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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
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A builder owns two lots in our neighborhood and is a year behind

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A builder owns two lots in our neighborhood and is a year behind on is HOA dues on both lots. The builder is now purchasing another lot under another company that he owns. Can the association require him to pay a year of dues in advance?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Typically, an HOA cannot require that a person pay dues in advance. However, if the HOA has power to approve or deny the sale, they can refuse to allow the builder's company to buy the property, based on the fact that the builder owes money on other lots.

The HOA may also be able to bring suit against the builder for the unpaid dues. If there is a lien on those lots, it may be possible to foreclose on the lots and sell them to pay those amounts. An HOA unfortunately cannot represent itself in court. A local attorney may be able to look at the bylaws and review the options that would be available. In many cases, an HOA can recover attorney's fees from a non-paying owner.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought HOA dues were paid/collected in advance?

Most HOA documents provide for fees to be collected monthly. The association could only collect in advance if the by-laws specifically allow it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are billed yearly with payment due twice a year.

This builder is on a list of approved builders for community...can we remove him from that list and not allow him to build? He just took over the company that is the declarant for the community. The declarant was to sign over common area by 2009 and never did....refused to.... association has been paying taxes on common area. The builder purchased this lot under the declarants first right to purchase.

If the bills allow for bi-annual payment, he can't be required to pay upfront. But the HOA can still sue for past-due payments. The fact that he was supposed to sign over common areas and didn't unfortunately means that it's very likely you'll eventually be in court with this guy, anyway. The statute of limitations for breach of contract is only three years. The HOA really should sit down with a lawyer who can read all of these contracts as soon as possible.

If the HOA is the entity that maintains the approved builder list, he can be removed - and so could his company. Just look at what the requirements for being on the list are and what the requirements for removal are. That's something that would be specific to your community.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So he would be required to pay from date of closing through the end of the year ...... second half of the year dues are July-December.

Everything I am reading says that dues are paid in advance.

Your question was whether you could require a full year's dues paid in advance, implying that you wanted dues for 12 months from the date of the sale and that no one else is asked to pay those amounts. If your HOA by-laws require everyone to pay a year's dues upfront when they buy, yes, of course, that is permitted.

I'm not sure what you mean by "everything I'm reading," but you're bound by the requirements of the by-laws and declaration. Those are the starting point for any questions about what the HOA can and cannot do. The bylaws might require that dues be prorated to the date of purchase, so it's important to see what those documents say.

Customer: replied 3 years ago. many other issues I havent touched on.


One last question:

If the statue of limitations has run out.....the declarant can then stay in control of common property or can we still moved forward to have property turned over?

There are some ways to extend the statute of limitations, such as if he's been promising to make the change or if he's been out of state. It may also be possible to negotiate getting the common areas back as part of the resolution to some of these other issues.
Lucy, Esq. and 2 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Or prison?

Thank you!!

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