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    sailrdon Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    Mar 13, 2008, 08:59 PM
    Dues to a dysfunctional HOA
    I live in a community of 10 homes in Washington State which owns a private road in common. There is a Road Maintenance Agreement (RMA) which is attached as a covenant to our titles, and a separate set of CCRs. The RMA specifies that we are all responsible to share equally in the costs of road maintenance and that if any owner fails to pay his share, any other owner may pay for them and after six months can file a lien on the delinquent owner’s property for the amount of his share of the costs plus 1% a month. The RMA also specifies that no road maintenance costing more than $1,000 can be done without 75% owner approval.

    The CCRs specify that each lot owner shall pay $120 per year to the Homeowners Association (HOA) to maintain the road and other common areas. The RMA does not contain any reference to the HOA, the CCRs or the annual dues as a source of funds.

    Without going into more detail about a complicated set of facts, we are withholding our $120 payment this year in hopes of forcing the “HOA” to comply with state law. The HOA has no bylaws, officers or meetings. We believe all of these things are required by state law. The HOA has incorporated as a non profit, has a person acting as treasurer and has a bank account. Several owners working together have undertaken maintenance projects without any proper vote. We have paid our share of all road maintenance costs even though we believe them to be undertaken illegally. Our only holdback is the $120 dues that would go into the HOA bank account.

    Now one of the owners is threatening to file a lien on our property for the unpaid HOA dues. The Washington State law on HOAs does not directly provide any power to file a lien, but it does allow for bylaws that provide that power. I am actively working to improve the HOA and bring it into compliance with state law at which point I will gladly pay my HOA dues plus interest.

    My questions: 1) What steps would an owner have to take to file a lien against my property? 2) Given that the HOA has no bylaws which specify the power to file a lien for unpaid dues, does he have only the RMA to rely on for his ability to file a lien or can the HOA file the lien in spite of the fact that it has no clear authority to do so? 3) Since the RMA specifies only that a lien may be placed for unpaid road maintenance costs, does he have the right to a lien for unpaid dues?

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