I found this great article by Chris Ann Cleland in Virginia. It describes what can happen when a tennant is asked to pay the HOA fees for the owner of a property. Take her advise and let the owner pay the HOA fees. Definitely worth the read:)
Who Pays the HOA Dues on a Rental Property?
When representing tenants, I am often asked, "Will we be responsible for the HOA dues if we rent this property?" The answer is NO! No way! And even if the landlord wants you to, I'll convince them that's a BAD idea. And I've had to do that a time or two over the past few years, which is astounding. You'll see why if you think that tenants should pay the HOA fees directly as they are the ones getting the benefits of the HOA services and amenities.
Home owner's associations are one the entities that can place a lien on your property for non-payment. So as the owner, or in the case of the rental scenario-- as the landlord, you NEVER want to make another party responsible for something that negatively impact you or the clear title to your property.
Case in point: Right now I have first-time home buyers who are thrilled to have found a great home in Manassas Park. Unfortunately, the owner of the property, who was transferred out of state, rented the property for four years. The two sets of tenants in the home during those years were FRIENDS of the landlord. And being a trusting sole, the landlord left his friends to pay his HOA dues. Both sets of friends stiffed the HOA, probably thinking it was no big deal. Unfortunately, the Seller is now having to pay off five liens that were filed against the house for non-payment of dues over those four years.
Here's the sick part. The monthly HOA fees were a max of $38 per month. Over 48 months that's $1,824. The liens total over $3,100! Why? Late fees and legal fees, of course.
Never put a tenant, even if they are your friend, in charge of HOA fees.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com. Or you can visit her website: www.nvarealestate.net.
Header is a combination of photos, taken by Chris Ann Cleland, of various listings and neighborhoods in the Bristow-Gainesville-Haymarket area.