We often get questions about HOA liens. Here are some basic questions with our answers.
When can an HOA file a lien?
Idaho law allows a homeowner's association (HOA) to record a lien against a lot when the owner fails to pay assessments. But only if the covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs) or bylaws give the HOA the power to file a lien.
What can the lien be filed for?
The amount claimed under the lien may only be for "reasonable costs" of maintaining the common areas. The common areas must be real estate. This means, if the lien was for assessments related to the maintenance of equipment owned by the HOA, then no lien may be recorded.
What assessments can the lien include?
The lien may only be for assessments that were levied within 12 months of its recording. If the owner owes for more than 12 months, the lien may not include amounts owed for anything beyond the 12 months.
After the lien is recorded, it automatically includes all assessments that the owner does not pay after the lien is recorded. No new liens must be filed.
How long can the lien remain on the property?
The lien is only good for 12 months after it is filed. The HOA can extend it for another 12 months if it records a written extension of the lien before the first 12 months is up. If the HOA does not extend it, the lien is deemed released.
What must the lien have in it?
The lien must be verified by the oath of a person who has knowledge of the amount owed. It must state:
- the amount due,
- the name of the owner,
- the name of the association, and
- the description of the property (i.e., the legal description).
When must the lien be served on the owner?
Within 5 business days of recording, the HOA must serve a copy of the lien on the owner by personal delivery or certified mail. If the lien is not served within 5 business days, it will be as if it was never filed and the HOA must file a new lien. If this happens, the new lien amount can only be for the amounts owed in the previous 12 months from the date the new lien was recorded.
This article is based on Idaho Code Section 45-810.
Questions? Drop us an email or give us a call.