How To Dispute Home Owners Association Late Fees Quickly
HOA dues or payments now represent a common term in the American real estate landscape. Now over 26% of Americans live in a dwelling ruled by a Homeowners Association or HOA. With those fees come complications that may sometimes lead to unjustified fees and fines. Luckily, DoNotPay is here to help you — it is the easiest way for you to leave an anonymous review, file a formal complaint, and seek justice.
Condo owners and sometimes renters expect to pay their HOA dues to maintain the property and grounds and provide them with added amenities such as a pool, community room, and fitness center. But if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from paying dues on time, you may want to dispute added fees and fines.
HOA Laws and Regulations Regarding Fines and Fees:
Homeowner Associations typically need to follow the state's HOA statute to determine the amount of a late fee and interest it may charge. Many states choose to charge the maximum late fee as allowed by their laws which may measure as high as 18% of the payment. Florida and North Carolina represent two states that max out the late fee to $25 and $20, respectively.
How Much Can My HOA Fine for Late Fees and Fines?
In addition to the charge for late fees, many states adopted the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA). This legislation also allows HOA to access fees for the following:
- Return checks
- Payment plan setup
- Violation of community rules
- Attorney fees in the case of a lawsuit
The HOAs justify these fines and fees by associating them with the HOA budget that ensures maintenance and amenity upkeep for the entire community.
How to Fight HOA Fines and Late Fees:
If you want to fight an HOA late fee or fine, you will want to take the following steps:
|Review all your documents from your HOA
|Make sure you understand the rules and provisions. If you can't find your initial welcome package or set of documents, ask your HOA office for a copy.
You may need to pay a fee to get them copied.
|Study the bylaw
|Bylaw that pertains to your fee or fine should be studied. If the HOA did not provide adequate notice regarding your situation, plan to defend yourself at the next board meeting.
|Establish and outline your reasons
|Disputing the fine must have an outline. The reason would usually fall into one of three categories:
|Make sure to organize all the documentation involving your case.
|This documentation may include canceled checks, written and phone conversations with the HOA office, and documentation proving your illness or emergency.
|Write a letter to the HOA
|Create a letter to be sent to the HOA board explaining you intend to appeal the fine or fee and include copies of your documentation.
|Review the specific procedural instructions
|Make sure to read and understand the procedures from your HOA.
This step may involve an interview or answering a series of questions after they receive your letter.
|Wait for the HOA board's decision
|If you're not in agreement with the decision, you may want to seek advice or counsel.
How to Appeal a Fine From Your Hoa Using DoNotPay:
As with a mortgage, your HOA payments represent part of your housing expenses. Not only does your condo mean essential shelter and a place to call home, but it's also an investment toward your future. But you don't want to diminish your investment by paying unnecessary late fees and fines. That's why DoNotPay's product to dispute unwarranted late fees for your HOA makes so much sense.
We've provided four easy steps below to let DoNotPay help you appeal your HOA fees and fines.
- Tell us why you received the fine (what violation are you being accused of)?
- Tell us the amount you are being fined for.
- Describe why you think this fine is wrong or unfair. For example, the alleged violation may have incorrect details or you may appeal on the basis that the rule is selectively enforced and discriminatory.
- Enter the date you received this fine and whether or not you received prior warnings.
That's all you need to do! DoNotPay will take care of crafting the letter and present them with a two-week deadline to resolve the issue. And, if you disapprove of the decision, DoNotPaywill helps your advance the issue to Small Claims Court. Why go through the endless hassle when makes it so much easier.
How Else Will DoNotPay Help Me With HOA Concerns?
DoNotPay provides several products that make condo living easier. Check out the products below to see how DoNotPay may help you with various HOA concerns:
- How to handle an HOA dispute
- Where to find an HOA complaint form
- How to file a discrimination claim against an HOA
- How to file an HOA noise complaint
What Else Can DoNotPay Do for Me?
Take a look at a few examples below to see what else DoNotPay can do for you:
- Get help managing your bills
- Learn how to properly file a complaint
- Know your rights regarding sex offenders living in your area
- Learn how to efficiently file insurance claims
Join us today if you'd like to learn more about how DoNotPay will save you time and money.