We represent Homeowners Associations, Cooperatives, and their respective Boards of Directors by providing guidance through the maze of legal issues commonly affecting board members. We are uniquely able to advise clients about HOA rules and regulations because of our extensive experience drafting and revising bylaws for clients.
Because we have stepped in to represent homeowners when the Association oversteps its bounds or acts illegally, we have the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to answer questions and provide solutions for homeowners facing conflict with a HOA.
HOA Q & A
What can I do to stop my HOA dues from increasing?
Unfortunately, when an HOA is faced with many non-paying homeowners and potential deficit spending, they must raise the HOA fees or hit the homeowners with an assessment. Most HOAs derive that kind of authority from the Association documents recorded on the real property. Typically, if the increase is uniform and is implemented in the manner required by the HOA documents, the HOA likely has authority. (There may or may not be a homeowner approval requirement to impose such an increase.)
If you are faced with an assessment or an increase in fees and you do not pay, the HOA generally will have the right to put a lien on your property. The HOA’s lien is governed by Florida law and the HOA’s documents. If a lien is filed on your property, the association could file a foreclosure action and attempt to collect the lien by forcing the sale of your home.
Failure to pay, comes with many drawbacks, including late charges, interest, and attorney’s fees for collecting the fees. If you can pay, you should do so. Moreover, a better choice would be to pay and get involved with your Association in its efforts to manage the property and collect from the owners who are not paying.
You could get on a committee set up by the HOA to contact and work with non-paying owners, or you could run for a position on the HOA’s Board where you would then become one of the decision makers. In the current economy, HOAs are having more problems with non-paying owners.
For the homeowners that pay, an increase in dues often means a short-term increase in fees to keep the property maintained and preserve property values. Dedication by actively engaged homeowners who are paying their HOA dues regularly, will help put the HOA in a better financial position than than those who are not.