Responsibilities of Community Associations and Homeowners in Assessment Collection
There are three main features that make owning a home in a community association development different from private home ownership. The main difference is that you share ownership of the common land and areas, and have access to amenities such as pools, gyms and clubhouses that you may not otherwise be able to enjoy.
The second difference is that you will have to become a member of the community association and will then be required to abide by all the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R’s) of the association.
Finally, and this is the most important, is that you will pay a regular assessment fee to the association to live there. The assessment is typically a monthly fee, and is used to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas, amenities and facilities.
Advantages of Community Association Homes
There are many advantages to owning a home in a development with a community association, and with those advantages come responsibilities for both the homeowner and the association. Developments with a community association usually feature well-designed homes laid out in way that provides attractive landscaping and well maintained open spaces.
Another big advantage is that you can enjoy the amenities such as a pool, tennis court or gym that you may not have been able to have owning your own home. But the biggest advantage, next to having all the amenities is that you will never have to maintain any of them, as that is the responsibility of the association. You probably won’t even have to mow your own lawn. That is what your monthly assessment is for.
Responsibilities of the Homeowner
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to abide by all the covenants, conditions and restrictions of the association and to pay their monthly assessment on time. As an association member you will always have a say in the association’s decisions, so it is important to stay involved and attend the meetings. If there is a problem or a dispute with regards to assessments, fees or other issues, there are procedures that will allow the homeowner and the association to resolve them to everyone’s satisfaction. Even if they choose not to actively participate in the association, the main responsibility of the homeowner is to pay their assessment on time.
Responsibilities of the Association
It is the responsibility of the association to abide by all the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R’s) of the association. The association is responsible for the maintenance of the common facilities and common areas. The association is also responsible for collecting the monthly assessments from the homeowners. In fulfilling that responsibility there are procedures the association must follow in situations where a homeowner is behind and owes money to the association on their assessment.
Collecting Past Due Assessments
When it comes to collecting on past due assessments, there is a strict procedure that must be followed. The association will usually work with a homeowner to get caught up on their assessment, but it has a responsibility to all the other homeowners who are paying their assessments on time. When this situation occurs, the community association will most often use the services of a lien collection company such as S.B.S. Lien Services to handle the collection process for them.
Because we handle the collection process in a totally professional and respectful manner, our collection activities rarely come to the point of having to foreclose or sell a property. Neither party want this, and a quick resolution is the desired result both parties are always looking for.
The collection process, once it has reached the point of being referred to S.B.S., will begin with a demand letter being sent to the homeowner, notifying them that the collection has been referred to S.B.S. and itemizing the amounts owed to the association. The homeowner has 30 days to respond to the demand letter and satisfy the debt.
After the 30 days, if the owner has not responded, the association will file a lien against the homeowner to collect the past due amounts. Often, this is where the situation is resolved, before it goes to the next step of actual foreclosure. S.B.S. is here to help associations and the homeowner avoid this step, but will proceed with the foreclosure and even sale of the property, quickly and professionally if necessary.
S.B.S. Lien Services, S.B.S., has specialized in the assessment collection business for more than a decade and is one of California’s largest assessment collection companies. S.B.S. has an 85 percent success rate in collecting delinquent assessments from delinquent homeowners. Contact us today and one of our representatives will be glad to assist you.