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Our HOA dues are $845, which is due April 1st. IF not paid

Customer Question
by April 29th, they add...
Our HOA dues are $845, which is due April 1st. IF not paid by April 29th, they add $20.00, and an additional $.28 A DAY until May 31st. IS this legal? We are not a gated community, and the Board does NOT keep up the common areas, etc. which is THEIR part. HELP!
Submitted: 4 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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5/1/2013
Real Estate Lawyer: KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker replied 4 years ago
KimberlyLaw
KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,219
Experience: 13 years of experience in real estate law: Foreclosures, Landlord-Tenant, Condo/Coop, Property Law, Deeds, Purchases/Sales, Estates.
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Hello, I am happy to assist you today.

Yes, this does sound really extreme. Unfortunately, it is very typical. Even though this is legal, there is something you can do about it.

First, if they are not living up to their side of the bargain here, then you have the right to do something about that. Also, you have the right to get the rules and by laws changed, so that those fees are no longer required, or are lowered.

You need to get a copy of the by laws and rules and see what the rules are for protesting and changing existing rules. You may have to get the other owners together and sign a petition and submit it to the board. Either way, you can get this changed.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Please do not rank my answer until we finish discussing.

Kimberly

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

"To KimberlyLaw", Thank you, in the Usury Laws, and this site, it read, "if not paid on time, can increase up to $10 and 10% a year. This is $.28 cents per day! This seems illegal. I have a copy of the original 40 year old bylaws, and the new bylaws also. I don't have 'tons' of extra time, but I have already received my letter that my dues are delinquent. If I tell them I am consulting with a lawyer can that 'legally' be enough to stall paying the bloated fees? I do not have this money at this time.


 

Real Estate Lawyer: KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker replied 4 years ago
I have never seen a state where usury laws apply to HOAs. That is because you are not dealing with a loan. You are dealing with an organization where you have a vested interest and have a right to help decide the rules, or at the very least have agreed to follow them.

So no, unfortunately, those rules don't apply. But the owners have a lot of power and can make a change where there is something unreasonable like this going on.

No, the fact that you are consulting a lawyer will not make them hold off on those fees, unfortunately. It is worth a shot to let them know in writing though that you dispute this and demand that they take it off of your account.

But if you sue them, you might be able to collect attorneys fees, if it states this in your documents.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

'"To KimberlyLaw
So they can legally charge $.28 PER DAY? , (with the $20.00?). I mailed the check, and am thinking of putting a stop payment until I figure this out. Is there a limit to what they can legally add to the dues each day?


Short of painting my house pink, I have taken pictures of the areas not kept up by them, which is basically all they do. The do pool upkeep, but I am looking at dissolving them altogether. I know many who are very upset with the fees, and their 'powertrip.' I keep reading they can only add 10% fee a Year. not a DAY. True? FRUSTRATED!

Real Estate Lawyer: KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker replied 4 years ago
Well even though what they are doing is legal, it is certainly not reasonable. You should definitely try to get them dissolved if they really serve no purpose. There is no point to wasting everyone's money, time and energy dealing with a runaway board running the HOA.

I would file a small claims case against them and try to at least get the dues waived. Then you can work on getting them dissolved.

Kimberly
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

They are very unreasonable. And cruel. One family put up a fence that wasn't 'like all the others', and she has a strong personality. They did not fight it. An older man put up a chain link fence, covered it with plants, and it back up against the UNMAINTAINED park, and they sued him and won. So, if I want to take them to small claims court, I need to get a recommended lawyer, and bring all my pictures, etc. ? They even send a monthly newsletter and never report on the break-ins..! Do all Board Members need to be part of the HOA? I know the person in charge does not live here?

Real Estate Lawyer: KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker replied 4 years ago
Yes, in order to sue you should get together any evidence you have, including all letters, pictures, or any other information that is relevant. If you do a small claims case you could get away with doing it without a lawyer. Except that the HOA will most likely have one so that makes it a bit more difficult for you.

If you want to find a lawyer in your area, you can search on lawyers.com or martindale.com and look for a real estate litigation lawyer, or someone who specializes in condo law (they will know how to handle HOA litigation).

The board members are typically owners, but you will have to check the by laws to see if that person is allowed to be on the board. It is reasonable to ask that they be removed since they have no vested interest.

Best of luck to you.
Kimberly
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