A down economy is no fun. Not for you, not for your neighbor, and certainly not for your Homeowners Association. Homeowner delinquencies and HOA operating costs are both on the rise, creating a perfect storm for collecting assessments. We’ve put together a list of 4 tips that should help. 1. Take control Many HOA boards leave collection to the Property Manager. After years of smooth sailing, some Boards fail to understand or even recognize the magnitude of delinquencies until its too late. There’s nothing wrong with that but make sure you take a hands on approach, understand the current status of delinquent payments and speak to your Property Manager often to find solutions. 2. Know your rights Make sure you read your CC&Rs and understand both the rights of your Association as well as the homeowners. Know exactly what is allowed to happen when delinquencies occur. Can you add late fees, interest and collection costs to the outstanding amount? What are the timelines for doing so? 3. Take action Now that you understand your rights as an HOA board within your community, its time to exercise them. The biggest mistake we see people make is to let owners go more than 30 days without a past due letter. Be timely about the warnings because if you don’t it will make it much more difficult to enforce the consequences. 4. Be consistent You should have a formal collection process in place. Everyone should be aware of it. Anyone past due should get the same letter at the same time. There should be no exceptions to. If you do not follow this advice it will be infinitely more difficult to collect. The bottom line: There’s no golden ticket when it comes to collecting money in a down economy. However being proactive, educated, organized, and consistent will certainly help.
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