Members of a homeowner’s association (HOA) generally assume that fellow member will pay their dues and assessments. HOA dues are collected for the purpose of managing the development and repairing common areas. If the HOA fails to collect adequate dues, the premises can become neglected and homeowners may no longer want to remain as part of the HOA. If the HOA raises dues and assessments excessively to compensate for other delinquent members, then the HOA will fail to attract new buyers.
Homeowners in an HOA can be harmed by their neighbor’s delinquency. As such, it is in their interest to ensure that other homeowners pay their assessments regularly. However, if other homeowners are not paying their dues, it might be difficult for you to force them to pay. It might even be impossible to determine who the delinquent members are due to privacy laws. Instead, homeowners can attempt to act through the HOA.
You can start by discussing your concerns with the board and find out what is being done to secure payment of unpaid dues. It is also important to check the governing documents to determine what actions the board can take to deal with delinquent homeowners. The HOA often has various powers assigned to it in the HOA’s governing documents. For example, the HOA could have the right to collect late fees, file a lawsuit against the delinquent owner, or place a lien on the property. In some limited cases, the HOA could foreclose on the property and use the proceeds to satisfy the unpaid dues.
What if the board of your HOA refuses to address the problem? This can be a difficult situation for other homeowners. One course of action is to replace board members who have been lax in handling delinquent owners. Most HOAs empower homeowners to make replacements on the board so long as proper procedures are followed. As a last resort, homeowners can bring legal action against the board for failure to perform its duties with respect to governing the HOA. This option can be expensive and may not be successful. HOA members are best served by being involved in the management of the association from the outset. This may include getting elected to the board or simply showing up and voicing concerns at member meetings.
The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at https://www.markweinsteinlaw.com to find out how they can advise you.