Answer for "Can a HOA put a lien on your home?"

Andrew  O
  Seaport Real Estate Services

Most residential communities have a homeowner’s association (HOA) structure that ensures a well-maintained environment and deals with common maintenance issues. Typically if you are looking to buy a townhouse, condominium, or single-family home in a planned community, you will encounter an HOA structure. But how much power does a homeowner’s association have? Can they go as far as placing a lien on your home? Let’s find out!

Buying property in a planned development often requires you to join the community’s HOA. While that might spare homeowners from some responsibilities, they still have some obligations towards the HOA and the community. The restriction imposed on community members, the services provided by the HOA, and other rules are featured in the association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R).

It’s important to note that not all HOA’s are similar, and homebuyers looking for a home in a planned development could run into poorly managed HOA’s where no one takes the board seriously, or they could run into very restrictive structures. That is why learning its rules before becoming a member is crucial to understanding if you will fit into the community or not. Everything you need to know about the planned development under an HOA should be featured in the CC&R.

Knowing the rules becomes increasingly important, especially if some HOA has the power to file liens or even take your house for breaking the rules or missing payments. Pay particular attention to the rules and regulations to determine if the HOA can foreclose on your property for nonpayments or fees, fines, or other CC&R violations. You can learn more about the association rules and regulations on the internet or by contacting them directly. You can also find a real estate agent in the area where you plan to close a real estate transaction.

Some states place restrictions on HOA’s ability to foreclose or place a lien on your property, but not all do. That is why checking the CC&R should highlight everything you need to know about an HOA’s ability to foreclose on your property or put a lien on it for breaking the rules or missing payments.


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