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I am afraid that FL law allows a HOA to seek judicial foreclosure even if it is your homestead. If you are not living in the property, under FL law it is not considered a homestead, especially if you are renting it out. Your protection to the foreclosure suit, since you have disputes with the HOA, would be filing a counter suit against the HOA for those disputes.
The tenant being on the premises is a separate matter from the foreclosure for non-payment of dues, which is why they can proceed on both actions. They are two different actions for two different issues. Unfortunately, you are going to have to fight both issues with them I am afraid. The tenant being in possession of the property is one issue that the HOA can seek to prevent and foreclosing on the property for your non-payment of fees is another issue they can attack. It is not really two bites on the same apple, it is attacking two different issues involving the same property.
They have to prove of course there are tenants staying on the property, which you claim there are none. If there are no tenants and you prove this to the mediator or court, then this eviction action must be dismissed and they bear the initial burden of proof
of there being tenants on the premises. If you counter whatever proof they present and prove no tenants reside there then you would win this action and if you prove they knew or should have known there were no tenants, then you can seek damages from them in the form of your attorney's fees for them bringing this suit.
The issues over the HOA dues and foreclosure for non-payment of dues would be another issue and you would have to countersue for your dispute over those fees. You would be required to present evidence as to how those fees are not valid and you do not owe them in order to survive the foreclosure action.
You need to appear on both actions though and fight them on both issues separately.
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