Over 45% of Florida homeowners live in HOA communities, paying an average of $389 per month in HOA fees. In Miami, the average is $415, which is one of the most expensive rates in the country.
Living in an HOA comes with many benefits thanks to shared expenses, but these depend on everyone paying their dues. Due to this, HOAs often take a hard line on homeowners who default on their HOA fee payments.
Paying maintenance and assessments in a timely fashion is part of the deal when you buy into an HOA, and your board could place an HOA lien on your home if you don't comply.
Find out more about this process and how it could affect you.
HOA Lien Requirements in Miami
Florida has very precise requirements for HOA communities that want to record a lien against a property.
The association may provide a statement to the property owner who owes HOA fees or special assessment fees. If the homeowner doesn't pay their dues, the association sends a notice of their intention to lien.
According to Florida Statute Chapter 718, the association must include the exact wording required in the content of the lien. If they don't, the lien is illegal, and a court can set it aside.
In this case, the homeowner may claim attorney's fees and costs. Additionally, the HOA must commence legal action within 90 days.
What Can an HOA Include in a Lien?
Florida has super lien laws. That means an HOA lien supersedes any amounts due on a mortgage during foreclosure.
The lien amount may include the following:
- Unpaid assessments
- Late charges up to $25 or 5% of each overdue installment
- Interest on unpaid assessments according to the declaration or bylaws
- Costs and attorneys' fees
An HOA can also levy fines against homeowners for regulatory infringements. Fines may not exceed $100 per infringement, but they can be levied for each day the violation continues.
Fines or overdue fees under $1,000 cannot become part of a lien. HOA board members must agree to implement lien proceedings at a meeting of the board.
HOA Lien Procedure
A Florida HOA may not file a lien until it provides the homeowner with a written demand. They must deliver this via one of the following:
- registered or certified mail
- return receipt requested
- first-class mail
They must allow the homeowner 45 days to pay their outstanding amounts in full before pursuing the lien. If the homeowner does not settle the overdue amounts, an HOA foreclosure could ensue, even if your mortgage is current.
During an HOA foreclosure, at any time longer than 30 days before the court date, a homeowner can serve and file a qualifying offer to pay all the amounts secured by the lien within 60 days.
If they don't meet the terms of the qualifying offer, the foreclosure proceedings will continue.
Managing the Ins and Outs of HOA Communities
An HOA board has many responsibilities aside from collecting HOA assessments. HOA lien proceedings place an extra burden on these volunteers.
PMI Sunshine State has years of experience assisting with the collection of HOA assessments and HOA liens. Get in touch if you'd like to experience working with expert HOA management services in Miami.