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r/HOA
r/HOA
5
Posted by2 months ago

Please help my HOA and our community! Any advice is helpful.

A little backstory.

We have a “resident,” who to other community members describe as “squatting” in a home…

The resident obtained the home from a previous owner (not family, business partners). The original owner won big in Vegas and left the house to the current “squatter.” The “squatter” does not pay the mortgage or property taxes on the home - the house is either owned by the bank or the original owner (it’s very grey and something we need to clear up).

Theres a FAT elephant in the room ….

They have been the primary resident for 5+ years… and have not paid a single HOA fee quoting the original owner is responsible for those fees. Legally this may be true … but it is greatly affecting how much each homeowner must pay quarterly. Those missed fees have now amounted to >$5K in dues which our community desperately needs. The “squatter” had owned land in the community and paid HOA dues for those properties but has recently sold them all. It did not bother members much then, but now it has become a major issue bc there is 0 contribution.

They no longer contribute to the maintenance of the common municipalities, but have no problem using them.

Common municipalities include: septic maintenance, snow removal, electricity..etc The resident is also not contributing to the property taxes - which all community members share in HOA dues. In essence the community is picking up the tab (each homeowner pays on average $1600 this year alone with an increase from last year to supplement for the missing money!) for this resident and this creating severe animosity, obviously.

How should our HOA pursue this matter? Please help.

Edit: I volunteered for a position on the board only a few months ago and got the position so I don’t know why this wasn’t handled years prior…

Edit 2: We’re acquiring an attorney ASAP to file the lien on the home with the correct deed/title owner, which I have found through public tax records.

39 comments
100% Upvoted
level 1
· 2 mo. ago
🏘 HOA Board Member

you should file a lien on the house ASAP but you really need to engage a lawyer, not reddit for this one. Once you have the lien, you should pursue a foreclosure to recover the funds.

35
level 2

Absolutely spot on.

5
level 2
Op · 2 mo. ago

Yeah definitely pursuing a lawyer but wasn’t sure who would be responsible. He was the HOA president for sometime and never addressed it - bc who would foreclose the home they’re living in.

5
level 1
[deleted]
· 2 mo. ago

You need to determine who the owner is and deal with them. Whether the resident is a friend, squatter, or renter is irrelevant. The only person obligated to pay dues is an owner.

Ownership is not always easy to determine (there is no piece of paper stating who owns real estate like the title to a car) so you may want to hire an attorney if it isn't clear who the owner is.

In the meantime, file a lien if you haven't already.

5
level 2
Op · 2 mo. ago

The deed to the home would be able to tell us, but trying to procure that can cause several hundred dollars (I think). What type of attorney should I be looking for?

Thank you for your response any help is much appreciated

3
level 2
· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago
🏘 HOA Board Member

Tax records identify who the government thinks owns the property and who they expect to pay taxes. And the piece of paper that you think doesn't exist is called a Deed.

2
level 1
· 2 mo. ago
🏢 COA Board Member

Contact a condo/hoa attorney. They will know what steps you can take next. Maybe it's filing a lien. Maybe it escalates to seizing the home and evicting the resident.

Don't try and do this yourself.

5
level 1
· 2 mo. ago
🏘 HOA Board Member

Property tax records are Public Information. It's a simple matter of looking them up, finding the owner of record, and collecting the fees from them.

This should have been handled years ago. As others have said, connect with an HOA attorney and get this matter resolved immediately. You will be looking at a lien and probably a foreclosure.

3
level 2
Op · 2 mo. ago

I don’t know why it was done years ago, the squatter was the president for a few years and never acted on it... The “squatter” has said he would like a lien on the home as well, to have it foreclosed so he wouldn’t have to pay the missing dues. But I think they’re okay with how things are going because then he would need to pay quarterly, which hasn’t happened for him in years.

2
level 1

Contact the lawyer for the association, they will help you mitigate this. I have a community that is kinda dealing with the same thing and they needed legal counsel. also look at the Documents and see how they describe a “tenant” or someone that lives there. Usually you need to have a lease on file. I know he is not considered a renter but that could help your case. Also make sure you have all the paperwork for the missed fees. If you are able to cut them off from amenities (if you have them) check the documentation for default of payment. Send them to collections or get a lien on the home.

1
level 1
· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

Your only option is going through the legal process. Get a lien for the past due amount. If it's not paid, then proceed with foreclosing. If they pay the dues to catch up after the lien or foreclosure require them to set up ACH payments for all future dues. They should also be charged for all associated legal fees. Our association has had to do this with the same homeowner twice, both times he finally paid.

Edit to add: The attorney you hire to do the lien should be able to determine the legal owner of the home. You may want to check your CC&Rs to see what it says exactly about who is responsible for the dues. If you are in Minnesota and need an attorney name, I can DM you who my Association uses.

1
level 1

About 4 years and 9 months ago the HOA should have filed a lien and started foreclosure proceedings. With it going on this long without legal action there may be some bad debt the HOA is not able to legally collect because it is past the statute of limitations. In CA it is 5 years. This is all pretty common stuff for an attorney

1
level 2
Op · 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

I totally agree. I need to ask a lawyer and that has been difficult because we don’t have the money to really fund one. I can’t raise the HOA dues…. Again.

Edit: the “squatter” was the president of the HOA for a few years and never addressed it, or took action. Is there anything we can do about that? Is that irrelevant now.

I’m confused with morality and legality. I can’t understand the slimey behavior.

1