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 80 Comments

  1. I am always on time with my HOA dues however the board of management are not taking care of the section (end of the complex) where I live however the front of the complex is always well taken. There is a fence that came down 7 years ago due to the hurricane and I know the insurance co paid the board however it was never fixed. I asked several time to take care of it and they always have an excuse (it’s not on the budget, it’ll be done next year, etc). There is no grass behind my unit (there used to be) and since they are not treating it, the grass is gone. I asked if the grass could be treated and again they make all kinds of excuses (not in the budget, not this year, etc). However I noticed this week the front of the grass in front of the complex was treated. They are picking and choosing what to do and 98% is the front of the unit (where the majority of the board member live). There are other issues too. I feel they are doing it on purpose. I am at to the point to stop paying to HOA dues to take care of the problems. I hired an attorney who wrote them a letter and nothing was done. I don’t know what else to do.

    1. Hi Milly:

      I wouldn’t stop paying the dues because they could have the power to place a lien on your home which could cause trouble. I would talk to the attorney and see if you might be able to file an actual legal case against them for breach of contract at this point. If you are paying for agreed-upon services that aren’t being handled, you might have a case.

  2. My next door neighbor paid cash for her condo 15 months ago. My condo assoc will be filing a lien on her condo as she is $1200 past due on her monthly condo fees. She is also in violation of other rules for which she has been notified and for which she will end up being charged for repair of property damage. What can be done to someone who owns their condo outright if they either refuse or are unable to pay their monthly fees?

    1. Hi Michelle:

      I would check the bylaws, but if they can put a lien on the house, they probably give themselves the right to kick her out. That would be what might happen next.

  3. We have been in our home for 10 yrs. Our HOA was part of our escrow. Our mortgage lender has changed hands 3 times now. Meantime the HOA says we owe $7,500 in dues but sends us a settlement of $2,800 because the HOA financial group has changed hands. They threatened to put a lien on the home and have added $2000 in lawyer fees. Is this lagel. They are now asking after 10yrs. We are in the middle of gathering info from our old mortgage holders which is taking a lot of time since they do not own our home anymore.

    1. I think the best thing to do would be to try to contact your current mortgage servicer as well. The first thing that jumps to mind is that sometimes homeowners association dues aren’t escrowed by the servicer. However, if that were the case, the extra money you were putting in for escrow should have been refunded to you or applied to your mortgage payment and some other way, so you would have noticed most likely. But I would start by talking to your current servicer. That’s whoever you send the payment to. Hope this helps!

    2. There are only 4 items that can legally be paid with your house note/escrow: Principle, Insurance, Taxes and Interest = PITI. It is illegal to pay anything else through escrow. If someone told you this, they were egregiously incorrect. All of this is included on your HUD settlement statement received when you purchased your home.

  4. Hello we live in my boyfriend’s fathers house who died. He left it to my boyfriend’s brother. The house is either in the deceased fathers name or the brothers. The brother also signed a condo agreement. Now my boyfriend and i have been living here with our 4 children. The brother moved out. We are struggling to pay condo fees to the neighbor and they are threatening to take us to court. We owe almost a grand according to them. We have never seen any paperwork or signed any agreement. Our name is not on the deed or the mortgage eithwer. Can they take us to court? Or should they be taking his brother since he is the one who made an agreement and owns the house….but we live here. We are also behind on our mortgage and probably losing the house soon anyways. Thank you for any advice I could really use some.

    1. Hi Alr:

      My first advice is to talk to a financial advisor to see if you can get your finances in decent shape. There may be a local nonprofit that could take a look at things for you and help you come up with a plan. As to your actual question, they would be taking your boyfriend’s brother to court most likely since he’s the one that signed the agreement. However, they may be able to kick you out. It depends on the way the agreement is written. Also, if the property ends up in foreclosure, your boyfriend’s brother’s credit could take a big hit and has mortgage options would be very limited for a while. I would talk to the mortgage servicer and see if there’s anything you can work out. That being said, you could have an issue because your name isn’t actually on the mortgage, as they may not be able to help you.

      I would really talk to a financial advisor and go from there.


  5. I’ve been hit with a 1500 assessment to fix one of the other condos in the area.
    I’m a full time student going to school on the GI Bill and I’ve been paying an additional 50 bucks a month. However, they tell me that I need to be payed up bye the end of this month.
    I don’t have it, any suggestions?

    1. Hi Jason:

      If you have to, you could do something like take a personal loan to get the money. The smallest amount our friends at RocketLoans do is $2,000.

      However, before you take a step like that, I would ask them what changed if you’ve been paying an additional $50 a month and that’s been okay up to this point, why is that suddenly an issue? You don’t want to take any financial steps that you don’t have to.


  6. 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

  7. 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.


  8. 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.


    2. When your purchased your unit it its the law that you be given the relevant documents to read which include the Uniform Condominium Act and the Declaration of Condominium for your particular community. You signed off that you received and read these important documents. They spell out your obligations as well as those of the HOA. you should review these.
      With that said, know that the HOA board can change anything with no notice to the members if they so choose. The exception being those set out in the documents I mentioned. Usually a big change like who pays for roof replacement is handled by an amendment to the Declaration of Condominium that must be approved by a majority (e.g. 2/3rds) of owners.

1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *