Condominium Associations and Homeowner’s Associations are generally both granted lien rights to facilitate the collection of past-due assessments. Since both condo associations and HOAs are organizations comprised of property owners for the management and regulation of a community, you would think the laws and requirements governing the assessment liens of both would be the same, depending on the state in which the property is located. Unfortunately that is not the case. When an association wants to file a lien against a delinquent property owner, or foreclose on an existing lien, the rules and requirements may change depending on whether the association is a condo association or an HOA.
For some examples we can take a look at some of the differing rules in my home state, Louisiana. Louisiana grants lien rights to both condominium associations and HOAs for past due assessments, and requires both types of assessment liens to be recorded in the mortgage records of the parish in which the property is located. Not everything is the same, however.
Prior to filing the lien in the mortgage records, a sworn statement of the claim must be provided to the delinquent property owner. For a condominium assessment lien,, that notice must be sent at least 7 days prior to the filing of the lien. For an HOA assessment lien, however, the sworn statement of claim may be sent commensurate with the filing of the lien statement.
If enforcement of the lien becomes necessary, there are also differences in the time allowed for a foreclosure action to be filed. Here again, the condominium assessment lien requirements are a bit more onerous. A properly filed condominium assessment lien must be enforced within 1 year from filing. A properly filed HOA assessment lien, on the other hand, must be enforced within 5 years.
While both condominium assessment liens and HOA assessment liens serve the same general purpose, the specifics of the rules themselves can be different. Care is needed in order to ensure that lien rights are not extinguished by a silly error, or reading the wrong set of rules.