On December 2, a Florida court of appeals issued a decision reinforcing and clarifying the state’s lien priority law. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Grant, No. 4D14-979 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App., Dec. 2). At issue in the case was whether a homeowner’s association (HOA) lien on real property took priority over a mortgagee’s lien on the same property, where the mortgage was recorded prior to the association’s delinquency lien against the homeowners, but after the recording of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for the HOA. The court held that the HOA lien did not take priority over the mortgage lien because, under Florida common law applicable to liens filed prior to July 1, 2007, the HOA lien could only relate back to the filing of the earlier declaration if the declaration “contain[s] specific language indicating that the lien relates back to the date of the filing of the declaration or that it otherwise takes priority over intervening mortgages.” In this case, the declaration did not contain the required language to put parties on notice of ongoing, automatic liens until the payment of periodic HOA fees. Therefore, the HOA lien did not relate back to the filing of the declaration to give the HOA lien priority over the mortgagee’s lien.