How can you prove you paid HOA fees?

Homeowner’s associations require people who live in their covered area to pay fees. These are set up monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the HOA.

People who purchase a home that’s in an area with an HOA must ensure they understand the HOA’S covenants, conditions and restrictions, which are commonly referred to as the CC&Rs. One particular point to pay attention to is what happens if you don’t pay those fees on time.

What happens if you stop paying the fees?

You must pay the fees for the HOA when they’re due or you’ll risk incurring penalties. Typically, the HOA will notify you that you missed a payment. You might be charged a late fee or interest until you get them paid. You can lose your community privileges, be sued, face foreclosure, have a lien placed on your property or be sent to collections for nonpayment of all applicable fees.

What if you pay the fees but the HOA says you didn’t?

For some homeowners, misapplied HOA fees lead to them being accused of missing payments. This is a serious matter that you must fight if you know that you paid fees to the HOA even though you’ve been told that you have not. Avoiding the issue won’t make it go away, so you’ll have to find a way to prove that you paid what you were required to.

Keep copies of all records pertaining to the HOA fees. It will be much easier to combat claims that you didn’t pay those fees if you have receipts or other proof of payments. This could be as simple as showing your credit card or debit card statements if you paid using one of those methods. Canceled checks are another simple way to show that HOA fees were paid.

If you pay your HOA fees using cash or a money order, you’ll need to ensure you get a receipt from the HOA right when you make the payment. Keep those receipts somewhere safe, such as a fireproof safe, in case you ever need them.

Working with someone familiar with HOA laws in Arizona can help you to learn your options and take action if you’re wrongfully accused of failing to pay the HOA fees. Don’t take for granted that an HOA is always right, as HOAs – like every organization – make mistakes.