Can my HOA lien my home if I don’t pay fees for our recreation facility?

A few years ago I stopped paying the fee for the rec facility where I live I have only used it maybe 4 times in the 10 years I’ve lived here. It is a club house, indoor pool, hot tub and saunas. It is a disgusting place and the saunas never work which would be the one thing I might use. I own my lot, live on a dead end street and know that at least 3 (out of 12) owners here are exempt from paying the fee. I received a notice from an attorney stating I have until 1 week to pay or make arrangements to pay or they will put a lien on my home. Can I fight this?

Asked on September 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may not be able to fight it. If under the HOA agreement(s), etc., you have to pay this fee, you have to pay it. If you have not paid it, the HOA will generally, under the HOA agreements, have the right to put a lien on your home. The  situation appears black and white.

If the facility is disgusting and not kept up, you may be able to sue the HOA as a beneficiary of the facilities to force them to keep it up; or you can try to get on the association board and see to this yourself. The fact that you choose to not use the facilities has no bearing on your obligation to pay. And even if other people are not paying who perhaps should, that also does not affect your obligation to pay the HOA fees.


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