check your condo docs.
#1 - ours stated the 'unit' renter/owner can be denied access to Common areas, garbage pickup, water, etc.
#2- where is the renter sending checks? That person should be notified that 'legal action' will be taken shortly. That person is cashing the checks and can be held liable for the 'dues'
In Florida, when a unit is rented and behind in maintenance fees, the association can require that rent be paid directly to the association until all of the deliquencies have been paid.
When (and if) the condo is sold it will require a 6D certificate which either clears it of any back owed fees to the condo association or not. The unit cannot be sold without a clear 6D. Do you have a condo attorney? We pay a yearly retainer to an attorney who acts on our behalf if it becomes necessary to take legal action. That might be a good idea in your case. In the meantime, check on taking the person receiving rental checks to small claims court, and by all means notify the poor tenant who will be caught in the middle of this mess.
File a lien or notice of lien (terminology varies by state).
If the estate is substantial enough, it is probably being administered with the supervision of the probate court.
A notice of lien will muck up that administration. That should create pressure on the executor or personal representative to pay up.
Most of the time filing a lien can be done without a lawyer. Just do some research at your local public library or go to the clerk of your local court for guidance.
Read your governing documents! Our WA State condo governing documents allow the Association to collect rent from the tenant if an owner is delinquent. And it is important to file the lien.
Thierry Liverman is correct. The death of the owner is "inconsequential" in this matter. The ownership should pass immediately to the "estate". (The structure of the will is also inconsequential - ownership has passed to someone - the beneficiaries, etc.)
Whether the owner is a living person or the estate or the beneficiaries, that owner is responsible for payment of the fees. Using the death of the owner is a red herring by the estate to avoid responsibility (i.e. paying the fees).
File a lien - whatever the terminology. And if you want to be a good guy, notify the tenants of the issue.
Just my thinking. Go to the core issue - the fees aren't paid.
We face a similar, though not exact situation. Our owner died leaving not only unpaid POA dues, but the balance of a special assessment. His heirs have no interest in the unit and it has been empty for several years. We are waiting for the mortgage holder to foreclose and hope to get back payments when the unit sells. We have filed a lien, but it does not take into account the mounting unpaid POA dues. Our attorney is researching this problem for us. By the way, our attorney is an owner with whom we barter his POA dues in exchange for legal representation - it's a lot less expensive than paying a retainer fee.
File the lein. Do it now before an heir goes out and takes out a second mortgage or something on the unit. It is not necessary to hire a lawyer yet. Then the HOA is protected. The rest of the issues about who is cashing rent checks and responsible will come to the surface in time.
Most likely a lien isn't enough. Get a judgment NOW! If you are concerned that the estate is being settled, file a non-judicial foreclosure on the property. This should be done be an attorney but not to worry, in most states you can add all collection cost to the amount owed. It is most impoetant to act quickly before you loose out all together. (1)Read your Doc's, (2) Exersise your Business rights under the law, (3) Protect your owners and you can live within your budget without dipping into your reserves. In other words - GET TOUGH.
I'm legal officer for my Association. If I were handed your problem, I would first determine which Probate Court in Massachusetts had the estate file (in CT we have Probate Courts and judges spread throughout the state. The Probate Court having jurisdiction is usually the court overseeing the area in which the decedent had legally resided.) Then I would travel to the Court office and request to look at the file.
Another way to get info is to check the Land Records of the town in which the condo is located. Land records are in the "Town Clerk's Office")- usually the estate executor is required to file a Probate form on the land records to show that owner has died and that the property is now property of the probate estate.
We had an owner who lived in a unit pass away, the parents became responsible for the past dues since they took control of the estate, and they had a lawyer who sent out letters to those having claims. We filed documents with the court per instructions in the letter. However, the lawyer rejected the claims from two banks, and us saying there was no money in the estate.
The original owners forced a bankruptcy sale and were the winners of the bid, unlikely that they paid the sale price, as there was a clause in the contract with the deceased, that in the event of payment default, the original owners would repossess the property. Sounds like doubletalk but that is the way it was.
In the meantime, we receive court documents from the attorney representing the parents, that a hearing was scheduled for the final settlement of the estate. The documents showed that those with claims were properly notified. The attorney had over two hundred thousand dollars that the deceased had, put in a money market account for the parents, after 12 thousand was paid the attorney for handling the estate. Did the lawyer lie about there being no money in the estate, well it appears so.
We were out a couple of thousand dollars in back dues and the owners that repossessed the unit were not liable because they took possession after the estate was settled and were only responsible from that date. This information may not help you but others have similar problems.
Get that Lien! And hopefully your by-laws state that if the owner falls behind the rental money will then be paid to the association.
Check your by-laws. We are going to start with our by-laws and have them changed to just that. The former treasurer did not have that put into our by-laws and now we have 3 owners all of whom is collecting rental money that is behind and now that is about to change. Good luck, if it is not in your by laws then put it there.
But either or, get that lien to protect yourself. and do not issue a certificate of resale without collecting all back dues from that unit.Some people discuss me when they think eveybody else is suppose to carry their load. Good luck
We have a President who does not follow the condo rules. Has decided not to pay his full assessments and have told other owners that. He has 3 units in the building and feels that since he has the majority of the units he can do what he wants. We already have a problem owners paying, now most of them don't. They're only three on the Board, him as the President, Treasurer and Secretary, of both whom are not communicating with the President because he can't be trusted. What do we do to get him off the Board or to comply?