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Assume that an HOA has improperly violated a statute by removing moneys from a reserve account and paid the unit-owners. Relevant Florida laws include:

718.112(2)(f) 3. and 4., Florida Statutes: 3. Reserve funds and any interest accruing thereon shall remain in the reserve account or accounts, and may be used only for authorized reserve expenditures unless their use for other purposes is approved in advance by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the association.

Assume that a complaint is successful and Florida authorities rule the funds must be returned by the all unit-owners to the reserve. Assume that Alice improperly received the said money, however Alice has sold her home to Bob. Does the onus to return the funds fall on Alice or Bob?

Is the process that Bob must pay and then collect from Alice?

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Assume that a complaint is successful and Florida authorities rule the funds must be returned by the owners to the reserve.

This is extremely unlikely; actions taken by a HOA that affect third-parties are legitimate even if they break the law and a court will not reverse them. Notwithstanding, for the purpose of the question, let’s assume it.

Bob owes

The debt is owed by the property owner and that’s Bob.

Whether Bob has a claim on Alice for breach of contract or misrepresentation depends on what’s in the contract and what Bob asked and was told.

At common law, there is no onus on Alice to disclose such contingent liabilities, Bob should have thoroughly checked the HOA records. But she cannot deliberately conceal it or refuse to answer if asked about it (assuming she knew it was a possibility).

Local law may impose such an onus and may specify remedies.

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  • What one is required to disclose to a buyer of property is regulated locally. "Before execution of a residential sales contract, the seller or his or her broker is required to deliver the statutory real estate transfer disclosure statement to the buyer, which contains a checklist to give notice of problems or potential problems with the property. Civil Code §§ 1102.3, 1102.6." The law seems to deal with defect about the property it self rather than any liens. But it is far from buyer beware. Federally the only requirement I saw was about presence of lead that was known to the seller. Jun 4 at 23:55
  • Florida is much more loose - "Florida case law provides that, with some exceptions, a home seller must disclose any facts or conditions about the property that have a substantial impact on its value or desirability and that others cannot easily see for themselves." Jun 4 at 23:58
  • My first comment is regarding CA law. Jun 5 at 2:14

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