Homeowners associations and homeowners sometimes have disputes about fees. While HOAs depend on their fees in order to continue, the fees must follow the mandates of California's Davis-Stirling Act. Homeowners who believe that their fees are excessive might need help fighting against them, and HOAs that are having trouble collecting their fees may need to mount an aggressive but legal collections approach.
If you are an HOA or a homeowner with fee problems, you will need to make certain that you understand your responsibilities and your rights under the law. HOAs may not raise their fees more than 20 percent in a year. Emergency assessments may be done at any time, but they must meet the definition that is outlined in the Davis-Sterling Act. Homeowners must be given a minimum of 30 days notice that an assessment will be increased. An assessment is considered to be delinquent if it remains unpaid for 15 days after the due date.
Any late fees that are charged by the HOA may not be more than 10 percent of the delinquency. HOAs are allowed to recover all of the costs that they incur in collecting delinquent assessments. They are able to place liens on the homeowners' homes in order to secure payment, and if the delinquency exceeds $1,800, they may foreclose on the person's home.
At Smart Law APLC, we represent homeowners and HOAs in their collections disputes. We help HOAs collect the fees that they are owed, and we help homeowners to fight excessive fees that do not comply with the law. If you are involved in a fee or collections dispute with an HOA or a homeowner, you may learn more information about how to handle the matter by reading our Mission Viejo HOA collections page.