Your options when a homeowner won’t pay their HOA fees

| Nov 25, 2020 | HOA Law |

If you are a member of the board for your local homeowner’s association (HOA), you probably do a lot of work for your community without much — if any — compensation for your efforts. Some of your work can even be unpleasant, as you may have to issue citations and notices to those who are not in compliance with the HOA rules and standards.

The role of the HOA, after all, is to protect the quiet enjoyment of the residence in the association and help prevents situations that might damage people’s property values. Typically, residents will have to pay a monthly association fee that helps cover the cost of communal amenities. What happens when people won’t pay?

Enforcement office starts with cutting someone off from facilities

Sometimes people forget about bills. When residents don’t pay their HOA fees, you may need to send them a letter advising them of the potential consequences. The first step will often be to limit their access to community resources. If you have a gym or a pool managed by the HOA, you may deny that individual and their family members access to those community perks until they pay their fees.

In extreme cases, you may need to secure a lien against their property

If the community member has made it clear either verbally or through their actions that they have no intention of paying the dues assessed by the HOA, limiting their access to a few amenities may not be sufficient to compel them to pay.

You may need to go to court and ask the courts to issue a lien against their property. That lien ensures that when they go to sell or refinance, they will have to pay you before they can do anything else with their home.

Enforcement isn’t pleasant, but it is an important part of what an HOA does. Timely and universal enforcement for issues with residents now will make enforcement in the future easier as well.