Trusted Southern Ohio Attorneys

What options does an HOA have if members don’t pay dues in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | HOA / COA

If you live in a condominium or another type of home that is part of an association, in all likelihood, there is a homeowner’s association, or HOA, associated with it. The HOA has rules that it makes sure that everyone who lives in that complex follows those rules. As soon as you move into that complex, you have responsibility to start paying dues to the HOA. The fees are known by a few different names, including association fees, HOA fees or association dues. The amount varies from complex to complex and the rules vary as well.

When the complex is built as a community, it has a choice about either forming an HOA or not. If there is an existing HOA in the complex, each person in the community has equal input into how the community is managed and run. HOAs have a government of sorts.

The HOA has a board of directors, which presides over the rules and regulations that were established and stated in its Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&R has all of the conditions that concern properties and their owners in detail, such as what type of fence and landscaping they can install, pet restrictions, permission to paint, and the consequences if they don’t follow the rules.

Is joining the HOA in my new community necessary?

Yes, in most cases, if you move into the community, you have a responsibility to join the HOA and to pay the annual fee. From year to year, there is a distinct possibility that the fee will increase. There may also be an increase in the dues on a temporary basis if a costly project is planned for that year. In theory, that shouldn’t happen but the budget is not always planned correctly and if that is the case, the residents will have to pay as a part of their dues.

What happens when a resident doesn’t pay dues?

HOA dues are often a controversial subject. From the perspective of the resident, they may feel that the dues are excessive or unnecessary and they may even go so far as to take legal action against the HOA.

From the perspective of the HOA, it’s a different story. The HOA needs those dues to pay for community maintenance and improvements, such as repairing a shared roof or sewer system. Joining the HOA may be a legal requirement of buying a home in the community, and so a resident may be breaching their contract when they fail to pay dues.

The consequences of a failure to pay are not the same from one HOA to the next, but there are always consequences. If the resident doesn’t pay, the HOA will probably contact a collection agency. The first step may be a letter demanding payment as well as collection calls. If those don’t work, the HOA may take legal action against the resident or even foreclose on their property.

Legal support

Whether you are a resident or represent an HOA in one of these disputes, its important to get advice from professionals with experience in HOA legal issues.