Notice of Contest of Lien for Condominium and HOA Liens
Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Condominium Act and the Homeowners’ Association Act create separate thresholds for perfecting a claim of lien for delinquent assessments. Both acts require specific notices to the delinquent owner before the association may record a claim of lien. Even with all of these statutory requirements, a savvy unit owner may be able to knock out an assessment lien on his property by employing a rarely utilized section of the Condominium Act or Homeowners Act.
A unit owner, his agent or attorney may drastically shorten the time for an association to file suit by recording a notice of contest in the public records. The Notice must be in substantially the following form:
NOTICE OF CONTEST OF LIEN
TO: (Name and address of association)
You are notified that the undersigned contests the claim of lien filed by you on February 8, 2014, and recorded in Official Records Book 12345 at Page 789, of the public records of Duval County, Florida, and that the time within which you may file suit to enforce your lien is limited to 90 days from the date of service of this notice. Executed this 15th day of October, 2014.
Jimerson Birr, Esquire
Attorney for Owner
After a notice of contest of lien has been recorded in the public records, the clerk of the circuit court will mail a copy of the recorded notice of contest to the Association by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address shown in the claim of lien or most recent amendment to it. The clerk will certify to the service on the face of the notice. Service is complete upon mailing, so the Association will need to act quickly to file its lawsuit if it wants to retain its lien rights. After service, the Association has 90 days in which to file an action to enforce the lien; and, if the action is not filed within the 90-day period, the lien is void. However, the 90-day period shall be extended for any length of time during which the association is prevented from filing its action because of an automatic stay resulting from the filing of a bankruptcy petition by the unit owner or by any other person claiming an interest in the parcel.