Those who own a condo for commercial or residential purposes are often obligated to pay condominium association fees. These fees are standard, and typically cover the costs of repair to the property, maintenance, insurance, perhaps water and sewer and property upkeep. The fee amount varies depending upon the property, and may increase on an annual basis.
When condominium owners fail to pay their condominium association fees, the association has the right to seek fees by bringing a legal action against condo owners. This right was recently protected in the March 2016 Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. vs. Britton.
The Rights of Condo Associations to Collect on Unpaid Dues
The rights of condo associations to collect on unpaid condo owner association dues is highly protected. To be sure, a condo association may establish a priority lien against the condo owner for up to six months’ worth of unpaid condominium association fees, as well as the cost of attorneys’ fees, court fees, and filing fees necessary to collect dues. The right to collect is so protected that the lien takes priority over just about all other liens, including a recorded mortgage. Further, multiple liens may be established in succession to one another, a condo association right that was affirmed in the Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. vs. Britton case. It should also be noted that the lien usually cannot be discharged by the condo owner filing for bankruptcy.
More Protection for Condo Associations
The Britton case evolved from the intentional withholding of condo association fees by the Brittons, who were in disagreement with their condo association regarding a matter of parking. Rather than filing a complaint or challenging parking policies, the Brittons simply decided that they would not pay their condo association dues, a decision that continued for a number of months. Finally, the condo association filed a lawsuit against the condo owners, and then filed two additional actions for two additional six month periods. The Supreme Judicial court ruled in favor of the condo association, stating that all 18 months (three six-month periods) were protected under the claim for priority liens.
How Our Experienced Law Firm Can Help You
At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, our Revere and Lynn lawyer has over 30 years’ experience, and can assist your condo association to recover the dues it is owed. In addition to seeking delinquent fees, our attorney will also work with you to recover late fees, interest, and lawyers’ fees, so that you are not paying a cent out of your own pocket in the end. To learn more about Deborah Gold-Alexander Attorney at Law and our legal services for condo associations, call our law office today at 781-289-4235. You may also write us a message using the online form found on our website. Your initial consultation is free.