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HOA "membership"

Discussion in 'Homeowners Associations & Boards' started by ccg71, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. ccg71

    ccg71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We've lived in our subdivision for 10 years and, since year one, were presented with an invoice for the HOA annual assessment which we've paid on time and in full every year. During a dispute regarding an upcoming project, I read our 30-page HOA document in full and carefully. We were shocked to discover that our lot and one other lot are excluded from the HOA. After speaking with the other lot owner about this, he has never paid HOA fees. Therefore, the HOA trustees must be aware of this situation that our 2 lots are excluded but they have continually invoiced only my lot over the years.

    1) What is the best way to inform the HOA that we recently discovered we are not part of the HOA and will no longer be paying dues?

    2) How likely is it that we can get past dues refunded? It is approximately $6,000 total in past dues.

    3) Does the HOA have any ability to force us to join the HOA?
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    1: Tell them - probably by US Mail with some sort of proof of delivery.
    2: No telling - it seems to me that you have a good argument for at least a portion of it, but I doubt you'll get 10 years. In fact, you voluntarily paid the fees, so it's quite possible that you're due none of it back.
    hrforme likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Good argument for reading that kind of thing when you first get it, rather than 10 years later.

    Going forward, just notify the HOA that you are no longer paying.

    As for a refund, don't count on it.


    I could send you a bill once a year, knowing full well that you don't have to pay me. If you pay me, that's on you.
  4. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    realize that the HOA trustees currently on the Board are most likely not the ones who were original to the subdivision Board and may not be aware that there are two lots that aren't required to pay the fee. They most likely outsource the billing to a property management company or other treasurer who sends the bills to all homeowners....and that person also might not know you were specifically not required to pay.

    That said, I have to agree you have a case for not paying the future, but it is possible prior payments will be seen as voluntary. Because in the end it falls back to you to understand what you owe and question it if you are unsure (which you have just now done). It could be the owners before you also paid voluntary, etc so it was just assumed that you would too....
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    That's not a logical conclusion. The only conclusion that you can draw reliably is that one or more persons connected with the HOA knows/believes that the other lot is excluded. You can't reliably draw any conclusions about anyone's knowledge regarding your lot.

    In writing.

    Impossible for anyone here to predict. If your intent was to ask whether you have a legal right to have the money refunded, I doubt it. Under the law, knowledge of what the "HOA document" says will be imputed because you (presumably) had a copy of it since before you moved in, so the question will be why you made payments despite knowing your home was excluded from the HOA.

    No one here has any way of knowing.

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