Can You Refuse To Pay Your Condo/HOA Fees

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I received a foreclosure notice from the condo association that runs my condo’s building. They have not been doing a good job taking care of the building anyway. Can they really foreclose on me? Mark, Hoboken, NJ

A: Yes, your condo association can foreclose on your property. Any lienholder theoretically can initiate a foreclosure lawsuit against an owner who is in default. Before a foreclosure is initiated, a condo or homeowners association normally puts a lien on a property. As an owner of a condominium you should familiarize yourself with the Master Deed and bylaws of your condo association which govern, in detail, the daily administration and management of the condominium complex. When you buy a condo, you essentially become business partners with the other owners. The monthly condo fees pay for insurance, repairs and maintenance of common areas. Many people mistakenly believe they can withhold monthly condominium or homeowner’s association dues if for example they are unsatisfied with the people running the association. Unfortunately, your opinion about the quality of the work done by the people that run your condo association has nothing to do with the amount of money you are obligated to pay to the association as one of the condominium unit owners. Thanks for your question, Mark.

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