Record Title Act) is very clear: If a Homeowners’
Association is not renewing its deed-restrictions in a
timely manner – meaning before the 30-year deadline – the
association is dissolved and is no longer able to collect
dues or enforce rules for the community. PERIOD!
In an OPINION DATED MARCH 15, 2019 (Case No. 2D17-1726) the District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, made it very clear that Unit II of the MYAKKA VALLEY RANCHES IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC., is no longer a mandatory HOA since it failed to renew the deed-restrictions in 2001.
The court’s opinion said: “The restrictions for Unit II were first recorded April 14, 1971, and on October 1, 1971, the developer filed a warranty deed subject to the deed restrictions transferring title to a parcel in Unit II. Thus, the Association had until 2001 to file its preservation notice pursuant to section 712.05(1). The Association filed its preservation notice in January 2004, but by then MRTA had already extinguished the restrictions rendering them "null and void."
How much clearer can it be?
But it seems that the board of the association was determined to ignore this ruling and continued to do “BUSINESS AS USUAL”.
In December 2021 a long list of owners sued the MYAKKA VALLEY RANCHES IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC. (SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF) stating the fact that the association is no longer a mandatory homeowners’ association due to the failure of the former association of revitalizing the covenants in a timely manner.
Did the board members or the association attorneys care? Definitely not!
Instead the attorneys did send a LETTER asking for “REVITALIZATION” to the Department of Economic Opportunity in September 2022 and received a NEGATIVE RESPONSE for all three UNITS (I, II and III) in November – again confirming the ruling of the 2ndDCA.
Will anybody in the law offices or the board members care – or will they continue to send out ESTOPPEL LETTERS and DELINQUENT NOTICES as they did in the past? Will the President continue to send out messages reminding owners about UNPAID DUES or hold BOARD MEETINGS announcing collections?
But the board
president Deborah Houston is not giving up yet -- she needs
to keep the power she thinks she has. In a President's
Messagemailed out this week he says: "Many of you have
seen a Facebook post claiming that the Revitalization of our
deed restrictions was turned down. This does not mean our
HOA has been dissolved. It has not."
If she would have cared to read the ruling of the 2ndDCA she would have seen that the HOA was dissolved in January of 2001. The quote from the DCA ruling: "Thus, the Association had until 2001 to file its preservation notice pursuant to section 712.05(1)." THE ASSOCIATION FAILED TO FILE THIS NOTICE!
These folks knew since March 15, 2019 that they are no longer a mandatory homeowners’ association but they just continued like nothing happened, totally ignoring the opinion of the 2nd District Court of Appeals.
And this raises the question: WHAT’S THE PUNISHMENT FOR IGNORING THE RULING OF A DCA?
Who will pay for all the cost and legal fees created while continuing as a mandatory HOA? Who will be responsible? The board members obviously ignored the ruling of the 2nd DCA while the attorneys continued to create legal fees knowing about the Appeals Court decision. What happens with the “dues” and "maintenance fees" unlawfully collected? We will see, because this story hasn’t found an ending yet!
It is high time that board members are held liable for their actions. In cases like this board members just can’t claim that they didn’t know that they ignored the laws!