HOA Lien Explained: Important Facts for Property Owners in Columbus, OH

HOA Lien Explained: Important Facts for Property Owners in Columbus, OH

No one wants to wake up one day with a legal claim placed on their home. The mere thought might seem too far-fetched to worry a homeowner. But it can happen, and this nightmare scenario is more common than you might think.

For homeowners living in HOAs, an association team can place an HOA lien on a homeowner who hasn't followed the rules. Here's what property owners in Columbus, Ohio, need to know about this issue and how to prevent it.

What Is an HOA Lien?

An HOA lien is a legal claim an association management team can make against a homeowner if the homeowner has violated HOA rules and regulations, like failing to pay the fees or a fine.

When that happens, the HOA can place a lien on the homeowner's property, and if the homeowner doesn't settle debts, that can lead to foreclosure of the property.

HOA Liens and Ohio Law

HOA management teams must work within the framework of Ohio state law if they wish to place a lean on the property. Laws protect homeowners from unfair rules that could leave them homeless.

HOAs can impose a lien if the rules are written in the HOA's governing documents. The HOA must be able to show evidence that debts are owed by the homeowner; only then can they record a lien to recover that debt.

The Financial Impact of an HOA Lien

A lien is always a last resort after trying to resolve a debt directly with the homeowner. A lien has a long-term financial impact on the property owner. It can lead to further legal fees, possible foreclosure, and damage to their credit score.

Resolving HOA Disputes

The homeowner has a right to challenge an HOA and defend their case before the HOA board.

The first step is for the HOA board to discuss the lien with the homeowner and offer a payment plan to recoup the debts. If disagreements continue, it's worth both parties getting a real estate attorney with experience in HOA governance.

Preventative Measures for a Property Lien Process

Homeowners should take every step to avoid a lien, and some preventative measures can help lower the risk of a lien.

First, homeowners should always familiarize themselves with the HOA rules. The HOA board is also responsible for effectively communicating those rules to all residents, including any changes.

Second, homeowners should be prompt in fixing any violations. A quick resolution is the best way to avoid escalating to an HOA lien.

Third, both parties should get professional legal advice. An attorney or real estate professional can suggest resolutions and mediate between parties.

Avoiding an HOA Lien as a Property Owner

Several simple steps can help you avoid an HOA lien. Always follow the rules and get clarification on any aspect that causes confusion. If you are threatened with a lien, take prompt action to resolve the issue.

PMI Scioto Metro is a specialist in association management in Columbus, Ohio, and can help guide you on how to protect your property investment. Discover more about our services here.