Can a homeowner’s association put a lien on my home?

Homeowner’s associations are designed to manage and maintain your neighborhood.  Usually the rules and regulations of the HOA are laid out in what is known as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs).  The CC&Rs often contain methods for the HOA to collect fees and enforce the rules of your community.

Based on the CC&Rs a HOA may be able to enforce changes for unpaid dues/assessments, fines and sometimes reasonable costs of attorneys fees.  Usually the terms will also give the HOA the power to place a lien on your home if you incur too many unpaid fees.  There are two North Carolina Statutes that cover these situations: The North Carolina Planned Community Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 47F-1-101 through 47F-3-122) and the North Carolina Condominium Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 47C-1-101 through 47C-4-120).

According to these statutes, an HOA is entitled to a lien on the property once payment is 30 days late.  However, no fewer than 15 days prior to filing the lien the HOA must notify you through a statement of the assessment amount due.  If the homeowner pays the full amount owed within 15 days of receipt of the letter, he or she will not have to pay attorneys’ fees.  Failure to pay the lien may result in foreclosure even if you are current on your mortgage payments.

If a lien has been issued against you or if you have a homeowner who has failed to pay the required fees, contact one of the many attorneys at King Law Offices who can give you the legal advice and guidance to protect your interests.