I owned my home 5 yrs. I have paid my H0A dues every year. I have just received notice that I owe $900 (first notice) due the end of this month and a lien has been filed. Am I responsible for delinquent dues prior to my ownership of the home?
Yes, you are responsible for delinquent dues which accrued prior to your ownership of your home. Typically, at the time a purchaser purchases a home, the purchaser purchases title insurance. Prior to closing, the insurer issues a title report which contains an exception for unpaid HOA dues. This exception will be omitted by the title company upon the title company's receipt of a letter from the homeowners association stating that all dues have been paid as of the date of closing. If you failed to obtain such letter and there were unpaid dues at the time of your closing, then you are responsible for the unpaid dues. If, however, you obtained a title policy which insured your title without an exception for unpaid dues then, if there were unpaid dues, you may be able to recover any such amount from your title insurer. If you obtained such letter, then you (and your title company) were entitled to rely upon such letter and the homeowners association may not seek to recover any amounts from you.
Frankly, I am surprised that the homeowners association is first looking to recover this amount from you five years after you purchased your home. It makes me suspect that there is some irregularity which you need to look into. Moreover, if any of the amount due is more than six (6) years past due, then the homeowners association may be unable to recover such sum from you by reason of the applicable six year statute of limitations for breach of contract.