Collecting unpaid assessments

One of the most stressful parts of being part of an HOA is how to proceed when a homeowner stops paying their maintenance fees. When owners don’t pay their association fees, the rest of the property owners have to make up the difference through higher fees, special assessments, or reduced spending on community amenities and upkeep. If the unpaid assessments are large enough, the HOA can face an enormous problem that can destroy the HOA if it’s not resolved. Many banks will not loan an association money for capital improvements if 8% of an association’s units fall behind on their payments. At 15% delinquency, they can no longer attain a federally backed mortgage, meaning that only cash buyers are eligible to buy foreclosed units. Trying to collect unpaid assessments can be expensive, frustrating, and stressful. However, there are a variety of strategies for HOAs to use to collect unpaid fees.

This may include:

  • Suspending the owner’s right to vote

  • Suspending the owner’s use of the common areas until past due assessments are paid. This tactic is especially helpful with rental units. Tenants will typically put pressure on their landlord if they can’t use the amenities.

  • Suspending access to utilities.

  • Suspending the owner’s rights and privileges to cable TV, laundry facilities, parking, etc.

  • Recording a lien against the property

  • Filing a collection lawsuit against all owners listed on the title of the property.

  • Commencing foreclosure proceedings to sell the property


It is best to act quickly with each option and be consistent in regards to your actions towards all homeowners. If collection efforts are pursued, the amount due and owing will include all past due assessments, late fees, interest, administrative fees, collection costs, and legal fees incurred by the association as a result of the delinquency.


The prompt payment of Assessments by all owners is critical to the financial health of our communities. It is important to have the support of a professional management company to support your collection efforts in a fair, consistent, and effective manner. Contact The Management Trust by calling or clicking here.