Don’t Forget to Pay Your Homeowners’ Association Fees
January 16th, 2013
January 16th, 2013
If you live in a condominium or housing community with a homeowners’ association (HOA), you likely have to pay annual, quarterly or monthly fees that cover maintenance and improvements of the common areas (like swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses, playgrounds, entrances or landscaping), snow removal, insurance, and possibly utilities. These fees can range from a $100 to over $2000. Membership is often mandatory for everyone living within the building or community.
So what happens, if for some reason, you’re unable to pay your HOA fees? Well, unfortunately, the HOA can take action against you – including foreclosing on your home.
An HOA is a formal legal entity with formal governing documents. An HOA has the authority to enact and enforce certain maintenance and design rules, called Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), as well as any City ordinances. An HOA is usually governed by a board; and they often hire a property management company to handle all maintenance and enforcement issues. All homeowners are expected to abide by the CC&Rs in order to maintain the quality and value of the community.
One rule you must abide by is to pay your association dues. If you miss any payments, the HOA can legally take steps to collect the money you owe them. Depending on the HOA’s governing documents as well as state and federal laws, here are some steps they could take to recover their money:
So, what can you do if you’re not able to pay your HOA fees?
Contact your HOA board or property management company before you miss your first payment. Explain them your situation and let them know you won’t be able to pay.
Note: You should always talk to your financial advisor or tax attorney before taking any of the steps outlined in this blog post.
Unfortunately, unexpected things can happen to homeowners causing them to fall behind in payments. But by working with your HOA board or property management company, you may be able to find a solution for your situation and not lose your home.
If you’re thinking of buying a new home, contact the mortgage specialists at Grandview Lending. They can help you find the right mortgage for your needs and answer all of your questions about the loan approval process.
We provide our clients with exceptional service and integrity which has become our hallmark.