If you live in a homeowner’s association, then there is a chance that you could run into issues with the HOA. One possibility is that the HOA could ask you to sell your home.
HOAs can’t technically force you to sell your home, but an HOA could enforce rules or fine you in a way that results in you having liens that could result in trouble in court.
Can the HOA force you out of your home?
Potentially yes, but with the caveat that the HOA can only do this if it has a reason to foreclose on your home. For example, if you own a home in an HOA and violate rules that lead to $20,000 in overall fines, the HOA could put a lien against your home. This is the case even if your home has a mortgage.
Then, the HOA could opt to foreclose on that lien.
What happens if an HOA forecloses on a lien?
If an HOA forecloses on a lien, you could be forced to sell your home to repay what you owe. However, there are other options. If you can cover the cost of the lien with money you have in savings or you are able to pay it with a private loan, then you may be able to get the lien removed and avoid foreclosure.
In that sense, the HOA is not able to force you to do anything, but if you have a lien that you cannot repay, the sale of your home may be the only real option open to you.
For what reasons would an HOA place a lien?
An HOA may place a lien for:
- Late charges
- Unpaid assessments
- Interest that has gone unpaid
- Reasonable costs, like attorney’s fees
In an HOA foreclosure, your home is sold to satisfy the debt. If you are able to satisfy the debt in another way, you may be able to avoid the sale of your home.
However, if an HOA is continually causing issues, then it may be reasonable to sell and then move on, so you can live without the constant threats made by an HOA.