When you buy a new property, a huge concern for many buyers is whether the property is part of a homeowner’s association. Many buyers worry about the perceived headaches associated with HOAs, but others realize that, when run correctly and reasonably, they can provide a plethora of benefits. After all, HOAs commonly cover costs of homeownership and amenities that would be unaffordable for most individual homeowners. However, with all the benefits come the Boca Raton, Florida, HOA dues.
Lien on your property
The power of the HOA stems from its governing documents that are filed and recorded on each parcel of land under its control. These documents allow for the collection of dues as payment for HOA services, and when those fees are not paid, a lien can be filed against the home.
Validity of HOA dues
However, to be valid and enforceable, the HOA lien must be recorded against the land. It must include the name of the original owner, HOA name and address, due amounts and due dates. If late fees, interest charges, reasonable costs and attorney fees are to be incurred on late payments, this language must also be specific and included. However, all of this information must be included in the governing documents.
Once paid or contested
Once payment is made, the lien must be released. That is an entitlement of the homeowner, and the legal form is contained in the 2022 Florida Statutes, Title XL, Section 720.3085. The homeowner can contest the HOA lien, which is also described in Section 720.3085. Subsection (b) actually contains the form for the Notice of Contest of Lien.
If left unpaid
If the homeowner refuses to pay the HOA lien, Section 720.3085 allows the HOA to bring a foreclosure action. However, it can also sue to recover these assessments without initiating the foreclosure action and waiving its lien.
The takeaway is that Boca Raton, Florida, HOAs have benefits, but they also have legal complications. Though, for both HOAs and homeowners, you may benefit from the experience of an HOA attorney.