Making consistent improvements in your community is an important job of an HOA. However, when homeowners become delinquent, you will not have enough money to maintain operations. How do you deal with these people? The cost of delinquency to the association is quite expensive. Plus, it can lead to thousands in unpaid dues, tension with owners, and even court hearings. Here are a few tactics to deal with delinquent owners in your condo association.
“Nationwide, non-payment of HOA fees is among the top problems facing condo, single family, and other planned development associations today,”
says Thomas M. Skiba, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Associations in Alexandria, VA. Even just a few owners not paying their fees can cut into your association’s budget very quickly and can cause daily maintenance/operations to blunder.
Catch HOA delinquency early
First and foremost, stay on top of delinquencies, as they can get out of hand very fast. In just three months, a condo owner can be behind almost $700 depending on the monthly assessment. Watch your delinquency report and homeowner trends of non-payment, and address the issue before it becomes a serious problem. So, every month after financial reports are completed, the manager and the board should monitor every account for delinquents. If you find an issue, send a courtesy delinquency notice or a statement balance to remind the owner they are behind a month on their assessments. These letters are very helpful to send out before the owner has a $1,500 balance due and involves a lot less tension.
Structure HOA delinquency rules
Many condo associations have rule that after three months or $600 in unpaid HOA fees, the condo board can pursue legal action against the owner to collect. If an association doesn’t have this rule in place, they are setting themselves up for trouble. Countless owners could keep withholding assessments because there is no legal action against them, so better to be safe than sorry.
Take away association privileges
If you have recreational facilities and shared common spaces such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, and gyms, use these as privileges to achieve homeowners’ association dues collection. Banning community privileges due to delinquent assessments is a quick way to get owners to pay their dues. Owners want to utilize the amenities, but if their rights are terminated they are more likely to place importance on HOA dues.
Attorney homeowners’ association dues collection
Legal action should always be your last resort and we hope you never have to come to that point. When it comes to it, one option is to send the owner’s assessments to collections. While it can take months to collect your money, utilizing legal counsel may be your best option. Additionally, if the owner continues delinquency, the board can force the bank to foreclose on their unit and push for an eviction.