just got served by HOA, suit for $4500 for parking commerical vechicle in driveway. I sold the house in 2008 to a relative and have not lived there since 2006.. wrote letter stating I was unable to attend due process (out of town) they held meeting anyways. fine $25 a day untill corrected regardless if truck is there or not, truck is only parked there 3 to 4 days a week and signs are less than 3 square feet total. deed is dated August 2008 but was not filed until last month.. my question is am I responsible for this even though I have no interest or controll of this property? Is it my responsiblity to file the deed if I was the seller? Also can I counter sue for attorney fees?
State/Country relating to Question: Florida
just got served
Does the lawsuit include legal fees for the HOA?
You cannot be held liable for anything pertaining to that property past the date the property was transferred to someone else, which is the date on the deed. It does not matter that the deed was not recorded until much later.
Additionally, if the lawsuit is asking for the plaintiff's attorney fees, you can also ask for attorney fees in a countersuit.
I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.Thank you!
the deed restrictions state that the definition of owner is recorded fee simple title to any lot does this verbage deem who is responsible?
Defining ownership as belonging to someone whose deed has been recorded can only affect the rights of ownership - such as the right to use a common pool.
That definition does not affect the liabilities of ownership - such as the liability for parking fines.
In other words, the HOA cannot use that definition to sue a non-owner who has transferred the deed and before the deed has been recorded.
if so can the HOA transfer the fines to the new owner without due process?
No - the HOA has to add the new owner to the current lawsuit - and properly serve the new owner - or the HOA has to start a new lawsuit against the new owner.
so based on what you state, I have to question why would a lawyer pursue me after seeing that I had transfered deed well before infraction date? and risk a counter suit.
There is a good possibility that the inception of the lawsuit was before the deed was recorded. In other words, at the time the plaintiff decided to file a lawsuit - which would have been at least a few weeks or months before the lawsuit was actually filed - the deed may have not yet been recorded.
That would be the reason you were sued instead of the new owner.
so in your professional opinion there is no legal way they can win the suit, and I can recover any legal fees I occur?
Given the information you provided, the HOA cannot win a lawsuit based on fines for the property you transferred that were incurred before the date of transfer.
Additionally, you should be able to recover your legal fees. (I said "should", because nothing is guaranteed in the legal world.) The attorney you consult - will be able to give you a better idea about this.
Expert in Landlord/Tenant Law. Licensed Real Estate Broker.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).