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Community Living: Owners need to ask about age violations

Owners need to ask about age violations

Q: I live in an adult mobile home community. In the past, no one under 55 could buy in our community. Recently sales have been made to families that are younger than 55. In fact, one young woman has a 4-year-old girl. I want to know what my rights are as when I purchased my home I did so thinking we would not be disturbed by children.

A: If your park is a rental community, you need to address the question with the park manager or the park owner. If you are an HOA, cooperative or condominium, you need to address the problem with the board of directors. If the facts are correct and the manager/owner or the board has allowed this to happen, they have violated the adult community status. If they do not correct the underage residents, your community cannot restrict young residents in the future.

You and your neighbors should send letters to address the problem to the board or manager/owner. Ask them to correct the error and establish correctly that you are an adult community. Briefly, the federal and state laws require that one resident in each home be 55 years of age or older and no resident be under the age of 18 years. There are other requirements but this seems to be the problem you address.

Back late fees with collections policy

Q: Our association has a strong collections policy for late payers. The documents say that any owner paying after 15 days can be assessed a late fee of $10. This has resulted in some late payers ignoring the late fee. We were under the assumption that a late fee can be charged each month. We have a letter from our attorney that we can only charge once for a late fee. What can you advise on these delinquent accounts and the collections of the late fees?

A: Late fees and interest is always a subject with no straight answer if the owner does not pay the late fees but pays only their fees.

I have a possible solution. Create a collections policy. Work with your attorney to draft a policy. Keep the members aware of the process and work. Once the policy is voted by the board, send a copy to each member. That policy would include how late fees will be collected. Maybe the first dollars received will pay the late fees and the remaining dollars will be applied to the maintenance fees. This will result in a shortage each month and a letter should be sent to the delinquent owner explaining the reason for the shortage.

Keep a tight control of delinquent payers. This should result in fast action to lien delinquent homeowners and begin foreclosure action. You will need an attorney to help do the heavy lifting. Most of the legal costs will be added to the delinquent accounts. In brief, you want to take fast legal action rather than trying to use late fees alone. Also, keep your members aware of the collections policy and the action you take.

Caution: When communicating about delinquent action with members, do not use names of the delinquent owners. Just refer to action taken on late or delinquent numbers.


Community Living: Owners need to ask about age violations 11/10/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:30am]
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