Law blocks sale of condo common areas

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The Village of Doral Place, a 331-unit condominium located in Miami-Dade County, Fla., has common areas that include a parcel of land with a swimming pool. The county tax assessor sent the tax bill for this parcel to the complex's property management company, where it was neither paid nor forwarded to the homeowners association (HOA). The county then sold a tax certificate for the parcel to a local bank, which resold it to a private company, which in turn bought the property at public sale. The buyers -- RU4Real Inc. and For Sale by Owner Realty Inc. -- subsequently fenced off the swimming pool, barring condo-unit owners from accessing the pool. The HOA sued in Village of Doral Place Association Inc. v. RU4Real Inc. et al. At trial, the court refused to set aside the sale and tax deed, citing Florida Statute 194.171(2), which states: "(n)o action shall be brought to contest a tax assessment after 60 days from the date (of) the assessment."However, the court al...