Condo Assessments Extinguished By Tax Deed

An investor purchased  the tax deed for a condominium unit.  It turned out that the original owner had not only failed to pay his taxes,  but owed the condominium association $8686.40  in  dues.   The condominium association tried to collect the back dues from the tax deed buyer, citing the condominium statute 718.116 which states that buyers through foreclosures or deeds in lieu take subject to condo dues., and 718.120  which states that a tax deed does not extinguish the provisions of the declaration of condominium against a unit.  The court noted that Florida Statutes Section 197.573(2), governing tax deed states

“this section shall not protect covenants creating any debt or lien against or upon the property, except one providing for satisfaction and survival of a lien of record held by a municipal or county governmental unit, or requiring the grantee to expend money for any purpose”

The court ruled that condo dues fell under “expend money for any purpose”  and therefore ARE  extinguished by a tax deed.  The legislature clearly intended that only municipal liens survive a tax deed.  The legislative intent was to protect the interests of the government  both in attracting tax deed buyers and municipalities,   but not to elevate condominium associations,  amongst   all creditors,   to the level of municipalities.

Bailey v. Sea Dip Beach Resort Condominium Association, Inc.  20 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 266b. Volusia County 2012

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