Homeowners associations (HOAs) and condominium owners associations maintain property values through continuing maintenance to common property.   Generally speaking, HOA fees cover maintenance of property you own in common with your neighbors– roofing, exterior painting, lawn care, etc.  If there is a community clubhouse or pool, your HOA fees also cover that upkeep.

Monthly HOA fees seem excessive to some people, but everyone is glad when association fees are able to cover maintenance issues that are several thousand dollars.  What’s more is that the bargaining power of the group can translate to lower costs.   However, a few delinquent homeowners can upset a balanced budget. When homeowners don’t pay, the HOA becomes cash-strapped, which can devalue the entire community.

This is why homeowner associations should be determined when collecting late fees and assessments.  The community survives because of the member fees.   The HOA governing documents outline the various collection actions that will be taken when homeowners become delinquent in paying their fees.

Because it’s important for HOAs to receive monthly fees and assessments on time, there are usually additional fees associated with late payments.  HOAs also have the option of taking homeowners to court to recover fees in arrears.  In addition, HOAs can place a lien on property for delinquent fees.  This lien must be addressed before the property can be sold.

In more extreme situations, the HOA likely has the authority to foreclose on the home.  In most states after a foreclosure, the new owner may be responsible for all current and in some cases past-due HOA assessments.  No one wants to find himself or herself in this situation.

Whether you are a realtor selling HOA property or a potential buyer, it’s important to ensure that the home or unit is free from legal action.  Realtors and title companies can obtain third-party attested documents that show whether the property has unmet obligations to the association.  This information can be obtained through our website with a third party service our firm has partnered with, Home Wise Docs.  To make sure that the sell goes as smoothly as possible, it’s an advantage to get the documents upfront.  No one wants to learn about a glitch when he/she is ready to sign on the dotted line.



Wise Property Solutions serves condominium and homeowners associations by addressing their financial, association and facilities management needs.  The only certified and licensed community association management firm serving the Mountain South (Virginia, North & South Carolina, Tennessee) with offices in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville.

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