Dinn, Hochman & Potter, L.L.C.
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Can My Condo Association Foreclose on My Condo Because I Failed to Pay My Association Fees?

Every month condominium owners all across the state of Ohio receive bills from their condominium owners associations for common or monthly assessments. Although most people timely pay their bills, there are always a select few that choose not to pay them for one reason or another. Maybe the condominium owner feels the association is not performing its required duties or, it may be as simple as the owner cannot afford the payments. In either event, it is important to know that the failure to pay condominium association fees can lead to the association foreclosing on the owner's condo.

Within a few weeks, or sometimes up to thirty days (depending on the association's declarations and by-laws), after a condominium owner fails to pay their association fees, a condominium association has the statutory right to record a lien on the owner's condo. Once the association has recorded the lien, it has the right to foreclose upon the lien in the court of common pleas in the county where the condo resides. The rights and responsibilities of a condominium associations can be found in Ohio Revised Code §5311.

One common misconception of condominium owners is the belief that if they have continued to pay their mortgage, their condominium owners association cannot file a foreclosure on their condo. This is not true. Although it is important that condominium owners stay current and pay their mortgage timely, making payments on your mortgage will not bar a condominium association from filing a foreclosure on your property.

A second misconception of condominium owners is the belief that they do not have to pay their association fees if they believe the condominium association has not performed its duties. Under Ohio Revised Code §5311.18(B)(6) it states:

In any foreclosure action, it is not a defense, set off, counterclaim, or crossclaim that the unit owners association has failed to provide the unit owner with any service, goods, work, or material, or failed in any other duty.

In other words, even if you feel that your condominium association is not performing its required duties, it is not proper to stop paying your monthly condominium association fees. In fact, a failure to pay the fees may result in your condo being foreclosed upon. If you feel that your association has failed in its duties, there are other remedies which may be pursued but continuing to pay your monthly association fees is very important.

Whether you are on a condominium association board which needs assistance filing liens or foreclosures or you own a condo which has been threatened by a foreclosure action, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney. The attorneys at Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC have significant experience in condominium law and are committed to helping you with any issues you may have. Contact the firm at 440-446-1100 for a free consultation today.

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