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HOA Fees

We have lived in our HOA for 17 years. The board members and the property management company have been the same for all 17 years (after the builder turned it over). We setup electronic payment nearly 16 years old and have never miss a payment. In January, the property management company changed billing system and we were never notified. Our direct deposit didn’t go through. The following month the property management company stated they send out a late notice by mail. We never received it and we do not get much mail like most people today. I do not think we would have miss it, if it was sent out. We were assess fees of $120 and they told my wife, we could not appeal them. My wife told me about this one month later. I called the property management company and they stated that we could appeal. We send the board an appeal letter but it was rules against us. I would like to sue the Board, We never received a letter and they cannot prove they sent us one. So much for being responable homeowners for 17 years.

1 Response

  1. dennisl

    Michael,

    What ever you do get current in your assessment payments at the very least, you can always dispute the late fees later.

    Your management company clearly with the support of your board will never admit that they made a mistake. Especially if they get some of the collection cost that they generate over the assessment. If this happened to you it most probably happened to several other people in your community. It is very easy for the board to blame the homeowner if only one complains but if 10 or 20 complain about the same thing it is very hard to ignore that and look into the situation. Boards don’t want to deal with issue and want the management company to handle everything.

    As long as you are current on your assessment payments the association can never foreclose on your home for late fees and collection cost. The association and management company is also required to apply any money you pay to the assessment first. So pay what you owe on assessments immediately, do not put this off, if the association assigns your account to a collection attorney all bets are off and they are unlimited in what they can add to your account and they can and do demand that they get paid first and the association debt last. I’ve seen collection cost over $10,000 for a $500 delinquency so your $120 is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Do not attempt to sue the association in small claims court over this you will lose. The association has a statutory lien on your property the moment your assessment is due, and if delinquent they have the right to charge late fees, collection costs and attorneys fees to your assessment lien. Mistake or not the association has the right to do what they did. Whether that was right and fair in this situation is irrelevant. You will waste your money on an attorney or the associations attorney cost and you will still owe the $120. Because the association can do something does not make it right, but because it is not right does not make it illegal.

    Dennis

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