What to know about Community Association Late Charg
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Last updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Often times people ask why they should pay assessments when they never use any of the amenities or do not live in the community half the time. Unfortunately, they did not read their documents before signing the deed to their acquired property. The State of Florida allows for a three (3) day grace period or window for the sole purpose of community document review. In that time frame the buyer can legally cancel contract without penalties. If it’s a brand new home, the State allows for a seven (7) day window for document review.

Should there be any more confusion regarding non-use of amenities, see Florida Statute, 718.116, Section (2):

The liability for assessments may not be avoided by waiver of the use or enjoyment of any common element or by abandonment of the unit for which the assessments are made.

Most community documents permit the maximum fine granted by state law. Currently the fine accrue at a rate of 18%. For example, if the quarterly assessment were $1,000, then for each delinquent day, a .50 cent interest charge would be added. If so provided for in the applicable documents, in addition to the interest charges, an administrative fee of $25 or a 5% of each installment can be added to interest late fees. The highest amount can be appropriated.

After payments received, here is the order in which late charges are applied first and are superior to assessments:

Interest accrued by the Association
Administrative fees
All Attorney costs associated with collection
Assessments

For related post see, ” Condominium & Homeowner Association have different Rulings for Delinquencies“. To review supporting documents, click here.

718.116 (3):  Assessments and installments on them which are not paid when due bear interest at the rate provided in the declaration, from the due date until paid. This rate may not exceed the rate allowed by law, and, if no rate is provided in the declaration, interest shall accrue at the rate of 18 percent per year. Also, if the declaration or bylaws so provide, the association may charge an administrative late fee in addition to such interest, in an amount 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 shall be applied first to any interest accrued by the association, then to any administrative late fee, then to any costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in collection, and then to the delinquent assessment. The foregoing shall be applicable notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation, or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. A late fee shall not be subject to the provisions in chapter 687 or s. 718.303(3).

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