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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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A vacant lot was recently sold in the HOA subdivision. The

Customer Question

A vacant lot was recently sold in the HOA subdivision. The property was owned by the same person since 1972. He married in 1996 and died in 2006. He never paid any HOA dues. The Title was transferred to her name in 2006. She sold the property 4/24/2015.
The title company handling the sale was informed HOA dues needed to be paid from 1972 to present. The seller says she will only pay dues from 2006 to present.
What can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
As the HOA, you can negotiate with them for the debt. The HOA can place a lien on the property for the unpaid assessments, but for the time period in question, you are going to be outside the statute of limitations to enforce most of these assessments (so an offer to pay 2006 to present is actually pretty good).It is up to the Association how they want to handle this (the Board can make a business judgment call on this, and I cannot give you a formal legal opinion on this particular forum), but take into account the cost of enforcement, the statute of limitations issue, the amount of time that it would take to enforce this debt as compared to accepting what appears to be a reasonable settlement offer for the circumstances, and whether or not this appears to be an issue that is going to arise with other units (are you going to have issues with setting a precedent for other units with unpaid assessments from two decades ago?).These matters are all based on the specific facts of the particular association and the unit owner in question, but the above considerations can generally help the board reach a reasonable and effective solution.