Five Common Excuses HOA Members Use Who Pay Their Assessments LateWritten By: Richard Thompson
Homeowner association members who pay their assessments late or not at all sometimes come up with some interesting excuses. Here are five common ones:
Excuse 1: "I didnt get what I paid for so am withholding payment." Members have a right to require the board to perform its duties but withholding assessments is not the way to do it. The obligation to pay HOA fees has nothing to do with the HOAs obligations to provide maintenance and service. A member that withholds payment becomes delinquent and should incur all penalties provided for in the HOAs collection policy.
Excuse 2: "You didnt bill me." The requirement to provide invoices is ra>
Excuse 3: "The HOA has no right to make me pay for common area upkeep." Actually, the board not only has the right, it has a duty to collect assessments. This authority is established in the governing documents and state statutes. When people buy into a homeowner association, they agree to abide by those documents and that includes paying assessments.
Excuse 4: "I never use the recreational facilities and shouldnt have to pay for them." Admittedly, recreational facilities are expensive to operate and for some HOAs represent a large part of the budget. Nevertheless, the obligation to pay for a common amenity has nothing to do with the level of usage. Many move into an HOA specifically for the recreational amenities. Theyre willing to pay for them because they take full advantage of the opportunities they provide. Even if youre not using some of the amenities, they make the HOA more desirable and the homes more valuable. Those that dont use the facilities should consider whether an HOA without amenities might work better. If so, it might be time to move.
Excuse 5: "The HOA fees are too high." HOA fees reflect the cost of maintaining the common elements. All have to pay their fair share. If the HOA fees are too high, where can money be saved? The board should be open to ideas on reasonable ways to cut costs. But simply lowering fees because someone wants to pay less is not reasonable.
Excuse excuses. Many try to cash them at the HOA Bank. Like a bum check, the HOA should refuse to accept them.
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