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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Question When can a Current Owner be Fined for a Condo Violation Committed by a Prior Owner

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Florida

    Prior owner of my condo installed tile flooring prior to my purchase without approval of the Association. This was not disclosed to me when I purchased the unit. Now the association has sent me a violation notice which states I will be fined if I do not remove the tile or cover it with carpet. I live on the third floor and the rules state no hard flooring except on first floor units. Is the Association able to enforce this now?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Condo Violation Committed by Prior Owner

    Quite possibly. The rest will depend on such factors as when this occurred, when the COA learned of the problem, the CC&Rs, and other relevant details.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2016
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    Default Re: Condo Violation Committed by Prior Owner

    The coa learned of the violation in 2015. The violation rule stating hard flooring is a violation on 2nd or 3rd floor units was passed in 2011. The tile was installed between 2009 - 2013 during the time of the prior ownership. Prior to the specific 2011 rule however, the declaration did state that Board approval was required to install hard flooring (Original declaration documents) However , the COA Board feels they have a right to serve violation notice whenever a violation is uncovered, regardless of how long the violation has occurred and regardless of the name of the owner who created the violation. Detection of the violation in 2015 occurred only when maintenance person entered the unit of the current owner.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Condo Violation Committed by Prior Owner

    The former owner either sought approval for the pre-2011 flooring, or they did not. You are leaving us to guess, but it seems reasonable to infer that they did not.

    An enforcement action would appear to be governed by Florida Statutes, Sec. 95.11(2)(a), which sets a five year statute of limitations; should the matter go to court, you may be able to use that as a defense to the earliest renovations.

    The seller seems to be giving you a time table of when they performed the renovations that underlie your current problems with the COA; were you aware of these problems at the time you purchased the property?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Default Re: Condo Violation Committed by Prior Owner

    Current owner was not provided condo documents or rules prior to closing. Certificate of Assessment from COA stated no violations, thus current owner was unable to detect violation prior to closing. 5 year statute of limitations may apply if prior owner provides date of installation as it appears that installation may have occurred in 2010

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Condo Violation Committed by Prior Owner

    If the condo owner did not care whether he was complying with the CC&R's, and you did not do even the slightest due diligence to ensure compliance, or even to determine what restrictions applied to the unit, before purchasing the unit and closing, then you'll need to review your purchase documents and seller disclosure statement to see if you have any basis for relief against the former owner. It sounds now like you're trying to conspire with the former owner to misrepresent when the changes were made, and I'm not going to go there.

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