature of Authorized Agent)         (Signature of Witness)  

  (Print Name)         (Print Name)  

  (Signature of Witness)  

  (Print Name)  

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me this   day of  ,   (year)  , by   (name of person making statement)  .

  (Signature of Notary Public)  

  (Print, type, or stamp commissioned name of Notary Public)  

Personally Known   OR Produced   as identification.

(5) Liens for rents and assessments may be foreclosed by suit brought in the name of the association, in like manner as a foreclosure of a mortgage on real property. In any foreclosure, the unit owner shall pay a reasonable rental for the cooperative parcel, if so provided in the cooperative documents, and the plaintiff in the foreclosure is entitled to the appointment of a receiver to collect the rent. The association has the power, unless prohibited by the cooperative documents, to bid on the cooperative parcel at the foreclosure sale and to acquire and hold, lease, mortgage, or convey it. Suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid rents and assessments may be maintained without waiving the lien securing them.
(6) Within 15 days after request by a unit owner or mortgagee, the association shall provide a certificate stating all assessments and other moneys owed to the association by the unit owner with respect to the cooperative parcel. Any person other than the unit owner who relies upon such certificate shall be protected thereby. Notwithstanding any limitation on transfer fees contained in s. 719.106(1)(i), the association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee for the preparation of the certificate.
(7) The remedies provided in this section do not exclude other remedies provided by the cooperative documents and permitted by law.
(8)(a) No unit owner may be excused from the payment of his or her share of the rents or assessments of a cooperative unless all unit owners are likewise proportionately excused from payment, except as provided in subsection (6) and in the following cases:
1. If the cooperative documents so provide, a developer or other person owning cooperative units offered for sale may be excused from the payment of the share of the common expenses, assessments, and rents related to those units for a stated period of time. The period must terminate no later than the first day of the fourth calendar month following the month in which the right of exclusive possession is first granted to a unit owner. However, the developer must pay the portion of common expenses incurred during that period which exceed the amount assessed against other unit owners.
2. A developer, or other person with an ownership interest in cooperative units or having an obligation to pay common expenses, may be excused from the payment of his or her share of the common expenses which would have been assessed against those units during the period of time that he or she shall have guaranteed to each purchaser in the purchase contract or in the cooperative documents, or by agreement between the developer and a majority of the unit owners other than the developer, that the assessment for common expenses of the cooperative imposed upon the unit owners would not increase over a stated dollar amount and shall have obligated himself or herself to pay any amount of common expenses incurred during that period and not produced by the assessments at the guaranteed level receivable from other unit owners.
(b) If the purchase contract, cooperative documents, or agreement between the developer and a majority of unit owners other than the developer provides for the developer or another person to be excused from the payment of assessments pursuant to paragraph (a), no funds receivable from unit owners payable to the association or collected by the developer on behalf of the association, other than regular periodic assessments for common expenses as provided in the cooperative documents and disclosed in the estimated operating budget pursuant to s. 719.503(1)(b)6. or s. 719.504(20)(b), may be used for payment of common expenses prior to the expiration of the period during which the developer or other person is so excused. This restriction applies to funds including, but not limited to, capital contributions or startup funds collected from unit purchasers at closing.
(9) The specific purposes of any special assessment, including any contingent special assessment levied in conjunction with the purchase of an insurance policy authorized by s. 719.104(3), approved in accordance with the cooperative documents shall be set forth in a written notice of such assessment sent or delivered to each unit owner. The funds collected pursuant to a special assessment shall be used only for the specific purpose or purposes set forth in such notice or returned to the unit owners. However, upon completion of such specific purposes, any excess funds shall be considered common surplus and may, at the discretion of the board, either be returned to the unit owners or applied as a credit toward future assessments.
(10)(a) If the unit is occupied by a tenant and the unit owner is delinquent in paying any monetary obligation due to the association, the association may make a written demand that the tenant pay to the association the subsequent rental payments and continue to make such payments until all monetary obligations of the unit owner related to the unit have been paid in full to the association. The tenant must pay the monetary obligations to the association until the association releases the tenant or the tenant discontinues tenancy in the unit.
1. The association must provide the tenant a notice, by hand delivery or United States mail, in substantially the following form:

Pursuant to section 719.108(10), Florida Statutes, we demand that you make your rent payments directly to the cooperative association and continue doing so until the association notifies you otherwise.

Payment due the cooperative association may be in the same form as you paid your landlord and must be sent by United States mail or hand delivery to   (full address)  , payable to   (name)  .

Your obligation to pay your rent to the association begins immediately, unless you have already paid rent to your landlord for the current period before receiving this notice. In that case, you must provide the association written proof of your payment within 14 days after receiving this notice and your obligation to pay rent to the association would then begin with the next rental period.

Pursuant to section 719.108(10), Florida Statutes, your payment of rent to the association gives you complete immunity from any claim for the rent by your landlord.

2. The association must mail written notice to the unit owner of the association’s demand that the tenant make payments to the association.
3. The association shall, upon request, provide the tenant with written receipts for payments made.
4. A tenant is immune from any claim by the landlord or unit owner related to the rent timely paid to the association after the association has made written demand.
(b) If the tenant paid rent to the landlord or unit owner for a given rental period before receiving the demand from the association and provides written evidence to the association of having paid the rent within 14 days after receiving the demand, the tenant shall begin making rental payments to the association for the following rental period and shall continue making rental payments to the association to be credited against the monetary obligations of the unit owner until the association releases the tenant or the tenant discontinues tenancy in the unit.
(c) The liability of the tenant may not exceed the amount due from the tenant to the tenant’s landlord. The tenant’s landlord shall provide the tenant a credit against rents due to the landlord in the amount of moneys paid to the association.
(d) The association may issue notice under s. 83.56 and sue for eviction under ss. 83.59-83.625 as if the association were a landlord under part II of chapter 83 if the tenant fails to pay a required payment to the association after written demand has been made to the tenant. However, the association is not otherwise considered a landlord under chapter 83 and specifically has no obligations under s. 83.51.
(e) The tenant does not, by virtue of payment of monetary obligations to the association, have any of the rights of a unit owner to vote in any election or to examine the books and records of the association.
(f) A court may supersede the effect of this subsection by appointing a receiver.
History.s. 2, ch. 76-222; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 17, ch. 86-175; s. 22, ch. 92-49; s. 59, ch. 95-211; s. 877, ch. 97-102; s. 10, ch. 2003-14; s. 13, ch. 2007-80; s. 5, ch. 2008-202; s. 21, ch. 2010-174; s. 14, ch. 2011-196; s. 5, ch. 2014-146; s. 13, ch. 2015-97.
1Note.The word “of” preceding the word “is” was deleted by the editors.