Q&A – Reduction of Debt

Q. We have a unit that is $17,000 in arrears on their maintenance dues.  Our attorney is moving forward in foreclosing on the unit (as well as the bank).  The owner has asked the Association to consider reducing the debt and the board has stated that they aren’t interested in doing so; however, our attorney has alluded to possibly considering this request.  We are wondering if it is allowable for the Association to do this?

A.  The issue you’re asking about is one that we hear quite often. I know that it makes sense to try to make a deal for the benefit of the owner and the Association, but the condominium statute states that you may not reduce an assessment for one owner, unless you reduce it for all owners. For this reason, if you give a reduction to the owner in question, you must do something similar for every other owner, and obviously that does not work.

The section from the condominium act follows. 718.116 Assessments; liability; lien and priority; interest; collection. — (9)(a) A unit owner may not be excused from payment of the unit owner’s share of common expenses unless all other unit owners are likewise proportionately excluded from payment, except as provided in subsection (1) and in the following cases:

Where the section above references the following cases, it is referring to the fact that the developer may be excused from paying the assessments on the units he or she owns where there is a developer guarantee in place. There is no exception with regard to other owners with respect to receiving a reduction in the assessment.

About Fred Gray

Fred Gray is the owner and President of Gray Systems, Inc and is a licensed general contractor in the state of Florida. Fred has been part of the Community Association Manager Continuing Education industry in Florida since 1988.
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