Assessment and Fine Collections
The timely collection of community association assessments is critical to a well-functioning association; the board has a fiduciary obligation to assure the timely payment of assessments, and to pursue their collection when they are not paid in a timely fashion.
Particularly in difficult financial times like these, it is important to make certain that your association counsel has the experience and ability to collect from all members of the association, and to deal promptly and appropriately with bankruptcies and lender foreclosures. We've been collecting assessments for over 20 years, and we collect them for associations of all sizes. We offer reasonable, flat fees for routine services, and our experience makes the process efficient and predictable.
Both the Utah Condominium Act and the Utah Community Association Act contain provisions that can help your association to collect assessments and fines, but they also contain provisions that can trap the unwary association and the unfamiliar practicioner. You should make certain that the counsel you select is familiar with the Utah Condominium Act and the Utah Community Association Act.
Recent changes in the Utah Condominium Act and the Utah Common Ownership Act, adopted by the 2011 Utah legislature, have the potential to assist associations and their counsel who are prepared, but to greatly impair those who are not. Make certain that your association benefits from, and doesn't suffer, as a result of these changes.
In connection with our collections, we follow and endorse the CAI policy on the subject:
OF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION ASSESSMENTS
Community Associations Institute (CAI) supports the creation and continuation of effective methods to ensure efficient, economic and successful community association collection procedures. CAI opposes the enactment of governmental limitations on effective collection of assessments, fees and other charges of community associations. CAI supports laws strengthening such collection methods and lien rights by associations, provided collection methods are undertaken in a fair and reasonable manner, giving the affected owners notice, the opportunity to be heard, and other due process protections. CAI also supports reasonable procedures to accommodate unit owners experiencing difficulties meeting their assessment obligations.
Like a local government's dependence on tax revenues, the financial viability of most community associations depends on their ability to collect assessments to meet their continuing expenses (some of which are for functions that serve public health and welfare requirements).
Community associations require the revenue from these assessments to maintain common areas, buildings and facilities at community benefit, to provide community services as mandated in their governing documents, and to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to members.
Community associations must be able to collect promptly and efficiently their budgetary obligations from delinquent owners by avoiding expensive litigation and to minimize the burden on remaining owners of the common expenses during a long period of time for collection.
State or local governments, by statute, ordinance or regulation, may jeopardize the ability of community associations to adopt reasonable and necessary collection procedures to adequately fund the association to pursue recalcitrant, delinquent owners or to effectively have a strong lien against the owner's units.
In times of difficulties, illness, loss of employment or other economic problems, CAI advocates flexibility and compassion in the application of collection policies and procedures.
Adopted by the Executive Committee, April 10, 1983
Amended by the Public Policy Committee, October 6, 1993
Approved by the Board of Trustees, October 9, 1993