Condominium associations are not-for-profit corporations whose members elect directors to manage and operate their business affairs. In the course of such business operations, they incur expenses in the name of the association for various goods and services, such as building and landscaping maintenance and repairs, insurance, water and electric services, management fees, professional fees, and every other item that makes up a condominium budget and may be the basis for a special assessment when the expense is not a re-occurring expense. These “common expenses” must be paid by the Association to the vendors and service providers. They are obligations of the association for which they are contractually liable as a result of the agreements made between the Association and the vendors and service providers. The Association merely acts as an operating entity on behalf of the members/unit owners. Since the Association is composed only of its members/unit owners and its principal source of revenue are the assessments payable by its members, the members cannot use a failure of the board to comply with the condominium “Act” or Declaration of Condominium as an excuse to avoid payment of his/her proportionate share. If it were otherwise, associations would not be able to pay their bills and could not survive. The Florida Supreme Court has said that the remedy for owners against directors who violate the statute or Declaration is to change directors, not withhold maintenance or seek to avoid payment by suggesting such violations constitute grounds to excuse payment. Indeed, 718.116(9)(a) of the statute expressly prohibits an owner from being excused from payment of his proportionate share.
So, if you are dissatisfied with the operation of the Association, do not withhold your condominium dues as a means of protest. You will almost certainly be referred to the association’s attorney for collection and your reasons for non-payment will not hold up in Court.
DISCLAIMER: THE FOREGOING ARTICLE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. YOUR READING OF THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ANY ACTION WITH LEGAL CONSEQUENCES, YOU SHOULD FIRST CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOOSING.