Start My Answer

How to Get Out of Paying HOA Dues

Chloe Meltzer | December 30, 2022

Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

There are ways to avoid or reduce HOA fees.

Summary: Are your HOA dues killing your bank account? There is a chance you can avoid HOA fees, or at least reduce the costs. Here are a ways to get out of paying HOA dues: ask to see the HOA budget, join the board, look at all the HOA’s contracts, cut landscaping costs, Look into the property management fees, examine the insurance policies, reduce non-essential projects, and reduce reserves. If you’ve been sued for HOA debt, SoloSuit can help you respond and win.

If you are about to purchase your first condo, or you have been living in a home that belongs to an HOA for 20 years, you most likely calculate your HOA dues into your monthly mortgage. You knew that there was a monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee due each month, but there are ways to get out of paying such high dues.

HOA dues are money out of your pocket. In many cases, you might not even want to buy a particular property because of the HOA dues. The difference between an extra $400 and $800 per month is a huge difference on top of a mortgage payment. It can also make it harder to sell later on.

The HOA is made of residents and volunteers that are members of the board. In some situations, these volunteers are busy with life and family, which means they may not even look into being able to reduce the monthly HOA dues.

However, there are always ways to reduce expenses, even HOA fees. Someone just needs to find them. In this article, we’ll give you some ideas of how to avoid HOA fees, or at least reduce them.

Respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes with SoloSuit.

How to get out of paying HOA dues

Ask to see the HOA budget

As the owner of a home or condo with an HOA, you can legally request to review the budget. Ask for a copy and check to see the allocations. If you have questions you should ask the HOA president or a board member to clarify.

Join the HOA board

If you have extra time you can join the HOA board. This will give you more options and opportunities to look at the finances. For example, you might look into contracts with property management companies, as well as landscapers and other contractors. This can show you where the money is actually going.

Look at all of the HOA's contracts

There are always many different contracts that an HOA has with its vendors. There is always a property management company, there may be a landscaping or grounds maintenance company, and even a pool maintenance company. These different contractors will have agreements or contracts that are many years old. They may be able to renegotiate these terms into better terms for the HOA, equalling a lower budget.

Cut landscaping costs

Because your landscaper may have been working with the HOA for a long time, they might be overcharging. You can either attempt to negotiate with the landscaper and let them know the budget has changed, or find a way for the HOA to reduce the frequency of the services they are receiving. You can also consider hiring a new gardener who is willing to do that.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collector and win in court.

Look into the property management fees

If you live in a large condo development you will most likely have a property management company in charge of various expenses. They may be the ones to evaluate the budget, but most likely wouldn't want to reduce their own fee. This means you will need to work with the HOA directly to determine if this is possible and if they are being paid too much for their services.

Examine the insurance policies

Insurance is always a huge part of the HOA budget. It is very simple to switch insurance, or even attempt to negotiate with the current carrier. Bring this up to the HOA because typically this is not a deal-breaker. There may even be an insurance broker on the HOA board who is able to help cut a deal.

Reduce non-essential projects

There are often many aspects of the HOA dues that cover non-essential projects. This might include roof repairs, painting in the hallway, or other things that are only necessary every few years. If these are in the current budget you might consider asking for these to be deferred or set for every few years.

Reduce reserves

Many HOAs have reserve funds that are available for unexpected expenses. It is not necessarily a good idea to get rid of these reserves, but it is important to look into them if they have built up. There is no reason to allow this extra amount to sit in an account if it is not being used.

Although it is not always possible to reduce or not pay HOA dues, there is a chance you can claim financial distress. In this case, you should explain your situation, maybe that you are in debt or another situation, and you should be able to have a delay on these dues. It never hurts to ask.

Now, let’s look at an example of how to avoid HOA fees.

Example: Gary recently bought a condo and was surprised by the high cost of HOA fees. He decided to get more involved in the community and joined the HOA board. With the help of the other board members, Gary took a closer look at all the property management fees and insurance policies in place. They realized they could reduce the overall HOA costs by making a few simple changes without affecting the quality and perks of the community. This helped Gary avoid high HOA fees and made it easier for other residents to stay on top of their HOA dues.

What happens if you don't pay HOA?

Below are some consequences you might face if you don’t pay HOA fees:

  • Your HOA will have to cut back on maintenance and repairs in your community.
  • Your HOA may sue you for not paying.
  • You HOA could place a lien on your home.

It’s best to pay your HOA dues when possible. If you find yourself going through unexpected financial hardship, you can discuss your situation with your Homeowners’ Association and see what options are available.

Respond to a debt lawsuit

If you’ve been sued by your HOA for lack of payment, it’s important to respond to the lawsuit within your state’s deadline to avoid a default judgment. With a default judgment, the opposing party can garnish your wages or seize your property.

Avoid a default judgment by filing an Answer into your debt lawsuit case. Follow these three steps to respond to your lawsuit:

  1. Answer each claim against you.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File the Answer with the court and send a copy to the opposing lawyer.

You can learn more about these three steps, including how to fight debt collectors in court, by watching the video below:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

Get Started

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

We have answers

Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now are are just look for support, we're here for you.

Get Started

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court

Not sued yet?

Use our Debt Validation Letter.

Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.

Let's Do It

It only takes 15 minutes.

And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.

"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather

Get Started