What Are the Consequences of Not Paying HOA Dues? - Quicken Loans Zing BlogIf you don’t pay your cell phone bill on time, your calling and texting habits will come to an abrupt end. If you don’t pay your cable bill on time, you’ll soon find out there’s nothing to watch but a blank screen. Obviously there are consequences for not paying bills on time. There are some instances, though, where the consequences aren’t so cut-and-dried. For example, say you don’t pay your homeowner association (HOA) dues. Do you know what could happen?

Before I get into all the details, let me backtrack a moment to give some background information on HOA dues. If you’re looking to buy or if you own a home with no HOA dues, you most likely are responsible for mowing your lawn, shoveling your driveway and general upkeep. If you live in an establishment such as a condo that has monthly HOA dues, the association is most likely responsible for the general upkeep. That’s where the HOA dues come into play. As with most things in life, there’s a price to pay. Each association has different policies. Some HOA dues even include city services such as trash removal, while insurance could also be part of the equation.

So, back to the original question. What happens if you don’t pay your HOA dues? First off, I’d recommend not taking this route. However, I get that there are certain extenuating circumstances that give people little to no options. While different states have different laws, there are some fundamental steps that will most likely take place.

For starters, HOA boards don’t typically wait around. If you miss a payment, you can expect to receive a letter stating that you have an outstanding debt. There may even be details about the next steps the board will take to recoup the dues. As with other missed payments, you can also expect to be charged a late fee plus interest.

That’s only the beginning, though. Your rights as a homeowner can be suspended in the community. If your association has common areas such as a pool or clubhouse, your right to use such areas could be revoked, along with your right to vote on HOA matters.

If you have a vacation property that you rent out, you can expect to have the money you thought you’d be getting for rent go directly to your unpaid dues. However, once you’re caught up on your HOA dues, you’ll start receiving your money again.

The above consequences are serious, yes. As you’ll find out, though, it can get a whole lot worse. For example, the association can file a lien on your property. If you sell the property, the lien and any other fees will be deducted before you get your money.

As I mentioned earlier, different states have different laws. In some states, you can be evicted from your property, although this only occurs in drastic situations. In this case, the association would rent out your unit or home until you are all caught up on your payments. In rare instances, your property can also be foreclosed on. Associations typically try to avoid this route, as the responsibility for all taxes and utilities falls to the HOA.

To avoid any consequences, there are steps you can take. The first thing you can do is keep an open line of communication between you and the association. If you know you’re going to be late or miss a payment, let your board know ASAP. Some boards will work with you to come up with some sort of payment plan.

Now, we want to hear from you. Do you have any other tips when it comes to dealing with HOA dues? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re in a market for a home with or without HOA dues, talk to a Home Loan Expert today!


This Post Has 67 Comments

  1. The house I live my grandma died so we ain’t been paying rent but only the association we waiting for the bank to take the house we can still b paying the association

  2. Hi there,

    I am interested in your opinion. In 2010, when I bought a condo, the HOA fee was $110, and included the basic and standard cable channels. Last year, since a new management company took the place of being in charge, the HOA fee went to $195 and does not include the basic and standard cable anymore. All that happened without informing us, the owners of the condos. I’d appreciate your comment. Thank you in advance.



    1. Hi Aleksandar:

      Cable is expensive now, do you get anything else for $195 per month? Also, someone had to negotiate the contract with the association. I would talk to them about what you getting and if there are any services that you’re supposed to get that you didn’t, that’s something you can take up with them and you may have legal action.


  3. About a year ago, we bought a condo (no pool, tennis courts, parks etc.) with 5 additional units in a small town. Since we were not told about any condo dues, we asked our relator before closing. He laughed and said no more than $15.00 a month. When we moved in, we were told our condo (no contract) dues were $50.00 a month, After 6 months (we had an association meeting and it was voted to raise the association dues to $100 a month and pay 6 months dues in advance, to be used for improvements as needed. Later some of the units roof were leaking, and insurance put a new roof on. The association has to pay the difference in what our insurance paid and the cost. It was our understanding the association was to pay the difference out of our association dues, but was later told by our association secretary that we had to pay the difference, That it would NOT come out of our dues. That we need to build up money for later expenses. Our association fees ($600 for six months are due and paid in advance, but we are not planning to pay. Instead we are going to apply our association fees toward our roof’s repair and deductible. This is not going over well with the association, and was told we had to pay both the condo fees AND the deductible for the roof repair. Since, I feel that was what the condo dues (deductible for roof) should be used for, I do not feel that we should pay both? We were never given a condo contract, and it seems the association rules are made up as they go. Please advise in direction we should go.

    1. Hi Gloria:

      If you were never given any contracts stipulating what your rights and responsibilities were, I might talk to a lawyer if I were you. The association does have to have a certain amount of reserves in order for people to move in to the condos with a mortgage in many cases due to investor requirements, so I see where they’re coming from, but I don’t know if you’re responsible for the fact that they can’t budget.


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