When someone doesn’t pay HOA fees, it creates quite a problem for the board. These fees are mandatory because they help to cover the amenities that you get when you’re living at the HOA. As long as everyone pays their fees on time, the community can operate properly. But when one or more people start missing these payments, things get more complicated.
The board needs to know how to resolve this properly to get the fees that are owed. It’s very important not to wing it or to take arbitrary action. Here are a few things to consider.
Start with a notification
The first thing to do is always simply to notify the member that they haven’t paid. Tell them how much they still owe, what the outstanding balance is, and when they need to get it paid by. There are some situations in which someone honestly does not realize that they haven’t paid and this can resolve it quickly.
Follow the set policy
It’s also wise to have a policy at the HOA for how collections will be handled. This outlines the steps that should be taken and prevents arbitrary action. This also ensures that all members are treated the same. As long as the collection process is the same for everyone, they can’t claim that it was discriminatory or something of this nature.
If the member still won’t pay, then the HOA board may begin to impose fees. This could include a late fee, administrative fees, fines for the missed payments and even interest being charged on the money that is due. When the homeowner is notified of these other fees, that may influence them to pay. This can also help the HOA make up for the shortfall.
If all of this doesn’t work and the member still will not pay the fees, eviction may be something that has to be considered. But before taking that drastic step, it’s important for the board to make sure they’ve really considered all of the legal options at their disposal.