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What is an HOA lien and how do I remove it?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Becoming a member of a homeowners’ association (HOA) comes with various benefits, but it also entails specific responsibilities. One of these obligations may be paying HOA fees or assessments, which the association usually uses for operations, maintenance, and other expenses. Failure to pay your dues might result in the HOA attaching a lien to your property.

What is a lien?

A lien is a public notice that means the property owner owes money to a creditor. It makes your property’s title unclear, which usually means you cannot sell or refinance your property. Sometimes, a lien may even lead to the property’s foreclosure.

HOAs usually do not immediately put a lien on a property because the owner could not pay their dues on time. They might contact you via phone calls or letters urging you to settle your obligations within a specific period.

HOAs generally notify homeowners days before they file the lien. This notice usually includes an itemized list of delinquent charges to help you verify the details of your debt.

How do you remove a lien?

You can clear your property’s title by releasing the attached lien. Generally, this entails paying your outstanding fees. It helps to communicate with your HOA regarding any additional terms and requirements for clearing your title and preventing similar issues in the future.

Liens sometimes become a subject of disagreement between HOAs and homeowners. If you encounter such conflict, it helps to refer to California real estate laws and know your rights as a homeowner.