Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Fourth District Decision Relating To Section 718.302

In Jupiter Ocean and Racquet Club Condominium Association, Inc. v. Courtside Properties of Palm Beach, LLC (4D08-3753), the Fourth District released its second decision discussing section 718.302, Florida Statutes in as many weeks.  The first decision was discussed here.  The association filed a declaratory action seeking to have a lease declared invalid.  The trial court applied section 718.302 and held that the unit owners had waited too long to cancel the lease.  The trial court also held the cancellation was barred by the doctrine of laches.  The Fourth District held:

In sum, to apply the cancellation right in section 718.302 to a lease entered into prior to its enactment would b e retroactive, and impermissibly impair the obligation of the contract. Because section 718.302 cannot be applied retroactively, the association never had the right to cancel the contract pursuant to the statute.2 The predecessor judge erred in holding that section 718.302(1) applied to the lease.  Nevertheless, the successor judge entered judgment for the lessee on different grounds. We therefore affirm.


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