Can my HOA file a lien against my property?

Who can file an HOA lien against my property?

A “Community Association” may file a condominium or HOA lien for assessments. A Community Association is defined as a nonprofit corporation or an unincorporated association created for the purpose of managing a common interest development including a condominium, a community apartment, a planned development, or a stock cooperative. Any association that filed a declaration may file a lien for assessments.

What can an HOA file for (dues, assessments, etc.)?

A California HOA may file a lien for any regular or special assessment validly assessed by the association. Regular assessments are “dues” to the association, and special assessments are one-time assessments levied to enable the community association to perform its obligations under the governing documents of the association, including an extraordinary assessment for an emergency situation. An HOA may also record a lien for a monetary charge imposed by the association as a means of reimbursing the association for costs incurred by the association in the repair of damage to common areas and facilities for which the member or the member’s guests or tenants were responsible, if such a lien is provided for in the declaration.

What other fees can be included in an HOA lien?

The following amounts may be included in the lien in addition to the amount of the delinquent assessment(s):

  • Late Charges (not to exceed 10% of the delinquent assessment amount)
  • Reasonable Fees and Costs of Collection
  • Reasonable Attorney Fees
  • Interest (not to exceed 12% annually)

What can I do if I receive a Notice of Delinquent Assessment?

You need to contact your insurance company to see if they will cover the claim. You may also need to go talk with an attorney especially if your insurance denies coverage.

There are prerequisites that must be met before a lien for delinquent assessments can be enforced. The HOA must offer the owner, and participate in if requested by the owner, dispute resolution pursuant to the association’s “meet and confer” program, or alternative dispute resolution with a neutral third-party required by California law, subject to certain requirements. Further, an assessment lien may not be foreclosed until the amount of the delinquent assessments alone equals or exceeds $1800 or the assessments are more than one-year delinquent.

DiJulio Law Group