Living in an HOA offers several perks, like increased security, good property values, and excellent on-site amenities, but these privileges don't come cheap.
Homeowners in HOA communities must contribute to these benefits by paying a monthly fee. Most HOAs increase their fees by around 10% every year, and once you've committed to living in an HOA, there's no escaping them.
Those who allow outstanding fees to accumulate risk having an HOA lien registered against their property. Find out more about how this works and how to avoid it.
What Is an HOA Lien?
All HOAs operate according to a strict set of rules that ensure the continued success of the community. One of the most important ones is that each homeowner must contribute toward the upkeep of the property.
These HOA fees pay for things like:
- Maintaining common areas
- Community security
- Association management fees
- Emergency repairs
Combining these costs ensures that owners of HOA properties get to enjoy extra facilities by splitting the costs involved. Each homeowner only pays a portion of the expenses related to keeping their community in good order.
When homeowners don't pay their fees, the whole community suffers. Under Utah law, an HOA can impose severe penalties for non-payment of fees.
A lien is a legally binding, recorded debt that can make it difficult to sell the property and lead to more drastic consequences.
How to Avoid an HOA Lien
If a homeowner doesn't pay their dues after a lien is imposed, the HOA board can foreclose on their home, even if the mortgage is paid in full. Taking legal action against a non-compliant homeowner requires time and money.
Funds from the sale of foreclosed properties rarely cover these expenses and don't compensate board members for the time and stress involved.
HOA boards can alleviate their stress by hiring an HOA management company to ensure prompt billing and fee collection.
For homeowners, the best option is to speak to your HOA board if you're having difficulty paying your HOA fees and pay as much as you can afford each month. Ignoring their appeals for payment will only make matters worse.
Your HOA board would rather come up with a payment plan for your fees than deal with the hassle of placing a lien on your property, so communication is always your first course of action if you can't afford to pay.
Keep Your HOA Running Smoothly
Enforcing an HOA lien is time-consuming and frustrating for everyone, especially if it leads to more extreme measures like foreclosing on a property.
One way for HOAs to avoid these stresses is by hiring an experienced HOA management firm.
These professionals can assist with cost-effective measures and budgeting to keep HOA fee increases low. They can help ensure the timely collection of fees and negotiate with homeowners regarding payment plans.
PMI Salt Lake offers a range of HOA management services to assist HOA boards and ensure their communities thrive. Get in touch today to discuss your needs and get started.