Home Owners Association and payment?

Home Owners Association sucks.

Is there a way to not pay the fee directly to the Association?

Perhaps setting up a bank account with two names, one being the Associations name and the other in the home owners name, then writing checks in the Associations name to be deposited in the account controlled by the home owner???


Don’t understand about the two accounts, but do understand “sucks.” So does ours. We simply withhold payment until contracted work is performed, and send a letter to the assn. president stating why. Last summer our backyard wasn’t mowed when other backyards were. We were told that our gate was locked. In fact, our back gate has no lock. We didn’t make payments until our yard was mowed. Nobody sued us, threatened us or anything; the work was done.

What is your problem with your assn.?

Water leak reported and no action. Last two times this happened I just fixed it myself because they did nothing - those maggots

I can tell you for a FACT if you don’t pay it they will put a lien on your house. It happend to me. I owed them $125 and they slapped a lien on me. I didn’t know it till I went to refinance the house. They I was forced to pay it off before I could do that.

I pay $200 a year and I have no idea for what! I have a small bed of plants at my entrance and that is it. The only thing they do is drive by the houses in a golf cart once a month then send out notices to make repairs, etc… I have been sited for a stupid thing like having my garbage cans visible from the street! Gimme a break!

That is the reason for the other bank account - to show that I have been paying - sort of - but I will be able to show canceled checks written to the Ass.

I am not really sure that I understand what you are trying to do.

Are you saying that you want to write checks to the “Home Owners Assoc” and deposit them in an account that only you can take the money from and then use those canceled checks as proof that you paid your dues?

The HOA will still be able to prove they never got their money because of the bank accounts.

Anyway, I don’t think the bank will let you open a bank account in the HOA’s name.

Sounds like what you want is to pay the HOA fees to an escrow account, to be released by the escrow company only upon satisfactory completion of whatever’s at issue.

Slightly off-topic, but…

My parents had this problem when the house was still under warranty. They continued to pay their association fees because they’re good citizens and didn’t want to risk a lien on the property. After many no-shows/responses from the HOA, they sent the HOA a letter detailing the damage and all the times they’ve called and written and the appointments that never resulted. At the bottom, they inserted a discrete:

cc: Daughter, Esq.

HOA called 2 days after the letter went out, folks came to fix the problem within a week.

I hate that it took a subtle threat for the HOA to get off their butts. Their HOA is a pain; the “board” is run by people with apparently little else to do other than monitor other people’s homes for things like “I can see your trash bins through your gate” and “you have some moss growing between the tiles of your ceiling.”


If you don’t like the way your HOA is operated, run for the board, and change it. If you don’t understand what the HOA is supposed to be doing with your money, or how it is supposed to be managed, get copies of the relevant documents (articles of incorporation, by-laws, the master deed to the property), and read them. If you’re working in the dark, you’ll have trouble winning your battles.

Having said that, I strongly suggest that you read the deed to your property very carefully. The obligation to pay HOA fees is probably laid out in there, or in some master deed that covers the entire development. Failing to pay it can result in penalties, interest, liens on your property, and, if they decide to get really nasty, foreclosure (i.e., a forced sale of the property to collect moneys owed).

So, withholding payment can be a very dangerous and/or expensive way to attempt to resolve problems. Document what’s wrong, write letters (don’t get angry - just specify what’s wrong, and what you expect the HOA to do about it), and, finally, if you don’t get action, write again, explaining that you will next be forced to retain an attorney to pursue legal action against the HOA. If that doesn’t do the trick, your HOA board is brain-dead.

Withholding payment is a legitimate way to press your point. However, you must be able to prove in court that you have the funds available to pay what you owe when the dispute is settled. The funds do not have to be segregated - just in your bank account.

Also, you are not only able, but REQUIRED BY LAW to mitigate damages, which means that if you have a water leak, you MUST have it fixed before it causes damage to other areas of the property, such as floors, walls and ceilings, even if it is technically the HOA’s responsibility to do so. You may withhold your dues to pay for such repair.

The key to all this being “legal” is your notifying the HOA in accordance with the procedures outlined in the HOA documents of the problems you’re experiencing and exhausting your options. Then, you can notify them in writing of the actions you intend to take until resolution. If you follow applicable procedures for reporting and resolving problems, your claim should be upheld in court if it comes to that.

BTW, nothing beats professional legal advice. If things are that bad, see a lawyer.

Thanks for the replies.

I was wondering about the legal grounds about the idea mentioned by gotpasswords. Was also kind of interested in that issue in general.

I have all the documents, rules, by-laws… and did not think to look for a specific section about withholding payment, but last time I mentioned the by-laws to the HOA, they threw the rule book away.