Need Florida Condo law help. Taking over a defunt association

Need some help if you know Florida Condo Association laws

My friend owns 2 units in a 40 unit complex. 90% is investor owned and
there are 18-22 investors.

Was an apartment complex and during downside of boom turned into
condos. Developer screwed up and is still controlled by developer.

Associate is negative 10K (est, but can be closer to 15K) Water was
turned off in complex today. Roof damage in 4 units and no money to
repair. No insurance either on building. City says Dec 31st they will evict
everyone and close building.

His investment will be lost of course.


He wants to know if he can buy out association. He has funds to catch up
water, trash, sewer, electric bills. Property Mgmt company not being paid
so they stopped doing things. I can take over mgmt with him but no CAM
LIcense so not sure., we may need to search for someone with license.

Plan is… Can he/we buy association. Catch up bills/repairs (under 20K)
and then start foreclosure proceeding on all units behind on monthly
condo fees. UNder Florida law as of 2010, an association has the right to
have tenants pay association the monthly rent if unit is rented and owner
behind on fees. Association collects monthly fees from rent and pays unit
owner remainder, or association can evict tenants/primary owner after 3
months of non-payment.

FOreclosing on units or renting and collecting rents can generate cashflow
if possible for this investment.

Sort of a Corporate Takeover on an association being controlled by one
person the lousy developer.

About 15 units we know will have fees paid on time as it was discussed
today with unit owners on how to fix this mess.

Also 5 units are bank owned and bank not paying fees. Can association
foreclose on those units in some aspect with bank to take them over???

This is a lot of out of the box thinking… Brainstorming… HELP!!!


 Ok, you don't say in your posting when the development originally broke ground, how long the development has been under construction or whether the original development has been completely finaled with the building department???

Was the original developer also the actual builder who did the condo conversion work?
Does anyone know whether units were sold directly by the developer or was a realtor involved?
Has anyone met with the developer to discuss the issues?
Why do 4 units have roof damage? Is roof damage due to a hurricane or tornado where it was an act of god?
Those owners paying HOA Dues who has been recieving and cashing the checks?

His investment will not be lost, there are liability insurance companies involved here!!!
And presumable a bond for the condo conversion?

This is the issue, presumable the original developer is not required to turn the association over until the development is completely sold out and the permits / approvals finaled? You may be able to force a turn over or get the developer to agree to a turn over but someone has to have this discussion and that should be an attorney?

You probable can not foreclose on any properties without a lawsuit and first winning a judgement! Probable $2500 per property just to prepare and file lawsuits! However since there has been no recorded board, no minutes and approvals of motions or budgets you probable have to have an HOA board in place for 1 year before you can actually file a lawsuit!

It is very possible to sell units that the developer promised to pay HOA fees for buyers for some period of years to induce a purchase, if so it is not the property owners responsibility and nothing the courts would consider negligent if these types of promises were made!!!

How did 90% of ownership end up in investors hands? Were there no provisions limiting ownership by no more than some percentage of investors in the articles or HOA Covenants?
Do you have the HOA Documents? Have you read them? Were they supplied prior to purchase?

Stop paying your HOA Dues to the developer and retain an attorney, ask the attorney to impound your payments in his trust account and if necessary supply a bond for the court!
Try to settle this as easily as possible right now, even if owners may choose to turn around and file suit against the developer, realtor, title company, city etc. later as it makes it easier to immediately take over HOA management and sort and fix problems on site?

Good luck,



This was an apt building in low income area. IN Florida condo conversions were the craze during the boom. It is an older building from 1950-1960’s that was bought by an investment group. They ran out of money but got condo conversion papers through, however many units never completed and the bank foreclosured on over half the units. Somehow the original investors were able to hold several. There is no board, which is a problem. My buddy owned his units for 6 months before he even found out who/where to paid the HOA.

The HOA has NO MONEY at all. No turn over done or plans to his knowledge. Florida is a funny state with Condo Associations. Different rules than HOA’s.

All we know is, they have no money and do not care. Insurance policy dropped. Now many banks require condo owners to carry more insurance coverage beyond routine coverages for things like flooding from broken water heaters or upstair units.

Roof damage?? Well it is existing from 2005 hurricane season. They did a patch job and now it opened up again. These guys have owned building since 2007. It was bought in distressed from hurricane damage. Never fixed right.

So far I been advised you can not take over the association investment wise. Must gain controlling interest in units to over take through an election. Since developer has not turned it over yet, no election. Can be long battle and expensive.


I would get an attorney to represent all the units, first talk with city, they may grant temporary authority to form a condo association board, then start addressing all the units by contacting owners, figure out a temporary 1 year operating budget including CAM property management company.

Then go in and make a special assessment against owners for a 1 year budget to turn things around.
Contacting all owners will get cooperation from banks and lenders and put’s everyone on same page, give owners of uncompleted units 6 months to finish construction and come into compliance for building codes.

If need be ask the attorney to aproach a judge to ask for a temporary court order granting control of the condo association to a temporary board for at least a temporary one year term while owners, officers, corporations, and parties to the property are contacted or served for damages!

It can not be a long or expensive battle to get the legal right to organize and operate a pro-tem board to represent the rights of owners in the property.

Someone needs to step up and get this organized and start action, and your going to need help!

I knew Florida was Condo Association but it’s easier and faster to write HOA as it is still a home and an association of owners!


i will forward your advise to my friend. Since I do not own units here (I told him to pass, he didnt listen) I am not going to put my time and energy into the battle. However I would help run the Property Mgmt aspect for a reasonable below market rate as a friend.

I know cities in FL have no control over the condo association. It is government controlled. In south Florida there are a lot of complexing having water turned off for non-payment. It is horrible here and getting worse.