When you own a condominium, you are responsible for paying fees. These fees help to pay for the maintenance, safety issues, and improvement of all shared spaces. But what if you don’t agree with how this money is being spent? Do you have the right to withhold your fees from the condo association?
The simple answer is “no.” You never have the right to withhold your fees regardless of any grievances that you may have. Any issues that you have must be dealt with separately.
What Happens if You Fail to Pay Required Fees?
If you fail to pay the required association fees, your account will be turned over for collection. If you have not paid the association fee because you believe that you owed a different amount or the amount that you owed was already accounted for, this is different than a condo unit owner holding back fees because they disagree with how the money is being spent. If you believe that you have already paid what was owed or there is a discrepancy with the amount owed, your case should be referred to the association’s legal counsel for an investigation.
Failure to pay your assessment can result in serious consequences. Under the Rhode Island Condominium Act, an association may charge interest on common expense assessments that are past due. However, they may not charge more than 21 percent annually. Additionally, the association can charge you late fees. What you would owe for failure to pay your fee should be laid out in the Declaration or an amendment to it. It’s important to note that unit owners must receive notice of penalties and when they go into effect.
Failure to pay association fees can result in a lien against the property of up to $7,500. It’s important to note that the payment of the lien would come before a first mortgage. This is in addition to the fees and interest due. If the condo owner fails to pay, it will ultimately result in a foreclosure of their unit.
For these reasons it’s imperative that condominium fees should take priority when it comes to paying your bills. Regardless of the amount that you owe in assessment fees, with late fees, interest, and attorney’s fees, you can end up paying so much more. This is not to mention a possible foreclosure of your property if you can’t pay everything back.
Palumbo Law Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Property Insurance Claims
At Palumbo Law, our experienced Rhode Island Condominium Law attorneys understand Rhode Island condo law and will work strategically to help our clients maintain their rights. If you believe that you have already paid your fees or if you have an issue with your association fees, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!