By: Attorney Corey T. Pontes| Associate
When one becomes a trustee of a condominium association, the expectation is that all of the trustees will be diligent in paying the dues they owe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Fortunately for Massachusetts residents, there is a statutory mechanism for recovering those dues owed to the condo association.
Chapter 183A of the Massachusetts General Laws sets the procedure to collect past condo dues from non-paying trustees. When any portion of a unit owner’s share of common expenses is past due by at least sixty days, the organization of unit owners shall send a notice to the non-paying unit owner, which states the amount owed. This notice must be sent by certified and first class mail. The organization of unit owners must also send a notice stating the amount past due to the first mortgagee, again by certified and first class mail.
Thirty days prior to filing an action, the organization must send another notice to the delinquent owner, stating its intention to file suit. This notice must also be sent by certified and first class mail. This same notice must be sent to the first mortgagee in the same manner, unless the first mortgagee has not informed the organization of its name and address. After thirty days expires, the organization may file their action.
If the organization follows the statute, they create a lien on the non-paying owners unit, and may also recover attorney’s fees. As of 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has held that a Condo association may establish and enforce contemporaneous liens on the delinquent unit, each with a six month period of priority over the first mortgage.
If you have any questions or if you need guidance, please call the attorneys at Wynn & Wynn, P.C. at 1.800.852.5211 or request a free consultation.