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HOA Lien Procedures Explained

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Q: There has been confusion on my HOA board regarding when the association can record a lien against a delinquent owner. I thought we could lien after 45 days, but our manager says we must give a warning letter first. Is this correct? (G.M., via e-mail)

A: More or less.

First, the association needs to understand when an account becomes “delinquent.” This is not set by statute, but by your governing documents. 10 days, 15 days, and 30 days after the due date are the most common standards used to establish delinquency.

Once an account is delinquent, Section 720.3085(3)(b) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act requires that before the association allows the account to be subject to a lien or the accrual of attorneys’ fees on the account, a notice of late assessment must be sent. This notice must advise the owner of the amount of past due assessments, any applicable late fees and interest, and further advise them that if they do not pay within 30 days, the association may proceed with further collection activity against them. Some refer to this as the “free notice.”

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