Homeowners' Associations Given Increased Ability To Collect Unpaid Dues Under Larkin Bill

William J. Larkin, Jr.

June 19, 2007

According to a bill (S.645) sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) and passed by the State Senate, homeowners’ associations would be authorized to place a lien on the homes of those who do not pay their association dues.

Members of homeowners’ associations agree to a common charge in order to receive services such as snow plowing, road repair, sanitation, signage, lighting, and common grounds maintenance.

"When everyone in a neighborhood is paying their association fees except for a few, the homeowners’ association should have an easier way to try to collect those unpaid dues," said Senator Larkin. "Currently associations are forced to waste much time and money in court in these cases. The average time it takes a homeowners’ association in litigation against just one homeowner is 2-3 years for which they have to reappear in court 6-10 times."

This bill would give homeowners associations the same rights as condominium owners. "They should be able to simply place a lien on the properties of the negligent homeowners instead of having to go through a lengthy judicial process," said Larkin.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.