Pine Island Ridge Condominium "F." Association v. Waters

374 So. 2d 1033 (1979)

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Pine Island Ridge Condominium “F.” Association v. Waters

Florida Court of Appeal
374 So. 2d 1033 (1979)

Facts

In 1974 William Waters and his wife (defendants) purchased a unit in the Pine Island Ridge Condominium from the developer, Pine Island Ridge, Inc. The Waterses paid the developer a $2,000 premium, and the developer agreed to pay the Pine Ridge Condominium “F.” Association (the association) (plaintiff) all the Waterses’ maintenance fees, recreation fees, and country-club dues for five years. The association did not approve or ratify the agreement or release the Waterses from their obligation to pay maintenance fees properly assessed pursuant to the declaration and bylaws. When the developer did not pay and the Waterses’ fees and dues became delinquent, the association sought to foreclose a lien on the Waterses’ unit and refused to allow the Waterses to lease their unit while these amounts were owed. The Waterses alleged as an affirmative defense their five years’ prepayment of all required fees and dues. The Waterses also counterclaimed for slander of title and sought compensatory and punitive damages for the association’s interference with their use and enjoyment of their property. The parties stipulated to several facts, including that (1) the Waterses owned their unit, which was subject to the declaration and bylaws empowering the association to levy and collect maintenance fees; (2) such assessments were made against the Waterses’ unit; (3) the Waterses refused to pay the assessments, and the association filed an appropriate lien against their unit; (4) the association was not the successor in right, title, and interest to the developer from whom the Waterses purchased their unit; (5) the Waterses paid a $2,000 premium to the developer to prepay all maintenance, recreation, and country-club fees and dues for five years; (6) the association refused to allow the Waterses to lease their unit while they owed the amounts; and (7) the association was a separate and distinct corporation from the developer. The trial court ruled for the Waterses, awarding them damages for the loss of rental income and attorney’s fees. The association appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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