HOA, Property Manager or Tenant - Late Fees

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Submitted by spropst on March 5, 2014 - 7:14pm

So…

I own single family home and have property manager. For 4 years…all is well, it is in a HOA and property manager pays fees from proceeds. Today I get an email that says the HOA fees haven't been paid in a year, sent to collection, and i have 1 day to pay 1 yr fees + 1900$ lawyer fees, fines etc.

Find out that a year ago the HOA changed management company and my contact info was not sent over. so they've been trying to collect ( I assume) and not received anything from me. not sure how or who they contacted after the initial fees were late. Not sure who they contacted but the tenant received notification of litigation if not paid…then contact property manager who in turn contacted me.

Do I have any chance of recouping money from …tenant, property manager or HOA…?

Submitted by EconProf on March 5, 2014 - 8:17pm.

Ask your property manager why he did not notice no HOA monthly bills came to him for the past year. But also ask the HOA why they did not contact you, the owner of record. Pay all the accumulated monthly fees, but push back on the other costs.
However, you may also be somewhat at fault for not noticing.

Submitted by earlyretirement on March 7, 2014 - 12:36pm.

EconProf wrote:
Ask your property manager why he did not notice no HOA monthly bills came to him for the past year. But also ask the HOA why they did not contact you, the owner of record. Pay all the accumulated monthly fees, but push back on the other costs.
However, you may also be somewhat at fault for not noticing.

I agree with EconProf. How in the world a reputable property manager didn't notice no HOA fees for months on end I have no idea.

Also, how often do you review the financials from the property manager? I know many owners can get complacent but I always recommend property owners (even if they have a property manager) to review their financial statements from property managers at least every quarter.

What is your property manager's excuse?

Submitted by spdrun on March 7, 2014 - 12:48pm.

Property manager should collect rent, handle repairs, and find tenants (if you have the stomach for renting to randoms). Stuff that could result in foreclosure like taxes, mortgage bills, and HOA bills should go directly to the owner.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on March 7, 2014 - 1:09pm.

I'm a little pisses at myself because i underpaid my last 2 months HOA assessment. I had HOA on auto bill pay but they increased the assessment so I owed penalties. My fault for not even bothering to open the statements.

Submitted by spdrun on March 7, 2014 - 1:20pm.

It's been my experience that if you've had a good track record of payment and ask nicely, penalties can sometimes be removed.

Submitted by spdrun on March 7, 2014 - 1:20pm.

It's been my experience that if you've had a good track record of payment and ask nicely, penalties can sometimes be removed.

Submitted by earlyretirement on March 7, 2014 - 4:31pm.

spdrun wrote:
Property manager should collect rent, handle repairs, and find tenants (if you have the stomach for renting to randoms). Stuff that could result in foreclosure like taxes, mortgage bills, and HOA bills should go directly to the owner.

Well it just depends on the situation. But many people that own rental properties live out of state or even in a different country. Many property managers handle ALL payments for owners. However, I still recommend investment property owners to audit (or at least review) the financial statements each quarter.

Submitted by SD Realtor on March 7, 2014 - 6:22pm.

That is brutal. However you need to review the contract with the property manager very carefully to see how the wording is with respect the property manager being diligent in keeping up with the HOA. If the pm has been sending the proceeds to the old HOA I don't understand how the old HOA cleared those checks. It seems to me they would have returned the funds to the sender.

To be honest something does not seem right.

Submitted by spdrun on March 7, 2014 - 6:41pm.

But many people that own rental properties live out of state or even in a different country. Many property managers handle ALL payments for owners.

Not really all that hard to have tax/HOA bills sent directly to you out of state. Don't know about abroad. Also, most tax/HOA bills are payable online these days. Don't know why one would trust a management firm to handle something that's so easy to deal with.

Submitted by edna_mode on March 7, 2014 - 6:56pm.

Recommend that one sets up the bank to autopay online (direct payment) vs. allow creditors to debit your bank account (direct withdrawal). Reason is that then creditors may erroneously pull more money than you explicitly authorize, and then it is up to you to try to get the money back. Your bank is less likely to have perverse incentives.

Submitted by Jazzman on March 9, 2014 - 10:09pm.

As a landlord you would normally pay HOA fees, property tax, and insurance directly yourself. I'd think it highly unlikely you could hold your PM or tenant liable for late payments.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on March 10, 2014 - 11:50am.

edna_mode wrote:
Recommend that one sets up the bank to autopay online (direct payment) vs. allow creditors to debit your bank account (direct withdrawal). Reason is that then creditors may erroneously pull more money than you explicitly authorize, and then it is up to you to try to get the money back. Your bank is less likely to have perverse incentives.

I think it's easier to let the HOA debit your account.

I do bill pay from my bank to HOA and incurred late charges for 2 months because I didn't bother to open the statement and wasn't aware of HOA increase at the beginning of the year. Laziness.

Submitted by equalizer on May 29, 2014 - 9:05pm.

Thanks, I now remember some address change for HOA sent a few months ago!

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